Lisa Friedman

I meant to ask if it bothered you
but I knew you wouldn’t answer.
Your face was buried under a sheet
I wonder if you’d hid a book and light
like you did at night when you were young.

The numbers on the screen
said you didn’t mind much at all.
Your skin was already painted
staining it like an old photograph
ancient remembrance of before the scar.

After the first cut
a river of blood flowed into my hands.
You tried to be strong
blinking back tears from the corner of the wound
I sucked out the emotion with my tools.

The sheath is seen for the first time.
I pull the hole open wider
draw the light from behind my head
The immaculate whiteness beams at me
grinning under the spotlight.

I wrestle tendon from its place
and pull it like a toddler
sucking pasta through pursed lips.
This small worm of tissue
has been destined to a higher call.

I shave away the stubble,
remove the fallen wreckage
leaving your insides naked.
On bare bone I place my drill
ready to rebuild.