Issue No. 16, Spring 2016

Lover’s Autopsy
Lana Highfill

The ruins of my disassembled heart
hang in my chest like bits of salted meat —
the last of winter’s stores.
If an archaeologist cracks me open
he will find, among other things,
pictures of you all along the walls
of my esophagus — waiting for digestion.
If you are standing next to the archaeologist
you will exclaim: There is no need for this!
with a broad sweeping gesture
knocking over the vase of flowers
set next to my body to mask the formaldehyde smell.
The archaeologist will calmly ask

Did you love her?

Though by then you will have forgotten
and walked away, leaving only your breath
to be stitched back into my lungs.

Lana Highfill is an MFA student at Pacific University in Forest Grove, OR. She writes poetry and short fiction in Southern Indiana, where she is an English professor. Her interests include live music, comic books, and sci-fi. You will often find her at a convention, cosplaying as her favorite character from Doctor Who. She has been published in Nota Bene, Phi Theta Kappa’s honors anthology, and is currently working on her first manuscript.