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  • Writer's pictureErrol Rubenstein

BODY CHECK

Out of the mess that those who have tried to help

have made of me, I reclaim, I retain only

my bare skeleton, my broken heart, my battered brain.


And I have nothing in particular to do

so I unlatch my feet from my ankles


and set them next to my dirty sneakers in the hallway.

I peel back my ribs, one by one,


And lay them neatly in rows on the floor.

My legs, I lean in the corner like wooden canes.


My heart, old warrior, remains where it is,

in my hollow chest. I recline on a bamboo chair

and pull a blanket up to my chin, as I ponder my next move.

I unhinge my arms from my shoulders


and lay them across my chest. My lungs

expand and contract like two brave, windblown sails.


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