Lindsey Walker

Originally from Chattanooga, Lindsey Walker is currently a student of creative writing in Seattle. She has won the Loft Poetry Contest, the Marcia Barton Award for Fiction and the national prize for best essay from the League for Innovation. Her poetry has been published by PigeonBike, the Licton Springs Review and will be featured in upcoming issues of the Dead Mule School of Southern Literature and Red River Review. Her fiction can be found in Dew on the Kudzu, Steel Toe Review and in the upcoming Luna Station Quarterly.

Gifts

In green scrubs,
their latex thumbs
punch stopwatches
by which they decide
if the slab sprawled
on the operating table
is dead enough.

Like rosy-fleshed salmon
decimated, struggling upstream,
oxygen swims
in red rivers from hearts
to organs and back.

Someone needs these kidneys!
This heart, this liver,
filled with oxygen!

Hands steer the scalpel,
because the mind needs distance.
They strip Death down
to numbers:
blood-oxygen levels,
the time of death.

Two minutes post-
cessation of heartbeat
is protocol.

There are forms to fill
in white paper stacks,
and red rubber-stamps,
and black autographs.

There is a body cooling
under a sheet
and the Life’s wind
packed on ice.

Stay

Wading silver waters, clear as cling wrap,
my stiffened fingers grope for slippery spoils.
I could tangle you inside my netted trap,
but barbarism makes this water boil.

My stiffened fingers grope for slippery spoils.
I’ll never let you escape, my fan-tailed fish,
but barbarism makes this water boil.
It ruins the tender flesh of our dish.

I’ll never let you escape, my fan-tailed fish,
whipping fins wrinkle ambivalent water.
It ruins the tender flesh of our dish,
the binding near as ruthless as the slaughter.

Whipping fins wrinkle ambivalent water.
I could tangle you inside my netted trap,
the binding near as ruthless as the slaughter,
wading silver waters, clear as cling wrap.

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