They go to
take the heart of you,
mark your skin & cut you through.

With silk knives,
their sharp skill connives
to stroke apart flesh & lives.

In surgic-
al masks, they’ll unpick
the atoms gods had made stick

until your
profitable or-
gan is isolated more

& taken
to a precise en-
trance in another human.

From large batched
statistics they’ve matched
your good part to be detached.

You’ve been chos-
en: & when thread sews
you shut & again blood flows

through your heart,
your heart will restart
as a stranger’s body part

& where your
heart was will burn/cure
in an incinerator.


Note: written regarding the harvesting of organs from Falun Gong practitioners in China today.


Social Mores:  Not Icebreaking

She’s fifty; lives in the West; has just read
how, in China, it’s easy to be dead –
(the State helps) – industrial accidents
(that spill out of factories); the contents
of rivers (where bloated pigs bounce around
and unchecked landslides and land mines are drowned);
the elements (foul air, sun shine); city,
road, farmer deaths; death of morality;
the killing mask of State propaganda,
State face; etcetera; etcetera;
all found easily on the internet
and set off for her by a blue leaflet
handed out near someone doing qi gong
in the street. (She knows it was Falun Gong.)

In the pale of a basement coffee bar,
she is patient to let rest come to her.
She has done enough googling of despair
for one day. It’s taken its toll on her.

Off-white, ceiling light circles warp to dull,
muffle-volumed melodies; lyrics lull
and mingle with the conversational –
not eaves-dropping, it’s unintentional,
her listening is unavoidable,
her neighbours’ roundtable, free-range pickle:
euthanasia’s not unpleasant deaths;
abortions: stir in the same sugared breaths.

Three young men wear earrings; one young woman
wears jeans like skin. It seems they’re Christian,
or pupils on a course on religion,
ethics or philosophy, or so on,
getting down to work after discussions
of mutual friends’ gauche indiscretions.

She feels old as she makes mental judgments
on their clothes, their friends, and their arguments.
But she won’t lean in with “the CCP”
or its deadening “one child policy.”
That act would crack coffee diplomacy
unless she was hip, charming, or funny.

And if she went on about harvesting
organs … wouldn’t that break something … ?


Damian Robin is a poet living in the United Kingdom.

Featured Image: “Organ Crimes” by Xiqiang Dong (

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