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June 5, 2019 Poetry

Surgery Dream (Euphoria) 

Duncan Slagle

Surgery Dream (Euphoria)  photo

When my mother built me
again, she did not wait for sobs

to pass. She left clasps undone
then wept in her bedroom.

I tried to reach for the gown
but my fingers mumbled back hair

into metal teeth. I cursed quietly
waiting for friction to set the cloth 

ablaze. When she came back 
she carried no redness in her eyes.

I bent to kneel at her feet
studying what I might become.

The glint of silver polish or 
blood pooling beneath a toenail. 

Glasslike, I consider my mother 
a god of fragile things; quiet; bone 

grinding into bone; my wasted 
howl pouring up into the moon. 

When she felt me wince, she relaxed
her hands, detangling the flames

with reverence. I was a child unborn
to be born again—un-monstered

& beautiful, washed in her saltless light.

image: Aaron Burch