Tails – Julie Feng
My father tells me of plucking wings
off the writhing bodies of dragonflies.
He can still smell the smoke rooting
across the rocks. Rose stone, is what
they called it back then. Rising wrists
of incense and fleshy buds, the scent
of a temple garden here again.
The scene unfolds
in front of us: two boys, a kitchen knife,
the still-squirming tail of a wall dragon.
They feel the triumph of childhood,
from the low rafters of the wood shack
to the rose caverns and the cattail
lashes. They slip past the temple,
through the blushing latticework,
around the corner towards the banks
of still water. Serenades of rose stone,
to skip, to blossom. Rock and skin.
I urge on, but here, my father surrenders
Julie Feng is a writer and educator. She is the recipient of the Academy of American Poets Award, the Arthur Oberg Poetry Prize, the Joan Grayston Poetry Prize, and the Meg Greenfield Essay Award. She is originally from Taiwan, based in Seattle, and teaching in Morocco. You can reach her at juliefeng.wordpress.com.
Keira McKenzie is from Melbourne, Australia, and is stuck in Perth, Western Australia. She plays with pencils, pens, brushes, tablet — in color or black and white, and also plays on the keyboard to produce both prose and poetry. She also loves doing calligraphy with a dip pen. Her cat vastly prefers her writing to drawing but drawings are accomplished despite paws and claws. She also indulges in photography, and photos as well as occasional drawings can be seen at http://mtlawleyshire.