for Eleanor

There is no humanity here, just the suggestion; a figure made of flames, what might be a hanging heart, the aftermath of an angel in falling feathers, the impression of a skull tumbling to earth. A name, below, claiming credit for a work that can have no true creator; “but the idea was hers,” so they say.

Humanity is born from slime and muck, sculpted from clay, imbued with intelligence by chance or divine intervention, but those origins are lost to time, scrubbed away by the patient erosion of the centuries piled up in their millions, traced by the echos left behind in more enduring rock; the footsteps frozen where once an ocean swelled, the tools buried next to some shattered skeleton, halfmoons left gouged into some early, nebulous tool. The traces remain.

This is not that; these are not the inheritance of some long dead and mouldered artist, but living sinew, uncongealed blood, fingerprints still bright with oil. Burke and Hare have grown impatient of waiting, invaded some warm and well lit house, and come forth again with a corpse, glorious in its newness. The doctors that received their plunder were clean-fingered, white-coated, respectable sorts who deplored the murders they refused to see, but science must progress.