The Island

by Sandy W. 


On a warm Wednesday
I went to Ellis Island alone.
That morning I poked the yoke
of my husband's sunny-side-up,
and burnt his toasts

on purpose. On hands, on knees, on chafed
discontent, I crawled all the way
to Miss Liberty's crowned head. 

I've often had dreams like this. 
Blue veins of oceans pumping
salt-water into my wounded
canoe. I shall never make it to her alive,
I've traded my paddles for the low simmering
kettle expectant of boiling so I could thaw
this damn chicken for the dinner party
where I shall be red-lipped, high-heeled
and properly elusive.

But I shall never make it to her alive, not this moment
when the jungle-red sun has been hushed,  
and my soapy hands are clasping
the soiled collar of an ill-fitted and tedious shirt

with such stubbornness. I scrub it into moonrise
whiteness, so white that I could almost start over

in my weightless sleep. My dream takes me to the island – 
the stone-lipped woman married to the hands
of the mason who sculpted her into perfect stillness.
I touch her bare petrous toes, they are cold as
my own. She is close – 
so close that the burning torch in her hand could almost
be mine.



Sandy W. is a freelance writer, translator and poet currently residing in Hong Kong. Her poems have appeared in poetry publications such as Peeking Cat Poetry Magazine, The Opiate, Visual Verse, etc.