(A poem inspired by Charlotte San Juan’s Poem about Jack the Ripper)
Prostitutes are the anatomy textbooks of 1888.
London is cold-
dead flesh, cold-
so I imagine his scalpel shakes
as he teaches
his mute protégé
the difference between
liver and pancreas,
uterus and kidney.
He licks the salt from her flesh off his fingers.
Once in the lower abdomen,
like a tiny demon fairie,
a fetus, a baby
the reason she lies like an open book.
The candles flicker and he notices
how the darkness becomes her.