We Sit Close by Shreya Ganguly

A cup of yellow drops,
a faint breeze cripples over.

Our arms extended,
a soft song lingers within us through starlight’s specks.
What striking pathways stand before us.
A soft speck of moonlight gleams across my eyes.

Oh, the waves dance, sobbing
and the winds scurry about us.

My dear, a maiden’s flurries fall on me
beneath the night’s fairies.

And a fading essence drops
its scent to earth’s strength.
Lo, the sky is dressed in a veil of cobalt blue
Are the droplets coming near you?
They are near me.
We shall rejoice now, I ween.
Let us cross lands seen.
For us, our hands lay close.

We sit close in our night.
We sit close.
Binding us to earth,
let us not part.


Shreya Ganguly is a fiction writer and poet, and a current junior at Wayne Hills High School where she works on the editorial staff of the school’s literary magazine, Lantern. She loves exploring the fluid spaces of the human experience, often weaving nature and history within words and stories. Her work has previously been published or recognized by the Scholastic Art and Writing Awards, Teen Ink, Short Fiction Break, among others. When she is not writing, she can be found reading or conversing with trees.


Visual art by Serena Wang

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Never Stop Moving by Maddie Thompson

If a whale shark stops swimming, it dies. Because of their lack of buccal muscles, the creatures rely on obligate ram ventilation, which means that oxygen enters their bodies through their mouths, which then filters to their gills. To get this oxygen in their mouths they have to keep them open, which requires constant movement to keep a consistent supply of new air in their bodies. The more they move, the longer they survive. 


I’ve been moving since I can remember. A hurricane baby is what they call kids like me. Instead of being born where I was supposed to, a storm named Katrina came in and pushed me out of what was going to be home. So, while my mother had a C-Section in Yakima, Washington, her heart was left in New Orleans, in a condo under ten feet of hurricane surge. Spray painted X on the door, where no bodies were found and a crib had floated to the den.

In the aftermath of the storm, my family did not move back to New Orleans right away. Instead, my mother and her two-week-old child migrated. Apparently I was silent until we landed, but when we arrived in Oklahoma City I greeted the world with fists raised and screams in my throat. We met up with my father in college housing left for evacuees.

I said my first words in that housing. My first giggle erupted from the back of my throat while sitting courtside at an NBA game. I took my first steps on my first birthday, running toward my Dad in the waddling way all babies first walk. According to my mom, I never crawled. I decided to walk one day, and the new form of movement made itself known from then on.

A year later we moved back home, our real home. New Orleans wasn’t much different.  I had been there once before, baptized in a funeral home because it was the only place available, but that was a business trip more than anything else. The same people habited the French Quarter, the same candied pralines and beignets were in supply and the same foul jokes were made. I spent my first Mardi Gras collapsed in a stroller, an empty beer clutched to my chest like a teddy bear. Dog whistle was what they called me later. Mouth always open, always screaming these high pitched warbles that made dogs turn their heads and old women in grocery stores grimace.


The average Whale Shark travels 5,000 miles a year, from Australia to South Africa to the coast of Mexico. They move mainly to replenish their food sources. If they swam around in circles, new food would never have the chance to emerge, so to make up for the 10,000 gallons of water they consume daily, whale sharks make the trek across the shallow end of the Atlantic every year. 


I was two when we moved again. Instead of 5,000 miles, I only went 713 to Charlotte, North Carolina. First an apartment, then a condo. I went to preschool and read for the first time. 

At three years old we moved into a house. I got kicked out of preschool, learned the tooth fairy wasn’t real and organized a protest against nap time. I bit and kicked and yelled and cried and suddenly dog whistle was not just a funny nickname but a cruel joke. Sound like a dog, act like one, I guess. “Constantly moving” is how a teacher described me. “Too much to handle,” said another.

I stayed in the house and waited for kindergarten to start. When that tried my patience, I went outside and threw some sticks at some trees, but no matter how much I moved I still felt stuck. It was suffocating, and the air leaked from my lungs the longer I was idle. Kindergarten arrived soon enough.

It was the third day of school when I landed in the principal’s office. In an unfortunate miscommunication on game rules, I tried to stab one of my playmates with a stick. He screamed, and I was quickly shoved into the principal’s office to await my punishment. I bounced my leg and bit my fingernails down into tiny stubs of cartilage. When I ended up being brought in and lectured in the principal’s office, my hands tapped on the desk while it was explained to me that I can’t go around hitting other kids when things don’t go my way. Principal Gizzaro’s hands remained still and clasped the whole meeting. I felt bad for her, her stillness. I told her that, but she didn’t understand what I meant. “Just apologize, Madeleine,” she finally said, sighing, which was the biggest expense of energy I’d seen from her yet. 

