[ I am an I, but also I am a we, ]

— Katie Berta

I am an I, but also I am a we,
                                                 a me inside a me, my body
budding as coral or sponges would.
                                                           I am an I containing a smaller I
inside me as I am contained
                                               inside a colony, the larger me. From
outside the colony, we look like one body.
                                                                      Some coral’s shapes
remind people of the brain, and they are called brain coral.
But coral is made
                              of thousands of tiny organisms called polyps.
From outside the colony, we may look like one brain.
                                                                                         A brain buds
too, in a way. Can anything completely new
                                                                          come from a brain
that is, in a way, reproducing itself
                                                          in each new cell? Each new cell
lives and dies in service of some
                                                      loftier other, the electricity
machine that is our brain. Everything that can be thought
is thought with heat and fluids.
                                                     The external presentation of this is
smooth, appearing to be all one thing.
                                                                The external presentation
of this hides the cracks that imply
                                                         containment. Mother, containing
me, how did you appear to be
                                                  all one? I, parturient as you were,
could break.


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