A response to Ouyang Jianghe
Sliver of metal, of light, of
they seek the power I grasp
Fragile as the mother who wields me,
feel my power in what I cannot cleave.
In the haze a knife flashes, falls—
in the unbreakable ring a life listens,
calls. Divergence of opposites
I offer but a glimpse as they work to your demise
I hold as much power as you have to ply.
gatekeeper of power I fear not mine
master of no melody of my own design
feel my empty consolation, mother, as I grow
True to Chinese poet Ouyang Jianghe's style, Ghost Blade is anything but obvious. The poem's vague, meandering descriptions and varying degrees of abstraction invite you to come back to Ghost Blade again and again.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Jessica Lao is a senior at the Westminster Schools in Atlanta, GA. Her work has been published or is forthcoming in The Louisville Review, Chautauqua, Alexandria Quarterly, and more, and her art will be exhibited in Paris, Beijing, New York, Nairobi, and Rio de Janeiro in the coming year.