“Wading” by Wendy McMillan


Through the streets of Taipei
Clouds sweat in a restless sky,
The moon grows fuzzy.
Wan light surrenders
To a steaming, swollen darkness.

We are all being slammed
Inside a little box
Of festive filth and barber shops
Lining black alleys drenched
With blood-red betel nut.

I am light-headed with exhaust,
With the indifference of the roads,
Drained from this dizzying search
For open places.

In the surrounding, elusive mountains
Air soothes, intoxicates.
Here, the city chokes upon itself.

Behind dead dogs and neon signs
Night markets gleam in carnival brilliance.
From food stalls and cheap merchandise
Emerge elegant faces.
They frustrate me today.
I want to shake their shoulders,
Their delicate, graceful limbs,
Cry angrily, demanding,
Where are your open spaces?
Here, how do you read the moon?


Wendy McMillan lives and writes with her husband and young son in Longmont, Colorado. She earned her Master’s degree in Creative Writing with a Distinction in Poetry from the University of St. Andrew’s in Scotland. Wendy is just getting back into poetry after an extended hiatus offering plenty of opportunity to live life but little to write about it.

Featured image by Andrew Haimerl


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