Poetry by Jen DeGregorio

Yard Sale

Imagine me lying on the battered folding table in the sun. People get to walk up and choose what part of me they want. I’ve left a coffee can for them to drop whatever price they think that part is worth. One woman cuts my hair and takes it home in a Ziploc bag. One man pulls off my righthand’s fingernails. With his teeth. A little girl with pliers rips my molars out. Stores them in a little woven purse. A fight erupts about my nose between the neighbor woman and her son, whose Swiss Army gleams. In one bright flash it’s off, spurts blood. No one makes a fuss. In fact it seems to excite them, like aquarium sharks whose trainers throw them injured fish. I remember Sea World. The mailman takes my eyes with toothpicks like hors d’oeuvres. I can no longer see, which must be for the best. Someone’s grabbed my father’s buzz saw from the shed. I hear it moan. He takes my legs. The arms as well. You’d think I’d be in pain. I’m just glad to be of use. What if no one came? And all those hours posting signs on electrical poles amounted to zip? What if passersby had seen the signs and said, Who wants a thing from her? I feel my ribcage crack. The organs cling to me, attached. The closest thing I have to children. So many hands they’re wings of migrating birds. How they shape-shift through the sky, my guts, in harmony. I’d kill to be like that. In tune. To travel in a flock. Steered by some great cosmic yes encoded in my genes that tells me when to move. East or west. Build my nest.

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