He sits in a dark room,
a light for a wall,
and stares beneath the flesh.
A stranger’s chest shines
botched lungs into his eyes.
His own life flashes,
ribs pinned, heart placed,
all that he has done as hard as bone.
He is tired of the parts,
toes, skulls, shell-shaped embryos,
masses, spines, traumatic breaks,
the excess that fills
a bone or cavern, light and metal
that create the angles
from which he has learned to see.
He wants light to rush through him,
a glimpse of just himself,
but he cannot measure without degrees.
Damage sometimes looks newer than it is.
The lines and swells on this x-ray
could be scars from an older injury.
He compares it with the next-to-last picture,
traces again the airless lungs,
the heart, the ribs like empty shelves,
the darkest lightest difference
inside someone else
and translates history onto what he sees.