11 December 2008 | Vol. 8, No. 4
Dissecting the Automaton
Thankless work. Like seeing only yellow
scallops in the plant named Cowardly Lion. Later, I dream blue light
of a laboratory and a mechanical lion,
stopped and splayed before surgery. I'm nurse, nurturer, old
knife-girl drawing the moon like iron through the far skylight. The vents sliding
temperate breaths through metal.
I love an animal that'll open
like a girl—that first cut into the lion's
with my oxblood razor. The rib cage opens like French doors
onto a balcony strung with red lights. The lion's eyes roll
their walleyed pupils of glass
even the opiates don't darken. What's found, what's given over
to the realm of the nurse's
silver fingers tipped in mercury—a little manicured death
she sweats up in the dark. Sewn up, I sync
the lion's steps with the night garden's scents—its sterile
black grasses, its curt
valves of lavender.
About the author:
Anna Journey is the author of If Birds Gather Your Hair for Nesting (University of Georgia Press, 2009), winner of the National Poetry Series. She's currently a PhD candidate in creative writing and literature at the University of Houston, where she also serves as a poetry editor for Gulf Coast.
For further reading:
See the complete list of work by Anna Journey at 42opus. Browse the contents of 42opus Vol. 8, No. 4, where "Dissecting the Automaton" ran on December 11, 2008. List other work with these same labels: poetry.