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The Earth as Clay


Her lungs are mine. Aching. We

breathe in. Out. The same air. Speak

with one mouth, lips parted, touch.

Look upon my Creation. Silkworms nesting

in the mulberry leaves. The murmur and

rustle of her hand across the treetops. Dew,

coalescing like jewelry onto her fingertips.

But then they grew bored of it.

Made pyres from her bark and

took turns throwing each other in.

The Trojans, disguised with her cloak.

Crusaders slaughtering under my name.

Didn’t think the smoke would hang so

thickly in the air, for so long.

We hold our breath.

So maybe we’ll remake it, reshape

the mountains like soft clay, unfurl

the hunchback willows into something

beautiful again, run our fingers through

the gnarled roots, cover over all the

blisters and scars. And maybe we’ll wait

nine months and rebirth them too.

Kyle Tianshi is a seventeen-year-old student from San Diego, California. He wrote his first book at seven and has since self-published five novels. He directed a documentary, Rinna, about a Ukranian immigrant classical pianist, and composed the soundtrack for his film using excerpts from classical Russian music. Kyle has a minor planet named after him by the MIT Lincoln Laboratory for his research on detecting microplastics in water. In his free time, Kyle enjoys learning Latin, reading Christopher Nolan screenplays, watching baby Pekingese videos, and cooking good food.

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