My spine, rib cage, and pelvis all
have to be from different bodies.
My femurs are definitely my own, 
as well as my knees. But not my
shoulders.

My hands are my mothers, 
but my jawline is mine. 
I don't know about my wrists.

The aching inside of each of my hips, 
I have to own that one. I don't own
the back of my neck or my ankles.
I've been trying to decide about
my calves, some days the answer
is yes, others no.

If I could see inside of my ears, 
I might like them more. But for now, 
I focus on my lower back; 
the muscles mine, the bones a stranger.

The hollow under my ribs is recent
so it certainly is from else where
but it seems to be at home.
The extra length of tail bone
I've always suspected, alien. 
The creases on my stomach, mine.

Breasts, from the past. Armpits, 
reclaimed. Bottoms of my feet, 
I'll claim those, but not the tops.

The low-hum of the curve from
hip to ass, I'm sure only I can hear. 
And the crack of the sternum, too.

This skin, all of this skin, all of this
skin everywhere, foreign. There's
too much, it can't all be mine. 
Have I been stealing skin?
What do they say about seven
pounds of flesh.

The awareness of the body
is all my own while the body
itself was cobbled together.
The sounds the body makes
are from other planets, the
silence from the center of the earth.

The pain of having a body, 
the pain that lives in the body, 
the diagnosis of pain as chronic, 
a transfer.

At the middle of the night, 
the body feels grief, and tries
to grieve. The weight of the grief
belongs to the parts of the body, 
but the source is untranslatable.
The body as the force of imploding, 
but the parts of the body as spared.

The hollows above my collar bones
have always belonged to no one
else but me, but the hollows around
my hips belong to grief.

My mother made this body
from scratch, I tell myself; 
I tell myself she had help from no one.
And yet. I find the father in the
weakness of my knees, years praying. 
I find the father in the sinew.

But myself, in the strength of
my thighs, the letter writing fingers, 
the sharpness of nails.
There is a place between my
shoulder blade and spine that
belongs to ecstasy.

I don't recognize this body.

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