• Vol. 06
  • Chapter 09
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I awoke one morning with that feeling—
Have you felt it?—where you’re stunned
By the fact that you’re you, in this time and place,
With those eyes and ears and mouth and nose.
And who is that man sleeping on the other side of the bed?
And how did you wind up here?
How did anything wind up anything at all?
What can you do in moments like those
But splash cold water on your face and get on with your day.
The skin tag behind my ear, the one that got caught
In my comb sometimes, I decided to tear it off.
As I tugged at the tag, a strip of flesh, a bit of scalp,
Pulled away from my skull. Horrified, I stared at the mirror
And screamed. But where blood should have flowed,
A red light glowed, pulsing slowly.
I pulled more flesh away like thick wallpaper,
Exposing the surprisingly simple mechanism of my body.
I pulled skin from my head, my breasts, my arms,
My legs and feet. The tang of galvanized steel and carbon
Filled my nostrils. Heat emanated from the circuit boards
As I touched places where I’d imagined my arteries were stored.
But I couldn’t bring myself to tear away my hands or my face.
How else would I touch with my fingertips the ice cold water,
Or kiss the chapped lips of my sleeping, snoring lover?