Prolapsed: To fall or slip out of place; the falling down or slipping out of place of an organ or part
*Based on the short story “Guts” by Chuck Palahniuk

To begin with, I am forty-six chromosomes.
At week six my insides develop
covered by layers—
skin, muscle, soft bones.
Now this,
thirteen years grown,
an adult almost,

and inside out.
Reverse birth like reverse evolution,
man turning back into ape
or me turning back into one
enthusiastic sperm.

(At a dirty friend’s suggestion I sat at the bottom of my swimming pool feeling the sucking of the circulation pump as I came).

like cheap yellow birthdaycake frosting
sucked out, floating up
in one long, soft thread.
My insides, once held down,
now rapidly ascending,
detached and independent,
stretching for their first choke of air,
reaching the top where the sun
jumps off the water’s surface
and flickers with each small fold.

Mom says: Get out of the pool.
Get out. Come to dinner.
Tell me to get out,
to get out and come to dinner,
wrap me in a towel warm from the dryer,
my body dripping DNA
at the dining table
where we’ll eat pot roast and I’ll complain
about the broccoli.

Chlorinated water bloats inside my empty layers.
I chew through myself.
My braced teeth sink in, spring up,
try to tear into me.

That hard sucking noise
and my heartbeat.


Gauge magazine, fall 2007