obituaries read in autotune//Diana Khong


a body corrugated is bad at most things, among them—bleeding; eating; shitting. she was gone before the dismembering. you’re gonna tell me anyone who drinks evian water is still alive? funny. her eyes were thumbtacked open, skin sallow along the breast, like a mango slit open, left to brown. everyone who’s unhappy ends their name in -y, -ie if their reprieve is manic. diazepam. so her teeth are still crest-white but they’re stuck in her lungs now which kinda sucks. a valley of mouths blooms out of the residue (stomach tissue, blood cells, t cells). this is to live again: to have no body but still your tongue. if you press at her ribs, her insides total recall a scream. you can read her throat, name ghosting—last word: baby, second-to-last words: tell my. she’s still in love. funny. her husband cheats on her every time he goes to zoots, as if anyone wears that much gabardine to be neck-deep in zoots five times a week. it’s animatronic, but it’s cool though; some loves remind me of malfunctioning. there’s smoke, steam, glass shards: suburban fresco (2016). now he looks for her in chapels, with the pointy tops. angel gabriel clamps his shoulder between teeth as he cries, knees on the floor, bent over. they’ll say the knife catalyzed, split like water as it reached her temples. it’s like a lobotomy because we hate women. the neighbors will call her pretty, too young. she hemorrhaged through the two layers of velour—matted fur, eyes blown to halves, & she was too young. the news can’t show her body, but they can show her wedding pictures—when the light could still hit her face and permeate her eyes. housewives across the country will mourn her, let the saline dampen their cheeks. someone loves her. but that was never the point.

Diana Khong is a young poet of color. She is editor-in-chief of Kerosene Magazine, and is on staff at Red Queen Lit, Ascend, and Noble Gas Quarterly. Her work is featured/forthcoming in Brightly Press, Third Point Press, Vagabond City, etc. She inhabits dreams and tight spaces. She tweets @deerthrum.