I woke up feeling drowsy and stiff and instantly felt Papa chipping away at me, a little at a time. I tried to focus in on what he was working on today. I hear him talking about negative space, revealing the beauty inside, so I keep waiting for him to dig deep enough to exclaim, “There it is: the heart!” Because I know it’s there. It’s inside me. I am a real boy. He just can’t see it yet.

He keeps working on the outside. My eyes are shiny and blue. My fingers and knuckles, life sized and workable. All the joints are flexible and well oiled, but still he doesn’t trust the essence of what’s inside; a boy’s heart. Beating like a wood pecker. Silent but strong behind this block of simulated chest.

Work on my mouth, Gipetto, so I can tell you how I feel. Open my lips so that I may tell you how much I love you. Take me in your arms and let my oiled branches embrace you. I am all that you ever dreamed of and yet you do not trust your handi-work. You do not stop to listen inside.

You close my working eyelids and exclaim proudly, “How realistic you seem to sleep,” but do not realize how real I am awake. You trim my nose and forehead just so, but do not let me think. You’ve placed a head of hair on me but never stop to tousle it, and worse of all, you love yourself for what you have created, but Papa, you do not love what you have created and that is me. A real boy!