dessicant | by Joyce Chong

Things that are
inexpensive or,
things that are not
pulled out from your flesh. Only
made with ordinary hands,
plain bones. Placid lakes or / livers / or lips.
If I keep telling you
that you know what I meant to say,
could you make out the stifled phantoms
in my throat?

I felt like it was a snake, or
I was a snake—you know, when
splitting flesh from flesh is too thin,
you can’t help but lose the structure, the
cells ruptured in transition, the artifacts lost,
then there’s nothing but our staggered
reflections smeared across the glass.

What is it about the vibrations
in the air, in the wall, that bends
the light? Why the wobbly legs,
such drunk illusions eager to ease
the blood from our papercuts. Why
the ocean, when you can just as easily
drown in a tub?



Joyce Chong lives in Ontario, Canada. She is a contributing editor for Wildness Magazine’s weekly column, the Wilds. Her micro-chapbooks “Inventory” and “Dream-like Houses” are available from Ghost City Press. You can find her at or you can follow her on twitter @_joycechong.