A Ticking Time Bomb

I would like to say that he’s not angry,
that I don’t see it in his face. One, two,
three.
The way the moon shines on his
hard lines, ubiquitous in the sorry
/not/so/sorry dark, a montage of black-and-white
expressionism. Gestures, grimaces, grins.
The more he tries to stop, the faster
it goes. Flying through the wind, a veritable
angel of mercy, a dissolvement of cabinets;
faster and faster, slicing through the wind
at one-eighty. This is a sad story, one I would
like to say did not exist. Withdrawn from the
world like a foot off the ground. Needles stuck
in needles, bridges to cling to, footing to be sure
to count. One, two, three. But it doesn’t have to
be like this. Like the chill in the air not
from the tormented sky above. Like the
slitting of hearts not from the graters in his
kitchen. Like the slaps across his thin face not
from the kindness at my school. One, two, three. And
his foot slips off the edge, into the psycho-ceramic
moon. Grey cobwebs on a broken soul, cracked
pots of a black mankind. I would like
to say that he’s not angry, that I don’t see it
in his face. But my saliva is gone, and so are
my words. It is exactly what they did to
me—and then some.

Tina Xia was born in 2001 and is a junior residing in Maryland, USA. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in Rare Byrd Review, Eidolon, and Teen Ink, among others. She is a national winner of the 20th Annual National High School Poetry Contest, a Scholastic Art & Writing Awards Gold Key recipient, and has published a YA teen fiction novel. Ocean Vuong is her current poet celebrity crush (just like her music taste, the cycle changes biweekly).

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