Bless the Doctor, O my soul,
____ and my daughter’s soul
and all my daughter’s missing genes shall
bless His holy degree.
My daughter’s shortness, bless Him
for He blesses her with a laugh
through His nostrils when I show Him
____ a photo of her with classmates.
Bless Him, her scoliosis,
for He sees it, and measures the curve
____ in degrees (forty), and seeks
to straighten it or can’t and leaves,
____ head shaking, in favor
of other bodies to be made more right.
Bless Him, O my daughter’s heart,
for He will hear it and tell me
the murmur’s barely there
____ like His finding nothing
took an evil something
away. Touch His finger, O you
undiagnosed soul, for He will make you
____ not a Michelangelo
but the body you knew not
you were, the named body,
the wrong body, housing your being
like a planet squeezed into a carport.
He is the perfect Doctor
____ of dissection. He is the one true Doctor.
Do not worship false Doctors.
Now lay my daughter’s body
____ on the altar, and my body too
because I made her.
Bless the Doctor,
O my body, which is bell-curved
which is aching which is aging
which looks upward,
sees the knife blade, hears
His baritone: Take two
of these and call me, no, don’t
call me I’ll call you.
The Image archive is supported in part by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts.