There’s a secret room inside you. Furnish it as you please.

by Carrie George


I had a body like a body.

It performed itself a well-behaved body

and ate food to remain a body

and drank water to remain a body.


Sometimes it would curl up on the heat vent in the shape of a body.

Other times it would hop in the shower just big enough for a body.

The house the body lived in was designed specifically for a body

like this one, with skin, eyelashes, a distrust of any other body,

and a stash of butterfly wings removed from butterfly bodies.


At first the house struggled to find a body

so it opened its windows like arms and watched the evening carry a body

in a variety of small and separate pieces that would assemble a body.


And the house said yes, this is going to be a sturdy body.

And the house decorated around the body

as a centerpiece, with a clawfoot tub and a toilet the body

would eventually need to dispel its toxic body

waste and go on being the body 

the house so bodied

to claim.


The more the body was a body

the more it wondered how to embody

its employ as body, 

and how anybody bodied

after all, or who had a body 

and who had no body,

and how to become a nobody.

It sounded delicious to be no,

to be the body

formerly known as body,

known now as lakefront, swan dipping in a body

of water alongside the frogs 

who get to grow through many bodies

and still kick like frogs for the duration.

Or as a star, maybe, a body

of atmospheric evidence beyond the planet’s body,

a sign of bodies bodying

elsewhere, in an otherwise unbodied land.


But the house still wanted a body

that was just a body,

not an egg or tadpole or halfmoon or nobody,

not bodiless gas or celestial body.

The house wanted a body that it could body

itself around and create a doubled body

made of plaster and doubt and bodies

stacked together, conjoined and fuller bodied,

red in a glass and swirled bodiless,

then drained and built again into a body

fit to take on any form of reckless bodily harm.


When did you believe in the body?

asked the body of the house holding the body

in its arms, like a body bodied to a kinder body.

But the house said nothing because it was a house.

A house that the body invented as an excuse 

to give body to the self it emptied.


And the body would later decide to tear 

the house down to a crumbling base.

To leave disaster behind

and walk hands first into the nearest cluster of lily pads,

where it would experiment with forgoing breath  

for a lifetime of water and fracture.


*Title is advice from Co-star

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