Listen to Stella Lei read her poem:
Out of chicken wire and stand her in the yard, even though it isn’t Halloween, and branches still quiver with leaves. When I touch her, my fingers prick along the hem, raw wire biting to blood. This man-made haunt: empty skirt holding a woman in place of a bird. At night, her limbs silver under streetlamps, needling into light and suturing the dark with steel. How many stitches make a girl? How many pieces molded by foreign hands, calluses pressed palm to palm? The way I hold pins between my teeth, never knowing where to sew. A beast arises only from its parts, sublime until they warp Any chimera is regal if you turn a certain way. Even Medusa was beautiful once, before the sea, snakes, stone— immortalized by another man’s crime, yard filled with evidence of hurt. Manufactured monster, born by myth and raised by human hands How pliant, our nails buckling against teeth, story inseparable from skin. Look: I keep wasting my years on rage, but who will I be when the knife falls. When all I have are my ordinary ghosts, so solid, so permeable in the light.