Imagine me as
after Mary Szybist’s “Do Not Desire Me, Imagine Me”
Shastra Deo (University of Queensland, Australia)
flush with organs. grammar of me spans
seventy-three light years when parsed
correctly. innards subject to scientific
law: torque, mass, charge, production
of sickle cell and story. anything can be
but not everything can have one.
of people, pigs, boiled
milk. a skin contains
lists of things that may remind you
of other things. a skin
may yet convince you
these things matter.
in which, no information
is lost–not even [ ]–
merely transmutated from whole
to flicker, smoke and cinder, grasps
beyond its reach.
delicate as onion
skin. body text becoming
what it signifies. white space
complicit in the butchery.
you are not reading the story of the
dismembered poet. these
are the limbs.
if every surface can be
the gaps in this text are asking you to remember.
Shastra Deo was born in Fiji, raised in Melbourne, and lives in Brisbane. She is currently undertaking her PhD in Creative Writing at The University of Queensland, focused on nuclear semiotics, poetry’s potential for warning, and linguistic pragmatics in video games. Her first book, The Agonist (UQP 2017), won the 2016 Arts Queensland Thomas Shapcott Poetry Prize and the 2018 Australian Literature Society Gold Medal.