By Roopa, age 17, California
your eyelashes curl like fearful new-born butterflies
and your lips tremble nectar-dipped syllables (limp-winged
beauties afraid of the world) and when you run onto the
static streets to awaken the slumbering skies in the darkest
of morning, you look like a young boy with dreams of flight
water colored in your eyes.
but just as quickly as you perched between my first and
second rib and built yourself a cocoon to shield from the world,
your wings ached to set sail and you fluttered away in search of
some kind of self, gliding across the night with the stars on your
wings and the moon on your back, careless and alive.
and i wonder how warm it is up there, because i feel hollow
like a collapsed baby moth and your majestic wings imprint
fresco paintings upon the sky and make me insignificant.
and i see you flitting to night's lovely euphonies and i think
about how you've breathed lifetimes hidden beneath my skin.
but you've found yourself feeling infinite and untouchable and
i want to fly to you on an impulse and feel what you feel.
from moons away i want to see the sun bloom and watch
the naked oceans beg for waxy sands.
but with each quavering sigh i'll find myself more alone,
for those without wings cannot travel far.