“Sister’s Night Walk” by Abbey Chew
Her nightgown, white and long, breaks the dark like a ship’s prow,
then lets the night come together again
around the flitting hem.
Her breath shags out — just as white, just as white
as the cotton — from her mouth only to drift
back, curl over her ears, and away.
As she moves, her body lights up
the night for brief moments that seem like praise,
the air around her skin flaring up — auroras
drawing movement from her blood, taking
something for their own. And the night wonders
just as much: Where does she go?
What calls to draw her warm, curled body
out of bed, into the night? Sister keeps her secrets. If
the night knows, if it holds the secret —
what waits outside the house, porch, gravel lane —
If the night knows, it isn’t telling either.
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Abby Chew’s Artist Statement: Abby Chew worked on a butterfly ranch. She worked nights at a Travelodge off the interstate and as a goatherd. Currently, she works as an English teacher at Crossroads School in Santa Monica, California. She lives in Echo Park with her husband and two dogs.