Heart Surgeon

Bad Times for Croquet by Deseriedo

Bad Times for Croquet by Deseriedo

She’s taking back her life

And only now it’s starting to hurt

Every smile has to be paid for

Every touch, every word

Every molecule removed

And all her strengths must be turned against me

All her acuity and edge

Her silence and her deliberation

Honed like a knife

I see her take that knife

Heartsurgeon neurosurgeon

Without anaesthetic

She cuts her eyes out of my eyes

Her face out of my face

It’s really beginning to hurt

Cuts her chest out of my chest

Memory by memory

She takes back her life.

She performs the operation perfectly.

She’s practised it on herself.

And when I look in the mirror

All I see is the shape of her vanished face

The darkness where her eyes were

The old heart pumping failing

Gushing useless blood…

Look at it all. Here it is…

Out through those arteries

Which no longer are attached.

She doesn’t leave scars. She doesn’t leave fingerprints

She doesn’t leave anything.

She’s a good surgeon, the best.

She’s practised on herself.

Peter Jukes 1998


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