when i can’t feel anything anymore.
the erosion of pupils into flesh dust.
digits and hands unforgiving—grandfather’s
hands move faster than usual, and i.
i am a bandaged body with puzzle pieces
for limbs. i wear skin cross sections
like museum exhibits. when i can’t feel
anything anymore and those hands move
swifter than usual. when the sting on the
back of my hand is the realest reminder
of being alive. the begging of oxygen
from each individual cell, a condemnation,
a reminder. like the inexplicable fist over
my chest, clutching for symptoms of life.
digging for signs like an archaeologist
polishing bone bits to give it meaning for
existing. i too polish bodies. polish bodies
with metal, waiting for symptoms of life.
grandfather’s hands move faster than usual.
digit after digit after digit after digit.
repetition in these hands like repetition in my hands
circular like this feeling, like this nonfeeling.
i catch myself breathing for a second.
By Jenny Liu
Jenny Liu is a rising second-year student at the University of Toronto. Her poetry has been nationally recognized by the Alliance for Young Artists & Writers, and her work has appeared or is forthcoming in Alexandria Quarterly, Eunoia Review, After the Pause, Watershed Review, The Manhattanville Review, among others.