Alice Fanchiang

She walks in neon glow and glitter,
the cement beneath her heels sparkle-slick with rain
and phosphorescent shadow.
Her furs are damp with the 4 A.M. marine layer and
the dissipating perfume of the midnight magic
that made her ballroom-ready and
irresistible as a reverie,
fleeting as a kiss.

Her sister-kin, bright-mouthed and vivid, call her
to linger in the warmth of their company, the joy of
camaraderie, the chase, the pack.
But she is waning.

She exhales remnants of moonlight and music,
buoyed by a touch of boozy madness and
that breathless freedom found only in the temporary
hush of a city asleep, when she can hear
the hum of this metal forest’s
thrumming pulse.

Her bones are settling,
the howl lulled by white noise and
the sublime serenity of night,

and the girl inside unwinds,
slowly stirring.

Though it has been long, her soul can still find
the arboreal tempo kept by the trees,
the steady, saturated beat
verdant and vital
beneath the earth.

She tries to grasp it tight like
she tries to hold the nocturnal
enchantments fraying
(she is waning she is waking)
with the softly lightening sky.

She remembers:

Before we were taught to be mild
We were wolves, our hearts wild.

Alice is a Taiwanese-American poet whose work has appeared in Strange Horizons and Liminality, among others. The sister poem to this piece, SKIN, can be found in Issue 10, and she is grateful for that. After all these years, Alice is still waking and listening for that vital, verdant beat. You can find her online editing and writing for The Sartorial Geek, at Girl On The Roam (girlontheroam.wordpress.com), or on Twitter @kangaru, chatting about pop culture and BTS.