Dropping the Lamb

April 1, 2002

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.