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Aimee Lim


Flesh Body Bodhisattva


the first one thousand days, eat nothing

but seeds and berries, yet

uphold monastery duties. 

chop wood, wash robes, break stones—

this strips the fat from the body, so after

i am gone, there is less to rot. 


the next one thousand days, eat less. 

pine needles, bark, roots. strip 

the body of moisture. drink 

tea from the sap of the urushi tree—

used to lacquer bowls—

highly poisonous, this induces vomiting, and kills

those—maggots, bacteria, worms—

who would wither sacred flesh.


some days, swallow river stones. 

everything to preserve this 


from the ravages of 



pray. chant. raise

the bell every day, until one day, 

no bell. 

then the stone tomb, just 

enough for the lotus position,

is sealed 

for the last one thousand days. 

Flesh Body BodhisattvaAimee Lim
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Aimee Lim is a writer from Arcadia, CA. Her debut novel for children, The Spindle of Fate, will be released in June 2024 with Macmillan.

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