Young Fool Who Makes a Wise Wish

I begged my brothers to let me go with them when they set out to see the world, but they would have nothing of it. We’d all been given a wish, and we were told to make sure it was our best wish. My two elder brothers wished that every time they put their hands in...

Hiku Goes to Find His Lost Love

She fought me to prevent me from leaving. She begged me. She locked the doors of the house. She wailed and wept. But my mother had warned me not to stay long with the people by the sea. I had already fallen in love with the hula dancing, the drums and songs, the...

Owner who Finds Something in His Garden

I came out into the garden of my homestead and I noticed that something had been tramping down the corn. I went looking around, thinking a pig must have gotten in. Then I saw some dirty thing lying under the peach trees. “Here’s something! Here’s something! There’s a...

Armless African Maiden

After my mother died, every time my father looked at me, he wept. He said he looked so much like my mother. I hoped that his grief would pass, but it made me anxious. I became thin. I asked him why he cried, and he told me again how much I looked like my mother. He...

Skeleton Woman Walks the Ocean Floor

I walk the ocean floor,thin as a bone knife,slice throughthe sun’s fractured radiancetoward a narrow crevasse,glimpses a split second ofblue. Climbing out is easy Unweightedmy body is only a memory. Nimble as a crazy needleI weave in and outof piles of ice. The...

Letter to the Dragon King

I was written in great sorrow. The hand was beautiful. It belonged to the daughter of the Dragon King of Dungting Lake. She had been married to another Dragon King, a faithless, philanderer who had sent her out to pasture to look after his sheep. Her father had chosen...