There is a storm inside that rises
sudden on a calm sea.
I have tamped it down,
learned to bottle it in my heart
where unknown maelstroms rage.

Tell me, how old were you when you
tamed the howling winds,
when you managed to stuff them
screaming & thrashing
into Aelous’ ox-skin bag?
When did you realize that you weren’t
the hero or the god
but the weary, battered bag?

You will never understand what it has cost,
what it still takes
to hold the currents at bay.
Sometimes, the hurricane escapes
and it is not ashamed.


ALICE FANCHIANG is a Taiwanese-American poet from California, where she resides with her dog named after a trickster. Her work has appeared in Strange Horizons, Liminality, and the annual SFPA Rhysling Awards Anthology, among others. She loves magic, myth, and bright lipstick. You can find her online at Girl On The Roam ( or perennially on Twitter @kangaru, chatting about books and superheroes.