by Rebecca Macijeski
Sonata for Water and Birds
Each day becomes another and. Monday comes, dies away,
then Tuesday and Wednesday, and summer fades
in the gray wash of autumn.
Today is a little Unitarian church
where everyone is welcome and
everyone believes us, but
each day joins the world’s cathedral of time.
Moments are the common books we paste ourselves into.
Every second primes the soil where we plant
the rough kernels of our souls
underneath a sky
accumulating circles of birds.
And the power lines they perch on become staff paper,
five infinities parallel to earth
waiting to be filled
the way we build symphonies from the tune up.
The way we build a life from the bones up,
fleshing out our skeletons.
When we bruise, that slow melody of blood
recedes back to arterial strings
listing along the chords our limbs are singing.
Our bodies are water and birds, churning and flight.
Death sits alone at the back of the lab.
When the instructor brings the dissections,
they are no longer pigs inside their flimsy bags.
They are something else. The smell
the only connection to their bodies.
Each day for weeks there are more incisions.
The miraculous blue and red tubes.
The shadows of a heart and lungs.
The skull a blank globe sleeping
under a stretched dome of skin.
The belly opening like a horrible story.
Everything so tidy, so intricately formed.
With her gloved fingers, she gathers small intestine
like wet rope anchored to something dark and deep,
some vital source she senses but never sees.