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by Kristin Camitta Zimet

‘Empty Chairs’ by Marcos Guinoza

You’ve cut out a hole. You can’t know,
as the dog can’t guess where you went
on the other side of the back door
for four days, though you almost think 
he must, because he noses at your side 
with undoglike delicacy, leans against 
your calves just hard enough to intimate 
he knows. The first day you scrape up 
energy, you gather polyfill, scissors, 
and white thread, while the dog trots 
close behind, eyes fixed on the torn toy 
you carry, padding along from sewing kit 
in the closet to your chair by the lamp.
Then you stumble sideways. Part of you 
falls with your surgeon into sterile glare.

You float beside her as she makes 
slices in your chest and slides in lights,
camera and pincers; you see her stroke 
the left lung, limp in its fleshy hole, 
lumpy with bronchi, smooth it and send in 
a robot’s snout, watch its tiny teeth 
bite and seal the top while the right lung 
pants beside, and the heart thumps below 
like the tail of a hopeful dog, trusting
as she pulls the cancer out and the needle
dips and dips, and then you are
not whole exactly but the much chewed
bear with rag legs reattached the dog
snatches and shakes and shakes and
carries again into the living room.

Kristin Camitta Zimet is a poet and a surreal photographer in the United States. Her poems are imagistic and her art is metaphorical. Her poetry can be found in her book ‘Take in My Arms the Dark’, and in journals and anthologies in seven countries.

Marcos Guinoza is a Brazilian graphic designer and digital artist. His collages are inspired by human feelings like loneliness, melancholy, emotional disturbances, disorientation, and confusion in the face of a seemingly meaningless and increasingly absurd world. He has been influenced by minimalism, Russian suprematism, surrealism, and artists like René Magritte and Edward Hopper, among others.