5 signs of a country run to the ground
echo echo echoing in her head: go back
to where you came from, leave this country that
you call home, we don’t want you here. fall fall
falling in her mind: words greedily slice off her
silver lining, the dark hatred boiling in the depths
of eyes blue like her bruises. fear fear fearing for
her life, a crashing wave pulling her under.
a hijab wrapped around her head. a hijab wrapped
around her head. a hijab packing away her thoughts
stories pain anger fight fear breaking heart. a hijab
a magnet a beacon for jeers screaming the south.
chanting allah on cracked tongues, she raises to the
heavens to answer her call. roses tangle up with
牡丹花; missiles shoot eclipses in place of the moon.
she wonders if the poison in her veins will ever
subside. she learned about arteries in biology, how plaque
can latch onto the walls of her vessels, clogging them
up like trying to stop rain from falling. there’s no way
to empty her veins, now that the clock ceased its ticking
& her fragile hands are scrambling to live. so she waits,
whispering wishes of an antidote to silent waters.
maybe she wasn’t meant to be this way, spending her
summer staring at the sky. her parents tell her she’s a
surplus, she’s got excess, she’s more. so she tries to
cookie cut herself into edges burned in rigid metal. she tries
to submerge herself in rivers that scratch away its rounded
curves & bends. yet all she receives are wounds that
sting of biting loneliness & choking lungs.
her eyes are painted yin-yang, too large for a face
held up by wire frames. cracks split her skin like
screaming cities & deserts in drought. she is gaping
like a fish, parched tongue begging for relief. the skies
burn orange & gold, setting her mouth on fire.
throat burning, she waits for the rain to fall.
By Emmy Song
Emmy Song is a sophomore at Montgomery Blair High School in Silver Spring, MD. Her work has been published and recognized by the National Poetry Quarterly, Moledro Magazine, and more. In her free time, she enjoys taking long walks in her neighborhood and solving math problems.