Alice Fanchiang


My body is rhythm-drunk, propelled by clever syncopation,
dropped beats, electricity in my veins and soles.
My feet move unbidden to the buzzy drums
ricocheting in this crowded room, in my bones –
without enchanted red shoes.

But tonight, I am restless in this skin so thin,
shimmering in the scattered, spinning light and
I no longer find solace in these raucous, reckless nights.
The liquor sours, the feast turns to ash –
away like summer and lovers long past.

This is familiar, the pull to red exit signs and open roads-
I’ve crossed wolf woods and uncharted seas
and desolate city blocks before, seeking
a darker dance, a sin-sweet
to quiet my wander-heart’s roar.

My blood pulses hot, the hunger dagger-sharp, and
this place is too loud, too still, too much.
Not enough.

So I know it’s time now to peel it off,
these scratchy sequins, this borrowed pelt.
I’ll discard them too like the rustling wings and silk,
shed the shining scales and Hippolyta’s burnished belt.
Undo a thousand nights with each twirl
untangle the smoke wreathed in my hair
until I have shaken free and
into a luminous new form.




Alice is a Taiwanese-American geek girl whose poetry has appeared in
Strange Horizons and Through the Gate. She enjoys in-the-car
Hamilton sing-alongs, magic, myth, and bright lipstick. When she isn’t
binge-watching TV, you can find her online at Girl On The Roam
( or perennially on Twitter @kangaru.