Monday, July 3

I didn't know the right greeting

I met some people in Vegas.

I met them in flesh and bone
and muscle
spinal cord
small intestines
large intestines
an eye for an eye
an eyebrow left untouched
hands full of phalanges
and metacarpals
deltoids shining bare
in the soft yellow light

and a small pituitary gland
sitting cosy in glass case.

I saw a face.
I saw a distinct face.
So clear was it
that i could count
the facial muscles on it .

The face wore no smile
as it looked back at me,
a slice of a cross-section,
in another glass case.

Further down the dark corridor
I shuddered at the cold hearts.
This one has valves
and the left ventricle swings open
that one has been carved out
so i can look within.

A soft delicate mesh
of blood vessels in red and blue
a spleen here
a hand there
a whole person, too.

In yet another dark room
I see babies who were never born
4 weeks
6 weeks
11 weeks
18 weeks
and so on.
The largest one is 32 weeks old.
(Don't think about it
jut look closely and walk away for now).

Co-joined twins with eyes shut tight
born with a single heart,
it beats no more.
Another embryo with ventral hernia,
organs grew outside.

Little blue babies
in glass jars
they show me your bone structures now.
let me not stand too long here
lest I begin to think about who you could've been
had you been born.

a lady lets me peer right into her heart
a window in her ribcage is open for visitors.
I stare
we stare
at her muscles
knee caps
high cheek bones
bulging eyes
untouched unskinned brows
long bony hands
narrow waist
and long long toes with unclipped, unpainted nails.

As I walk out
a collection of 83 cross-section slides
bid adieu to me.
They say this collection is a whole human body.
I don't want to know your name.
I fear I'm not brave enough to digest it all.

I met 21 people
they were very different people.
If I think back now
they were more whole than me
even though they had no skin
and a couple of odd organs were
removed and plced in separate
glass chambers for closer obseration.

That night as i lay down
I realised I'd been peering into the deep insides
of 21 cadavers.
I couldn't sleep.
I wonder if they do.


Sagar said...

they did.

dee iyer said...

i really do love the way you write. and draw.
god.. that comment sounds so lame doesnt it?

Fingers said...

sagar, i sure hope so too.

dee iyer, doesn't sound lame at all!

Anonymous said...

Weren't they beautiful? I think the human body is a work of art in itself, and what a privilege to see those who have offered themselves in death for this living art...

Fingers said...

That's true, Christa.
That's how I saw it too.
Until late at night when i just couldn't sleep..

Soumyadip said...

Wonderful but a bit disturbing. That's the wonder.