Monday, 12 May 2008

This Happened

A woman was executed and her body duly delivered to an institute
Where it was cleansed, shaved, bled, arranged, plattered
On an industrial stainless steel bed
And cut into transverse slices one millimetre thick
Each sliver lit scanned photographed processed logged
The whole reassembled digitally
And released on licensed software, as a download or CD Rom
For educative purposes

And a copy sent to her parents by recorded delivery
With a hand-penned message
From their daughter
And a compliment slip

And her father, attempting to configure which
Among the assorted protocols of bereavement
Would be the appropriate response
Whether to regard the CD Rom as remains
Or something he should pack into a coffin
And have the priest deliberate over
And classify and consign
And relinquish
And walk away from
Or whether he should feed the CD into the drive
And watch

He pressed play

At night in secret the mother printed off sufficient to produce
A face

She found
When the sheets were flicked like a children’s basic animation
The faint distortion of perspective created by the falling angle
Made something recognisable
An expression
Held then forsaken
For absolute passivity

Or maybe that was peace

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