michael dickman | my autopsy

6 02 2009

Poetry Dispatch No. 268 | February 4, 2009

MY AUTOPSY

by Michael Dickman

There is a way
if we want
into everything

I’ll eat the chicken carbonara and you eat the veal, the olives, the
aaasmall and glowing loaves of bread

I’ll eat the waiter, the waitress
floating through the candled dark in shiny black slacks
like water at night

The napkins, folded into paper boats, contain invisible Japanese
poems

You eat the forks,
all the knives, asleep and waiting
on the white tables

What do you love?

I love the way our teeth stay long after we’re gone, hanging on
aaadespite worms or fire

I love our stomachs
turning over
the earth

—–

There is a way
if we want
to stay, to leave

Both

My lungs are made out of smoke ash sunlight air
particles of skin

The invisible floating universe of kisses, rising up in a sequinned
aaahelix of dust and cinnamon

Breathe in

Breathe out

I smoke
unfiltered Shepheard’s Hotel cigarettes
from a green box, with a dog on the cover, I smoke them
here, and I’ll smoke them

There

—-

There is away
if we want .
out of drowning

I’m having,
a Gimlet, a Caruso, a
Fallen Angel

A Manhattan, a Rattlesnake, a Rusty Nail, a Stinger, an Angel
aaFace, a Corpse Reviver

What are you having?

I’m buying
I’m buying for the house
I’m standing the round

Wake me
from the dash of lemon juice,
the half measure of orange juice, apricot brandy,
and the two fingers of gin .
that make up paradise

—-

There is away . :.
if we want
to untie ourselves .

The shining organs that bind us can help us through the new dark

There are lots of stories about intestines .

People have been forced to hold them, alive and shocked awake

The doctors removed M’s smaller one and replaced it, the new
aaabright plastic curled around the older brother

Birds drag them out of the dead and abandoned

Some people climb them into Heaven

Others believe we live in one
God’s intestine!

A conveyor belt of stars and saints

We tie and we loosen

Minor
and forgettable
miracles :

from THE NEW YORKER, December 15, 2008

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