The sycamores swaying in reprise, our voices drifting in fracture. This distance is soft with Mama’s breath, as we’d imagined it. Ghosts of a womb tuck the air in guilt, our throats heavy with apology. Tonight, the pale moonbeams will rattle our bodies apart, limbs sighing into the dirt. How do we tell Mama we are sorry if our mouth is knotted? We let the wind set still into our tongues, burn it to ready us for the battlefield. The fires razing our skin, hills drooping in mist. You thumbed the smoke into summer—summer of our frames hunched in shame. Mama folded in sorrow, light against feeble railings, like children trust falling into space. Perhaps we, too, will be forgiven on the field, sky shrouding our faults.
Sophie Zhu is a high school freshman from New York. An Adroit Journal 2020 summer mentee and COUNTERCLOCK Arts Collective 2020 fellow, she is the editor-in-chief of Dishsoap Quarterly. Her work appears or is forthcoming in Half Mystic Journal and Eunoia Review.