1000 Pieces

As a child, I played with puzzles
half-finished bridges and still lifes
grew under my hand.
The occasional orange piece
forced into a sea of blue.
When pieces didn’t fit
they were dropped,
mangled, lost
Older now, I play at doctor in the lab,
finding the component parts of man.
Carefully hewing each rib
to open the chest like a jewelry bx.
And oh what treasures within!
Lungs and heart interlock,
their motion perpetual no more.
They must be cleaned,
removed, studied
Hours later, I have taken everything.
All his secrets lay exposed.
Time to leave the formaldehyde behind,
but I cannot leave the cadaver empty
vital pieces scattered
viscera violently spread across the table.
I use my long-neglected skills
to replace the pieces
of an impossibly still life.
This kidney belongs just so.
The stomach nestles here.
He lies complete, save one part
I hold the jaundiced liver in my hand.
It will not fit,
this humiliating extra fragment.
I leave it outside the body,
wrapped in plastic, and my failure.
For a healer, I know very little
about putting things back together.

Suzanna Freerksen, Class of 2009