Dear Sir Learning Anatomy

Poetry, Volume 3; Issue 2

Dear Sir

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.