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May 28, 2020 Fiction

Moon Wishes

Flo Au

Moon Wishes photo

In her dance, Chang’e waves her sleeves to disperse the surrounding mist. It is the night she can see the earth with her unspoken emerald hare aside. Gaze down. Wish to seek a familiar shadow. She sees seas and seas of faces. Generations glide through her waves from the ancient time to the modern space. She does the same every year—at the same night and the same time—in search of her missing lover who perhaps hides among those faces, replacing his quiver of arrows with a lucent lantern to look for her. Does he? With glowing splashes of colors in their hands, celebrating the panoramic view of the translucent yet lonesome moon palace where she dwells, people gather and scatter in assorted luminous maps, connected, separated and connected, dotting everchanging landscapes with their own uniqueness. They slide, sway and swirl like her, whirling in the alliance of infinity and ephemerality.

The quiet sonar-like pings filling a hospital floor. A mother and daughter, the latter of whom keeps thinking of the dark beyond the fluorescent lights nailed to the pale white ceiling. Then she could linger on the image of a large, warm hand stretching out from above to lift them up to the celestial palace. Impossible. Gaze back to the hospital bed.  The protective dark shadow has faded from her eyes. Her mum’s ashen face with a faint yet placid smile, “It’s like that.”

She wonders if the color of the ashes in the urn would change like those kaleidoscopic lanterns along the street outside. It has been three years but it seems like a thousand years. The color must be changing. She would like to see. She would like to hold. It must be like the sand quietly sneaking out from her clutch but unlike sand, it must be as soft and gentle as cotton. She cautiously lifts the urn with both hands from the shelf, hugs it firmly in the circle of  her  arms  in  front  of  her  slightly  bulging  belly—the  sign  of  has-been  she  forever keeps—and almost dances with it in the silhouette of the light at the rhythm of a lullaby she hums along when he swam inside her. No one will know. A daisy chain of voices. And no will know.