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Surgeries

Will you switch coronaries with me? I have one of each of my parents’ kidneys. An ex-lover and I switched livers on our anniversary (I won’t tell you how many years, but it was many, and it was brutal, and it was bitter) and my friend (the one I kept from childhood, that one) has a pure gallon of my blood and I have some of his, and my lungs are two robins, their wings numbed and severed prior to insertion, so my breath cycles through their hollow bones.

A coronary works in any body, if both bodies are alive and the coronary is healthy, if it is a glowing fist. It is a matter only of opening ourselves. I am confident that it would work, that one of us would not reject the other’s organ, that one of us would not hold on and the other not, for naught (they’d say). That one of us would not have the pain of carrying the other person’s last part, the punctuation that did not die though the sentence did die. That.

I have confidence in our medical team, in the way the hospital corresponds to my dreams of hospitals, the waxed floors, when I close my eyes, waning, I am so positive that we, together, will breathe again.

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Caren Beilin‘s fiction has appeared in Zembla Magazine, McSweeney’s, and LIT Magazine, and is forthcoming in Fugue Magazine, The Lifted Brow (as part of a fake bookshelf of writers) and in audio form for the third McSweeney’s audiobook, available at emusic.com. She lives in Montana.

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