Prism By Sarah Wang

Prism

Every day Ying awakened
in the commune and rearranged
her limbs to thrust them into planting
soy and burying

gravity.
Every day in dusk-lit fields
she stowed away
corn husks and embroidered poetry

onto their dried backs with prickled fingers.
She linked her body to a peach,
one whose flesh would soon be poached,
dissolved, or swallowed

until nothing remained
but a hollow pit. By the
riverbed’s reflections she danced
around the idea of her life

as a prism. She wondered
if she could ever harvest
sunlight and disperse
spectrums to remind China

of its promises, or if this was the land
where red was the spectrum — the land
where sunlight was only harvested
to ripen the food Mao

would chew and spit as his people, Ying,
starved. The riverbed here reminded
her of the one that split Bengbu,
the times when she could stay afloat

with the raise of a stomach. But now
she could only remember the small
boy who dived in yet returned
blue-lipped and still.

Was he in heaven now? Or was
heaven just another
promise left
unkept.

By Sarah Wang

Biography:

Sarah Wang is a Chinese-American high school senior living in New York. Her writing has been recognized on the regional and national level by Scholastic Art & Writing Awards, and she has attended workshops by The Kenyon Review and The Winter Tangerine. She serves as editor of her school’s newspaper and literary magazine. When she is not writing, she enjoys finding new music and going on food adventures.

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