These heavy bodies our machines,

by Susan Shaw Sailer

their pulsing tubes of red and blue,
the bags of piss and fuel, neuron
message nets. My son-in-law cuts
and sews the bodies back when
bullets, cars have torn their parts.
How beautiful, he says, red muscles
glistening, skull peeled back, the
textured off-white brain. I saw
a video, brain-stem stroke.
Neocortex intact, the man grew
paralyzed limb by limb. At last
only his eyes could move.
Felt his heart pump, lungs
run by respirator. How he worked
blinking through the alphabet
to tell his daughter, I fly out
over the city at night, see
the web of lights, the palms
of God reaching out to me.

Susan Shaw Sailer lives in Morgantown, West Virginia, and has published two books, The God of Roundabouts and Ship of Light, plus a chapbook, COAL. Her poems have appeared recently in The Main Street Rag, Pittsburgh Poetry Review, and Minerva Rising.

Copyright 2018, Susan Shaw Sailer

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