Jane Shi Literature Poetry

encrypted bug / first attempt in learning

hide her inside a ruby. use every pronoun so they can’t pry program from machine. bury him in the left pocket of your bathrobe. lay yr tenderness out to dry on the rails. no one will suspect a thing & even you sometimes will forget it’s there. when you remember her again, they will come out of your eyes & nose & chest like a storm hurling in an unsuspecting kitchen floor. a dance with leaves & branches, scattering everything. against the wall, against the ceiling, banging the office door open & closed. crush intimacy into a frivolous knot. hostile definition pouring down your face. fling this frozen floppy disk against a dinner table. watch fish bones fly across the room, desperate & incoherent. chopsticks falling on the floor like guests are a coming. how do you sew a human heart out of chicken-skin? if they ask you, tell them this code, functional and complete, is mere speculative architecture, background radiation, skeleton of a python. a provocative thought experiment, nothing more.

Jane Shi is a queer Chinese settler living on the unceded, traditional, and ancestral territories of the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish), and səlil̓ilw̓ətaʔɬ (Tsleil-Waututh) First Nations. She was shortlisted for The Malahat Review’s 2022 Open Season Award for Creative Nonfiction. Find her on socials @pipagaopoetry.