Maggie Yang is a poet and artist from Vancouver, Canada. She is a Foyle Young Poet of the Year, and her work has been recognized by the Scholastics Art and Writing Awards, The League of Canadian Poets, The Poetry Society of Virginia, and Poetry in Voice. Her work appears or is forthcoming in The Adroit Journal, Polyphony Lit and F(r)iction Lit, among others. An interdisciplinary artist, she is particularly intrigued by the intersections of the written word with the visual and performing arts.
— after In the Hood by David Hammons
I hang the wall. Engulfed
in light, I trample frames,
slash vernaculars, swallow color
into my body. As the spotlight extends
its ghostly gaze, dust mingles
with gold. In an embrace of fabric
syllables, my shadow swelters,
severed in retrospect. Blanketing
the air, I strangle the sun.
PROVERBS IN THE DIRT
Swallowed by detonating dirt, you emerged
a sun-drenched cloth carried by the rushed hands
of soldiers as you were smuggled into a cloth caravan
under the grey sky. Lilies bloomed on your tongue
as you croaked mama among the hunched bodies
in a field of buried bones.
Your heartbeats mirrored the irises of gunfire, breaths
sewing into haphazard stitches as mama whispered
lullabies into your lungs.
Veins splinter your weathered skin, plums rotting
under the scalding heat. Colors fissure into roots
as sweetness erodes into bones,
in your veins.
As gabled roofs curl into fists, your hands become
limp, harvested as withered seeds chipped into concrete.
Chopsticks fracture, fashion into limbs sprawled
like crooked paths. Cobblestones fork
into different omens, slashed with
The Yangtze river spills into roots, flooding
decayed porcelain bowls—plums
sour yet sweet, buried
as proverbs in the dirt.