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A Poem: There’s A Lot Going On 

There’s so many things to do right now.
The left side of my heart needs to process oxygen, the right
needs to release carbon dioxide, both need to pump
and throb together and so the left’s oxygen-saturated
blood will reach where
it needs to be and the oxygen-deprived
will return to where it started.
My left lung is smaller than the right one,
my right lung is taking up my entire body.
Motor-rad means motorbike in German.
This is unrelated but it’s still the truth.

I have a secret, I lied about my body, I’m really just
a ribcage. My ribcage stretches
from my neck to my wide ankles.
I have 141 ribs, the same number of dimples
on a standard-issue golf ball, hundreds of dolphins!
We watched them for hours, it was a
It was apparently, obviously–and they stressed this–“very cool.”
All the other girls went to a classroom
to learn about the changes in their body but I
was taken aside into the locker room
to learn about proper rib care: soak them
in baking soda and lemon to keep the tartar off;
no harsh pontification, my ribby body can’t
take it.

I like my learning like
I like my fingers,
on hands.
I’m afraid your mitsy paws won’t cut it,
your digits dangling off
your cheeks like jointed
whiskers, rubbing your face
against my thigh while the fingers
count the ribs inside. Oh, no,
you just won’t cut it.

Speaking of...

  • A poem by Geneva Zane.


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