Healing a Decaying Body by Nazanin Soghrati

The year cancer floods my grandfather’s lungs
I unspool myself on the dinner table
and let my body decay in the open air

I wring my hands in blood
write his name glowing sangria on my skin
take it all in, fist-first, fire-spitting-hair-flaming-first

Sinew by sinew I watch myself rot
and decompose into wooden earth
bone and body dissipating, disappearing.

Illness baptizes my grandmother next
and I mourn down the moon
melt it on my tongue like sugar cubes

Like the pills she used to take twelve times a day
except they burned down her throat
caustic — like sun juice guzzled on a cold day

My grandparents’ eyes rest on every table now
unripe papaya, pale peach, green mango
one eye to stare at me weep into the night

The other to watch my body stitch itself back in the afterglow




Nazanin Soghrati is a 16-year-old high school student from Ontario, Canada.

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