Some Bodies
Mike Meginnis

Body #1

This body is my body. This body used to be so small and thin, and still remembers how it felt to be that way: to crane its neck to speak. This body, when presented with a mirror, runs its hands down its sides, feeling for the ribs, the hip bones, to be sure they are still there. This body has purple stretch marks on its inner thighs. This body has faint psoriasis on its chest.
This body has a funny penis. This body has pale white skin -- paler at the core, where its clothes always cover. This body is always too warm. This body is often unhappy.
Moving this body's fingers feels like moving any body's fingers, doesn't it? And when this body itches, does that mean another body itches in the same place somewhere else? Are there other bodies look like this one? Unknown brothers? This body does not speak enough with its brothers. This body is sometimes alone.

Body #2

This body is waiting for the bus. There are other bodies beside it. Some of the bodies are black bodies. Some of the bodies are white bodies. This body blows into its hands for warmth. The breath becomes a vapor. Other bodies are talking to each other about the weather, about their jobs, about money, about the president. This body has a drink in its backpack. This body saves the drink for later, though its mouth is thirsty and its tongue resents its teeth.

Body #5

Suppose this body approached your body. Suppose that your body could smell it coming. Suppose this body was showing its teeth. Suppose it reached for your body's hand. Suppose your body did not want to be touched that day. Suppose your body was afraid this body was asking for money. Suppose your body wanted all its money for itself. Suppose this body had a claim to your body's money -- suppose it had a need.
Suppose your body had a knife.

Body #6

This body has a rare disease. Its ears only hear five of six human words. This body is always asking people to stop mumbling. This body is always correcting other bodies' grammar. This body struggles with television. This body is often alone.

Body #13

This body is blind.
This body's hands are reaching out to feel your body's face.
This body's hands smell like everything.
This body's hands are searching your body's face.
This body says you are beautiful.
This body says you are beautiful.

Body #14

This body does not want to speak in front of the class.

Body #15

This body is taking a picture of its naked body in front of the mirror. This body's face will be obscured by the glare from the flash of the camera. This body's breasts will seem a pair of eyes. They will not look happy. This body's pubic hair will seem a beard. The crease across the gut a lying smile.
This body is taking a picture down its shirt with a camera.
This body is taking a picture up its skirt with a camera. A stain the body did not know was there, between its legs, in the shape of a country no one likes to visit.

Body #16

This body is a small body crouched on the corner of two gravel roads, pinching red ants between its fingers, but not hard enough to break them, looking down this gravel road and then that one, not out of suspicion or fear but because the body likes to look at cars, lifting the ants, watching the one traffic light in town change colors, one of those four-sided totem-pole looking traffic lights, the small body lifting the ants, the small body crouched on the corner, lifting the ants, lifting the ants to its mouth.

Body #17

This body has not moved for days.
Other bodies saw the body. The other bodies thought they saw it move its fingers, blink its eyes, shake its head.
They didn't.