j.  p.    b u r n s i d e

 

 

(THEY HAVE STRETCHED ME)


XIV. FOR THREE PARTS DECOLLAGE









































(THEY HAVE STRETCHED ME)

 

The goodly doctors have come to weigh me with their antiseptic breath.
They have stretched me over the singular stone and wrecked my body with cold.
Deftly they divide me with knives into halves, halves into quarters, into fiefdoms.
Their piggy fingers root for the bones beneath my sunken breasts.

The goodly doctors have come to touch me with their powdered gloves.
I spy them from my windows, the glass cracked and dry—
The dying ember of a pupil flickering in time to the sweeping scalpel.
The miles of my summer guts exposed and run up the flagpole.

The goodly doctorsí handprints all over my body, like lovers they hover,
The largest—the first to come without a splash—delivers my insides.
The scale can barely hold the rancid mess it groans and twitters.
They eye my meat in the glaring lights.

They voice their satisfaction, remove their pens, and with a few strokes
Are agreeably satisfied and so take their leave.

After the lights are put out dusk settles down darkness.
I fall back into my belly shivering in the thinning atmosphere.

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XIV. FOR THREE PARTS DECOLLAGE

   

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J.P. BURNSIDE is writer landlocked in Sin City. He writes, teaches writing at the University, and dreams of California waves. These poems are from his upcoming book the Casaloma.


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