Ode to Metastases by Parisa Thepmankorn

self portrait by Bella Harris
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Ode to Metastases

I look for plums in your hands
but there are never any. You lose them

in a sea of mahogany: body less than a god,
less than a salad of olives & tumors & velvet hands.

You wrap your body with gauze. Still
a gulf of an open wound where I can reach my hands in

& root around. A sore plum, a spine, a swamp.
I turn south to this feeling.

Too small to be swallowed by a fish.
What I desire does not matter. Rearrange

your limbs, paint them silver
as bait. I don’t dare ask you how

you’d disfigured both palms so. We run
through a dream full of wet plums, all adrift, my hands

dragging them back. All this talk of purple
makes you swallow, slow tongue searching for sweetness

on the roof of your mouth. Where
the blood runs. Where the pulse ripens.

Parisa Thepmankorn

Parisa Thepmankorn lives in a small town in New Jersey. The winner of the Hippocrates Prize for Poetry and Medicine, she has also been recognized by the Scholastic Art and Writing Awards. Her poems have been published in Transcendence Magazine and Cicada Magazine, among others. Currently, she serves as a poetry reader for The Adroit Journal.