1 poem

by Sarah Nachimson

Yeshiva University of Los Angeles Girls School

Dangerous Lands

we ran amok in your mother’s opioid garden
unaware we trod on a soft poison.
boys on the street burned ants with magnifying glasses
but I pivoted my head the other way
refusing to acknowledge the sun’s destruction
how it burned our fingertips, but they felt numb.
It painted the same peaceful yellow on the ever-present horizon
brushed with sunlight.
At noon all the food spoilt, the rats sampled the banquet
while humans held a vigil,
not wanting to be the last trembling breath.
As the last slivers of sun set, I’d never imagined hearing the bushes
sing muted music. But still our lips opened and closed with a smack, smack
and inadvertently inhaled the prophecy of our death.

it’s five years later now and the oyster shells I’ve imagined never closing
have all but disappeared. I hallucinate my father’s hands suffocating me
until nothing lasts but space between two fingers to breathe. A break in
the grass ruined my legs and burned the soles of my feet. There’s only one deer
left in this wasteland, I stare until we’re lost in each other, leaving
my last memory unscathed.

Sarah Nachimson

Sarah Nachimson is a high school poet who is a reader at Polyphony Lit and a junior editor at Siblini Journal. Her work has been published or is forthcoming in Parallax Lit, Polyphony, and the Los Angeles Times. She has received a gold medal from Scholastic and recognition from the National Student Poets Program.