PLATING THE FOREIGNER’S HEAD

You pig-heart and I skin tapering off a drum face.
You conjugate, animal-throated magician’s girl

singing of avian flu & sestina. I touch the land
my mother cradled through the fever season

in a cobwebbed womb. As in a yellow body
after the blossoming. In a winged city, an ancestor

cleans the wound of our exit with red ink.
(I borrowed a future so you wouldn’t have to.)

Think inglorious flock of alchemists, wander
-lust boiling in a circle of knives. You ringleader.

Mind of all minds. Or bird-catcher: America’s
handmaid dancing during curtain call. Sunrise smile:

blue, gold, gone. Each iteration colder than the last.
All I want is to summon false legend. All I ask

is a seed and a piano to drown it. You slice open
the strings of a glass cello, tie ventricles around

the black pit because something beautiful might
surface otherwise. The woodlands never bled so

until now. You slaughterhouse. An orchestra’s
off-pitch hit. You riddled with light and carrying

all the truth this country needs to rupture.

Stephanie Chang is a sixteen-year old writer from Vancouver, BC. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in The Adroit Journal, SOFTBLOW, The Penn Review, profiled in Persephone’s Daughters, and nominated for Best New Poets 2018. She was the Teen Winner in L’Éphémère Review‘s Writing Awards, a National Gold Medalist in the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards, and recognized by the League of Canadian Poets’ Jessamy Stursberg Poetry Prize. She currently interns at Half Mystic Press and writes for Her Culture Magazine. In her spare time, she enjoys drinking a cup of earl grey tea and staring out a window at the rain.