How to Build a Person

by Joy Carter

1.

Assemble your bones,
dig them out
from under the bed, from
strangers’ closets.

2.

Practice.
On polyurethane
classroom models, singing
the toe bone’s connected to the foot bone,
the foot bone’s connected to —

3.

Decide you don’t give a damn.

4.

Get creative.
Anatomy textbooks were never
more than suggestions and you
are an abstract painting. Tied together
with ribbons, red, knotted
in bows.

5.

Stand in a pot,
toes covered in soil, fertilizer
for fast growing flesh,

6.

get plenty of sunlight,
water.

7.

When you have skin cover it;
in constellations, scars, tattoos. Beautiful,
there’s no one else
with the same pattern to their pelt,
with the same maze captured
in the tips of their fingers.


Joy Carter is a MFA candidate at Bowling Green State University. Her writing can also be found in Red River Review, Mused, and See Spot Run Literary Magazine.

 

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