Plain China

There Are No Bells Here

by Ellen Webre · Chapman University
"Captive", Cynthia Lee · New York University

I almost have the delusion you are with me,

crossing tuba soaked streets

that leak gator juice into my boots.

We pass by lobsters on leashes

and fried shrimp earrings

and tourists flock to fleur de lys cyborgs.

Voodoo dolls pin themselves

to my phantom braids

going through the Spanish Plaza

and I can smell incense for hours.

Your hand in mine is dusted

with the powdered sugar we used

to finger paint beignets

on our praline-sweet tongues.

We take the backstreets to see vampires

smoking over iron-work filigree,

and steal absinthe kisses by gas lamp.

What I want is across a wall of rain,

sitting among palm trees

and emptied beaches.

I am waiting by tendrils of lightning,

electric voices fallen silent

because you are busy,

and have only sent a ghost of yourself

to keep me company.

About the Author

Ellen Webre · Chapman University

Ellen Webre is a Southern California poet and an editor for Chapman University's Calliope literary magazine. Ellen has been featured as a regular at the Two Idiots Peddling poetry reading, as well as the Coffee Cartel and Mosaic in UC Riverside. "There Are No Bells Here" first appeared in Calliope.

About the Artist

Cynthia Lee · New York University

Cynthia Lee is from Taiwan, Taipei and currently resides in New York City, New York, where she studies photography at New York University. "Captive" first appeared in Blueshift Journal.