Two weeks later, I made the journey to the principal’s office again, a trans-school hike, spanning from the vibrant yellow of the kindergarten and first grade wing to the dull gray concrete walls of the administration office. This time, my mom sat in the room with me while the principal explained the multitude of ways I never stop moving. I didn’t particularly pay attention to the conversation. I just nodded my head when the adults’ eyes made their way to me, but neither seemed to notice my lack of attention. During the meeting I decided to try and hold my breath for as long as I could, pretending I was swimming underwater, schools of fish trailing beside me. This only stopped when my vision started to spin from lack of oxygen, and for a brief second, it was like I could feel waves crash above me. I took a breath.

In first grade I discovered that when my mouth moves, I feel like my brain moves too. I would yell about the weather and shark facts and Harry Potter and my mom’s cookies. Recess was no longer a physical battlefield to me, but a verbal one, where I was armed with a barrage of fun facts and stories to use. This development eventually proved to be a problem when my teacher had to continually tell me to stop talking. When I finally got the message, I began to hum instead. When she said to stop that, I tapped my fingers on the desk until I was sent into the hallway. I wanted to tell her that I couldn’t help it. Without movement, I suffocate on my own air, feel waves crash above my head.


Whale sharks are slow creatures. Despite their great travels, they only move up to 3 miles per hour. If you were to put the average speed of a great white shark (5 mph) up against the whale shark, the great white would have more than doubled the distance of the whale shark in an hour. Because they’re slow, whale sharks, when maturing, fall victim to other, faster fish, like the blue shark, known for its haste and ability to stay still and camouflaged for long periods of time. They prove to be some of the greatest dangers young whale sharks face in their life.


I’m told from second andto third grade were quiet years. The phrases “aA pleasure to have in class” and “kKeeps to herself” made frequent appearances on my report cards. My teachers were happier with this development, as were my parents, so instead of my tapping and humming and talking like before, I quietly bounced my leg up and down, not drawing attention, just attempting to float through the rest of my schooling. I discovered that the sound of a pen against paper was similar to the click of a keyboard, and when my hand moved, writing out stories in sprawling handwriting, air came a bit easier to my lungs. With this, my camoflauge seceded and my movement resumed.

 Writing happened to be the only thing that kept me moving, and that came to a skidding halt the first day of fourth grade when my teacher did not find my constant scrawling to be productive. She decided that my stories were deterring me from my schoolwork and confiscated pencils until I needed them for math homework. Stripped from my newest resource and desperate to be moving once again, I began tapping my piano homework onto the glue-stained desk in front of me. Melodies of Mozart and Beethoven playing across social studies classes and quiet time. My teacher, once again, did not find this as amusing as I did, and would glare at me from across the room or yell my name at me until I stopped. For the first time, my grades were not just a row of A’s and 100’s, and there was no clap on the back for the extra effort put in to fix it. There was no movement. I was suffocating once again, sitting like prey to be taken advantage of. Weak and defenseless to the other fast moving animals in my environment as waves crested above.


When threatened, whale sharks have one defense to fall back on, their three thousand one-inch teeth. Typically reserved for eating small shrimp and plankton, the teeth are not useful in violent situations, but there has been evidence of whale sharks attempting to use their teeth when threatened. 


In the fourth grade I bit a girl named Sophie. She was tall and scary and loomed over me. She had nails sharpened like claws and always managed to escape the eyes of teachers when she used them. A master of camouflage. It was on the playground where I attacked her. She pushed me off the swings and, cornered by her against the black iron fence. I couldn’t breathe. Sobbing and shaking, every bit of oxygen seemed to escape the air around me before I could take any of it in. I desperately gasped for breath as she laughed at me, my back stuck against the fence and feet firmly planted on the ground. She reached out her hand toward me. I bit her. 


Whale sharks are remarkably peaceful creatures. They travel in diverse groups of fish, develop relationships and only eat what wanders into their mouths. Despite not traveling in groups with each other, they find community within other species and benefit from one another. It takes a very specific creature to travel with whale sharks though. They have to be willing to put up with traveling five thousand miles in three years, dealing with the whale sharks size and power as it maneuvers through the sea, but most of all, they have to be able to move alongside the gentle giant. 


