Winter Skin

Lake Beihai is frozen now
its metallic whiteness swirls
like the wings of the dove
the leafless aspen blur
around it i hear voices
of children i hear the skids
of their skates
i hear the ruffle of their winter
clothes grazing their cold
skin cold skin as cold
as the icy depths underneath
far below ice and frost
becoming second skin
one can’t just take off
or shed off
expect to melt away


Achilles’ Heel

the leather shoes are sprawled outside
beside the poplars, cypresses, the yews
shaded in the darkness with trees looming over
like the grieving widows
the sour odor stinking of sweat and rot and antiseptic
like the diseased smell of a hospital
and laces woven into a braid
a web that was now frayed
a home long abandoned by the spider
while the sheen of the shoes
gone now
crevasses settling in the surface
an invasive species
the victors from the war waged
against pebbles and miles walked
with the point once curling up
firmly and proud
now flattened against the grass
and the moss creep
the vines edging up their throats
the remains of once sonorous shoes
like the carcass of the antelope
left to the mercy
of the vultures


Sarah Zhang loves writing poems about unexplored topics. In her free time, she plays tennis with her sister, and likes New York style pizza.