Outside the Operating Room
of the Sex-Change Doctor
Outside the operating room of the sex-change doctor, a tray
There is no blood. This is not Vietnam, Chile, Buchenwald.
They were surgically removed under anesthetic. They lie there
neatly, each with a small space around it.
The anesthetic is wearing off now. The chopped-off sexes lie
on the silver tray.
One says I am a weapon thrown down. Let there be no more
Another says I am a thumb lost in the threshing machine.
Bright straw fills the air. I will never have to work again.
The third says I am a caul removed from his eyes. Now he
The fourth says I want to be painted by Gericault, a still life
with a bust of Apollo, a drape of purple velvet, and a vine of ivy
The fifth says I was a dirty little dog, I knew he’d have me
put to sleep.
The sixth says I am safe. Now no one can hurt me.
Only one is unhappy. He lies there weeping in terrible grief,
crying out Father, Father!
= Ayelet Firstenberg