Issue Sixteen - April 2010

The Anatomist

By Faith Van De Putte

The chest is ajar after the lesson. 
Now, alone with the body,
she reaches down and picks up the liver,
as solid as a loaf of rye bread.

Gently, with familiarity 
as if folding her child’s clothes
she nestles it above the colon on the right.  
The heart is placed between the lungs. 
She smooths down the small intestines,
settles the lid of ribs,
draws closed the cover of skin, 
tucks the formaldehyde soaked sheet around,
and zips up the blue body bag.

The gloves come off, 
hands are washed in the stainless sink
and on the way out she exchanges 
the lab coat for a red scarf.