Wind comes and rattles my window; January shrills with ice. In my room light cracks to the floor, a brittle square of bodiless water. Outside the door, heavy cold hardens the ground, about to drain the last warmth of the year. Then the world becomes like inside a mussel. The sky swirls, a William Turner painting. This Shikumen hibernates in brick-red silence, with its roofs, its balconies, its flight of stairs, like a giant bird with folded wings under which I stand, bundled in my heavy coat. I need one more step to begin this journey into the aluminum city; But I’m not a prophet I can’t tell what looms behind each frosted high-rise; But my words, frayed by my whitened breath, fall into air, like an impassioned plea before something greater than this world, or me.
About the Author Aiden Heung (He/They) is a Chinese poet born in a Tibetan Autonomous Town, currently living as a traveling coating salesman. If he is not on the road selling water-repellent solutions, you can always find him writing poems in one of the Costa Cafes in Shanghai. His poems written in English have appeared in The Australian Poetry Journal, The Missouri Review, Poetry International, Tupelo Quarterly, Crazyhorse, Black Warrior Review among other places. He can be found on Twitter @aidenheung. About the Artist Hailing from the Chicago suburbs, 27 Rats is heavily inspired by the comics and cartoons he lived on growing up. Artists such as Jack Kirby, Bryan Lee O'Malley, Mike Mignola, and Akira Toriyama are strong influences on his work. 27 Rats is on a never-ending journey to create fresh art that calls back to the creators that inform his work.
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