September - October, 1991

See how eloquently the surgeon with scalpel
Slices the structure of line
And, by forcing an incision of spirit,
Transplants these beating metaphors;
Pumping the grace of meaning into the wasteland
Whiteness of new lands acquired.
How delicately the transfer passes
From brain to arm to gloved hand--
Then to the vast range of body,
He denotes the irregular pulse of stethoscope,
Peers into the unbalanced ear
Of syllable-syntax and rhyme,
Makes for his symbols a tongue-prod & thermometer
To monitor the flux of temperature
& Time--writes his clock
on black boards with chalk,
Seals organs into envelopes,
Pries glass from the optics of eye
And creates a bed for his healing.

Proclaiming motion out of the paralysis of sleep,
He applies medication for his insecurities
Of life-giving, filling the needle
With cosmetic intent of thought and dream;
Places toils of allusion over labour
Clothed in seven salient days
And creases the folds of resilient flesh
Stitching the wound with signature and solution.

You can feel Death itself tremble and take
A step back from his breath,
Yet do not be misled, do not mistake,
Death bears a greater needle to pierce the flesh.