/dysthymia./dysphoria./diaspora./ By E. Lian


I am made of sticks, of broken bits
of chalk on pavement, of
Error. System failure.
Shutdown in

Flesh from flesh from
I dream Mā cups me
in her soft palm and runs
me under water—baptized
anew—and cleaves the skin
from my bone.
Anything, anything
so long as I am ripe and sweet
and beautifully
small again.

(秘密:The day I tried on those jeans
was the first day I cried in public. But
Mā, you waited outside the fitting room
and never even knew.)

I am stripes, am lines, am bars
cramming the mouth of a prison cell.
Behind my ribcage, I can feel
my hummingbird heartbeat.
But I cannot see my
through that thick white casing of
self-indulgence, of lazy

Skin from skin from
I hold swan-still
and graceful:
one leg swept up—
pillar, pole, paper.
I split myself new red lips
all down my right
thigh, new slender
bamboo strips.
This is not my body.
This is not my body.

By E. Lian

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