I still have trouble breathing sometimes. My chest gets tight and my head begins to float as I feel stuck underneath the break of a wave, trapped between thick white bubbles fuzzing up the water. I tap imaginary piano notes onto my thigh when nervous, bounce my leg and run my hands through my hair. When I’m not doing that, I’m talking. To myself, to my friends, to the air, whoever will listen. And when I can’t do either, I begin to asphyxiate. As long as my heart is beating and my brain is running, you can count on me to be in motion. That motion is not always consistent. Some days I move like an Olympic athlete, on others I keep a nice slow pace. The difference in speed depends on my company. In a room full of unfamiliar faces, I ricochet off the walls, hands tapping endlessly as I look to find something to replenish my air. But when my mom holds me as we watch TV, or I go on a walk with some friends, taking in the crisp autumn breeze, I move slower than ever.


Whale sharks can slow themselves down to half a mile an hour and still survive just fine. Oxygen flows into their gills and filters itself at a healthy rate, and they are well. The main occasion they do this however, is around their community. When their companions are with them, swimming right alongside, they slow down, moving at a comfortable pace for everyone. Marine biologists have reported this as a sign of love in whale sharks, moving at a speed which best suits the ones around them, a compromise. The company could move on and survive without the whale shark, and the whale shark can do well without them, but they make the choice to stay together, working at the same speed.


I know I’m in love with someone when I slow down around them, and they slow down for me. I know I love someone when my hands shake and they understand and hold them anyway, and when my brain moves quicker than a bullet, they try to follow it. My love is a live, breathing thing. Composed of the constant ups and downs of a chest, containing the lungs, the heart, ever moving. Love for me is not absence of motion, it’s who I am.


Maddie Thompson is a 17 year old writer currently attending the South Carolina Governor’s School for the Arts and Humanities for creative writing. She enjoys writing comedy pieces, poetry, and personal essays, many of which are about media she enjoys like comic books and rock music. Her favorite things to do are play guitar and watch movies, specifically heist movies.

Visual Art by Carina Wang

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A Nobody by Gia George

I was eleven years old on my first ballet lesson. I can still remember pressing my nose to the cool glass of the car window, waiting for the imposing white structure of the academy to glide into view. My mother was prattling on at the wheel, telling me about how she used to just love ballet, how it would make me graceful, how someday I’d become a celebrated dancer and perform on majestic stages in glamourous cities before spellbound crowds. I’d stopped listening for a long time, but she didn’t seem to mind. I just leaned my head against the window and let her lilting, fervent tones carry me away. At my young age, I couldn’t put my finger on what it was that rankled me about my mother’s chatter. It wasn’t that I was nervous, really, or reluctant to go. It was only until many years passed that I realised. It was that everything my mother had said, the way she’d said it, reeked of self-regard. Selfishness. She didn’t want me to go to ballet because it would be a fun extracurricular, or because she wanted me to learn a skill. She wanted to vicariously experience it all for herself.

The thing was, I’d never been a child who did or was anything. While other children screeched and tore around the house, I pottered about alone in the garden, seemingly at one with the silence, apparently completely content. While the girls in my class joined ice-skating or gymnastics teams, or learnt to sew from their grandmother, or played wild games of Tag in the playground, I stayed as silent and meek as ever. The only times I opened my mouth was if I ever needed anything, and I rarely ever did.

It unnerved my mother. She had grown up sprightly and healthy and completely happy, and it worried her to see the seeming lack of spirit in me. The lack of anything in me. I was an average student at best, prone to fits of daydreams. I had friends at school (who were really only loose acquaintances) but only because I was content to do anything they asked of me. Worst of all, I was terrible at every single hobby she tried to push me into- first it was the piano, then horse-riding, piano again, then acting, of all things, (that was an indubitable fiasco). After each attempt failed, after hundreds of pounds spent for months on another activity I showed no signs of interest or improvement in, my mother’s face would pinch like a clenched fist whenever she looked at me. She would almost snap on the rare occasions I asked her anything. Sensing danger, I would withdraw even further into my little world.

