thinking of floating and drowning as i stared at my reflection in a pond By Ottavia Paluch

thinking of floating and drowning as i stared at my reflection in a pond

I want to flip through a Choose-Your-Own-Beginning book,
choose between remembrance and reminiscence. The ending doesn’t matter;

when forgiveness isn’t a neighborhood
it lives in abandoned parks.

I want to walk on its’ sidewalks and
no longer find myself staring at symmetry;

the same moon soaring over
the same bleached sky. Say

I whisper, so as to become a distraction. Say
I take my steps lightly,

past porcelain and sewer cracks. Then,
treading harsh waters to remain afloat,

practicing how to point at a specific white light,
because others may only see my finger. Because

I don’t care about how much light is in a light-year—I care
about how much darkness will live on

after my heart’s last beat.

By Ottavia Paluch

Biography:

Ottavia Paluch is a 14 year old high school student from Mississauga, Ontario, Canada. She enjoys watching hockey, scrolling through Twitter, and trying to look intellectual by listening to Radiohead, U2 and other lovely alternative rock bands. Her work is published in Gigantic Sequins, Alexandria Quarterly, The Daphne Review, Body Without Organs, in Navigating The Maze’s 2018 anthology, and forthcoming in Bitter Melon.

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