Literary Orphans

Two Poems
by Joyce Chong


John leaves;

he malingers

like an infected cut.

his body’s out the door,

but his heart hovers-

a lost bird.


Mid-air, organs

p u l s e

blood stains

the coffee table,

the Persian rug;

I leave

to find some bleach.

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i’m practising

the entropic design

of how to be mangled and

still look whole to you.


i’m attempting to illustrate

an aesthetic in my head,

of skin split, and bone white matrix

hollowed out, webbed and empty and

dead. calcium dead, light as a shadow.


mapping out neurons

and the cancerous, thorny arms

digging/buried deep;

i can see them only

when i shut my eyes

and turn inside out.

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Joyce Chong is a health sciences student living in Ontario, Canada. Previous or forthcoming publications include theNewerYork, The Molotov Cocktail and Every Day Fiction, among others. More at


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–Art by Natalia Drepina