kayleigh sim


"love is the worst kind of madness," shea ernshaw

carnage: in midsummer we slaughter more flies than we can count. stitch

our blood-stained palms together & pretend we don’t smell the scent of

death on our fingertips. i’ve never been so reckless. i find myself in a haze

of a dream, bloodwarm, washing a massacre from my skin, my fingernails,

asking the gods: how am i still here? how are you? now: you slaughter more

bodies than you can count and i am being eaten alive. you watch in silence:

how a wound splits open like the beginning of everything: the birth of a

universe, a person, a love. how after, things fall apart by the bone, the tendon.

how my blood spills by the drop. how under a different light, it could pass for

insect eyes. you bottle my veins like blowflies on road kill, metallic blue on

green. let larvae feed en masse on raw flesh, deadly kisses incinerating into

hunger, only for carrion beetles to swallow them whole. you’ve always had

an obsession with forensic entomology: how insects arrive at a dead body,

how they don’t hesitate to sink their mandibles into a bloodbath. darwinian

evolution: survival of the fittest. remember midsummer, when i told you that

i wanted volition, escapism, and you refused to let a fly go. you said human

nature is an art & in my next life i want to forget everything you’ve taught

me: how to shift a dead body without a trace, how to mangle blood into a trick

of light. how to watch someone spiral into madness. how to love him to death.

& after it all, you set my carnage ablaze, revel in the burning of wings on wings

on wings.

Kayleigh Sim is a Southeast Asian writer living in San Diego, California, and is currently an Executive Editor for Polyphony Lit. Her work has been published or is forthcoming in Interstellar Lit, Aster Lit, The Global Youth Review, Clandestine Lit, The Augment Review, Pollux Journal, The Bitchin’ Kitsch, and elsewhere. Her debut chapbook, moongazing, ephemerally, is forthcoming with Ethel Press in June 2022.