by Stephanie Chang
I tie my breaths to a post, watch her
twine each into brethren. It’s midnight in my head
& she binds her reckless throat. Says this revolution
couldn’t translate. See: in the stories
I am sleepless, cussing in song that coats
my skin in dew. & suddenly she’s there:
a war-horse in the water. Both our bodies slick
with silver, the light chewing holes in them
after each round of gunfire. Before the men
can sharpen their knuckles,
I imagine her lips are made of glass.
In another lifetime, the girl
might have tasted ruthless.
Broken her mouth over secrets & boys kissed only
at night—watch your wallet. Instead: one silhouette
shivering on the streets. Scene spat out:
How my teeth could have dragged
along her sleeves, etched on breast two obituaries
by morning. I want to set this town
on fire. Rake through her hair a porcelain matchstick.
Watch the world swallow rain. Any scene
is sadder that way.
Somebody please tell her I’ll love her
more when it’s dark. More when it’s sundown
& I am drowning in the wind. Always in some war
where my father reminds me
there are no roads for violent girls. No places
in heaven to end up. By dawn,
I’ll wake up in an empty house. Hear
the muskets croon a century away. Her laugh
echoing forever on a high note.
Stephanie Chang is a high school senior from Richmond, BC, Canada. Her work appears or is forthcoming in The Margins, Kenyon Review, Adroit Journal, diode poetry journal, Up the Staircase Quarterly, and Berkeley Poetry Review. She has been recognized by the Patricia Grodd Poetry Prize, National Scholastic Art & Writing Awards, and Anthony Quinn Foundation. Stephanie is the daughter of immigrants from Hong Kong and Taiwan. Currently, she interns at sinθ and reads for Muzzle Magazine.