A Stellar Flare of Young Adult Writing and Visual Art
BY KATHERINE DU
7.6 pounds, no calculator buttons for teeth,
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.
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,
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
gentle it was, the way your stretching palms
melted in mine.
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.