Distractions during Anatomy Lab


The tattoo my cadaver has on his right upper arm
of an army-green cross standing at attention
topped by a combat helmet
with a rifle leaned against it.
He was a vet like my grandfathers.
I’d like to hear his stories and know where he served.
Another cadaver’s arm hangs languidly off the table
at its very end are fingernails frosted pink
in this place sticking out like
a guest who walked into the wrong party.
Who thought to paint her nails during
her final few days of life, and why?
Was it just a chore, or part of saying goodbye?
Reaching deep into a body and pulling out man’s handiwork:
pacemakers, wires, and metal mesh.
After all those surgeries, was life any better,
or were you ready to die?
Meanwhile, outside the windows,
sunsets with hearts of deep purple, laced with a crimson red
stretch from north to south
kissing the east as they head west.

Cody Morris, Class of 2011