Chapter 16
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“In Which I Play the Part of Myself”

Book Excerpt: Every Room in the Body

In Which I Play the Part of Myself

For a long time, I imagined what others
saw when they looked at me:

a kettle cooling on the counter, limescale
rising to the surface, the dried-out

lawn of summer. No telephone rang,
yet words were always spoken,

my hands a front door I opened and closed
to the empty hallways of other lives.

Sometimes, I kept a steady pace
behind them in the road, the sound

of cars crashing proving like dough
echoing inside an oven.

Always, I swept the glass in piles
beside my ankles. I counted

each piece as it sifted through my hands.
At night, I carved a shore

to sleep on. I mapped the unmade bed
I discovered within myself.

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