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This Is the Life: To the Pretty Girl

Cate Peebles

With her stomach sewn
onto her sternum inside-
out, we wanted
to tell her about sea
creatures with no skin
that are all innards
strung together and
fluoresce under
certain lights and about
how there was a baby
born outside of Jakarta
who had eaten his twin
in the womb and has two
hearts inside him but one
stopped beating and how we
wished we could tell her she
is not an exhibit with placard
facts attached to her fingers
to be noted and forgotten
by us at the Olive Garden after
viewing, or a magazine profile
on medical wonders to recycle
into packing shreds to keep our
vases intact from one address
to the next. But she would
have blushed blood. None
of us knows where to put
all our parts. If only we could
be so brave, our insides
ever held in full view. Here,
see how the world passes through
, she says as she reaches
through the hole in her chest,
squeezes her left lung
and lets out a sigh.

Cate Peebles

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