Arsenic Lobster poetry journal Issue Forty-three
April 2017
 
On Death and Desire
Chloe Hanson

In college I worked transcribing lectures for deaf students, struggled to spell names of water-dwelling insects and dead artists. In a medical anatomy class I watched a doctor in a black bowler hat strip skin from a cadaver and hang it up next to the corpse like a jacket hung in a friend’s closet and left overnight. The dead man’s testicles swung on strings of sinew like pendulums tracing his fertility, the way my friends used to hold a necklace over my palm and pronounce the circles it traced girls, boys. And once, standing in the back of a lab, I saw a dead calf, haunches crusted in yellow shit, be cut open. Its bones sent dust into the air, my throat. The professor said this is how we find out what was wrong with him. I thought, then, of my husband’s left arm, the white scars so faint I first wrote of them months after we said I love you, months before he asked me if I wanted children, those places he tried to open himself up, as if he could part his bones, find illness in an artery.

About Chloe Hanson

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