It was not a girl but a universe imploding
on the thirteenth of April.
Beneath the crushing gravity
of her own weight, no one knew
her fuel had been depleted
as she conversed through the school halls,
the convulsing core of life
and light. After all, stars glitter
on our retinas millions of years
after their deaths.
Ghost stars. Plato
wrote of humanity as a microcosm
which reflected meaning into the stars;
thus it was a galaxy that unhinged
when the girl shook too
many white pills into
her trembling youth: small, harmless, ovular,
and expired. A star collapsed
and the light
flickered from the little girl’s eyes
although she was but a small screw
lodged between the clockworks of the universe;
earth but a pebble in orbit ad infinitum¹
said as supply overcomes demand,
an object’s value plummets—
But I say
was a universe
as those around her
deemed it so.
I gagged on your name
fed from strangers’ hands. Today I utter it
are heavier once they crackle off, and the silence undulates i
palpable long after the moment of silence. I try
and conjure your face
as you sink to the challenger deep:
¹ A Latin phrase meaning “to infinity” or “forevermore”
eloi eloi lama sabachthani²? Your skin is
swirled cookies-n-cream, black contrails
that dare anyone to try
and stop you.
how it’s only
after your hurt stopped
that I feel your presence.
Ariel Kim is a seventeen-year-old artist and writer. Through The Incandescent Review, she hopes to empower adolescents to express their honest, unapologetic identities as heirs to an uncertain world. Ariel’s work appears in or is forthcoming in The Adroit Journal, The National Poetry Quarterly, and The Apprentice Writer, among others. She is a finalist in the Virginia B. Ball Creative Writing Competition, a three-time runner-up for the New York Times Summer Reading Contest, and a double National Scholastic Medalist.
Art by Elaine Zhang