Neighborhood of Man
He taped the needle to my hand, installed
the mask over my nose and mouth, and said
We’re going to give you medicine to help 
relax you. I had barely had the time 
to think don’t euphemize me when I was 
flat out. I had been reading Frankenstein
so I began to dream about my frame 
made up of severed parts, extinct yet still
with memory of life in them. Still they 
could feel the stitches poking different skins,
and when he sewed the edge of an ear onto 
a scalp, I started hearing. Sounds proceeded 
somewhere far down and dark inside a brain 
both dead and not. I heard him sew and sigh
oh my Elizabeth, Elizabeth. 
 
Some days passed as he worked, arranging limbs
then rearranging them in a better shape
or else he’d leave me alone inside the room 
I couldn’t see but sensed from how it echoed 
and smelled of chemicals. And then I heard 
another voice—rougher than the first, 
but strained the way my body strove apart
while drawing together at the seams. This new 
sound said it wanted to take her, me, away
to the desert, the wasteland of Americas.
 
That moment I began to search for and save 
the words I’d need to refuse him. I was trying 
to move, make sounds I knew. The second noise 
was gone when the first let out a moan, a no,
and I could feel my dozens of parts again, 
unzipping one from the other but couldn’t tell 
what part was what or where they would end up 
in my creator’s fit. Then I felt the blood 
pressure device constrict on my arm and I 
was who I was again, sickened by drugs 
but without pain. The doctor had gone home;
a nurse helped me sip water from a straw.
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