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Autumn 2023


elizabeth chung

he's sleeping inside

As I sweep the kitchen floor and

brew his coffee –

Half a sugar and a dash of milk –

perfectly cooled for him to drink.


As I clear last night’s mess and

tidy shattered plates,

pick out mouldy fruit, leaving

only good – only the best – for him.


As I cook his toast and my tongue –

lightly salted with tears –

and quail eggs to serve under caviar.

Silence, to him, is golden.


As I chew up his breakfast, each mouthful then

Spit, arrange in bowls moulded from my leathered breasts.

It’s easy on the eye,

easier for him to swallow.


As I peel off my skin and stitch it to my clothes

to make bedding and curtains,

to make pillows and cushions.

His comfort, my bitter, stinging cold.


As I draw him a bath,

crochet a loofah from my hair,

make soap from my flesh.

The gentlest wash for his skin.


As my sharpened femur slits my wrists,

And I bleed, drowning in my river of blood,

leaving him his life of luxury.

My death is his abundance, his sustenance.

I give you my food, my body, my air–

ELIZABETH CHUNG completed her undergraduate degree in English Literature and Theatre Studies (International) at the University of Leeds, an exchange year at the University of Hong Kong, and her MPhil in English (Literary Studies) at the Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK). She is continuing her research on Hong Kong Literature through her PhD studies at CUHK, TWITTER

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