Dear Sir Learning Anatomy
With my chisel I removed the petrous
portion of your temporal bone to discover
the tiny, majestic malleus attached
to the tympanic membrane—its hanging
no less or more marvelous than vibration.
These are the deepest parts.
I cut the heart from your chest, opened
the thunderous wall of the left ventricle
to touch the billows of the aortic valve—
three smooth leaves, a pale blooming parachute.
So, we have been intimate,
But I do not know you, only imagine
the work you once did in the world
as I peel the sinewy skin
from your palm, its soft pads
finally giving way. I grasp each
finger—from smallest to thumb—
as I loose and then take the muscles
of fine motion which you may have used
to hold those that you loved.