Image by Matthew Basham

Help me hold this angel down;
you will notice that his wings are beating
back very rapidly against the operating bench,
almost as though he is aware that
he will not live through this procedure.
One almost regrets that this is necessary.

Pay close attention to his lips and eyes
as we work together; watch for dilation
and rapid movement. We will start
with an injection of a strong anaesthetic,
something to put this angel to sleep.

The first thing I am going to need
is the bone rasp. Hand that to me.
Next, let me have the cartilage crusher.
Quickly, now. I’ll need a sponge here, please.
Removing the angel’s ability to fly
is, of course, our first priority.


Rich Boucher has published four chapbooks and has performed all over Duke City. He is a regular contributor/editor at Local Poets Guild. His poems have appeared in Adobe Walls, Fickle Muses, The Rag, Shot Glass Journal, HyperText, Borderline and The Legendary. Hear some of his poems at

Back To Issue #30

One Comment

  1. Dr. Mel Waldman

    I’m delighted I wandered to the neon website tonight and read “Scalpel, Sponge, Forceps.” Rich Boucher’s poem is dark, disturbing, and rich with imagery. I’ll be thinking about it for a while.


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