Edited by Andrea Spofford | Barry Kitterman | Amy Wright
Nancy Chen Long
The puma, stalking. And though the ceiling
is naught but night sky, the room
is made of red glass—eight walls ten-feet tall,
the sliding door, the bolt—all blood-colored
and glass. Homing pigeons flutter around me,
doting. Like angels. I have named them.
Monarch. Swallowtail. Lacewing. Come sing to me
I coo, while the black puma paces. My body
is frocked in blue. I wear a brood
of Lycaeides melissa samuelis like a bridal veil,
my hair laced in forget-me-nots.
Sometimes, when I’m perfectly still,
a pigeon will mistake me
for an electrical wire, perch long enough
for me to seize its spindly feathers,
attach a message, set it free.