• Vol. 07
  • Chapter 04
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In the Year of the Metal Rat

The woman, her profile like a man’s,
clutches her plastic bag
full of plain yogurt and bitter herbs.

She sucks her candy for the day:
today, a coffee mint.
She waits for the hourly bus

in the world upside down.
Here the blue sky is water,
remains from the morning rain.

Clouds float above
the way that maple seeds
drift through ditches.

Painted asphalt, a black,
white, and orange flag, looms
like thick clouds that persist

through afternoons
of waiting for the bus.
The world has always been

upside down, her granddad told her,
when she was a young girl
in the last year of the metal rat.