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
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