Three Poems by P.H. Low

Cyborg Sonnet #1

If just my body mirrored your circuitry
I’d tear this monthly wound straight from my skin
from scalpeled mouth/crossed wires I’d drag it free 
baptize steel-plated fingers fresh crimson.

Oh love, I know you say it’ll hurt like hell
and every time my mind veers close, I flinch
but on my thirteenth birthday fire fell
and I’ve been breathing ashes ever since. 

Dear one, don’t fret for me, I’m not afraid—
when steel-edge parts my skin, bares pearl-arched ribs
my inner darkness will with light be flayed
and purified with lightning/wire/grit.

Love, wait for me on that door’s other side—
I’ll meet you again with nothing left to hide.


Cyborg Sonnet #2

I’ve surpassed our dear Doctor Frankenstein
for I, already monstrous, cobbled you 
from spare found parts and waking circuit lines,
tools poised to fix heart-pumps I may have bruised. 

Repository for my loneliness,
O wake—we’ll sing this tale sans vanity,
hike hand in hand ‘cross snow-blazed Alpine crests
figure and shade, mirrored inflection. See,

I’ve sliced out half my flesh for your design—
one lung, kidney, clenched fist a spattered song.
My left hand shakes; my white coat’s soaked carmine
to carve a place your body can belong. 

Love, don’t despair of roots and origins
when I, wheat-kern, for you have broken open—


Cyborg Sonnet #3

I promised you in sickness and in health
through bugged code and failed syntax to stay true
vow consummated the first breath it fell
that you’d belong to me, and I to you.

Love, look, we’ve done it—gathered on the lawn
below are androids, hybrids, paying respects
you’ve fought for us and, dare I say it, won
so fly, my bird, your welcome’s up ahead.

I’ll hold your resined hand as gears wind down 
as filamental neurons spark their last
breathe synchrony, our siliconal lungs’
grand symphony, your flesh-husk’s final rasps.

I long to follow you, love, close behind
but for your whisper: darling, stay and fight.


P. H. Low is a Rhysling- and Locus-nominated Malaysian American writer and poet whose debut novel, These Deathless Shores, is forthcoming in 2024 from Orbit Books. Their shorter work has been published in Strange Horizons,, Fantasy Magazine, and Diabolical Plots, among others, and they can be found online @_lowpH on Twitter and Instagram or at