In the autopsy room you waver,
palms slick despite your powdered gloves.
Here lies a silver form, once exuberant
but now indifferent to the indignity of examination.

You measure collarbone to navel, follow sightlines
with scalpel. Here are the ribs that caged her heart,
there is the lump she swallowed the last time
he made her cry. Scar tissue tells a story

of knives and hard living, birth and death.
You wonder about the last time she looked
up at the moon, the last secret held
on her tongue, the last time she kissed

someone she loved.
All the things that made her
whole are removed, placed reverently
onto the scale. You add up the numbers

in your mind, trying to avoid her milky stare,
but you know you’ll come up short
because there isn’t yet a measurement
for the soul.