Three Poems by Winter A. Chen


                In another timeline, your tongue is murder weapon.
                                                                                                                                           Perhaps mine too.
My body is crime scene                 was it the night who cordons us?                                       & you
carve chalk into silhouette.         You always leave rust behind on the edges. Your moment  is
structured that way, like the shadow climbing out of my single exit wound.

               In this timeline, you cut your hair & I do not notice. You cordon me
with a smile. My chest wound serrate.              I develop a taste            for metal teething into
wrist                   for skin scales mixing with rust              for fringe growing into my eyes.
                You look the same to me           always.                Your image is structured that way.

In another timeline, I dislike your new haircut              the freed forehead         the same pair of
shoes you always wear. In this timeline, we quarrel. You fuck me after we make up. In red-
taped night, I caress                   tossed waves of your hair after sex                    how it looks like
an oil spill                         smells like seaweed                      how your body             stretches
                                                             a horizonless blue                         against mine.
A creature wriggles its way into my shipwreck chest.               In this timeline, I feel full.
                My body is structured that way.
                                                                                           Perhaps yours too.

In another timeline, we never meet. You cut your hair next to me in the salon.
I look at a pair of scissors.         Imagine your body sliced        like sashimi                      you
swimming inside me. In this timeline                I cut a strip of Time      coil it around you like
fishing rod         reel us in.                         Time snags                       taut like a muscle you would use
to fuck me in another timeline                              & snaps.             We sit in opposite corners
of the room.
                Our fates are structured that way.
                                                                                             Or not.
                                                                                                            Perhaps there is another time
                                             line where I cut                               your hair & you talk
                Time into strips & feed them                  to Me.  & a tentacle
                             to a machine that beats                               inside my chest
                out images, I can’t recognise                  loops around
                                                                               your silhouette.
                & I am your friend
                                                               or not.
                We study together. I take your picture.
                                                                          What cordons a friend from a lover?
                A snapshot of
                             is your hair
                              is not structured that way.



every night / i peel my heels off / watch the pain melt / away into a tail / every night / i swab my face / feel the burn of / scales rippling across skin / my lipstick smudges / into a hue of / sailors’ warning / every night i shampoo my hair / the tub is a purple pool / kelp plasters the walls / every night my mirror / is a black pearl / humming stereo / of an eclipsed ocean / every day i swallow sand / every night i spit / out oily scabs / every day / i slide shells into sclerae / every day i am painfully / in human / every day my tongue ebbs & flows with bottled words / every night the tides wash / the wrecks of my name ashore



half fox / half faggot / the men never get my name right / all that glitters / is lip gloss / gold is false lashes / is orb of sequin skin / fairy tail is lace front wig / half flamboyant / half femme / is hands off no touching / is bulging panties / an untucked vixen / half fatale / the men always say i’m trying to trick them / but they find me at twilight / half feral / dance in alpenglow of amber eyes / fingers lost / in shifting fur / seeking dreams of sake / bosom to nestle their heads / to forget moon & meat / to taste cinder & tongue / they come to my shrine / half flesh & begging / to learn how to tame / the beasts


Winter A. Chen is a transgender Singaporean Chinese poet, performer, and artist based in London. She loves learning K-Pop choreography and playing an unhealthy amount of League of Legends. Her words can be found at