Poem - A Stranger

For the seventh day of National Poetry Month, I have a little one about [body integrity dysphoria](Body integrity dysphoria) or the feeling like a limb doesn't belong to yourself. This is a theme that shows up relatively frequently in my writing and I already have a number of novels and short stories planned that touch on it.

A Stranger

Decades later, they still aren't mine.
Physically they have always been there.
The bones inside should be the same.
Skin stretched out is one big piece.

But when I look down, I don't feel it.
My feet belong to someone else.
The sensations are filtered and faked
Not quite real, not quite mine.
Even pain is shadowed and fractured.
The ultimate tell, not show.

Unbroken skin transitions me from not-me
But there is a distinct, invisible line.
Above? Mine.
Below? Theirs.
My feet are not my own,
But they are attached.
My muscles respond to my will,
But I'm asking someone to move.

A stranger shares my body.