There is a beauty that you will never see. Even this man before me - forever quiet on this metal slab - all 274 pounds of him- possesses a beauty. I mold his ample folds of flesh between my hands, I close his staring eyes, I inhale the elixir of what remains of him. Opened, the totality of him revealed, I am moved near to tears at the collaboration between his enlarged heart, engorged stomach, and spiralled intestines, each of which has worked overtime to keep him from my blade. And his glorious, grey matter I now hold in my hands like an offering to the gods, to weigh and to ponder the thoughts it once held. He is beautiful, he is horrible, he is none of us and he is all of us and his magnificent temple is as sacred as any other.
Story by Pamela Tyree Griffin
Photograph by Adam Ciesielski