Chris O’Carroll


To a Medical Student Dissecting My Cadaver

You’re sure to see me from some angle
I myself could never wangle,
And I can’t guess how much respect
It’s reasonable to expect
As all my scars and imperfections
Yield to your intimate inspections.
In your shoes, I might deride me
While I looked around inside me,
Eyeing the organs I abused
By what I didn’t use, or used.
So feel entitled to a joke
About the flesh you slice and poke.
Saving lives and easing pain
Are worthwhile skills you hope to gain
From what my innards can reveal.
If laughter aids that, no big deal.
I will be too deceased to mind
Your quips about what you might find.
Someday, your manner by the bed
Of any patient who’s not dead
Will feature sober empathy,
But cut yourself some slack with me.

Life Is Better with Cannibals

What? No, it’s not! the back-seat kids exclaim.
Reading a billboard from the family car,
They’ve misconstrued an unfamiliar word.
It’s life with cannabis the ad extols.
They bank their new vocabulary coin,
And interest may accrue in years to come,
For literacy is a gateway drug.


Chris O’Carroll is the author of two books of poems, The Joke’s on Me and Abracadabratude. He has been a Light featured poet, and his poems appear in several volumes of the Potcake chapbooks series as well as in New York City Haiku, Extreme Sonnets, Love Affairs at the Villa Nelle, and The Great American Wise Ass Poetry Anthology, among other collections.