A Stellar Flare of Young Adult Writing and Visual Art
BY GABRIELLE GALCHEN
Message to the Status Quo She’s just walking through the street but all she hears is Woman! Woman? Her mind is an oak tree, leaves tickle your upturned nose bark a blanket to smother orders she’ll put herself on fire to burn your reign to ashes but a drought smashes wishes she threw into wells so at age 12 instead of learning what the word feminist means she leaves her temple of books so her family can survive girls are ⅔ of Mother Earth’s illiterates -- woman! She runs everyday; chest shrivels to prunes eyes gleam dark and blue and alive like gas fire; but you think you know her name, her body, better than she does sing to her maggot-praises. One question: Did she ask for your opinion? Because she’s running more than minutes and miles, running away from you and her Papa and her Mama who tell her not to run out at night, there’s a 35% chance she’ll experience sexual violence -- woman! She’s told she must paint her face for artists to buy, sculpt her body like wax until her will’s to match- don’t eat too much but don’t exercise too little or you’ll lose the gifts God bestowed you- Digital fantasies and diets force-feed her a Bible of numbers with Barbie on the cover- her eyes become pathological liars of mythological body types; psychological epidemic, 70 million have eating disorders- -- woman! Her mouth flows with her mind but you tell her silence will form the music to her wedding song, nods grow bouquets of dandelion-smiles; by now her cheeks ache but years course through her like ants and she wants to be loved; your play is her new night-reading; she copies characters and pastes herself in between two pages stuck together; Pinnochio’s cheat, you told her she was only born for a ring, one in five girls under age 18 have already beat her; -- woman! But this is a democracy of red-white-blue hypocrisy- red blood she’s forbidden to speak of white filter she’s supposed to aspire to blue clams trapping her in a quicksand; It wants to swallow her because in this society she’s a citizen of propriety- So she’s just walking through the street but when you rob her privacy it’s because her clothes hugged her like a snail, because Woman! When you interrupt her it’s because her voice isn’t a drum, it’s a violin and it sings so sweet, because Woman! When you treat her body like your puppet it’s because you’re a priest choosing which life is more important, because Woman! When you say being “girly” will win her love it’s because “girly” is an insult you can only whisper, because Woman! Woman? Defining her is your survival. I am sorry I blamed you for preaching that we engraved on her tombstone. So woman- girl, queen- person- please tell me your name, and I will tell you mine.
Don’t See Colors Dear Greenhouse Gas, I thought you saw no colors; you seeped black, brown and white out from every postcard and I gotta tell you: like the perfect storm, you do your job well. You taint the golden state red as enraged candles flare to fire. Eyes spot skin into red lumps to match your foggy green blanket; trapped in the melting trees a little girl in a white shirt stands still, clouded in a smoky halo. When she boils water in her head, she has to rein in her dissipating dreams under your reign you snatch every last droplet and she knows rain will soon be dead, and the ground will drown in its own drought. They say that their Christian angels void you and you’re a Chinese fairytale; you exhale like a dragon and vomit fire because you know that your scales will never sizzle. They swim under this stolen water so that they don’t have to hear coughing that has become the symphony to every neighborhood’s dirge, or smell smoke from miracle metal twisting into your sword. They bar this secret under a factory’s locks so that it escapes them, joins you to entrap them and spit out their delusion that decorating a snowman trims away “global warming” problems. They lick glinting nothings in the ground to fuel their pity-cars over the blaring pop-culture of Sandy’s and Maria’s. They sing out from their window that this isn’t their problem, because even Katy Perry’s song is into weather that is “hot and then cold,” because they’ll die before their cars crash into floods that match their eyes, because on their windshields they draw dust into diaries that tell a reality only their kids will have to read. One day, that little girl with sunken yellow-rimmed eyes leaves her school desk empty. This doesn’t hit them close to home, but she’s not too far away. Droughts mean that now her family needs her help too; two degrees hotter in the past couple centuries and when everyone darker than your sunny accomplice suffers, it’s become obvious that though you don’t see colors it’s ignored that they do, that we do- and Dear Greenhouse Gas, I'm sorry I blamed you for a snake we created because its venom has discriminated, incarcerated, alienated an entire group of people- and it hasn’t abated. we have to change the climate of our earth, our politics, our mentality; only then will we have a worthwhile reality.
An avid writer and activist, Gabrielle enjoys to combine her two passions in order to make whatever small changes she can in her environment.
No Instagram images were found.