I’m stuck. I stutter like the jerk
at the beginning of sleep. an accent
into standing just above the ledge.
I stand there for weeks
time circles like the glinting
copper penny I donate at the zoo.
Lions don’t roar half as much
as they sleep but it’s what they’re known for
We’re a group of musicians crying
At Pizza Hut on a bright gray
Saturday afternoon. Each of us vibrating
with how beautiful sometimes things can be,
How there is at one point four hooves
in the air when a horse gallops.
how you see it only sometimes.
when the camera shutters,
how there is silence before
notes. call it music. we play with time and
do so now, each of us crescendos
into sentences what we mean to say
what we have meant to say:
i have seen the picture.
in the shower I paint a smiley face
with excess shampoo and I remember wondering
why it was so wrong to be naked when my roommate walked
in and I ran behind the door and said IN HERE. I remember
saying in here less often than I would like,
At the open mic I tried not to cry and then I wished I could;
Bella read a poem about a woman with each day in a jar on
Her back—and I thought it was fine until I got back to my dorm
creaked the door open saw my roommate smiling on her phone
and wanted someone to say GOOD JOB an excuse to say IN HERE
at night I almost left the bathroom door unlocked so I could;
and I went to bed dirty last night.
I didn’t wash myself and I woke up on time but i didn’t move
I didn’t want to and I didn’t want
my days all over me again. I hate that I have skin.
I hate that nothing is as dramatic as it should be, and I think there
might be a god; I think there might be a god and I want him
to watch me in the shower so I can say in here
This is a series of writing to come from the amazing teen writers who were part of CSSSA (California State Summer School for the Arts)2023. For most, these will be their first publications.