Helena Pantsis

Helena Pantsis


My brother is an air-conditioner,
he carries a rod in his hip
and holds his children in a bank—
his wife will make them whole when he finds her,
will carry him home in pieces
like their homebuilt Ikea kitchen.
Husbands are not so hard to make:
my father is three microwaves
stacked on top of each other.
He has a rod in his hip like my brother
that beeps at the airport and in line at the football.
My mother holds his bones,
radiating and breaking by the passing of age,
machines are not built to last;
when people ask what he does I say
he fits and turns. My
brother wakes in a hospital bed
half undone, jacked and unscrewed
by the cancer in his back;
it will carry him through
if the weather holds—
he begins to leak from the cut in his belly.
My father will weld him shut,
he is handy with a lathe
and a blowtorch. He says
history repeats itself
and we’ve heard it before.
Cyborgs have no minds,
they work in patterns;
my brother notices he is lopsided—
no one will notice, I say,
but he does.

HELENA PANTSIS (she/they) is a writer, student, and artist from Naarm, Australia. A full-time student of creative writing, they have a fond appreciation for the gritty, the dark, and the experimental. Her poetry has been published in Meanjin, Australian Poetry Journal, and The Victorian Writer.

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