a bird alone

after psalm one hundred and two

a tawny owl hops

over rubble: man

made crumblings.

bones burning coal.

dead grass a nest not

enough to call home.

eats ashes and shadows

grow long. shut eyes. wither

in desert winds.

blind stones pity

the still unheard

but the day hears.

this too shall


the east sky yawns

and mornings. perish waits

another day. rumblings

as the temple rebuilds

secret place quenched

in golden. owl’s

wing quivers, heartbeats: flight

a gift received.

to dwell in tremors

of a coming:

not safe, but good.

temple gates soften

ancient door roarings:

an open mouth

full of glory

CASSANDRA HSIAO is an undergraduate at Yale University, majoring in Theater Studies and Ethnicity, Race & Migration. Her poetry, fiction and memoirs have been recognized by Storyscape, Arts by the People, Rambutan, Animal, Claremont Review, and Jet Fuel. Her plays have been selected as finalists for national playwriting competitions held by The Blank Theatre, Writopia Labs, Princeton University, Durango Arts Center, California Playwrights Project and YouthPLAYS. She was also recognized for her journalism work as a Voices fellow by the Asian American Journalists Association (AAJA).