This selection is from Jennifer S. Cheng’s chapbook, “Invocation: An Essay,” pp. 27
Before words, things were formless and void. Darkness was hovering.
(She walks through the grocery store while pushing a cart.
She waits in line.
She pays the cashier.
She washes vegetables, turning each leaf over.
She closes the refrigerator, sits at a table.
She turns on the water in the bathtub.
She looks at the tiles, blinking through droplets.
She puts on a shirt, brushes her teeth.
She turns off the light.
She curls on the bed.
She waits for her eyes to adjust to the dark.)
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.