Major Organs

When they take my brain out of its casing
it will be fluorescent
and the mortuary assistant will have to stand back
because it will dazzle so brightly–
it will be heavier than a watermelon
and shot with gold.

I want them to remove everything.
I want to be an empty shell.
They won’t be able to give my lungs away
and my heart won’t be strong enough to get someone through
the next decade
but I want to be packed with gauze
and something to take the smell away.

When I die I want to be clean.
I want someone to say
I am the cleanest woman they’ve ever examined.
I want them to oil my brain before they put it back in.
Loosen my tongue
and stitch me with catgut and parcel string.

Because I won’t be coming back
butterflies will avoid my grave,
my agitated foot will cease to tap
and every time someone plays my favourite song
my heart will beat twice as fast
in some poor person who they didn’t tell
about my heartache, its poor diet of pain.

My kidneys
won’t miss me, my liver is in top notch condition
crushed velvet all the way through.
I don’t want them to take my eyes,
they’ll roll in the back of someone’s head.
My arms and legs will fold clumsily inside the box
with the heavy lid
like a puppet afraid of its master.



’s first collection is A Body Made of You (2011). She writes reviews for The Short Review and has recently been commissioned to write a story for Radio Four. She has contributed to The Silent History: a digital novel. Her second collection will be published by Penned in the Margins in November.