Taylor Fang

Grade 12
Logan, UT
West Region

Taylor Fang is a junior at Logan High School. She believes in poetry’s power to create empathy and solidarity in communities of all backgrounds. As a second-generation Chinese-American, her work often explores topics of migration, girlhood, and transition. Her poetry has been featured in The New York Times and recognized by the Hippocrates Young Poet’s Prize and the Poetry Society UK. Taylor works to spread her love of language through serving as founder and president of her high school creative writing club, and as editor-in-chief of its previously long-dormant literary magazine. Last year, she directed an afterschool poetry workshop for International Poetry Day at a local elementary school and read original poetry on Utah Public Radio. Taylor is also an alumnus of the Telluride Association Sophomore Seminar at the University of Michigan, where she spent six weeks studying the narrative representations of marginalized groups. When not writing, Taylor can be found at debate tournaments, reading, or exploring the beautiful Utah outdoors.

 

Ode to Suburbia

Summer now. We miss time, forget to sleep. City-glint hurtling
through mountain and cow country, lights distant

as pink moons. The ceiling fan lops off
the ends of words. Landmarks named by the lines

of my bare feet—saguaro, prickly pear cacti, spray
of chickweed. Brother asks why a comet doesn’t hit

already, why we don’t take a rocketship
to the moon. This place is a drive-thru.

I give him my last butterscotch
to hold on his tongue, escape sliding into the gutter

thick and fast. Even as he says he’s dying
to get out, come August, the two of us will still stalk

the road, picking pearls of salt
from under fingernails. We make magic with a deck

of cards, prop our feet on the kitchen ledge.
Mama stirring gumbo, sinking cherries

in a gallon of liquor. She sighs
when she sees us. My brother and I, always waiting

for something more. Moths shudder out
of the streetlight like goldenrod.

Across the cul-de-sac, the neighbor feeds potatoes
to crows. Piece by piece. Dollar bills tacked

to her fridge door, puckering
under my gaze. Not enough

for exodus, for deluge. For anything, really.
We wait, jammed to the window, fingers

pressed to dusk, our breath
on the white-chip glass.

Read more of Taylor’s Poetry