A Stellar Flare of Young Adult Writing and Visual Art

Joy Lin + Birchleaf Pear




Joy Lin



7.6 pounds, no calculator buttons for teeth,

almond-eyed. Beautiful.


Laolao painted the times tables in her head.

Joy squinted and recited and recited and

five years later: Genius anymore?


Sweat on ivory and fine-grained wood

nobody will see in seven years, when she’s

ended her first decade on the stage

where Carnegie wept

tears many more shades than yellow.


Joy’s never seen a boy who looks like her

in the headlines: part Lin, part insanity.

Mama said They couldn’t chalk it up

any other way.


Bruises sugarcoating nails steal her sleep.

She’s not supposed to talk about them

because that would mean they hurt.

But fingers ache, not fly.


Her teacher called her Soo Min today.

She kept her hair long after that, after Soo

got sick and didn’t have any for herself.

But Joy never forgot how red it was,

how it curled at the tips like fire, like a voice.


Birchleaf Pear


Wisps of cotton smoke tangle the night

cold, like diamonds,

the crinkled skin between your fingers

twitching, a way of defining

you, a way of eclipsing me. Between the

moments creating us

and our infinities, your words sculpt

statues in mine:

serendipity, blackberry, wanderlust

slipping, like ice,

between the time you dripped your fingers

through my hair,

soaking your mind’s strings with my last name,

birchleaf pear,

the time we brought ice cream jars home from

night markets to

nowhere, somewhere dashing dewy crystals off

lids with toothpicks

and forever, and you say It’s want, but not,

because I give you a me

that doesn’t want to be seen, and I say

It doesn’t have to be

between this, or that, or this’s that, because I

remember how

gentle it was, the way your stretching palms

melted in mine.

About the Author

Katherine Du, 16, is a junior at Greenwich Academy who resides in Darien, CT. The Founder and Editor-in-Chief of The Stardust Gazette, Katherine is an avid creative writer and journalist, and she currently works forGreenwich Free Press, Polyphony H.S., and The Darien Times. Her writing has been recognized or published by the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards, Hypertext Magazine, Just Poetry, Eunoia Review, The Prospect, Germ Magazine, and others.

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This entry was posted on March 5, 2016 by in Poetry and tagged , , , , , , , , .
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