- Post Meridiem
after Hayao Miyazaki
In Seattle, my mother dreams up a surplus of wolves. We are walking
down a light-rimmed road, the bus stop slick with saliva. I am searching her eyes
for knife wounds, places where the dogs colonized first. This is what every good
daughter should do: I practice eating pork dumplings in the hotel suite,
stomach ginger root to keep parasites from whitening my body.
In the morning, we remember the ocean differently. We listen for a train flickering
twice over the horizon. I see my mother's face in the water, her cheeks bulbous
and hairline draining, strands rising to bob at the surface. The train arrives,
hued blue by waves bruising her breast. Inside: a red sanctuary. All the seats
are occupied with ghosts, smoke leaving through cracked lips. My mother [End Page 75]
says she is surprised we are still alive. She dreams of things unborn. I want
to look like a bird, run through the air. Or steal xiao long bao from the pockets
of passersby and haggle with the wolves. The wolves whose skin I chew
until my teeth gray in defeat. (It's midnight in my head again.)
My mother doesn't know we came here to say goodbye. Her lungs an echo
chamber for the station's arrival jingle— I just want to go home, 張雅雯.
She presses her fingers lazily against fog. I want to scrub my fists with coal,
open them to inherit her animals. [End Page 76]
Stephanie Chang is a high school student from Richmond, BC, Canada. Her work appears or is forthcoming in Adroit Journal, Glass: A Journal of Poetry, Cosmonauts Avenue, and others. She writes for Her Culture.