After a Long Stay in Gross Anatomy Lab

We will emerge from Hades
As hungry as Demeter’s daughter
With a few seeds
(Abductor pollicis longus, Common peroneal, biceps
For which we will pay in the cold seasons,
Death assembled, annointed,
And wrapped carefully in a sheet.

Still childhood whispers its lessons in my ear,
A walking stick climbs over a rose,
My mother chirps like a bird,
And I play my violin in the cellar,
And my lips move in silent recitation
Of some compelling truths
That I did not choose.

“Jenny Diver,” Chicago, Class of 1989

Originally published in Vol. II: 1986