Two New Pieces by Vi Khi Nao

 

 

MY SKIN

Because I dream of you as skin and door …
I know you have been sublime before
As engorged
As distorted as my view of the world

If I could surrender your name
Your lips
Your invasion
Towards more heroic hours
I would be asking you to sling
Your kiss forward as if to
Kill what isn’t saliva, which isn’t the fiberglass of the tongue before losing its small war to frozen elasticity, which is what our bodies could do before language knew how to sin

& now whenever I fuck you, you are subdued
Some call it weed
But I call it a vegetable garden that invites ant extermination and cabbage fascism
Alas, your front door lies open and your eyes a drop or two of virgin olive oil
In which I pour your gaze over a skillet
It swims next to a small yellow lake called clitoris
& do take note
This isn’t ardor but death on an open stove

Which is what fucking is …
Before breakfast before the tongue
Retrieves its own clamor from the wind

You were my kind before I was your kind
When we intertwine, your bones cleave
To my skin like knives being
Pulled out off a chiffon cake

I bruise hard before I bruise slow
And although I am no engine of light
My blight is that I was never yours.
And you were never mine
Says a beehive to its despotic queen

 

VKN

COMPONENT
White Blood Cell Count
Red Blood Cell Count
Hemoglobin
Hematocrit
MCV
MCH
MCHC
RDW
Platelet Count
MPV
Absolute Neutrophils
Absolute Lymphocytes
Absolute Monocytes
Absolute Eosinophils
Absolute Basophils
Neutrophils
Lymphocytes
Monocytes
Eosinophils
Basophils
Iron, Total
Iron Binding Capacity
% Saturation
Ferritin
RESULT
4.4
3.91
11.4
34.9
89.2
29.1
32.7
21.7
203
8.6
2543
1527
251
48
31
57.8
34.7
5.7
1.1
.7
61
251
24
38
UNITS
Thousand/uL
Million/uL
g/dL
%
fL
pg
g/dL
%
Thousand/uL
fL
cells/uL
cells/uL
cells/uL
cells/uL
cells/uL
%
%
%
%
%
mcg/dL
mcg/dL
% (calc)
ng/mL
c
3.8 – 10.8
3.80 – 5.10
11.7 – 15.5
35.0 –45.0
80.0 – 100.0
27.0 – 33.0
32.0 – 36.0
11.0 – 15.0
140 – 400
7.5 – 12.5
1500 –7800
850 – 7800
200 – 950
15 – 500
0 – 200






40 – 190
250 – 450
11 – 50
10 – 154

 

 

Vi Khi Nao is the author of Sheep Machine (Black Sun Lit, 2018) and Umbilical Hospital (Press 1913, 2017), and of the short stories collection, A Brief Alphabet of Torture, which won FC2’s Ronald Sukenick Innovative Fiction Prize in 2016, the novel, Fish in Exile (Coffee House Press, 2016), and the poetry collection, The Old Philosopher, which won the Nightboat Books Prize for Poetry in 2014. She holds an MFA in fiction from Brown University, where she received the John Hawkes and Feldman Prizes in fiction and the Kim Ann Arstark Memorial Award in poetry.

Image: canr.msu.edu

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