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Self-portrait with Rubble.

 There's no room for me in this body. It's thick with
tick-infested
grasses and dry riverbeds and the glacial rubble of memory. An
anorthosite boulder lodges in my gut, pitched forth 12,000 years
ago during the Ice Age of my mother's breathing. Sometimes I
can dangle above myself, peering into the crevasse. The blue tooth
in my ear only pretends to let me talk to people, it has stolen my
tongue and fizzled my brain. I've begged the little gods to winch
me into the Next Age or the one after that. No answer. There's
no room for me on Saturday, when the subways go haywire and
a man in his underwear stalks the platform edge at Chambers
Street. He's carrying a red pencil behind one ear, so I know
he's
not crazy. He knows to ask for change. Anything you can spare,
he says, offering a cupped palm as if it might hold water, or a
rubber ducky. But I've got no spare change, can't he see?
I'm
caught by the baling wire I strap around myself to hold my ticks
and rocks together. The anorthosite weighs eight tons, I couldn't
move it if I tried. There's no changing room here, no room with
a view. Still, everyone deserves a flat place to lie down. I can't
desert the map of my skin. I'm thinking Check the compass. I'm
thinking Listen to the man, for gods 'sake. I fish in my pocket for
a pencil sharpener because maybe sharp is all he needs. If you
can find your tongue, you've got a point of departure.
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Author:Foley, Sylvia
Publication:Atlanta Review
Article Type:Poem
Date:Sep 22, 2019
Words:326
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