After Vesalius


Wings of flesh peeled away
in the shape of leaves,
fluttering like cuffs of lace..

One man, cherubic in face and curls,
holds an apple in I. vola manus,
hanging low near U. femur.
Long stem, two complementary sets of leaves—
purely representative.

In real life, a blaze of color:
brush-strokes, tendrils of red and green—
much too beautiful to eat.

The body still an object of wonder,
sober and unmapped..

In real life, deadened by self-knowledge:
What would it mean to slice and study now?
To disjoin, disengage, discontinue—
to peel away, still not hungry,
trapped inside a feeble body
that can accommodate only
so many appetites at a time.

Haleigh Yaspan