Big Echo

Critical SF

Five Poems from formerly FloodLand

by Ching-In Chen

Day 15: Egg Song

In every district, White Woman song egg to open fresh carton. In New Better, ours does not sing, only mutters in white gauze: Luck not wrong//different Man//Photograph still in transmission. OnlyChild approach wet street, mimics Crack Crack Crack. Chants ‘Wiggle jiggle, yellow middle. White and tender surround center. Cozy, sitting crackling shell.’ Nephew and Night exit shop, shake heads, offers chipped compost shells to leave White Woman alone with mutters.

Day 16: No Visitors Allowed

Due to white egg shortage, we skirt past well-known mound from doomed war of chicken independence. Sky catalogues avoidable disasters in their looping hand since Harvest Moon bust out of town atop chemical garden cast-off, leaving Eco-tourist #1 Trail of the Year. Only eggs fermented and hoarded not for sale during Nightshop countertop escapades. No visitors allowed.

Day 17: Moneymaker Goat

Though barricaded in, all eating visitors to New Better’s east ocean wait behind dyke for a technicolor exit. Never one to miss mercantile opportunity, Nephew pirates Family Prone to Silt’s lonely moneymaker, rows goat past canal. Ignore 20-ft metalcrushers and party needles, come back with me home. I can only say the privilege is so fast.

Day 18: Melted Fans for Fees

Now that cashing in commences, Lucky Sirens distribute melted fans and plastic plugs to disgruntled, request inkjet paperwork from floodmarket vendors. Family Prone to Silt shines each street, searching for moneymaker goat to fork over fees. Last time a goat sighting, Nephew lead a band of eco-tourists outside of quarantine perimeter to freedom.

Day 19: Image for Exposition

Rain cleared us up yesterday though I still bear anxiety, visiting the houses with no wind. Their gray collection dry as ice, red and glaring in kitchen. Also, keep asking if I’m local or export though I cast a ghost even in international exhibition city. No matter how official, I don’t surface in release paperwork. If you look a little closely, I might leave fire.

NEXT