The Longing of Anatomical Drawings

            A diagram of reproductive systems,

            posted in Planned Parenthood.

Male. Female. A pastel couple, cleaved

down the middle. They’ve been halved,

            pear-perfect, navel to kneecap.

            Sliced clean, the duo wears nothing

but labels: bladder, seminal

vesicle, labia. She is contained.

            All corpuscle, yolk, potential—

            coiled becoming. Beside her, in side-

view he grows beyond himself.

Bulb-heavy. Bulge of root, tuber, burl.

            It’s difficult to feel romantic

            in a clinic— butcher paper bed

sheet, stirrups spread eager, a bouquet

of swabs. But there’s a tenderness

            to this pair, to their hope-

            less, headless abstinence.

Perhaps it’s the nearness of his sketch

to hers. Poised mid-approach, forever

            out of touch, always one thrust away.

            Above steel trays, they pose flayed, on display,

separated by the abyss of an inch.

This is a long-distance relationship,

            a love of lack, of want-but-cannot-

            have. Together each aches alone, severed,

pining. And what could be more satisfying?

Copyright © 1999 – 2024 Juked