This is a dissection.
This is a girl dead on the page.
Organs and limbs tacked to their corresponding words,
Brain and gullet, liver and lungs, hand and foot,
Each finger and toe neatly labeled.
This is the brain on display,
The hippocampus, the amygdala,
Serotonin deprived and dopamine starved.

excerpt from dissection required by Adrian Reese

Back in high school, for my senior project I wrote a chapbook of poetry. For those of you who do not know, a chapbook is a short book of poetry, typically forty pages or less.

I titled the book Dissection as my goal with it was to pick apart how I felt and be honest about it. And while I was honest at the time, many things quickly became less and less true.

For example, I no longer identified as a girl.

For another, I found that my depression was more pervasive and destructive than I optimistically wrote about.

So when I began to write this book, I found that I wanted to address Dissection. So I wrote dissection required, which kills the false self in the first two lines. It goes on to tell you that I will be detailing what I can.

Of the brain parts mentioned, the hippocampus and amygdala, I know a little bit from my brief psychology lab in college. The hippocampus is associated with the formation of new memories. Both the hippocampus and the amygdala are associated with emotions, the amygdala in particular being associated with fear and pleasure.

I know all the while that what I write right now may not be true in a few years’ time, or even a few days. Even so, I think that honesty now is important, and that it should be recorded. Even if it becomes false later, it is true now, or as true as I understand it.

If you were to dissect yourself, what would you find?



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