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Conan Tan

I think I have a cordyceps heart.

I can’t tell you how it       tastes or what colours

          it feeds on. But some nights,      I feel it

                                                        curl up into the shell

    of a garden snail. And it’s smooth

                    like freshly waxed grass. Maybe it’ll be fun

to squash it.               Make it pumpkin.

Give it a season to live in.            I want it to grow

                out of my eyes.               Make me a mushroom Medusa.

         Make me swallow the host

                                          like herbal chicken soup.        I’m nastier

than you think.       I can snip off my arm

          the way an ant                snips off its own head,

a popping

            tropical drink,      and in seconds,

                                                              I can kill a whole colony

                                                                           including myself.

Conan Tan

Conan Tan (he/they) is a queer Singaporean writer and has poems published or forthcoming in SUSPECT, Blue Marble Review, QLRS, and elsewhere. The winner of the 2022 National Poetry Competition, he is matriculating at Oxford University this fall.

Instagram and Twitter: @tmyconan

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