Emily Duffy


He says I am a minefield. “I never feel completely safe”
And I know the feeling of walking fields and turning over stones.
But not like he does.

My cyborg heart
With so many wires
And jagged installations

“You didn’t put them there”
I know

If I didn’t feel safe
I’d want a gun too
If my people had no home I’d
Want one for them too
So much lost in the crosshairs

Shrapnel embedded
Why do we read?
Lisbon reminds me of Hong Kong reminds me of home reminds me of places I’ve never
been reminds me of places I’ll never return to

of trauma of street corners

We ask about ghosts.
History tells us what but
why is almost always a speculative question
The fiction of my body rounds itself across edges/ between buildings and cities where
streets corner at the lip. My mouth bruises with every inhalation and every word I
consumed from a hierophant who only ever wanted pussy. But not that lame pussy. He’d
call me starfish:
“Bet you’re used to just lying there, huh”
“Bet you’re used to boys who cum just to fuck you. Who just think you’re hot”
“You think you don’t have to do anything amirite”

A starfish, I’ve heard, can regenerate any limb.


I took flight many times in that city and my angels worked overtime. I had a fever of 106
Three nights in a hallway cot in the surgical ward at the Tuen Mun public hospital.
I threw up every antibiotic until they began administering them intravenously. Every
time I used the toilet I dragged my I.V. tower to the stall with me. My pubes were damp
and matted there was a stench to me. I was required to fill a vial with my urine every
time. I watched them, with relief, become progressively lighter every time. I had a
spectrum. The doctors never used them and the ultrasound on my kidneys came out
blurry and inconclusive. An elderly woman yelled at me in Cantonese for taking too long
in the bathroom. I was the youngest person in that ward by at least 40 years.

He was angry at me.
Said my body was rejecting him.

She knew better than I did.
“You’re a walking 8. A 9 in photos. You’d be a 10 if you got abs”
A starfish, I’ve heard, can regenerate any limb. But, it takes a while—up to a year. They
have no brain, no blood. use filtered sea water to pump nutrients through their nervous
system and can switch gender at will.