K. S. Y. Varnam

I finally understand cannibalism.
If I’m going to die anyway,
might as well become part of someone
and know that some part of me
could feel blood through veins again,
some other part breathe fresh air, another
contemplate religion, war, love, even death
again, even if under another name.

Would it be weird to ask to be a baby’s dinner?
It’s just, I feel I’d have more influence.
We could form a symbiotic relationship,
myself an echo of consciousness
warning your child not to make those mistakes
I learned from. I’d be good to him, her, or zir.
I’d respect their agency. I’d be no worse than a whisper.

Though to be fair, in a way, there’d be more of me in them
than of you, for you contributed a single cell
that branched out into someone entirely new,
and while they might share your hair, your allergies,
who knows where I’d end up? They’d have 50% your DNA
but 100% of my brain (save a few leftover bites and dribbles).

The process of possession will be gentle.
There will be no heads turning all the way around,
no scuttling across the ceiling. I will not make your little one’s eyes
ooze blood or other unsavoury fluids. I will be good. You will love me
—us. We will love you all the more for knowing that you made us possible.
Perhaps our love will be so great that we will make you part of our union,
an unholy trinity. Join us in immortality.



K.S.Y. Varnam is a queer, neurodivergent, and disabled Toronto-based writer, artist, and editor, as well as the founder of The Quilliad Press. They share a bedroom with two mischievous parrots, Riff Raff and Mr. Wobbles. Their work has been published by several journals, including Hamilton Arts & Letters, Metatron, The Quarterday Review, Breath and Shadow, CRUSH, and Transition Magazine.