A poem inspired by a term on the renal transplant service. Envisioning kidney transplant from the perspective of the organ going through death into reincarnation.

It arrives in a styrofoam box
Hand-delivered sometimes
Otherwise DHL ultra-express
With chequered police tape skirting
the scene and the cold purgatory
of semi-death cased inside
in an iced cocktail –
kidney on the rocks.

It sits silently in the corner of the room
A recluse at its own party
Until the time comes
when the vessels are clamped
and the styrofoam coffin is cracked open…

Encased in two plastic bags
Neo-prene amniotic sacs
It is lifted out of its icy womb
as beams of shadowless surgical light
glimmer off the ice cubes
And then the waters break
and into an aluminium mixing bowl
tips a grey, limp, lifeless shape
far away from home.
Snap-mummified in preservation fluid
and teetering at the precipice of death
It is groomed for service on the back table
fat stripped off
vessels ligated
enmeshed in a tine lamb-roast stocking
ready to be put in the oven at 37 degrees.
For life.

Examined for spot or blemish
It has the marks of a life well lived
an eternity ago it would seem
tiny spots of atherosclerosis from
years of ice cream
and a scar on its back
from the old car crash.
But it built good karma
and won human reincarnation in the
cycle of Samsara.

The gateway to reincarnation
is hot, and red, and raw
a furnace of creation
all bursting at the seams
thrust open by Omnitract beams
with non-latex dust-free fingers
clearing the way
The ground shakes with a regular pulse
Sending ripples in little eddies of blood
As if beckoning it downwards, inwards
Wanting to enfold it, consume it
in the bodily cacophony.

For a moment it hesitates at the edge
the liniment of life
as absorbable spider threads
weave in and out
and stitch life back together
Then with a sleight of hand the puppeteer
draws the strings and it glides in.
Still cold as death in the furnace of life
until the floodgates are opened and
vitality bursts forth
a thick, red, boiling broth
a breath of air after a deep sea-dive
and the lifeless seed germinates into life
a pink, soft, bubbly newborn
blushing at its pardon from exile
salvation from the tomb
pumped like a new balloon
and breathing its first breaths
of a new air.
The circle of life.