top of page

Worm Guy



I became acquainted with human anatomy
by way of a worm, printed black,
an ellipse bearing eyes, mouth, and anus.

The contours that mark the creature's boundaries
are definite: the curve of its primordial spine,
the lining of the tube channeling its sustenance.

Thus, too quickly, I may have mistaken art for life.
Mapping the worm's pleura fountain-red,
I exhaled, believing that I understood breath.

The first time I witnessed an infant put under,
I saw myself writhing on the operating table
and turned away, feigning momentary blindness.

We confirmed the site on our tranquil charge—
right, not left—and the surgeon stretched. Remember
the first cut, a ribbon of blood flanked with white?

I still dream with that acuity. My childhood welled
with myopia, days spent gazing at smears of maple.
I assumed leaves were not meant to be seen.

The comfort of soft focus, the ease
of gentler lines. Nothing
blurs the sting of a bleeding edge.

bottom of page