balinese monkey danceby Maw Shein Win
my mom called me pixie. the day i was born. she said, what a little pixie. we'll call her pixie and we'll dress her in green. so that was my entry into this blood-red, coal-black world. my infant dreams were filled with emerald ghosts and terraced rice paddies. my mother had a wooden cage made for me which i lived in until the age of six. by the age of eight, i had perfected the balinese monkey dance and the neighbors clapped. by the age of ten, my diet consisted entirely of cilantro, alfalfa, and collard greens. i felt nothing. pain. joy. lust. anger. why i was let out of my cage i never knew.
Maw Shein Win lives in Berkeley, California. Her work has been published in journals such as Watchword, Shampoo, Instant City, and Hyphen and she has recent work in Progress Chrome, Boston Literary Review, and Red Hills Review. She is the editor of Comet and was recently awarded a summer residency at Marin Headlands Center for the Arts for 2006. This poem originally appeared in Printed Matter.