Once I would have scratched out novels of need
to you. Left them to live under my pillow,
each page an unheard wail.
Once I would have clawed red rivers
down the lengths of my skin, screaming.
Carried misery as a hooked badge
so it caught every passing span of flesh.
Told myself that if love would remain out of reach
then I would drink every spring of want dry.
Once I would have buried my own corpse
in the dark, careful to catch each tear
before it could dampen soil, my throat
strangled into silence the entire time.
Today I tell myself that death has passed
through the door so I will curl myself
into a question on the floor. That I will let
the animal noises from my mouth sound.
Only time will strip the meat from this corpse
and show the bare bones of its life.
Only then will I know the size of this loss.
But for now, I let myself mourn.
Natalie Wang writes about cats, ghosts, and womanhood, and maintains that they are all the same thing. She has had her writing published in a number of journals including LONTAR, The Kindling, Rambutan Literary, Quarterly Literary Review Singapore, and anthologies like SingPoWriMo and My Lot is a Sky (Math Paper Press). She has just released her debut collection of poetry, The Woman Who Turned into a Vending Machine (Math Paper Press), and is currently working on another collection of poems for monstrous women. You can find her writing on https://natwangthecat.wordpress.com.