The Ramifications of Something So Unusual
Anna Sunshine Ison
On Wednesday, they pulled a woman,
once-woman, out of the lake—
and turned into soap.
This is not the sort of transformation
we are taught to expect—
girls into birds, plastic surgery,
These changes we can deal with,
with little more than a stretch of belief.
But this. Bones become soft,
a face that fingers could reshape.
Is that what they did to bury her:
sculpt her into her original form
like Avicenna’s bear-mother
nosing her whelps? Or
is now the time for artistic license,
to gift her with a beauty she never had,
an apology for seeing her so undone?
I want to know if the coroner
found his hands unexpectedly clean
where he’d lifted her,
and if he plunged them into the muck
so he could have a stain to wash off
when he got back home.
© 2007 University of North Carolina Greensboro