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For Arden


One day your body will forgive you. The lines on your fingernails will smooth into glossy opals. Your birthstone. You can stand up without being blinded by the white inside your eyes because hunger is no longer glamorous. Your mother is too tired to scream, her voice drained of fire. Like how a honeybee

forgets its rage at the world

once it penetrates flesh, loses its stinger. How it spends the rest of its life

in flowers. In bloom.

How we eat honey on toast.

You will wake up after your brother who gave you a second chance. Your day pushed forward. The night is long and lonely. You read with a flashlight because your lamp droops over the words, turns the pages black. Blank. You paint with watercolors on your bedroom floor, lavender droplets seep into the wood & grow roots. You wish that color did not disappear in the darkness. The gold paper stars that hang from your ceiling are tangled together and worn on the edges but they remind you how close the sky is to falling.

Arden Yum is a high school senior living in New York City. She has been recognized by Scholastic Art and Writing and YoungArts, and her writing has appeared in Polyphony Lit and The Apprentice Writer, among others.

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