by Joyce Chen

Night clings to her like some beauty,
dew to a petal; others near and draw
away, allured by her melancholic magnetism.
Her bitter breath frosts their pallid frames

emerging from dawn, subtle as a silver cat leaping
rooftops, slinking from the slumbering streets.
A Tipsy tune coaxes distant memory from the cobbles,
the teasing lull bobbing and bowing to her tread.

They yearn to dissect her strangeness –
springing up like grass-blades to seize her heels
(Chaos blooming in her shadow –
thirsting to be first – to extinguish her –

a strange dusk is caught in these thorns
creeping in, swallowing all into its slick belly…

She is fighting the fade of the light-trail,
pleading for a pathway, a return to distant
morning. Her sweet voice spirals into dimming skies
as the iridescence of her skin evaporates…