issue 4: spring 2002

> Henry Isreali


They wheel me in screaming–
     a surgeon draws x’s down my chest,
tells me to open, open wide. She balances
     dead crows on my hands, iceblocks
on my shoulders. Someone winds up
     a gramophone: it’s Chopin’s Nocturnes, again.
The surgeon probes two fingers beneath
     my ribcage, and a fog drops like gauze
to the ground. I hear a horse gallop
     and whinny, crows frozen and heavy,
drop from treetops. The surgeon says, try harder.
     Where are we going? I ask.
She leans in to kiss me, smoke hatching
     on her breath. She smiles like the moon
through the dead of night. I say,
     I can’t feel anything. I can’t feel. . .
A round reflector lamp overhead blinks off,
     and a white sheet crosses the ceiling
like a benediction. She says, you’re giving
     birth to your father. She says,
a child is standing at the edge of a forest,
     turning away. . . .


> Henry Israeli



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