After Margaret Atwood’s “The Shadow Voice”
No, says the silence.
No, says the dark
as it listens to your ragged breath.
What is the matter?
asks the moon with its cold light.
Man dug his footprints into me
before you were a thought.
They will be here long after.
But you, your flesh and skin
will knit back together.
You are a creature of earth.
Let the wind and sea fold
the scuffed dirt to its place.
A moth detaches itself from the wall
to flutter on your lips.
Asks, is this the kind of kiss
that you will be happy to take.
Your shadow shakes next to you.
Traces words onto your still palm
to ask when will you learn to stop
waiting. To say no. To believe that
your empty bed and arms are enough.
Natalie Wang writes about cats, ghosts, and womanhood, and maintains that they are all the same thing. She has had her writing published in a number of journals including LONTAR, The Kindling, Rambutan Literary, Quarterly Literary Review Singapore, and anthologies like SingPoWriMo and My Lot is a Sky (Math Paper Press). She has just released her debut collection of poetry, The Woman Who Turned into a Vending Machine (Math Paper Press), and is currently working on another collection of poems for monstrous women. You can find her writing on https://natwangthecat.wordpress.com.