A man is not built of parts. He is whittled from a single wood, whole. I am half of a set of twins not half a boy. I walked on my hands before my brother could stand.
I am not a broken doll or car wreck. I am the pink elephant in every room. To some, I am a breathing turtleneck. A body’s divorce. An unopened dissection. I have heard and told all of the jokes.
I save money on shoes. I have plenty of leg room. I learned to crawl before I could walk. I had to pull myself up since the beginning.
Even birth certificates demand feet. Mine shows a blood eel’s fingerprints. Limp matchsticks.
I was nine when I taught a sparrow to fall with one finger – my first magic trick. It was the year I unwrapped a Daisy air rifle - my last embrace with a gun.
Over time, my brother learned to saw me apart on stage. A manager cut my name in half. Speck by speck I lost more of myself as a sideshow than before I was born.
Rubberneckers paid their toll. They wanted to witness miracles or at least a death as casual as a man untying his shoes. Carnivals grew from my wrists. I learned, a hand stand is the closest man comes to a grounded bird.
... Originally appeared in Washburn University's Inscape Magazine