She rages because long long ago,
Our ancestors forgot how to pronounce
Her name. So she chokes our offices
With shells of ivy, corners us in our
Bedrooms with invasions of disease.
But we spray off the ivy’s hooks
With chemicals and toxins,
don new masks that block disease.
And instead of shaking our fists
At the sky, we thank God.
And angrier still, she pierces our chests
With daggers of light as we sleep.
Yet we rise from our living room futons,
oblivious and smiling, warm
from the blood of invisible wounds.
And she is why the gentle animals
go rabid and mad.
I tell myself that when humans
rage, with warheads
And rifles, they are but secretly rabid,
the politicians’ wrists
tattooed with infected bite marks
Beneath the cuffs of their suits and it
Was this thought that allowed me to digest, like
an insect in the clamped jaws of
A flytrap plant, how my kindest friend once
His knuckles from ramming his fist into a wall,
Pretending the wall was not a wall
He’s ever known, and this behavior was not his but
That of the primeval goddess,
the one whom we’d forgotten
The name of long long ago,
she who slices our ankles with thistles
as we gallop with our loved ones in the fields,
the few fields left with wildflowers
wildflowers that we haven’t uprooted.
Kirsten Liang is fifteen years old but wishes she were seventeen so she could watch R-rated films. Her work has placed in many competitions for students: on an international level in the 2022 Writing Contest hosted by Wintermute Lit, on a national level at the Scholastic Writing Awards, and on a state level at the 2022 National History Day Competition. She is trying to be more optimistic.