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Posts tagged “evan peterson

The Piss Test Cathedral

by Evan Peterson

A clinical detachment at the altar:
Frothings.
Sudden drop in body mass.

The hospital doubles as cathedral,
triples as soundstage.

The perfect set: it even smells
authentic.
Scenes on the gurney–

Unlikely uses for rubber tubing.
Certain worship under lock and key.
Here,

patients are restrained
to prevent incidents.

The click/    clack
of toggling switches.
The censer swinging like a pendulum,

smoking the bacteria
out of the room, sterilizing
the dropping blade.

Simpletons rate flesh on a scale
of disgust to arousal,

stomach contents to rippled muscle,
as if the two exclude.

Fear is but misplaced desire,
bodymeat merely weight,
salt-jacketed and served.

Vermillion cells
tumble through tubes—

let them out
and it’s outsider art:
hot scarlet sinking into snow,
scent of copper.

The cathedral provides
creative freedom
seldom found in surgery:
blessings

of tendon,
unheard of structures
blossoming from the backs
of knees.

The body excites the catheter.

Fixed into position:
the butterfly spreads his legs
to receive the jeweled pin.