Now, sometimes I find it hard to fault my mother. She expected mothering a daughter to be tying ponytails, and trying dresses, the euphoria of childish hugs, and the responsibility of wiping away precocious tears. What she got shocked her, I think. It certainly removed the rose-coloured glasses from her eyes. She wanted to look at my youthful face, and see a promising child, a child who’d go on to make her proud. A future architect, teacher, leader, lawyer, mother. Instead, what she got was a child she could understand no more than if I’d been on the moon. And when you feel such a deep, all- consuming dissatisfaction with your child, they will know, inevitably. Subconsciously, I think I always feared my mother’s disapproval. And so I withdrew.

I understand that she felt that I was inadequate, mediocre, and my mediocrity made her inadequate. As a mother, as a thirty-seven-year-old whose achievements were now over and irrelevant. In fact, I sometimes think that she’d rather I were stupid, or arrogant, or a plainly unpleasant spoiled brat. Anything other than the way I just existed. At least she’d have something to show. Now her child was who people saw when they saw her. I was a representative of her, an ambassador, without even realising it. And I clearly wasn’t meeting the mark. That was what led to the ballet. My mother still had some lingering hope left for me, and so she rambled on at the wheel. 

Although I was vaguely aware of my mother’s frustrations, the full situation was far too nuanced for my mind to grasp until years later. My annoyance didn’t last long, and there was no resentment in my heart as we walked to the academy after parking the car. And my memories of that first ballet lesson are certainly not unpleasant. I remember a tall, angular woman with impeccably smooth skin and a very pink, lipsticked mouth meeting us at the door. She wore a black leotard with dance tights and greeted my mother with a bony hand and me with a cool smile. I felt very small under her gaze, unconsciously straightening my posture. Her eyes pierced like needles as she looked at me from that great height, as though she was sizing me up, assessing my value. She introduced herself as Madame Martin, leading dance instructor at the academy. With the natural instinct of a child, I knew from a glance that this wasn’t a woman to be messed with.

Madame Martin led me through a narrow corridor, and then opened a door and prodded me to enter. The intense white light dazzled my eyes as I stepped in. Blinking rapidly, the room swam into my vision, and I was stunned by the display that I saw. 

Tall, willowy, swans of girls in fluffy tutus were swooping across the wide practice floor, pirouetting, spinning, leaping. It made me dizzy to watch. Their feet flew with easy elegance, their hands floated with a gentle grace, all in perfect harmony with each other. If they were tiring, you would never have been able to guess it by their radiant smiles and starry eyes. With each step, their tightly laced ballet shoes pounded the floor in perfect unison, creating a perfect beat of their own over the fluting violin piece. Those that were not dancing were stretching their slender legs over their heads in front of the long mirror. I could see the supple muscle rippling like water under the skin. The whole room was a lively flutter of femininity, all soft skin and sweet smells and hairspray. Through my transfixed eyes, everything shone with a pure glow that seemed natural and right. Like dewdrops shining in morning sunlight.

Looking back on this memory, preserved perfectly and dreamily in the front of my mind, I think I had had an epiphany of some sort. For the first time in my eleven years of life, I wanted to be someone. With all the strength in my little heart and from the marrow of my bones. And for the first time, at eleven years old, I realised just how small, how insignificant, how utterly unsatisfactory I was.

I felt like my heart would stop beating when I thought about learning in front of them. I’d stumble about like a fool. Would they all glare at me, at this odd, small child who dared join their ranks? Would they laugh, looking down from the lofty heights of superiority? 

The feeling didn’t last long. After letting me watch for a minute or so, Madame Martin pulled me out of the room. She must have read the expression on my face and guessed at my thoughts. In a surprisingly gentle tone, she explained that I would be in the beginner’s class, that those girls were training to be professionals. “If you work hard and practise,” she told me gravely, “you might make it too.”

And I did. My whole life now revolved around the dance. Even throughout the week, ballet was constantly at the back of my mind- at school, I would absently dance the steps in my head, try to recall the technique. Madame Martin’s words echoed in my mind. “If I work hard…”

Every morning and every night, I would do my stretches in my room, feeling fierce satisfaction as I steadily got more flexible. Whenever Monday drew nearer, it would become almost obsessive. I threw myself into all the classes with a passion. With every mistake, every slip-up, my legs would turn to water, my throat constricting. I’d flash a guilty look at Madame Martin, searching her eyes for disappointment. But all the errors did was make me more determined. I shone amidst the other girls- and I knew it. Before long, I could dance any piece flawlessly without any hesitation. I moved up two grades in what seemed like no time at all. Sometimes, I’d look up and see a fleeting glimmer of pride in Madame Martin’s usually cold eyes. Inwardly, a shiver of glee would run up my spine.

