Juno’s Autopsy

He brings her back
from the scene of a crash
only to force her open like a locket,
struggling to find a home for
the scalpel. Her skin splits at the blade.
Festering fruit.
Its vacuous stench pricks
the nostrils of his audience.
It is at this time that he introduces her
to his students, the white-smocked boys
more interested in the mysteries
of perpetual gestation
than the idea that she might have made
a fine mother.
The supine woman’s thighs are pinned shut
in a futile attempt at modesty,
but the boys’ search for knowledge
cannot allow her even this one simple dignity.
Latex hands grope at her from every direction,
each one of them scrambling
for a slice of swollen breast or thigh or wing
until with unbent legs and closed eyes
they almost believe her alive.
At last, it is time to show them
her most prized possession,
glaucous and exposed to their egg white eyes,
dangling from its string in her abdomen.
It is only here, submerged in the viscera,
that two flat hearts become relics
and science somehow ceases to exist.

Daryl Sznyter received her MFA in poetry from The New School and her BA in creative writing from Pepperdine University. Previous and forthcoming publications include Word Fountain, Best American Poetry blog, Noble / Gas Qtrly, Bluestem Magazine and anthology Theories of HER. She currently resides in Dunmore, Pennsylvania.

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