self-portrait as the dead wife in some christopher nolan film

Christina Pan

they are starting to close the wide-open choke of my mouth, but i am so gorgeous in the camera’s gaze. i take everyone’s breath away. debicki giraffe legs, gyllenhaal plump lips and that cotillard smooth voice. i am a noun and my name is also the word for how men describe the action of loving me, owning me, killing me. a group of beautiful women is called a bevy, i learned the day before i died; i knew brothel, girls, grrls, chicks, chiquita, ellas, never bevy, the tip of the tongue taking a trip of two steps down the palate to tap, twice, on the lips. but i’ve later learned a single woman hanging from the ceiling of her home is called a proverb, first you give a man a woman to feed him for a day, then give him a wife, and you foreshadow him holding me in hands that foreshadow fists, the glisten of my viscera in moonlight. the plural of deceased is the same as its singular, and look, i knew this was coming, nature’s grammar of beauty as symmetry and the noun-verb agreement both explaining why i die and die again when the lens butchers me into a billion flawless pixels. but just look at how my lips catch the light: you don’t create something without wanting to hold it under your camera and call it anything but yours.

About the Author

Christina Pan’s work is published or forthcoming in Eunoia Review, VAGABOND CITY, and elsewhere. She is a high school student from New York City and an aspiring dead wife in Christopher Nolan’s next film.