In My Dreams I Have a Whole Body

 
 
 
Death– how I keep coughing up more
of myself into you, drop a liver haphazardly
into your arms. I’ve begun to forget
this is an exchange– I hand you my body
for what? Another year closer to ghost?
I spent the last six months believing
in you, believed that if I prayed enough
you’d finally let me out of your cradle.
After the hospital: everything I drink
starts to taste like hand sanitizer, meaning
perhaps I am cleaning my hands towards
alive. Or, another bottled thought, acetonic
wish that eventually becomes decay.
Hospital visitors unravel their undefective
limbs, swinging them like a lottery prize.
My arms: rotating vials. The lottery prize:
a body not half dead. The first boy I loved
had river eyes and two kidneys, and hiding from
my own skeletal frame, I propelled myself towards
him. Love became a gamble of tongues, of bones
trading joints. I wanted to steal his lungs.
I hid under his healthy ribs. In my dreams
I have a whole body, but I am always still looking
for something. I suppose I will forever be fractional.
Yesterday a woman visited with a pastry box and
a mouthful of get wells, brought her children who later
named me shadow. I peeled off the top of the pie–
hesitant, waiting, ready to find something dead beneath the crust.
 
 
 

Olivia Hu is a poet based in Vancouver, Canada. She has published work in journals such as Glass Poetry Press, Cleaver, Barking Sycamores, Red Paint Hill Press, Crab Fat Magazine, among others. She is the author of the micro-chapbook Ocean's Children (Platypus Press 2016), a Best New Poets Nominee (2018), and the Editor-in-Chief of VENUS MAG. You can find out more about her at oliviahupoet.com.