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Inventing the Body

Dora Malech

The lungs were my idea.
Shins, his.
Breasts, mine, though he agreed.

He tried to name his favorite organ
Mr. Winky, but titles were forbidden from the start.

Laughter was a vital sign,
amended to a ticking in the chest.

We called the heart the heart
because we could not say its real name,
even to each other, even in the dark.

Dora Malech

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