©2020 by Canvas Literary Journal

Published by Cosmographia Books

Background art “Submerged” by Amelia Ao

Canvas logo by Ali Wrona

mnemonics

Maggie Wang

Winter 2020

in the news, you’ll see pictures of the perfect cemetery:

rows of white crosses gleaming the purity of the bodies

underneath, grass freshly cut by the hand of god itself—

flowers blown up in the breeze and the sun mourning in

modesty behind a cloud. driving to the grocery store,

you’ll pass the perfect cemetery: small forest of stones—

solemn guardians of memory atop a sacred and unhaunted

hill, last bearers of names perfectly etched over epitaphs

written in rhyme. a tourist in a foreign city, you’ll wander

through the perfect cemetery: lovers laid hand in hand

in a churchyard under ash and holly, statuettes chiseled

hour after hour from some unforgiving stone because the

bones that lie here must never be forgotten. but arrive

in the windswept country of grief, and you will forget

all these perfect cemeteries. when the sand fills your

mouth and the salt crystallizes on your cheeks, you will

see only a few haphazard mounds of dirt, dusted with

crushed dandelions and fading fast into the distance.

Maggie Wang is seventeen and originally hails from Virginia. Her poetry has appeared in Girls Right the World and is forthcoming in the Alexandria Quarterly. She has also been recognized by the Scholastic Writing Awards, the Parkmont Poetry Festival, the Folger Shakespeare Library, and the Poetry Society’s Young Poets Network. When not writing poetry, she enjoys taking walks and playing the piano.