arms dealers

wooden boxes, styrofoam filling, most of the pieces are there:
we take count once again and then sign off on the shipment
the truck rumbles off into the night, past the cinderblock
walls, past the barbed wire, and we motion for the packages
to be lifted and brought into the compound. spread out on
the tables inside, they look so fragile, so so red–these
organs that we trade for, this business of ventricle & aorta,
the arms race of the heart. we separate them out, discard
the bad ones–the ones turned brown and dried out, the ones
that have already been through too much heartbreak, the ones
too scarred or the ones that give too easily when touched,
rotten. we work quickly and efficiently. we plant them
in people’s cars, in the elevators, in their briefcases.
we put them beneath the pillows of sleeping post-adolescents
who still haven’t gotten it yet, who still don’t know how
to love. and we always, always leave the wounded behind.


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