to the ten-year-old teddy bear living rent-free in my bedroom,
you’ve made a home in the space behind
my vinyl headboard, loose limbs fitted
against its quiet curvature. your jaundiced fur
thinning around the belly, a memento
of the hurricanes, late nights grasping
for comfort. look how simply
you were made, age tugging a current
against ivory stitches. we were sisters
once, mapping red skies & playing
hide-and-seek in the expanding space
of my bedroom. we were young,
sheltered, doe-eyed innocent: unprepared
for the unending night, for plucking
shrapnel shards from our tired bodies.
now your fur has thickened from years
of disuse & i have stories to tell
you of five cities melding into one. sing me
your elegy tonight—we were only kids
searching for home—the cicadas’ evening song
smothers you. the half-written elegy bleeds,
asphyxiates, on the jeweled rust in your larynx.
i’ve never been good at goodbyes so
i’ll ask you to whittle yours into vinyl
for—when the sky blisters,
then quits—i will syncopate your once-steady
heartbeat to mine. i can no longer fit
my hands around a city’s throat and give
it my back, so i’ll leave a shrine
of honeyed memories & sell you like
a fossil to the highest bidder
for every dollar or two of your worth.
look how simply we forget.
By Katie Tian
Katie Tian is a 15-year-old writer from New York. She is a Scholastic National Medalist, and her work has been published in Blue Marble Review, The Incandescent Review, and elsewhere. She likes clever metaphors, oatmeal raisin cookies, and sharing her poetry with the world.