She strums the cadaver’s muscles
and speaks softly to us, conducts,
her blue-gloved fingers which play lost
melodies for only our ears.
With the ghostly percussion of
pericardium, the cartoon
echoes of skeletal xylophones,
and sinuous strings’ crescendo,
she recovers secret songs from
an animate undead symphony.
Finished, she faces her audience.
With gentle instruction, she offers
his unbeating heart to us and
one by one, we measure the weight
of absent breath in still warm hands.
“He was a large man with large organs,”
she sings. Perfect for us to read
the unheard music he once made.
Claire Granum is an English undergraduate student at the University of Ottawa with a critical interest in the health humanities. When she is not reading for class, she enjoys watching Korean dramas and playing Dungeons and Dragons with friends.