Below the Peach Tree

A mewling cry blooms, disturbs the amniotic night

ripples in the gloaming sea wax, wane, and surge

pulled by the blue moon in sky

It is that time of night when mischief is afoot

when old magic stirs

and reason runs amok

Hush!

A child is born, swaddled in fur and kindness

a peasant mother without coin for salt

tosses chalk into a circle

Be still!

Grandmama has come, and with her our great ancestors

gather, generations of long-gone shades recalled to stay the watch

warding off daemons that lurk this witching hour

No branch, seed, nor root will you taint, they chant

for when the living light a candle,

no ghosts shall blow it out

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Natalie Mark is an artist from Winnipeg with big love for colourful films and eating dim sum in the early afternoon.

XJ Ng is a model, writer, and student from Malaysia who is currently completing a master's degree in social work at the University of Toronto. His work is informed by cultural reminiscence, queerness, science fiction and too much cat hair. You can find XJ on instagram at @felinoirae.