The day the sun vanished
my sisters and I spin
dreams of willowy gold as ruby
rain raps on our windows and doors.
outside, streams of dust glint
where sparkling tides once crashed.
my eldest sister’s trembling hands clasp mine.
together, we mourn silver rivers
of vapor, mourn the constellations that
stretched across purple mountains,
mourn the flickering winds of sticky summers past.
my legs are numb,
huddled against these wooden floorboards, as
the sky whistles a baleful warning.
I squeeze my eyes shut, listen intently to the
final breaths of a jaded planet,
hoping I’ll snag the secret to saving the world
on a stray breeze.
our ancestors told us: pray
to the stars that the violet dust never
settles, pray that this rotted
apricot never bares its foul
insides to the universe.
but they bled the planet dry.
peeled away its flesh,
plucked its jewels to adorn their foreheads,
let its emerald glaciers drain
down their fingers and thighs.
so as crackling comet storms tear
at our cloud belt, my sisters and I rummage
through centuries of bellicose madness, and
curse the fools who sowed
poison into sinless soil.
By Nikita Bhardwaj
Nikita Bhardwaj is a high school junior in Princeton, New Jersey. Her work has been recognized by the Scholastic Art and Writing Awards and has been published in TeenInk magazine. When she’s not editing or telling herself to write, you can find her sleeping, studying for a chem test, or watching the Great British Baking Show. Check out her start-up journal at theaurorareview.org!