I met him at his house,
stuck the check in my bag,
so many zeroes.
“Large price to pay,”
said his wife, arms crossed,
not liking the idea
of giving a younger woman money
to go deep inside her husband’s body.
I sunk into the old man
as though he was a post-work bath,
and the pain rose off his surface in steam-like tendrils.
I stretched and widened
to completely fill the shell of his large frame,
and after a few seconds of adjustment,
twisted a clumsy hand
to test my motor control.
I slunk out of his rocking chair,
and tripped over his legs as I tried to walk,
plummeting face down
into cat-haired carpet.
was giving me the stink eye.
“Arthur?” she asked, stupidly.
I shook my head.
Meanwhile, my body blinked awake from the couch
and was overtaken by a large smile,
Arthur’s blissful grin looking
peculiar on my lips.
The old man,
inhabiting my body,
reached out a hand to glide against
his wife’s mechanically smooth arm:
“Come here,” he requested.
She made a face, said she’d be back
when we were done, and left.
Now it was just me and him,
or him and me,
depending on how you look at it.
We laid down on his bed together:
me because i’d become suddenly exhausted,
and Arthur to take
his first real rest in a while.
No matter how I adjusted the pillow,
My wrinkled head throbbed.
We tried to play cards,
but Arthur’s hands shook in a way
I was not used to
so we had to stop.
He kept thanking me over
and over and over and over as i replied:
it’s my job,
it’s my job, no problem,
and rubbed away the aches
in my temporary legs.
When the session was over
he bolted out the door.
I couldn’t move without hurting,
but I didn’t need to chase him:
I called him and told him
if he didn’t bring my body back
I would steal his credit card
and his wife.
“Bodies are places to visit
but you can’t vacation forever,” I said.
When he returned he wouldn’t look me in the eye.
“I’m not really a thief,” he let me know.
I said, skeptical,
putting my hand on my own shoulder
and cozying back into my body,
which was a little stretched out.
I could feel him watch me leave
in excruciating jealousy.