How to Operate on Yourself
by SUMMER CALLAHAN
Take the points of whatever you
prefer, a handsaw or a hacksaw, between the inverted
v of your own bony cage, taking the celiac artery as your
internal North Star on the empty map of your abdomen, and
draw your own fresh seams upward like the winding upward
crack of an old and much admired Grecian urn, across the flat
plate china of your sternum. Pry that off, the lock to your own
secret doors, and expose your ribs—clasping the arches with two
strong fists and pulling, leaning into it as you would a ship’s wooden
wheel, en route to some painful and foreign unexplored shore—
unexplored because who among you ever thought to peel apart
your own anatomy and endure the crack issuing from the distressed
final curve? Who among you ever thought to feel your heart, the individual
ventricles pulsing separately in the open air, your two lungs bellowing out
to catch a manmade breeze, open to bruising, pitiful reconciliations, someone
else’s tears, and your own reflection, unsullied by
who you think you are or aren’t.
SUMMER CALLAHAN is currently attending Florida State University, where she is studying Creative Writing and Computer Science.