tossed my hair on my ex’s doorstep
today. deflated like a dark dead cat.
left my left less
calloused hand and bleeding wrist
deep in the sleeve of my sweater.
throat, down-center.
slashed myself cesarean
to return my mother
my womb. a tooth
under the pillow of my sister,
deepest sleeper.
thigh bones for broth,
ribs split in the bath.
mailed off my snail shell ear
to my best friend, gold and all.
spool of my guts
I am unraveling
myself a trail
for birds (peck, peck,)
tufts of wheat
(peck) swaddled in beaks



Jasmine Khaliq is a Pakistani Mexican poet born and raised in Northern California. She holds an MFA from UW Seattle, where she also taught. A finalist for the 2021 Tupelo Press Sunken Garden Poetry Prize and an incoming PhD student at University of Utah, her recent work is found or forthcoming in Black Warrior Review, The Pinch, phoebe, GASHER, Raleigh Review, Passengers Journal, San Pedro River Review, and elsewhere.

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3 thoughts on “Auto-vivisection”

  1. Stunning. Each part of this separation makes sense: a lock of hair for a past lover, the womb the speaker’s mother gave to her (isn’t it strange that, at some point in pregnancy, your womb was inside of your mother’s?), and all of the other pieces of oneself that each person lays some claim to thematically. My mind has been completely blown.


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