The Mortician

Valin Paige


rearranges the body
crowd of cadavers; amazed
a rib spreader clicks over
like a fishing spool
she reaches in & pulls
lungs out – one after
the other as if
skinned rabbits from
a hat, they hang limp
on a hook, together
the black bag audience
quickly applauds
she pauses to feel the wet
pulp of the pericardial sack
a bundle of wilting plastic
around the heart – pushes it
against her slippery rubber
gloves, capillary sludge
& raises the hand to her tongue
to taste – transforms
the body to a delicacy



Valin Paige is a spoken word poet living in St. Paul, MN. She has a spoken word album titled Bleed Through and is published on Button Poetry. She is currently an MFA student at Hamline University.