LIM JIA YI
Lim Jia Yi is a second-year undergraduate at Nanyang Technological University,
with a major in Linguistics. When not deeply invested in the lives of fictitious
characters on her tiny phone screen, she sings. Kind of. Mostly bathroom, but
sometimes on stage. She is also currently working on her first manuscript.
instead a body dangles raw.
instead there is hair lining her intestines like zipper teeth. it is for the tongue they cut out of her. they do not know her hair makes hands, makes chokeholds for the buds she lost.
instead she braids the heads into hair into tongue. she goes in their mouths, in between their willing legs. her fingers dissolve to stumps but cutting is necessary for regrowth. she will lose a part of herself today but tomorrow, the bones of her fingers will grow in their throats and she will climb into their bellies.
instead she holds herself open with the knobs of her leftover thumbs. they will come, they've always liked a challenge.
instead her folds close. they are half-in, half-out. soon, she will see the white of bone, white of eyeballs impaled on her finger. she will peel them, skin to seed and then she will spit out what is left between her legs.
in manzhouli, there is an elephant sitting still
she was migrating, all feet and no thumbs.
along the way, she prints children into the gravel with her heavy body like that would keep them alive but she makes it to manzhouli with only crushed basalt in her wake. she sits, trunk and leg and abdomen to ground — she can almost feel her children this way. it is there she does not move
— does not remember how long the wings of a dragonfly have been humming grooves into the sides of her skull. her lumbering body is a nest for eggs of the birds and the bees. they like the inside of her ears the best, and she lets them grow young in the crevice. she can't have her own, anyway.
it is almost routine now how the bus tyres shriek and the birds and the bees scatter and she waits a beat then two for the footsteps to come. they rattle skittishly over her gravel-children, forks glinting dully together with the wedding rings on proud erect fingers.
look like dim sum paper, one of them crows, fork waving in the air. how long has it been since she's lifted her trunk to the sky, bleached the underside of it? dust collects in the space between the beginning of her tusks and where her tongue ends. her perforated ears crinkle in the diesel cloud.
behind her, the sun crosses its legs over the mountain.
she rumbles once, twice. it comes from a place in her body she no longer remembers. nearby, an engine mumbles, thrums and whines. a gaggle of visitors emerge with their forks into the tepid sky.
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