THE THINGS WE CARRY
I bear into this room a package full of the
love my mother felt toward my father. The
mug of coffee on the counter each day, the
proper professor food, she told her friends
about his Ph.D. And he studied galaxies,
planets circling in orbit, the inevitable
collision of decomposition. This space dust
would fall from his mouth at dinnertime,
senseless matter that would coat the kitchen
plates and seats and walls. He was used to
speaking, while she would touch his elbow,
brush his back lightly, each point of contact a
pull of gravity. My father built constellation
palaces around himself. My mother passed
him lemon bars to keep cool in his study
during summertime. She-
filled the gaps of air around him. She-
smiled daily, licked at rose lipstick, trying
to compete with stars.
Half-mooned beneath my belly button
is the little white puckered cross-stitch
from where they stuck the camera in
to see the salamander
in my currantjelly insides.
The surgeon told me
as soon as they cut it out
it burst in his hands.
Of all the organs he's held
I imagine my appendix is
very far down on his list.
He must have held
caressed fishy lungs
and maybe even touched a liver!
twitching as it baptizes blood
and churns it out pure.
Of all my organs,
I li i matith my
Y .i :.
4 . ni~nt « , 9 '"c .
Philosophy, Politics & Economics
THNS FO R
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Philosophy, Politics and Economics (PPE)
Deadline is March 14, 2014. Visit
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