When he had his
appendix removed
they gave it back to him,
like he had asked,
in a clear plastic box.

The moment he got home
he decanted it
to a large glass jar,
full of yellowing phemaldehyde,
which he then kept
on the dresser by his bed.
Oftentimes he would admire it as if
it were some long dead creature
he had discovered or uncovered,
thick and pink and
spiky with the toothbrush bristles
of many years neglectful swallowing.

But sometimes,
at night,
when he lay shivering and alone,
listening to the wind prowl mournfully
outside his window,
he imagined the discarnate organ
pulsating softly in its liquid prison,


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