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Hannon 25 Nan Hannon X-Rays Even without my clothes this is easier than yearbook photos. I don't have to look happy. In fact, I'm a natural. RADIOLOGY'S cover girl. Easy to pose, a natural breath-holder. So burn all those Polaroids in which I stand frozen as a surly pygmy whose soul's being stolen. This is the magic Kodak that sees beyond seeming. This is the eye so true its glance is deadly. All my life I've wanted to meet this eye. Thank you, Madame Curie. I come out of the booth in my own clothes. The radiologist holds up my proofs. 0 my Rembrandt! I'll buy them. 3 ? 5's. 8 ? 10's. Forget their diagnostic value. 1 want to send them to my friends. Dear ones, here I am as I really am. Negative. Nearly invisible. 26 the minnesota review X-Rays II Vampire facing the mirror, I watch myself disappear. Radiation dissolves my flesh. My bones grow soft, chalkmarks on a chalkboard, white on black. I see what no one should: my own grinning death. Now I know why they dress me like a ghost. Practice. October The surgeon turns the pumpkin. Thumps her. She is so blank. Dumb. He fingers her hooked stem. She needs teeth. A tongue. Eyes to smile at him. Nurses, dressed like ghosts, lay her on the Times. They bring the paring knife, the crayon. Their little bags yawn open. Hannon 27 The top of her head lifts off. Her brains are exposed. Disorganized. This string brings this clot. This string another string. It takes hours to empty her. But they got everything. They find and count the seeds, sticky tiddlywinks. They drop them in their sacks. She doesn't blink. So they turn their backs on the stink of candlewax and burning squash. They wash the orange from their hands. Tonight they have plans. They leave her alone with a broom and her yellow smile. She frightens the children who come to her room. ...


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pp. 25-27
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