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Travis Chi Wing Lau

To my rib

you look today
                      more like a peninsula
                      a bold jutting
into a skinsea
ever more turbulent
                 (this i know
                   because of what escapes
                   the yearly exposure to a light
                   that tries to prove
                                                its own benevolence)
you seem to crave
                     secession from

                 this aching formation
                 this rude construction

barely wanting
to remain fastened to
as if this is what it means
to hold oneself
                                                          in contempt
a slatternly cling
to what would rather be

Travis Chi Wing Lau (he/him/his) is Assistant Professor of English at Kenyon College. His research and teaching focus on eighteenth- and nineteenth-century British literature and culture, health humanities, and disability studies. Alongside his scholarship, Lau frequently writes for venues of public scholarship like Synapsis: A Journal of Health Humanities, Public Books, Lapham’s Quarterly, and The Los Angeles Review of Books. His poetry has appeared in Wordgathering, Glass, South Carolina Review, Foglifter, and Hypertext, as well as in three chapbooks, The Bone Setter (Damaged Goods Press, 2019), Paring (Finishing Line Press, 2020), and Vagaries (Fork Tine Press, 2022). []

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