The Guts of a Corporation by Grisel Acosta

when you have surgery
you must sign a form
agree to let the overseeing medical organization
dissect, reproduce, dilute
your removed organs into
imagined by science

of course, you sign

under bright lights
under sedation
under the knife

you dream of:

you as an ear on a hamster
you as fat-free potato chips

you as Wilhemina Sotomayor, in 2035,
the first female WNBA star to beat a male NBA star in free throws

you as a baby who cannot grow beyond being a baby

you as a blond, green-eyed man who joins
an uber-Nazi organization, in 2076, 
who celebrates 600 years of ignorance about his own cells,
chanting nonsense in a suburban park

you as a lump of red and purple flesh
screeching  plooompsh ploompsh ploompsh all day
wheezing hnnnm hnnnm hnnnm hnnnm during lonely nights

you as a tiny, one millimeter cybernetic supercomputer
massaging electrons into unknown sounds
making the next movement of music to unite
the world with dance

you as biohazard garbage dumped into soil
becoming something woody, leafy, and tall
stretching into clouds
breathing under the same stars that, 3000 years
ago, saw you play, when you were something brown, something female

you as virus explosion, hurting
millions just by existing
you as vaccine, killing another
version of yourself, because
isn't that what growth is?

when you wake up, only you, the original, exist
except for the place in your belly that has been hollowed out


Contributor Notes

Grisel Y. Acosta, Associate Professor in the English Department at Bronx Community College—CUNY, earned her Ph.D. in Latino literature at the University of Texas at San Antonio. She has poetry, short fiction, and monologues published in The American Studies Journal, Paterson Literary Review, Pembroke Magazine, MiPoesias, BASTA: 100 Latinas Write on Violence Against Women, The Reproductive Freedom Anthology, In Full Color: A Collection of Stories by Women of Color, the forthcoming Lauryn Hill Reader, and many others. She a Geraldine Dodge Foundation Poet, an honorary Macondo Fellow, and a Creative Capital scholar.