The body, slight and infinite, lies prone
on steel, too vivid relic of what came
and went, and all that will not live again–
The name it wore. The blood that stirred the bones.
Slow atoms drift apart in unseen waves,
reducing to procedure bitter grief–
Rough, brown dust from a withered autumn leaf.
A silver scalpel waiting on a tray.
Now twilight tracks the minutes through still night,
And faded stars, the cooling neurons’ light,
Unbound, their duelling lightnings’ charge released,
No more to hold the boundless dark at bay,
But join the mortal fulcrum’s shattered sway–
A heady perfume rising in day’s heat.
(edited from what was originally published on Red Bird Press website in 2017)