a foreign body

Victoria Cho


A cat crawls into the crevice underneath the furnace

The lumberjack’s fingers detect his toes

He sits at a kitchen table sculpted from his childhood trees

I stand by the furnace

The cat licks my heel

The lumberjack asks which path I took to his home

I speak of silence and divulge hints of tissue paper butterflies

We clasp hands and march into a field of fallow daisies

He smells of caraway seeds and my embarrassment

Aliens frequent my land, he says

I wish I didn’t know the meaning of the word regret

The absence of daisies trampled by my feet

An alien slithers down my throat and corners my spleen

When I close my eyes, I hear sincerity in the lumberjack’s voice

I see his orchestrated gestures

I am the target of his loathing

I am a body of fundamental properties and beguiling elements

The lumberjack sings of his youth and touches my wrists

An attempt to induce sleep in me

I sprint towards the river bloated with mosquitoes

When I kneel, I can’t remember

If the position is for sorrow or surrender