Maggie Wang

five ways of meeting the darkness


stay awake long past midnight
lie naked on a bed of fresh snow
let your blood run cold with longing
and let your exhalations swirl like smoke
towards the heavens without a single sound
and he will come to you


wander into the densest part of the forest
when no one is looking
go until you cannot see the sky anymore
even if you stumble over rotting logs
go until you collapse onto a bed of fallen branches
and he will come to you


eavesdrop on the conversations of blackmailers
peer into dark alleyways dressed in golden robes
paint your cheeks in the colors of conspiracy
rush past the glaring torches in the street
to hide in the shadows beyond
and he will come to you


stumble alone through the ruins of fallen empires
touch the ancient stones with your virgin hands
call out to the ghosts of the executed
shed your tears into the fur of stray cats
lie in the crevices of dead kings’ dungeons
and he will come to you


dance two waltzes with the primordial chaos
dress in an onyx gown that shimmers deep crimson
smile as you tell him that you have another lover
extinguish the candle’s black flame with a kiss
hide between the curtains and the moon
and he will come to you

all our tomorrows

last night, I met a maiden on the shore
who said she was a priestess of the moon;
her eyes, like diamonds, shone with centuries’ lore,
her mistress’ blessing touch, the night owl’s tune

she told me she had spent a thousand nights
keeping her vigil by the tossing sea,
her god the darkness' haloed candlelight,
her voice the wave-song's breathy melody

I asked her whence she'd come here, asked her why
she'd given up the comforts of past homes
among the cliffs to trek, the sands to lie,
and with her dwell who in the tide-flow roams

she told me she had dreamt of freedoms rare—
of being her own queen, the stars her court,
alone, but not in solitude, for where
she knew herself, there she’d consort

a sentinel she was, and her memoirs
the worlds that others found too dangerous;
a queen she was, a shepherd, and the stars
she loved—the moon did show me thus

About the author: Maggie Wang is a seventeen-year-old from Virginia. She is co-editor-in-chief of her school's literary magazine, and her poetry has been recognized by the Scholastic Writing Awards and the Parkmont Poetry Festival. Aside from writing, she enjoys playing the piano and taking walks in the woods. The two poems published here are from a Greek mythology-inspired collection.