A Bit of a Meltdown—Karen Steiger

I casually disemboweled myself the other day
in front of a crowd of people.
They gaped at me as my intestines spilled out
onto the dirty, gravelly pavement,
but no one did anything about it.
In the moment, it felt really good,
like something I had been waiting to do for a long time.
And these people deserved to see my evisceration,
the long red and pink ribbons of my entrails
like an overly stretched out Slinky.
Afterwards, I felt quite embarrassed.
It’s not really normal behavior.
Messy. Hard to put everything back
where it had been before.
People are going to talk about it,
ask me if I’m okay.
Do I look like I’m okay?
This is my colon, right here in my hands.
Do I need to apologize for being unprofessional?
You’re not supposed to try to stuff everything back in.
Instead, wrap the organs in a sterile gauze
and calmly walk yourself to the hospital.

Karen Steiger is a poet, fiction writer, and breast cancer survivor living in Schaumburg, Illinois, with her beloved husband, Matt, and two retired racing greyhounds, Giza and Horus. She is the founder of her poetry blog, The Midlife Crisis Poet (www.themidlifecrisispoet.com), and her work has been published in The Wells Street JournalArsenikaBlack Bough PoetryAng(st), Twist in Time, PerhappenedKaleidotropeMineral Lit MagRejection Letters, and others. You can find her on Twitter at @maisedawg.

photo by Timon Studler (via unsplash)