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Pillow talk
  1. Jiena Sun
  1. Corresponding to Jiena Sun, The Department of English, Wuhan University, 299 Bayi Road, Wuchang District, Wuhan, Hubei Province, PR China, jienasun{at}

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“The parents of my 28-week preemie twins stopped me in the garage”.

He broke the sleepy and blissful silence.

She knew it would be another sad story.

“They pleaded with me to decide which one to let go, for lack of money”.

“Mom-and-wife-drowning-at-the-same-time situation?”

“Yep, a close contest”.

Yet, this time, the dreadful question was not asked by the jealous wife,

but by a poverty-stricken couple,

who believed that he could save the day, as he had done before.

But they never knew their

helplessness, desperation, trust, artlessness, or whatever,

were drowning another human soul alive.


  • Bio Jiena Sun received her PhD in American Contemporary Literature, with a special focus on physician writers, from SUNY-Binghamton in 2012. She is an associate professor in the English Department of Wuhan University, PR China. She has published in Medical Humanities, Interdisciplinary Literary Studies and other Chinese journals. Her dissertation was published in China in 2014. She is currently working on her second book manuscript on contemporary American physician writing. This poem was inspired by her dedicated neonatologist husband.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; internally peer reviewed.