CADAVER LAB

the cardial notch
on the left lung fuses
in old age
like it’s supposed to
all the fleshy elements
dyed for study
all a little fused
the flesh a dry kind
of wet
or not wet
extended
into the thick
sub-basement
fluorescent air like a fog
the acid smell floating
between each girl
on her iphone
sneaking a pic
of the meat-
red bisected speech
mechanism
to study from,
down the line,
body by body,
in search of one
not so butchered
by the medical students,
the trachea here
is nearly fused too––
ribbed little tunnel
in the sand
the epiglottis
a small tongue
a light pink
bud poking through
the packed
bunches of hay-like
not-flesh
the sphenoid stretches
behind the eyes
like a bat
cradles the foramen
rotundum in the spread
of its wings
never knew the bodies,
knew names of holes
in the skull
never saw a face,
only slice of nose,
slice of throat
did not see death,
did not see form
saw mechanics,
saw machine.

 

CAESURA

What I mean is –– I’m trying to tell you –– that someone has to give something up.

*

Will there be a moment, finally, when that prick of light opens

*

the one to the right––about 2 o’clock––of my middle distance, for instance, just now above his head on the wall there

*

itself, washing the rest of consciousness outwards, the way you could imagine this, if you could,

*

Please could you

*

What

*

Of diagrams of eyes pulled open, of my father’s corneal connection detaching in a movie theater,

*

the way he talked about his vision before the blindness like grey shapes on gray walls, but     distinct in this way too, the shapes not like blobs but figures in the darkness,

*

a kind of reaching towards you, like a person would,

*

a great wave of light I’m not afraid that this will actually,

*

actually what is the opposite of a revenge body––   *

––a you were right about me body?

*

I hear rats dying outside in the alley

*

the chemical make-ups of Warfarin, Dilaudid, Diazepam, Irinotecan,

*

or I imagine it would be light, I don’t think I would actually perceive it, would

*

happen. I’m afraid that no one else sees that light, or this possibility that

*

it’s even there. The flashes get truly radical at night

*

I jut awake

*

the squeals don’t occur so frequently so I imagine each little rat shuffling up to the dumpsters,

*

rustling thru the discard of boxes and cans, the trash so deep and thick from days and days of leaving it there to rot, to be picked over,

*

finding that small tab of warfarin and the shock of congealing, that sharp squeak,

*

not the snap of bones of a harsher kind of trap––

*

where there is no one left in the world––

*

This light as approaching death so to speak, disfluency

*

as you used to

*

beyond or I should say behind

*

be that slow motion car crash of my sight line

*

beyond that spot above your head past the veil of this sort of sort of clamping––

*

the self, its inability to ever, finally, ever look away––

 

 

ON THE OCCASION IT WAS DISCOVERED THAT SATURN’S RINGS WILL DISAPPEAR FULLY INTO THE PLANET IN 100 MILLION YEARS

 

Joke I never got as a kid:
teacher is in the progress of explaining the death of the Sun
in one billion years                  how it will first in its death
& expand        enveloping
the solar system
including earth

asleep student jerks awake
asks in a panic to repeat
when??

teacher responds one billion years

student, relieved, says
oh thank god I thought you said million

when you die the universe
does too. No coffee before they close
no will it rain before I leave here
what is
here

dis–– pejorative –– astro––      star, planet from
astrum
the breaking apart
of a star, the “disaster”

 

the speed of light moves

the world without light

the universe keeps itself forward

without us                        it takes
what it wants

it will go dark              not dark
dark implies                        perception there is
nothing to perceive

I won’t miss
to miss it means gone              there is no
gone

 

 

 

 

Alice Hall is a poet and educator currently based in Buffalo, NY where they are a PhD student at SUNY-Buffalo’s Poetics program. Previously, they taught writing and poetry in Portland, Oregon. Their poems can be found in DIAGRAM, Flypaper Magazine, TINGE, The Cardiff Review, and elsewhere.