Metal Detector

by: Danielle Lea Buchanan

There were bells. They said “This way, Ma’am.” They took her by the elbow. They wore white gloves.
Everyone in line looked at one another. Then stared at their passport Bibles. They slapped her down on a black conveyor belt. She was pushed through a machine with light. They pulled at her bellybutton like a key ring and unzipped her body. The zipper stuck at the scalp because of her blonde, curly hair. Then a thin flap of stomach flung open. The crying started. Her pancreas, a tube of red lipstick, rolled across the floor. They took out organs from the suitcase. They held her brain like soft cover book, leafing through its pages. “You didn’t…” “If…” “We could…” “You didn’t!” “She wanted…” And so it began. Her lungs were tossed like two pairs of high heel shoes flipped off the
feet. Her intestines hung out her body like pantyhose. Her appendix, a coral necklace. The kidneys, earplugs. Stomach a large compact of facial powder. Her urethra, a pink bikini bottom. “What’s going on? What’s taking so long? Where are they? More coffee?” They mistook ovaries for bullets. Thought the esophagus a soft carrying case for razor blades. Nipples for safety pins of the grenade. Dead bone for ground gun powder. They load organs back in the suitcase. “Sorry about that Ma’am. You’re free. Gate A.” The line finally moves again. Across her chest they slap a lime green sticker: Security checked June 15, 2010. It was 85 degrees in Florida. A farmer, she had never seen the ocean.