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Assembling myself isn’t easy—

Though I’ve already had my pick from the gene pool—

Some from Mom, some from Dad;

I choose the way she talks with her hands,

And how he throws playful punches around,

Even grandma made a contribution;


I poke information they feed us in school

With a fork,

Consuming some Dickinson and rules of commas,

Some event of 1492 and

Probably the impact of seismic waves

(But the quadratic formula doesn’t digest well),

To start my collage;


Taking ideas— the newspaper’s position on politics,

How long to cook my chicken;

Her coral shirt and one of his phrases of speech

Are added to the mix— even a cat meme

Sneaks in, somehow.


Like hundreds of magazine clippings

Choice bits, cut away with safety scissors from

The rest,

And I pin them on myself, glue them on so that they stick,

And my papier-mâché layers dissolve into me,

My mottled form

Fitting snugger than skin,

Just like skin.

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