Cast a Cold Eye

Cast a cold eye on life, on death
Horseman, pass by!

The Sacred Heart : An Atlas of the Body Seen Through Invasive Surgery.
Mark showed me this grisly, beautiful book of photographs last week. The title drew me, recovering Catholic that I am, but beyond that our differing visceral reactions were interesting. Popped-out eyeballs made Mark shudder, whereas I groaned at nipple re-siting. Peeled-back scalps were rubbery and creepy, but the inside of a knee looked like nothing more than pretty, ruby-colored meat.

I’ve had training for this book. When I was five or six, my aunt’s spare bedroom had a picture of pale, reproving Jesus holding his freshly eviscerated heart. A little lightbulb behind the heart made it pulse redly all night long. Jesus chased me in my dreams.