Mariah E. Wilson

Gagung (Cantonese – pronounced ga-GUNG) Literally meaning “bare branches,” this word is used to talk about men who have little chance to get married or start families due to China’s one-child policy and its results: an excess of marriageable males as compared to females


Dining alone.
Table for one.
Dark, lonely apartment
in a crowded city.
You’re invisible
even home.
Talking to yourself
is dinner conversation.
Kiss yourself goodnight,
no one else
is there to do it.
On autopilot,
flying solo
as if you had
another option.
Late night snack run
you never have to share.
Cute girl at the checkout
swing and a miss.
Your efforts, fruitless.
You’re a tree
with bare branches.

Backpfeifengesicht (German). A face badly in need of a fist.


I thought I could shake it
the way the sight of you
transforms my skin
into a million marching ants
crawling on my bones.
Your apologies hold
air like deflated balloons
still bound by the string
being drug behind
the melancholic child.
And when the corners
of your mouth turn
upward, slowly, slyly,
in that crooked half smile
ripe with mischief
I don’t yearn to taste you.
When you smile like that
I don’t feel invited,
rather infuriated
and I want to strike you
that you may feel
a fraction of my pain.

© Mariah E. Wilson

Mariah E. Wilson is a writer from beautiful British Columbia. She has been published in Thin Air Magazine, Every Day Poets, The Kitchen Poet, Walking is Still Honest, Literary Orphans, and The Corner Club Press, for which she is also now the Poetry Editor. Her first poetry collection, We Walk Alone, was published by Writers AMuse Me Publishing.

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1 thought on “Mariah E. Wilson”

  1. again- a common refrain from me- dave- the line lengths, eg

    dark lonely apartment in a crowded city
    what’s wrong w that
    i think u need more startling word choice
    i think poetry whoulod b revolutionary
    just an opinion

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