Formula #15

Jordan Sanderson

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Unless you are a master of jigsaw puzzles,
don’t let a doctor teach you how to regard your body.
A good vet, one who sees fish mostly, might recognize
something inside you. You can’t trust chefs who treat you
as a receptacle for dishes too fine to save.

If you have trouble identifying your body,
an artist’s sketch can sometimes help.
A good, strong wind can summon
all of you at once, but you also run the risk
of kites. A talented architect can design
a home that responds perfectly to your shape,
so you can learn about yourself indirectly,
but it’s hard to get insurance for such a frail structure.

About two-thirds of your body is covered in eyes.
About half of them are safe to bathe in.
About half of those are safe for drinking.
When you enter them, you will be entering
your own reflection. Otherwise, you can kneel
and lap at yourself until you’re small enough
to hold on your tongue. You have no taste.

Even the sun doesn’t know what to make
of you. It isn’t the brightest star. Your mail
carrier and garbage man piece you together
over a glass of wine and a plate of tacos.
At a party, someone who has never met you
sits alone in the host’s bedroom and imagines
you caressing a hermit crab on a beach.
It’s the real you.


ART: Rachel Day, Terrell James, Mr. Let’s Paint TV, Peter Van Hyning

FICTION: Paula Bomer, Andrew Brininstool, Chaitali Sen, R. T. Smith

NONFICTION: Anna Journey,
David S. MacLean

POETRY: Claire Becker, Heather Christle, Darin Ciccotelli, Jennifer Denrow, Jessica Farquhar, Farnoosh Fathi, Stephanie Ford, Geoffrey Nutter, Brian Oliu, Thibault Raoult, Anne Marie Rooney, Tomaž Šalamun, Jordan Sanderson, Jacob Sunderlin, Gale Marie Thompson, David Wojciechowski

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