pigs swelled like apples in their fields & thought nothing of college degrees or science. they told each other secrets about teeth & sky. dug their names in the dirt with hooves. freshman year of college we dissected pig hearts in pairs. i was wearing a white dress that showed my shoulders. it might as well have been a wedding. the organ before us felt cold. almost a statue. we did this for Descartes & his pondering. pages & pages of heart-thinking. i held the organ steady while my partner made the cuts. are humans the only animals who inspect like this? with careful precision &, at the same time, with complete uncertainty. i can tell you very little about a pig heart other than the heft & the bright color. elsewhere, the pigs take their curiosities to the ground. pig study noise & tuck each thought under tongue. pigs are great at keep secrets even after death. i was terrified of the heart. the world felt red & cold. i wanted to be full of preservatives. i wanted never to be pried open like this. in my dorm room that night i washed my hands in hot water until they turned red. let the lamp light pull my shadow long against the ragged carpet. out the window i glimpsed only briefly, the ghosts of all the pigs running laughing on the college green. i closed the blinds & considered how all surgeons clothes are that frothy green just like the sheet they gave us for the heart. in the morning the pigs were gone. i saw their hoof prints & they saw my hungers.