Human Dissection Lab
by Rhiannon Ng Cheng Hin


as if by ritual, I enter a polemic

    of loss, wherein the axis of grief

lies stitched to the vein of every

    hemlock, every arthropod, every

woman’s coarse throat. I swallow

    it down: in this room, the scientific

method self-immolates, skeletal

    bloodwork coalesces with latex.

her palm leaps into the sermon,

    a bell hanging from each polished nail.

in hindsight, there will be motion—

    the orchids she might have loved, flourishing

on the dark side of academia,

    charred inside out. in hindsight,

there will be a chorus at the centre of

    her unnamed body—a physiology

swollen with songs that skew

    the hour. dictionaries pleated into the

sand. the words are improvised. carnal.

—From CNQ 111 (Spring/Summer 2022).

Rhiannon Ng Cheng Hin is a poet and scientist of Chinese-Mauritian descent whose work has appeared or will soon appear in Grain, The Malahat Review, Brick, The Walrus, Arc, and elsewhere.

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