Black And Blue

He lies warm and solid
at my side. His knee resting on my
thigh, pointing to our 3×3 view
of night sky.

The wind screams—it howls
in the darkness it moans
in the hall it pulls
my dreams to pieces—and rips them
down their seams.

Man knows best and says
it’s just this pressure,
the currents of the night

But I, born the weaker creature,
hear the spirits sing to me
and no longer fight.

So many times I’ve wandered
aimlessly, always upwards
from a deep bruised crater,
trying to pinpoint

the difference between
what it means to be
hallowed or hollowed.

*********

Back then their sheets were black—
too easily stained
by their three babies’ bloody noses
or even that blue beanie baby
that seemed to rub off on everything.

We’d wedge ourselves in
limbs over limbs
tan, like my brother said,
from that day’s wandering.

Mountains of down! Valleys of cotton!

Now I’m old enough to read
the elevation, to know what it means:

it’s never nice on the middle man
to feel their bed’s sides
slope outwards
not in.

But even after their sheets
turned white, as we learned—
slowly, my sister first, then me, my brother—
to sleep a full night

they must have felt nature’s trembling tinkerings

that time
I slipped in
unnoticed from the bottom
of the bed, my body larger but
tinier too,
my father mistook my thigh
for my mother’s.

Sometimes,
mostly in morning,
I long to be the source
of my own phone’s ring
and to once again, be woken
happily, woken willingly.

*********

Sometimes, it switches suddenly,
like that time after dinner when
I wanted my asexual friend
to think,
just think about touching.

No red currents
just a hint of pink, a rosy jellyfish,
floating on his miles and miles of tepid blue.

If unmarried by 28, 38, 58,
we’d buy an apartment and maybe
something in the woods
where we’d sit

after the long drive up
and drink together.

It doesn’t need to be love,
my mother said,
just something forever.

We’d head down after the weekend ends.
A mixtape in and a forever mixing while
our dog barks in the backseat.

We’d make a quiet mess mixing
our colors: a purple
not of passion but of pain.

Miya Lee, Age 16, Grade 11, Saint Ann’s School, Silver Key

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