Gary L. McDowell
Though the body is open to contemplation.
Within this body opened presently.
The walls wonder where the light
when there are no windows.
There is always some unrest
Or the shadow of her half-open mouth.
It is unwhole,
the body's lack of strange sounds
but when it sleeps, when it sleeps
all everything sounds off—
what's unwhole then is noise.
How soon night enfolds her.
to burn a human body to ash.
We believe we can remember:
the ancient culture that thought
Through bouts of sleeplessness, the miracle
The level blackness of the lawn
The backbones of birds outside the window,
thus, a fine turn of phrase.
A note on "Hysterectomy": They say reading is an impetus. W.G. Sebald's The Rings of Saturn. Hospital bills. Eliot Weinberger's An Elemental Thing. Bedridden days and nights. George Oppen's Selected. The pine tree outside the bedroom window. Cardinals. Peter Gizzi. Everything. They say reading is an impetus.