by Lina Chang

She is the guardian of the Cliffside:

a mass of colors, surrounded

by elaborate systems of roots that morph into trees

reaching out their arms as if stretching

into the rays of a dusky morning’s air.

Color spark off as violets and

crimson as if fighting

a war between the darkness and the light.

But peace can be found,

where the face emerges as Aphrodite

rises from the confusion that is

the sea: the tranquil face

ever gazing as the protector of the valley.


Out of place, found among her brothers of a different make,

she sighs and allows her gaze to drop- knowing of displacement,

existing as a misfit- yet radiating all the more.

Her face is the only constant in the rapidly

shifting, her body a mere wisp of a thought that never was.

Colors that meander, lacking the cohesion and

desire to make solid among the void.


Wind dances through the stairwell,

catching even the smallest of movement.

Yet among the chaos, between the formless form of the darkness

and the dancing of the void, she can be found unwavering;

for she protects, she watches,

she shelters, and she waits.

She is the guardian of the Cliffside.



Lina Chang is currently a graduate student at James Madison University studying English Language and Literature. Focusing primarily on Unnatural Narratology and Italian literature scholarship, she enjoys experimenting with forms of fiction and ekphrastic poetry during her free time