fallen angel

WRITTEN BY MATT HSU

Initially published in the Galliard International Review

his wings were clipped on a tuesday

a belated christmas gift. there was gold

on his hips and bamboo strapped to his back.

he could draw picasso with no hands

and best anyone at basketball. mom

carried him home on a throne of jade and cobwebs


buffed with seaweed, he planted a flag

at the top of the slide. middle fingers up and reigning

with a double-barrelled gun. he knew how many seconds

were in three hours (more than ten thousand)

and he sprinted faster than all the girls, even

when wearing khakis. just like harry potter he

had black hair and round glasses

so of course he was the chosen one


with sharpie he spelled it out

he would dominate in seven different

languages, including chinese and russian

and release honeybees into the skies

it was prophesied because it was written on cream-

colored paper, he told himself

rubbing the asphalt off his elbows


after eleven years the sun stopped

shining on his shoulders. it was strange and certainly

quite uncomfortable – the rice cakes he sold

in his backyard went stale and the stuffed manatees

began jumping from his bed and for the first time

his knees hurt from his tumble to earth


his billboards were ripped down by seagulls

from the wire frames spilled blood, deemed

tasty by the gulls. they painted over his rainbow

with black tar, sewed his teeth together with golden

spool, smothered him with perfume and paychecks

and fastened a wristwatch around his neck


he walks with two feet, now

burning tteok and scallions in the pan and

eating them with a soup spoon. at midnight

his coven is lined with pearls and broken

pencils. he sings hymns and takes off his shirt

spreading citrus over the scars of

God’s fallen angel

Matt Hsu is a junior at San Francisco University High School in San Francisco, California. He works as a poetry/prose editor at Cathartic Youth Literary Magazine and The Formula. Currently he's working on a new adult novel about a lonely assassin. In his spare time, he enjoys playing tennis and eating dark chocolate.