After gallbladder surgery

a plastic container filled
with what had been taken:

pebbles, round and black,
solid as obsidian. Stunning,

this new failing,
not the hushed

decay we brace for,
but excess of creation,

a pile of clinking bullets,
a collection of angry bits

forged in churn and burble.
In the hospital room a tv

suspended from the ceiling
was telescope to the world outside.

I hid in the sharp, bright teeth of stars,
I turned the volume up

instead of spelunking down
into the caverns of my body

with a flashlight and butterfly net.
History drawn upon the earthen walls within

would not be deciphered.
I refused to swim the arterial channels.

I would not rest on a rib and listen
to water lapping, acid’s cranky drip,

troglobite heart pumping blood,
wanting, wanting, wanting.

No, what I wanted was to silence
the body’s breath-constant mysteries,

to exit myself,
to speckle a path with my crag,

tiny cobblestones in the park
where a couple might stroll

with their muddy sneakers,
holding hands and

talking about the weather.

About the author

Lizi Gilad's most recent travel adventure involved zip-lining in a redwood forest. She screamed like a madwoman the entire time. An MFA candidate at…

Read the full bio

Issue 16 · October 2012

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