Emily Lu

Emily Lu is a poet and resident physician in psychiatry. Her first chapbook Night Leaves Nothing New (Baseline Press 2019) was shortlisted for the bpNichol chapbook award.

SMALL SMALL GOAT OR 羊鬼泡面 by Emily Lu

  1. I was the most vocal opponent of article 94.1, a new hospital by-law permitting employees to outsource labour to ghosts. I wrote to the department head an ostentatious but sincere email defending the sanctity of patient care. They referred me to another committee, started a new subcommittee, requested further submissions of appendices, etc. The next day, I went to find the ghosts.
  1. When I remembered the small small goat, it was a month later. I opened the fridge expecting death. It was standing on a side dish where I last saw it, unaffected by the cold. Its eyes unblinking. My immense relief sat horizontal in my chest, teetering, solid.
  1. I had been blamed immediately for it. All of my roommates believed I had something to do with its appearance.
  1. Easy, there were loads of ghosts around the hospital these days. I found a team on lunchbreak in the east stairwell. Their leader was a resident doctor which was for the best because they all loved to please, even after death. I e-transferred five ghosts to start immediately.
  1. The small small goat’s hair was stuck up on one side, giving it a stormblown appearance. I offered it what I had on hand: antacids and deluxe instant noodles. After 3 minutes, I lowered the small small goat into the as advertised luxurious six-packet soak. The water level came up to its chin.
  1. I no longer responded to email. The ghost team lead visited to discuss extending our contract. I set down the instant noodle cup. The steam curled in front of her.
  1. If this were a Cdrama, the misunderstanding would last at least ten years. If this were a Kdrama, by episode 16 I’d find out I killed her through some prior oversight. If I were the glowing, oily sheen protagonist. If she told me she only consumes redemption arcs in the afterlife, I’d believe her.

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