A Stellar Flare of Young Adult Writing and Visual Art
BY CAITLIN LEVY
I wasn’t alive for the Columbine shooting but I read about each boy and girl who died.
The thumping hands held low / tables of kisses & jelly had never hid such fear underneath / Pin cherry tree and salt-blood outside / The law had stirred and shaken a melancholy departure / before they knew
love could become orange & marigold sunset soaked from the wound / Yell & yell / & yell / A black hell pop slapping the air / Cupped hands tighter and the quiet tremble faster / and slower / fingers beat as feather and chest / Arms pressed close as duck wings / Tight under stalls / with the fearful curl of the Conch shell / and hearing the pipes swell and rush / Nadine plays dead / The bear has come We’ll make it / Voice newly deep as clear blossoms in the river / tear through the dark / Girls pulled by the legs / breath caught as fish cut for red tongue & suicide beam / Hey, Will is killing us / with the black licorice metal / Kid eat kid world / Footsteps reaching each corner / and blasting sweet body / from limb to limb / Turn yellow corn strand on the scalp ruby and rose / They balance their friend on their shoulders / her feet can’t feel a thing / Dancing when their boy came / twirl & lemon meringue moves Music stops for good / Only the slow hum & chortle of the sad boy held to the gun / Tell them they were more than the bury and chuckle world that is taking them / Mother, mother was going to take them to see cherry pop disco and the creek she saved for them / Water is an apparition / in these affairs / Winds skipping through broke flesh / The kids pour buttermilk on skin to stop sting and peach-pulled bullets The wish to survive like the prayer / of the rough-winged swallow / caught in string & teeth & soil and earth / Blue and gold cannot save them // they are gone // One boy has a hole in his cheek which seeps pink / where the light gets through
Caitlin is a 15 year old attending the High School of American Studies at Lehman College in the Bronx, NY. She is a mentee in the program “Girls Write Now” and loves writing more than most things in the world!