My zeal was not for the girls at school, or Madame Martin, or even my mother (who was, of course, delighted beyond words). It was for me. I could never go back to being who I was. I was on a journey now, a journey that I was determined would end in the room with those beautiful dancing girls I’d seen my very first lesson. A journey from Nobody to Somebody. I was certain of one thing- I would never let myself be Nobody again.

Gia George is a 14 year old writer from Chelmsford, England. She’s been writing ever since she can remember. If you’re reading this, she’s probably at school, doing homework, writing, or reading.

Artwork by Anastasia James

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Haibun for Girlhood by Katie Tian

under a city’s blue-air canopy, murky whistles can still fit themselves between disquiet & dissonance, sirens strumming alive & all the cicadas slow-singing. on nights like these we trace shadows on the sidewalk, eyes open wide for those who still scatter soot along our collarbones & call it conquest. call it glory. call it myth.


& they will syphon the salt from our bloodstreams, leave imprints of black oil on our skin, calcify us in carbon for timeless preservation. we will not know the shapes of bruises until they show themselves under streetlights, until we learn to cough & come up empty.


so i reimagine myself laid clean & bare in a field, open mouth hooked on bouquets of lilies. a phoenix rekindled in ash, stripping itself of tarred plumage. i wake instead on the living room floor of a beer-bottled apartment, mouth slick with the gloss of a red rose, & dance until the moon cleaves in perfect halves.


on cloudless nights we gather beneath the cliffside, scatter the pleas of our dresses across sandy dunes, tide reeling into the shore. watch how we catch prayers fallen from faceless mouths, unclasp forgotten elegies from our throats. how we realize how small we are in contrast.


today the streetlights dim themselves one-by-one as we take the long way home. i bite the inside of my cheek, blood welling under my tongue, the music in my earphones not loud enough for me to unhear the city. a plea falls astray between the asphalt’s cracks: let us relearn the shapes of ourselves, recapture names on our own tongues.

Katie Tian is a sixteen-year-old Chinese-American writer from New York. Her work is published in Frontier Poetry, Polyphony Lit, Rising Phoenix Review, and Kissing Dynamite, among others. She has been recognized for her writing by Hollins University, Smith College, the Adelphi Quill Awards, and the Alliance for Young Artists & Writers. Apart from writing, she enjoys collecting stuffed animals and consuming obscene amounts of peanut butter straight from the jar.

Artwork by Saki Onoe

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Scenery by Blanka Pillár

I forgive him for the little lies. The little fibs that slip away and the broken promises that go unkept. He always tells the same lies, and sometimes I believe him, because the story paints itself like a vivid oil portrait; first the figures are painted, then the background, then the corners, edges, contours, and finally it becomes as if it were a real scene on the canvas of life, but only the immensity of human imagination has made believable what could never be real. It tells me what I most desire, and so I reach for it with all my heart, stretching out the arms of my soul to preserve all that its lips say, and to hold it within me for eternity. I love him with all my heart, but when my reality is keen-eyed, it sometimes smells like the scratch of jagged-edged infidelities in the dawning dawn or the wistful night. The cold realisation slips into bed beside me, or touches me as I walk.

Today we take it into our heads to walk around the riverbank. We get caught in the cool January breeze and he starts coughing. I take off my thin pink cotton scarf and wrap it around his neck with careful movements. He gives me a weak half smile and walks on. My chest gets hot, even though my whole body is shivering from the winter’s minus temperatures. Sometimes we stop. We look at the broken-legged seagulls on the slippery waterfront stones, the sloppy sidewalk ahead, the footprints of giddy pedestrians. As we spy one of the old buildings covered in melted snow, he rubs his hand. His fingertips are almost purple, so I tug off my black fabric gloves and slip them on his frosty palms. He thanks me quietly. His silent words creep into my consciousness like angelically soft notes, wrapping my trembling body in a gentle embrace.

