I didn’t know the poet then.
A friend back from Salt Spring Island,

told me she’d dropped off some books
to Phyllis Webb.

Phyllis, do you feel the world transforming?
This era of digital uniformity, pig-human hybridity.

In some parts of the world,
they are breeding monkeys with two heads.

One kitten whisker in a vault somewhere.
I have forgotten the combination.

How else to respond but to write as Webb?
I open a new deck of index cards.

Blue, pink, yellow.
Phyllis, did you write them on the front side

or the back?

Isabella Wang’s debut poetry chapbook is On Forgetting a Language (Baseline Press 2019). At 18, she is a two-time finalist and the youngest writer shortlisted for The New Quarterly's Edna Staebler Essay Contest. Her poetry and prose have appeared in over twenty literary journals, including CV2, The Puritan, and carte blanche, and she holds a Pushcart Prize Nomination for poetry. She has poems forthcoming in the What You Need to Know About Me Anthology (The Hawkins Projext, co-founder Dave Eggers). She is studying English and World Literature at SFU, working as an RA for SpokenWeb and assistant editor with Room Magazine, and co-ordinating the bi-monthly Dead Poets Reading Series with VPL.