Bliss

Bliss

Bliss

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A weekly poem, read by the author.
Nov. 1 2000 3:00 AM

Bliss

Lovely to have snipped out of you the part
that doesn't work and heal over whole—
so tidy and democratically done, anyone's body
freshly washed and offered up, or down,
tilted, the anaesthetist said, so the bowel
can float back and leave the uterus clear.
Lovely to sink into that any woman anonymity,
numb at the extremities and dry-mouthed
(a kind of mallet with rubber ball attached
is shoved down the gullet to block any bile
moving up), to be part of a percentage
so grandly successful even the hystericals quiet,
whiling away their pre-hysterectomy time
in calming contemplation of their navels which,
soon to be laparoscopically pierced, re-gears
the naval conceit with each interior periscope's
sighting. No whitened knuckles here.
The i.v.'d dreaming has begun
and the womb-weary traveler—pardon this last
Homeric pun—is fetched up on the shores of Ithaca
by her husband's particularizing kiss.

Lynne McMahon's third book of poems is titled The House of Entertaining Science. She is a professor of English at the University of Missouri.