Find the illustrated version here.



    Grace Chan


    I have always felt there was something wrong with my

    inertness. My inability to be transfigured, with the other youths, by cascading hymns

    into ecstasy of communion. The Spirit neither drew tongues

    nor threw me writhing to the floor.


    These pills do not vanish my migraines, my tempers,

    the midnight sawing between my ribs. I wait

    for fat to melt from my bones. Transformation

    does not arrive for those who lack belief.


    I remain—soft, brown, stagnant

    to the core. Does god craft some from air

    and others from mud? They imbibe faith, it ignites their souls.

    I stamp sparks underfoot.


    But, from time to time, the patchwork stretches, frays,

    to open seams, silent and unmoving—

    sunlight, dripping down a verdant slope; a twist

    of music; the frictionless weight of Saturn’s moons—


    My body trembles with the travelling

    of a lovely ghost, evaporating the stitches

    between my cells, brightening synapses—glorious whorls—

    slow motion I fragment


    in tenderness,

    in wonder.