shot glass
"... brevity is the soul of wit ..."
- William Shakespeare

Abigail Wang


Folk Tales

Grasses gasp through half a year asleep in the snow.
Choked in mushy bog, they're asleep in the snow—

mossy feathers poke at ice, staining the undersides.
Sometimes there are geese here, asleep in the snow

and back too early from holiday, hollowing nests
in the slush. Nearly asleep in the snow,

she flicks wet match by wet match to light up her eyes.
Then she drops them, blackened, seared, asleep in the snow.

Body collapsed on a snowdrift that sinks like foam
from that winter grief, where, asleep in the snow,

she'll be in the morning papers, headline printed
neatly: Little match girl appears asleep in the snow.

You read the story, Abigail, in two languages, then
grew to ignore the bundles lying there asleep in the snow.