WRITTEN BY ARDEN YUM
Sticky sweet summer dripping from our lips stained blue from popsicles. Our days dictated by the recording of a bugle through the loud speaker. We march across the grass, shivering before our toes even touch the green lake. A whistle. I dive in, head-first. The water is thick like jelly. My feet flail against the slimy
ground. I scream. Under the dock there are leeches. Backstroke, eyes up. The sky is so close to my face I can feel the clouds tickle my nose bridge. I try to remember how to breathe but lakewater fills my mouth and I drink. A girl offers me her hand and we both pull. Tug-a-war of flesh. Can she see that the sun made me yellow? I’ve seen her freckled face before, squealing in front of the mirror because her eyes shrink when she smiles and it makes her look so Asian. She spits out the word like a cockroach nested in her throat. Her sunburnt arms wrap
a beach towel around my shoulders and both of us pretend to forget. I dig out the grains of sand from underneath my fingernails until they are almost white.
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.