Identity Quilt

I walk, a feast
of ribs jingl-

I pilfer strips of flesh
from the backs of those
who wander near.

I sew each fresh skin-
piece over the bleached
knobs and cracks.

I fill up the holes,
building a towering chest
out of my brothers.

I build organs, a heart,
from the slices I snatch
from the sides of my sisters.

I pick out shards of my father,
clumping together the sharp
and the dull, shoving
them inside.

I accept every patch of my mother,
weaving them through my toes,
tying them at the end with knots,
stringing them up on a rafter
after I’m done.

The cells stick together and cling
like fire to a broken bough.
My blanket holds me, shields me
from the ice-marrow wind.
Throbbing with whispers of future
and friendship, swelled with blood
that seeps out in conversation
and clinking glasses, I am threaded.