Of Dead Dreams and Elegies

Midnight of my
Eighteenth birthday, I
Rippled into a foreign forest,
Water-drowned, rebirthed
Myself as a haunted

Seven times, I
Submerged my head
Beneath the patchwork
Quilt of decaying leaves, holding
Prayer within the gums
Of my teeth.

I had hoped for something
A little less

On nights, when
The moon dripped light, aged
Paper lanterns hung
From wire constellations, lost
Dreams played hide and seek
In the caverns and creeks.

Three months, I
Hinged the corners
Of my bloodied mouth on the edges
Of a violent river, allowed
Fish needles and molded
Iris petals to soil
My organs
In hopes of drowning
The small things within.

But in the water,
Their call echoed.


Lydia Bae is a high school senior in Bellevue, Washington. She writes primarily poetry. Her writing has previously been recognized in the Scholastic Art and Writing Awards, the Foredge Review, and the Apprentice Writer.

Visual Art By Lea Bronniman