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by ev carron

Copyright © 2018 by Ev Carron

Distributed by Smashwords.

Smashwords Edition, License Notes

This book may be reproduced, copied and distributed for non-commercial purposes, provided the book remains in its complete original form. If you enjoyed this book, please return to your favorite ebook retailer and leave a review. Thank you for your support.

for cali, always a source of inspiration.

for ava, never a source of inspiration.

(but i don't hold it against either of you.)

table of contents

  1. periosteum

  2. useless & injured are synonyms

  3. why i flunked the talented & gifted program

  4. in my closet

  5. speaking in tongues

  6. rhythm

  7. scars

  8. eighth grade biology

  9. handy

  10. execution

  11. not-quite-blank canvas

  12. induratize

  13. a body rotted

  14. it is what it is

  15. hey:

  16. teeth

  17. q&a

  18. why i cut my hair short

  19. not really a haiku

  20. skeleton


lovely lady, bring your bones

& we will nest in hollow hills

of ancient femurs, ivory-tipped

like god made eve, so shall we

build from ribcage & desire

holiness, within the marrow.

useless & injured are synonyms

we are taught

a language of violence,

a dialect of elbow, knee, tackle, kill

we learn to care too much

about all the wrong things.


we are told

that the game is everything,

& we are nothing,

will never be

the greats.


we are coached in

letting football eat us,

swallowing us whole

letting football digest us,

pulling us through its organs

and spitting us out the other end

broken arms-legs-heads-hearts.

why i flunked the talented & gifted program

because i am arrogance, candy-coated

giving out free saccharine smiles

so it's easier to swallow

my impossibilities.

because i laugh too loud, mostly at myself

uglify myself for you

so you think im kidding.

im not. i never joke.

because i camouflage hard work, bruised knuckles

soak successes in sarcasm

so when i win it will seem

like a race rather than a ringer.

in my closet

i’m well-acquainted with the things in my closet

(having spent all my life in there)

the skeletons next to my bathrobe

tell good jokes

but i wish i could

repeat them

to my family

without being the punchline.

speaking in tongues

my tongue

knows two languages.

(two tongues, if you will.)

one is a dialect of smiles,

cacophony of polite

smalltalk, never bigtalk

calculated compliments

and forced friendship.

the other is a subtle parlance,

communication mostly hidden

inside inside jokes and years

built of the same material.

both are useful,

but neither comes naturally.

in order to avoid mistakes i’ve learned

to hold my tongue.


they say

your heart


to the rhythm



but mine

must be


i can’t feel it

when did i



i think something went awry with

the body positivity movement

at least for me (am i just fucked up?)

it told me scars were beautiful

so i went and cut myself some new ones

is that how it works?

eighth grade biology

in eighth grade biology

i learned to dissect myself.

i took a scalpel to my skin

tissue samples of my soul

microscoped myself with

scientific curiosity.

in eighth grade biology

i learned what it was like to be a skeleton.

i was thirteen and

short and sad and broken,

hungry for a lot of things

(but not food. had to stay thin.)

in eighth grade biology

i learned i was an invasive species.

told i was a lionfish, toxic

envenoming the minds

of the whole coral reef

(myself included).

in eighth grade biology

i learned to stitch specimens, not sew them.

i seamed myself back together

in newly anointed surgeon’s strokes

turned myself into frankenstein:

a shambling creation, but still living.


i know you best

by your hands

calloused palms,

pointed nails and

pointed fingers.

you need the upper hand

(see what i did there?)

but everything costs an arm and a leg

with you.

i’m running out of limbs.

i could personify your hands

(grasping, hungry, roaming)

to explain you

(bruise-leaving, sometimes in a good way)

but it would be

too much and too little

at the same time

so i’ll just leave it

at this:

hands down

i love you

hands up

i don’t

if the aliens came

if the aliens came

would they find

life or death

in how easily

we scar?


read somewhere that after people are guillotined,

they stay conscious for a full



before they die.

read somewhere that

as their severed heads bleed

their eyes


again and again

trying to stay alive.

read that somewhere,

and thought of me, you

& our own blinking,

blinded eyes.

read that somewhere,

wondered if our head was gone,

and we were just living

in those



before the end.

not-quite-blank canvas

i have been broken many times.

mind, wrist, stomach


i have been put back together many times.

a jigsaw puzzle but

the pieces don’t quite fit.

i have been destroyed many times.

others wrecked me

i wrecked myself too.

i have been created many times.

a perfection-obsessed artist

painting over their mistakes











i think my heart

has turned to stone

calcified, shelled

itself into a nautilus

but i still hope

a hermit crab

of some sort

may call it home.

a body rotted

a body rotted one day

in the backyard

but it wasn’t mine.

it decayed and gummed

browning the grass

graying the mood.

i don’t know how it got there

i don’t know when it will go

it just lays there, like an

awkward silence.

called the police

they said there’s nothing

they can do.

at least it’s not bad company,

talks about as much as i do.

it’s a fine pair we make,

this corpse

and i.

it is what it is

some people’s words

are delicate veins

bioluminescent and


some people’s words

are blood, rip-roaring

a bright and startling


but my words

are intestines, coiled:

functional, useful, though



life’s too long

to live it in

the body you

don’t want


these braces

have been on

for three years.

the dentist said

they should have been

ready months ago.

i don’t mind.

we’re taking our time

these braces

and i.


what am i to you

but words on a page?

what are you to me

but an imagined consequence?

& what is poetry

but an unfurling

of body,

stitches torn,

gutting a wound

in the hopes that it will

heal properly this time.

why i cut my hair short

why did you cut your hair short?

because it strangled me in my sleep

and i make enough nooses as it is.

why did you cut your hair short?

because i had to cut something

that wasn’t my wrists

why did you cut your hair short?

because you like it better long

and i like you better gone.

not really a haiku

i will not start

the process of dying now

i have come so far


forced my body inside out

freed my bones from flesh

forged my ribs to armor

faced my fears at last.

# # #

note from the author: thank you for reading my chapbook! if you enjoyed it, i encourage you to support me and my writing. though i’m a teenager and not allowed to have paypal, so all your support will have to be non-fiscal. it’s a win/win.

other ways you can support me:

-follow me on tumblr, @skid-art, because i base all my self-worth off my follower count.

-leave a review of this chapbook on smashwords or any publishing platform.

-shoot me an email at

-tell your friends about my work!

-if you have famous friends, or contacts in the traditional publishing industry, i’ve got a full-length YA novel and a poetry anthology ready to query…. no pressure though.

thank you for reading anatomy! i hope you enjoyed it.

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