This selection is from Jennifer S. Cheng’s chapbook, “Invocation: An Essay,” pp. 15
Ghostly antics: Before women were unseen, they were unheard. They lived in silent rooms. Children who are repeatedly forgotten by those around them soon begin to slip. They find themselves in a place feeling like something of a foreigner. Illness: If you can’t understand the ways of the people around you, like subtle shifts in movement. If you never felt that familiarity, and you are overwhelmed by the largeness, the lightness of the bodies surrounding you. Shut spaces: If the cavernous silence extends to the turning of the earth, where all gods and winged creatures drop over the edge.
Jennifer Cheng received her MFA in Nonfiction from the University of Iowa and her BA from Brown University. She is the recipient of a U.S. Fulbright Fellowship, a Kundiman Fellowship, the Academy of American Poets Harold Taylor Award, and most recently the Mid-American Review Fineline Prize. Her writing appears or is forthcoming in Web Conjunctions, the Collagist, Mid-American Review, Ninth Letter, Quarterly West, Seneca Review, and Fifty-Fifty (an anthology of Hong Kong writing). She lives in San Francisco and can be found at jenniferscheng.com.
Meagan Cass is an Assistant Professor of English at the University of Illinois Springfield, where she teaches courses in creative writing, independent publishing, and composition, curates the Shelterbelt reading series, and advises the campus literary journal, the Alchemist Review. Her fiction has appeared in Hayden’s Ferry Review, The Pinch, Hobart Web, PANK, and Puerto del Sol, among other journals. Magic Helicopter Press will publish her first fiction chapbook, Range of Motion, in January 2014. She holds a Ph.D. in English from the University of Louisiana Lafayette and an MFA in fiction from Sarah Lawrence College.