Aug 23, 2011

In Case of Emergency Open Your Eyes

Written by Wendy Xu

Read by Luke Johnson

This is not your death. From under a plastic surgical cap 
         you see them gently lift the heart

from her chest. Place it into a shallow basin; wash it
         with care but this unsettles you. Like tenderly bathing

a child, they carry on cleaning the organ 
         and ignore you. 

Today they came for you at dawn, sirens
         calling out into the morning, ripping your windows in

tortured repetition while a medic
         swings open two white doors, this room, this hall

made for your inadequate body. There are only
         two things to do in an operating room: meet the eye-line 

of your surgeon and try to hold it, or, imagine
         a naked woman smoothing back

the splintered ends of your exposed valves. 
         This is not your death but a prelude, clinked out

on the stainless steel table where someone lays
         down a clamp, a knife, where your silence

agrees to die without you.