portion of the artwork for Arlene Ang's poems

Arlene Ang


Deirdre is the countryside;
I buried her first. She acted, in her younger days,
in movies. Always the girl crossing
the street at different times wearing different
clothes but the same bruised
expression: There must be light here.


Here, Lin Fei is undressing.
Here, Lin Fei poses with a chartreuse pillbox hat.
Tattoos of ravens on her skin push her
into the background. I have
headshots of Lin Fei with the axe,
without the axe, and one holding Deirdre’s heart.


Olive is behind the false
wall. At night, the mice make more noise.
I still keep the Eiffel Tower snow globe she took
from Lin Fei’s bedroom. Olive helped
up to the end. One artless swallow of rat poison
brewed in her own coffee.


On her worse days, Ruth drinks
all day in the kitchen. Ruth is drawn to phone booths
and dialing 911. Olive is still my sister,
she says. I unlock the garden shed and let
Martha in. The shovel, propped against the wall,
is a finger poised to turn the page.

Return to Archive

FRiGG: A Magazine of Fiction and Poetry | Issue 27 | Law & Order Issue | Winter 2010