Queen's Quarterly

Queen's Quarterly
Queen's Quarterly

The Final Cut

Dominik Parisien

Winter 2020 - The Final Cut


My father struggles to stay upright in the washroom. A matter of pride, I suppose, that standing. Or maybe practicality. He has difficulty keeping his head pointed up, and he is taller than I am. If he was seated, I might not be able to shave under his chin as easily. His fingers shake as they grip the countertop.

“Helps me work my core,” he says. His muscles struggle to adapt to their new topography. He is some 40 pounds lighter than he was three weeks ago, the smallest he’s been in decades. Fifty-nine staples pull at the skin from sternum to pubis …



Dominik Parisien is the author of the poetry collection Side Effects May Include Strangers (McGill-Queen’s University Press), and his recent work has appeared in PRISM International, This Magazine, the Fiddlehead, and the Literary Review of Canada, among other publications. He is a disabled, bisexual French Canadian. He lives in Toronto.

[IMAGE CAPTION-CREDIT: All images captured by Goh and Courtney Iromoto.
Hospital images courtesy of Sinai Health Foundation.]