Emergency Surgery

The nurse with clay hands
slashes the undergarments,
peels back the skin,

all those secrets we thought
sacrosanct – atrium, aorta –
laid open for inspection.

I couldn’t bear it, she said,
knowing someone had his fingers
inside my heart.

All those little lies
that fib us into living,
that sometimes arrested

still needle us on,
the sutures on which
our tyranny depends.


Nudibranch, Indonesia, copyright 2005 Mary Pearson

Copyright 2012,  Lois Marie Harrod

Lois Marie Harrod’s The Only Is won the 2012 Tennessee Chapbook Contest (Poems & Plays). Her 11th book, Brief Term, a collection of poems about teachers and teaching was published by Black Buzzard Press in 2011, and Cosmongony won the 2010 Hazel Lipa Chapbook Contest (Iowa State). She teaches Creative Writing at The College of New Jersey.  

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