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At the Autopsy of Vaslav Nijinsky

They sliced the soles of his feet

open, lengthwise then crosswise

to see if there was some trick,

an explanation

for the man who could fly,

the man who saw the godhead

with his naked eye.

They pinned the flaps of skin

open like wings

and searched inside the gristle

for a machine,

a motor and spring, the wheel

inside the bone, the reason


He must have been playing

a trick on them all this time,

the wool pulled tight

over the collective cyclopic eye,


he must have, he must have

lied. But the foot was that

of a normal man

after all, after all that

and they sewed his foot together again.