At the Mobile MRI Unit by Charlotte Murray (Lucent Dreaming Issue 10)

the nurse takes my temperature before
I’m allowed in, scrunches her face
into a budding flower, then laughs
and says, well according to this you’re cold
enough to be clinically dead.

I smile back. I could have told her that.

I scan myself for metal, cataloguing
my bare ear lobes, my loose jumper
and leggings, unadorned by poppers, zips,
necklace or rings. I feel oddly naked,
basic, newly made, like a child again
without the armour of jewellery.

On the table I am bland dough, suet
coloured and lumpen, knees up, feet
together, ready to slide into the oven
and rise in its heat. I imagined beforehand
that I would be like a hero of old,
descend to the underworld

through a full moon shaped cave glowing
with watery light, return with all the answers.
But now I am here, moving, as much as I tell myself
I’m in the posture we relax in at the end
of a yoga class, all I can think of is a coffin
vanishing behind the curtain.

They asked me how I managed not to panic,
how I remained still as a cadaver
on a mortuary slab. I wondered why
they thought dread built its nest in death,
not in the unfathomable branches of pain
red as a summer sunset.


Buy issue 10 today.
Lucent Dreaming is an independent creative writing magazine publishing beautiful, imaginative and surreal short stories, poetry and artwork from emerging authors and artists worldwide. Subscribe to Lucent Dreaming now, support us on Patreon and follow us on TwitterFacebook and Instagram

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