From WTP Vol. VI #5
Last Dispatch After Partial Resection
By AR Dugan
I try not to imagine / your real color / when they removed pieces of you / carefully, trying not to wake me. / I can’t help but think of you, / now and forever. / It would be easier if you were completely gone, / to forget. But, I still see you / as bright white and me dark ether / in our best picture together. / Have you forgotten me, Sliver, That Which Still Remains? / Say: I have so many questions. / Ask: Did you lose sight and sensation like me? / Say: The cells that you multiply / were killing us, but thriving us too, / like addiction. / Ask: Did your complexion change / when you breathed for the first time on your own, Sliver? / Say: You are a newborn curling slowly to sleep. / Ask: When air was gas instead of liquid, / did it make you cry / tears of milk? / Say: Defense has no color. / Ask: What was it like / seeing light for the first time, Sliver? / Say: I can’t remember that far back. / Ask: Did it hurt / to feel the lamp for the first time, / not knowing how to blink? / Say: Everybody likes a clean slate. / Ask: Did you know to wince / before the needle broke skin? / Say: Write your name: Sliver. / Ask: Did you know that what you had wasn’t skin? / Say: Erase. Ask: How about now? / Say: Erase. / Ask: Did it feel / like you would get to start over / and over? / Say: Repeat.
AR Dugan earned an MFA in Creative Writing from Emerson College. His poetry can be seen or is forthcoming in a number of literary magazines and reviews, most recently Salamander. His poem “The Creation of a Man” was nominated for AWP’s Intro Journal Awards Project. He has read poetry for Redivider and Ploughshares, and currently teaches literature and writing at Emerson College and Wheaton College in Massachusetts.