Stretched thin like gum, you can see their
organs, complete with diagrams:
there’s the pancreas, and the gallbladder,
and the shy, impotent appendix.

Mothers will take these organs when
cumbersome, and lay them out in
the sun to dry. Sometimes feral
cats snatch intestines.

The hospitals aren’t sterile any-
more. The surgeons no longer suture. The
herbs are impotent— they are without their magic.

And now, when laid out in the sun, they
do not dry, but rot. Modern mothers
plant their petunias in neat rows,
they cover rather than covet the earth.