A Poem by Steve Healey

by Mark Bibbins, Editor

Lab Report

He had a face with two eyes and a mouth. 
 He was my boyfriend; I was his girlfriend. 
 We went to the same highschool in the suburbs. 
 He was into science, and I was part of science. 
 I had a face with two eyes and a mouth. 
 The human body was a conductor of electricity. 
 I was his boyfriend; he was my girlfriend. 
 The sun rose at the exact time predicted. 
 There were microscopic animals everywhere. 
 I had a job on the weekends washing dishes. 
 We hung out at the park near our highschool. 
 The sun set at the exact time predicted. 
 The trees divided the sky into a grid. 
 We carved our hands into the picnic table. 
 There was broken glass on the playground.
 In Biology class we dissected fetuses. 
 I was part of science, divided into boyfriend. 
 Left-handed, amputated, beheaded. 
 Our homework was learning to be liars.
 We dissected what had never been born. 
 We never saw the dust mites eating our skin.
 Between us we had a vagina and a penis. 
 There was science in not being boy or girl. 
 I had a job on the weekends saying nothing. 
 Anyone can be beheaded and rebuilt.
 Our homework was learning to be bionic.
 “What’s wrong?” he’d always ask me.
 Between us we had hypothesis and data. 
 “What’s wrong?” I’d always ask him.

Steve Healey’s two books of poems are 10 Mississippi and Earthling, both on Coffee House Press. His work has appeared in American Poetry Review, Boston Review, Denver Quarterly, Fence, jubilat, and in anthologies, most recently The New Census: an Anthology of Contemporary American Poetry.

You will find more poems here. You may contact the editor at poems@theawl.com.

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