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auto-eulogy for the perfectly fine

CAS for Database

Kasie Leung

San Diego, CA, USA

The Bishop's School


auto-eulogy for the perfectly fine

Content Warning: Please note that this piece contains some mature content, including mild language and some sexual references.

a blurred penumbra, sliver in an elevator

door opening to a window-high office;

the crush as post-cappuccino styrofoam

cups into hungry, gnawing trash cans;

my mother’s distant, camera-weary cradle

of an old mobile’s mass, exhaling my lullaby;

they all say this, that i am fine

fine like a four-digit-thread-count suit, resting on a hollow

mannequin-fine like conditions for sailing when even the ocean just can’t

split-fine like chalk ground beneath a perfectly stilettoed heel

i say i’m fine like carbon monoxide hisses from a car

          (suffocating, smokey, sweet, seductive silence),

but until some bible or physics textbook contradicts me,

           it’s just a lovely little nap

god and Feynman after all, have equal power to help me now — or so i assume, i’ve never asked

                                              (or alternatively: i read catechism, surah and veda until mandalas swam

into watchful eyes and my knees melted asphyxiation-blue)

either way, you all think it’s easy to pray as if it weren’t

             an “r” away from pay and the obol under my tongue?


goddamn did i claw at this life with acrylic nails until they snapped,

             (grasping, gleaming, glamorous, golden anti-gift)

inked it into A5 planners, swearing

              fountain-pen-bloody vengeance upon the page

don’t drip lies to me from your traffic-red lips; there is no deity you would give this up to

                                            (or alternatively: i’m just incompetent at cowardice)

so here’s the last hymn i’ll ever wrack: i am fine

this monotonous mantra, tranquilizing me into opium-drifting:

           a chinese takeout bag, thank you plastered all over the front

          cigarette smoke through stale bars that don’t check for id,

                                             (because why would i have identity in card form?)

it’s ironic as ordering a drink

                     on the rocks when i’m clearly off my rocker

and bitter as the amber whiskey and

                     twisted as the nice peel of lemon they place on top

                  so i can pretend i’m still civilized, all while i hope

that some stranger thinks damn girl, you’re fine

                   at least enough to

fuck me

                   (dry over a polyester couch, fuck me like deflowering, but not like peeling back petals)

fuck me as you would a rose:

                                                                a fistful of thorns, that sickening crunch

crushing, brutalizing salvation

                                                                (mother would your veins leech dry if you saw me?)

and lord will there’ll be blood in the morning

but when i’m left Cinderella-past-Midnight on her barstool-throne,

                and can no longer bear my lookalike in the condensation of the glass

i’ll shatter it against the ground

broken shards tango with my reflection, deconstructing me into pieces:

an eye here,

                                                                                            half a gnawed-off lip there,

                                                           my perverse twin

and i’ll dance through these mirrors, Marie of Versailles, declaring triumphantly

              i am fine

and it doesn’t matter which one is the i,

                                                                        the breaking one or the broken one.


“auto-eulogy for the perfectly fine” depicts a character on the verge of internal collapse who deludes herself into believing she can hold herself together. The repeated phrase “I am fine” grounds the poem in a common theme and acts as the point from which the narrator forms creative images and constructs unique scenes. Throughout the poem, the narrator tells herself that she is "fine" until the phrase becomes her mantra, and even her eventual acknowledgement of her brokenness is shrouded in illusions.


Kasie Leung, is a Queer, Cantonese-American poet. She holds a soft spot for cosmic metaphors and visceral yearning. Her work has been recognized by The New York Times, the Alliance for Young Artists & Writers, and Eunoia Review. In addition, she serves as a Poetry Reader at The Adroit Journal. When not writing, you can find her struggling to keep succulents alive.

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