My Layers

In the surgical chair, a large oval is inked
across my betadine swabbed bicep. I watch
my surgeon inject me until the needle jabbing
my skin disconnects from all feeling.

His scalpel. My flesh.
He peels me like an orange.
Red blood blooms, reveals my gristle and mystery.

“Yes, I’m fine.”
“No it doesn’t hurt.”

I count the industrial ceiling tiles, hear the buzz
of cautery, see the wisps of smoke rise.

I hear the stapler, look at the jigsaw
puzzle I’ve become. My surgeon
smiles and says, “you’ll have a great scar.”
This one, at least, is visible.


“Hands” © Alex Duensing


Ann Randlette: “I retired from a 31 year career in cardiac ultrasound scanning in 2015 and started publishing poems in 2016. My poem, ‘Elegy for my Father’ was published by the online journal Algebra of Owls in August 2016. My haiku, ‘Autumn Home’, was published by 50 Haikus in October 2016. ‘Joyride’ appears in The Remembered Arts Journal. ‘This is how I write about Love’ was just published by the Rat’s Ass Review. ‘Cantaloupe’ will appear in the Summer 2018 edition of The Stray Branch. I live in Olympia, Washington.”

Alex Duensing. Graduate of William Paterson and Columbia? Yes. Ran for St. Petersburg, FL City Council? Yes. Won? No. Stopped Mayan Apocalypse on rooftop with performance art? Yup. Strange but nice fellow? Clearly. Protégé of Arakawa+Gins, masters of the architectural body? Ongoing even after the supposed end. Able to create mechanical engines that run completely on the energy a person creates while appreciating a painting? On delightful rare occasions.