Dropping the Lamb

April 1, 2002
Volume 19, Issue 4

Dropping the Lamb

If you're alone in the kitchen and drop the lamb, you can always just pick it up. Who's going to know it?-Julia ChildImagine a neurosurgeon in scrubs
hunched over a dead man's chart

writing loops and strands of
     twisted prose

illegible as pasta
      lying on a plate.

Imagine the quick snip of day-old
      sutures,
a scalpel slicing a crust of blood,

the careful retraction of scalp and
      brain
to retrieve a wad of gauze

left behind like yesterday's paper
on the back seat of a bus.

And imagine the patient's
      brain stem
herniating through the foramen
      magnum

in less time than it takes a lamb
to drop from counter to floor,

how suddenly the heart stops
      beating,
nothing left but a post-op note

written the way Julia would
wipe blood off the kitchen floor.