Maggie Wang

Maggie Wang

after the flood

we lay in the muddied garden, not caring
if the grass left stains on our backs,

and watched a trio of leaves
push the earth apart from itself.

downtown, two attorneys stood
on opposite sides of a courtroom

and argued about where you belonged.
we did not care. the sky

shrank smaller and smaller above us
but still spat out pink streaks

at sunset. the neighbours came out
to watch us from their balcony.

we did not blink. a stalk of green
nestled against my shoulder,

the hollow inside ringing
with the sound of my heartbeat.

you told me about a couple who got
trapped walking in a rhododendron

forest. across the country, eucalyptus
burned, dry bark scattering the scent

of perfume into the sea. after the flood,
a patch of cells buried itself beneath

my fingernail, where it sprouted
a forest and pinned us to the ground.

MAGGIE WANG studies at the University of Oxford. Her writing has appeared or will appear in Harvard Review, Poetry Wales, Versopolis Review, and elsewhere. She is a Ledbury Emerging Poetry Critic and a Barbican Young Poet.