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Lover's Requiem

by Ying Liang

girl mask burst
I wish I
could burrow in on myself,
collapse as an atrophied
lung would,
lungs or crunch like the chitin-
stained shell of a decade-old cicada
cicada Maybe then I’d
learn how to love an epidemic. gas mask
I nearly reached
paradise Masochist-at-heart,
heart there’s nothing left of me
an ache or two.
Organache. guts Mindache. mind Ribache. ribs
Sate these
sores on my psy-
che with cool balms
and patience,
for I
have yet to smell
the stench of
yet to feel
the soil crawl underneath my eyes and
repose in the sweet empti-
ness beneath.
Hang Me
on a star—I want to be beauty-full.