The Adirondack Review
The Boy Who Lived in a Cellar

When the police took him outside
for the first time, he asked
Am I in heaven?
It was the first time he saw daylight. 
--BBC News


Clouds are pillows losing their stuffing. 
Birds are small children with beaks and wings.
Leaves are hands begging alms of light.  

Moon is my mother’s face,
when her fingers comb through my hair
like wind hatching on a starless night. 

The sun is my grandfather, with his blinding
countenance and Horace eye, whose touch
turns my mother to salt, whose breath

reeks of garlic and whiskey.
This is how you were conceived, she says,
in terror and violence and lust so pure

it was almost love, almost fearlessness;
He forced me to sin.  While I defied him
by bearing him children. You

are the gorgeous fruit of that unholy union,
my accomplice in our long escape,
my flesh revolted and given new life. 

Air is fire in the belly and light in the mind. 
It quickens in the veins like blood or bread.  
I am a fish raised out of water.

Windows are books reading themselves.
Space is my heart thumping in the dark,
learning the texture of things by their names.








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CLARA CHANGXIN FANG has been published in Runes, Pebble Lake Review, The Washington Post, Meridian Anthology of Contemporary Poetry, among others.  She is currently a graduate student at the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies in New Haven, CT. She received an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Utah in 2007.
The St. Lawrence Book Award for a first collection of short stories or poems
The St. Lawrence Book Award for a first collection of short stories or poems
The St. Lawrence Book Award for a first collection of short stories or poemsThe St. Lawrence Book Award for a first collection of short stories or poemsThe St. Lawrence Book Award for a first collection of short stories or poems
The St. Lawrence Book Award for a first collection of short stories or poems