meatshop in midwinter | Quinn Lui
devotion will never not sound desperate
to me. i mark every point where i imagined a splitting
with a dotted line on parchment paper, show you
where i unhooked my voice from jawbone and cartilage
and never expected to see it again. show you where
i slotted myself between unlit fireplace and faded couch
to listen to the thunk of knife against chopping board,
the detour through nameless shoulder or ribs.
i took the secrets into the garden. gutted them,
dark in the snow, their squeaking touch-timed
like back-door hinge or backyard swings
or slaughterhouse animal. if there are cruelties
more senseless than what we do in the name of feeling
then i don’t think the frost knows about them.
neither of us meant to turn the oven on so late
but we heat the corpses tender until they part,
easy like they were made for it. carve off the meat
and say we are saving this for summer, say
might as well let the flies get here before the warmth.
i trust you the way i’d trust a trick of the eye:
nothing disproven without touch or taste, without
the heat of hands or a mouth. there were years
in which the only touch i did not shy away from
left me with someone else’s skin torn away
in my fingers. tuck the bones aside. in time,
we can crack them gently along old shatter-lines,
draw up the marrow like an unspoken agreement.
Quinn Lui is a Chinese-Canadian student whose work has appeared in Occulum, Synaesthesia Magazine, Half Mystic, and elsewhere. They are the author of the micro-chapbook teething season for new skin (L’Éphémère Review, 2018) and can easily be bribed by soup dumplings or pictures of bees. You can find them @flowercryptid on Tumblr, Twitter, and Instagram, or wherever the moon is brightest.