my top surgery reimagined as the beginning of an episode of a nonspecific medical drama
POV shot my perspective everyone’s hot even if they’re not in real life they’d be cast that way you know what i mean everyone the other patients my surgeon the nurses behind the beige curtain misgendering me & talking shit about another patient who didn’t show up & how i forgot to remove my piercings beforehand i’m staring at the orange bracelet on my right hand ALLERGY zoom out low angle shot my partner & i share a transformative kiss glowing for a moment before i’m wheeled away by a framed faded print of something that might have been a mountain off to the OR this room so white so metal so loud so beeping so tubes & wires so terrified [“The Transfiguration (Home Demo Version)” by Sufjan Stevens begins] oblique shot i’m transferred from the bed to the operating table & POV shot a PA goes hey! are you excited? remember me? & i kind of do but it’s hard to tell if i’m saying anything the anaesthesiologist puts the mask over my face & you can hear my breath & the screen you’re watching this on flickers black & goes quiet for several long seconds & just when you’re annoyed thinking something’s fucking wrong with your device or your cable or wifi the music is back louder than before & the camera is circling aerially over three people murmuring indistinctly in matching blue scrubs undressing me extreme closeup slow panning along the royal purple markings on my chest strategically avoiding nipples zoom in on the first cut the music muffles it’s like you’re hearing everything through wet gauze or a cloud forced to focus your attention on gloved hands glittering scalpel incision glorious in its precision in its hemorrhaging red light eternal then again black screen then cut to a commercial for smoking cessation medication
sally burnette is the author of the chapbooks laughing plastic (Broken Sleep Books) and Special Ultimate: Baby's Story: a Documentary (Ghost City Press). Other work has been published in Glass: A Journal of Poetry, pidgeonholes, Poets Reading the News, and elsewhere. They are originally from North Carolina but currently live in Boston, where they teach at Emerson College, read flash fiction for Split Lip Magazine, and work in a warehouse.