Barely perceptible, the milky-white sky opens and it begins to drizzle, but we are unperturbed. We sit down on a stinging bench and stare silently at the glistening toes of our wet boots as they tread the snowy ground before us. Somewhere in the distance, expensive hand-painted china plates clink, light pages of newspapers crinkle in the city breeze, the iron bells of a dilapidated church jingle, a delicious golden-skinned duck roast in a warm oven is being prepared. I feel him move beside me, and I put my head down. He sways back and forth with folded arms, while tiny particles of dripping snow fall on his knitted flame-red angora sweater. I slip my thin arms out of my expensive loden-lined coat and place them on his back. He looks me in the eye. At the sight of his delicately delineated perfect face, my tongue curls and confesses. It humbly confesses the truth it has admitted so many times before, and hopes. It hopes that for once its love’s answer will not be a lie. But once again he replies, I love you too. I-love-you. He utters each elaborate detail of the gracious lie in a wordy way. The first syllable is trust, the second is passion, and the third is loyalty. He feels none of these, yet he testifies to them. He savours the shape of the voice. First bitter, then sour, then finally swallowed. After all, it’s only one word. But for me, it’s so much more: I put myself in his hands.

Maybe that’s not how it all happened. I’ve been sick for a while now; my lungs are weak from the January freeze. Every time I close my eyes, I try to remember our last story. Embellish it, add to it, rearrange it, change it. Maybe one day I’ll grind it to perfection and that word won’t ring so false. Or the memory will turn yellow, like old letterhead, and no longer matter. Or maybe ‘‘I love you’’ will become just another fluffy word to be whispered in the harsh winter, bored, picked up by the wind, carried far away, across the world, to where it means nothing. Far from the eager, greedy arms of my soul.

Blanka Pillár is a young, emerging writer from Budapest, Hungary. She has a never-ending love for creating and an ever-lasting passion for learning. She has won several national competitions and is also a columnist for her high school’s prestigious newspaper. 

Artwork by Devika Aggarwal

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This Isn’t Worth The Ink

This isn’t a poem. I’ve never written a poem before. You’re crazy.
This is a duck, a mallard man with a beetle for a head. You’re holding him, this
Fowl fellow with a yellow beak, as one might hold a hoagie, ready to bite, and
You complain about his lyricism? You’re crazy. Your brain is on strike, protesting
Working conditions, a little tiny thousand-neuron black lung march
With little tiny thousand-neuron National Guardsmen on their way to break it up.
The tiny working man has thrown off his tiny chains and extended his tiny
Still-raw hands in tiny kindness, and you critique his verse? You’re crazy.
Your stomach’s in your fingers and that is why you’re holding this avian American,
Thumbs salivating, because through feral eyes this is all just
A hoagie with mayo and mustard.


William Bittner is a high school junior from Birmingham, Alabama. He enjoys writing absurdist and natural poetry, essays, and short stories. He has received several awards from the Alabama Writers’ Forum.


Visual art by Catarina Rudge

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this is summer

the lady has the rugged streets of my mother’s
          hometown and my hometown carved
in her skin. arteries drawn across generations
          and people spilling like seas. imprint
the curve of my shoulder to theirs. mouths match
          rhythms of inheritance. glow like
manmade moonlight. thick oil slick against
          the ridges of my patchwork tongue.
we eat bingsu and i taste shavings of the city
          and sand slipping through my shoelaces.
we bury ourselves at haeundae fossilized into
          scratch marks. my father prays
hamburgers from the grill burnt just right
          with redwhiteandblue.
we plant flags in our backyard and they
          whisper to the wind words of
belonging. firework shadows curling
          behind us. pulsing sea pulsing salt
in my neck in my crumbling wrists. paper
          wrapping my bones. humidity
like my first skin. fingers linked we sink
          together into grass we grew. we let
ice cream carve seasons into our throats.
          tattoo the sun into my inner thighs.
every year i shed on the last day of may.
          my cousin trips on the sidewalk
buried in my pores in the grooves of my
          orchid veins i follow. we do not
hold hands. this is summer to me. this
          is summer. this is my egg yolk
sun. this is my peeling white paint. this is
          my dear halmeoni and grandpa.
this is my two-faced heart. this is summer. what is


bingsu (Korean) – shaved ice
haeundae (Korean) – a beach in the Haeundae district of Busan, South Korea
halmeoni (Korean) – grandma


Jeannie Kim is a high school junior from Chicago with a love for poetry, reading, and playing the flute. She is a Scholastic Art & Writing Awards gold medalist, and her writing has also been recognized by the Genius Olympiad and the It’s All Write Teen Writing Contest. In her free time, she is usually editing submissions as an editor for Polyphony Lit or listening to music.

Art by Saki


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