“Cut” By James Dobbyn

Give me another ten years,
I’ll never find all of your pieces.
They’re diffused in me, reincorporated,
alive in my liver and lungs.
Here they make a home,
cerebrospinal drifters
squatting in my wrinkles
amidst accumulated junk.

These won’t be ectomied or argued with.
When I shrink
they’re my Rushmore, my Colosseum,
I see them from the edge of a red dot:
You Are Here.

There’s nothing fantastic about a dissection.
Unzipping an abdomen requires
no more than sharpness and downward
motion,
so why should yours be metaphor?

Give me another ten years.
Enough time for you to grow out of my hair
and nails, clipped
onto the cutting floor and swept away.
Repeat in unthought cycles
until nothing original remains.
Then maybe when you aren’t so here,
you can be what you are.


James Dobbyn is a poet from Connecticut. He is completing a master’s degree in Creative Writing at the University of Oxford and was Poetry Editor at the Oxford Review of Books in 2018/19. He won the Arthur Sale Poetry Prize from Magdalene College, Cambridge in 2017. His work has appeared in the St Anne’s Academic Review, Ars Magna, and In Parentheses.

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