I sit on the balcony and the ice clinks my glass
in congratulations. How your arms shook to squeeze an orange.
You did not want to see the pulp, so I scraped my nails in the zest
to carry with me all day.
Girl. Even the leaves do not laugh here.
When they fall, I am warm. I smile like a taunt
when he brushes your arm
like ants, and I think of the buds on a tree growing
over tender corpses. And your teeth have sticky film,
but they are very white
and stain a nice brown like proof.
The orthodontist marks me for another season and notes
how I relearn these gaps when I close.
I forget which birthday mother started accusations.
I wish her hair did not slacken, her splintered black hair
slackened on me. I wish her body was not stiff as the dress
hanging in her closet. And she is light as
rot. Holes in the remnants of spring and fallen leaves.
If I cared less about the things in my house, maybe she
would not be a box, and you would not be cleaning the kitchen,
fragile sap still dried on your skin.
Anna Wang is a high school student from Illinois. Her poems have been recognized by the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards. She loves to write and has no intention of stopping anytime soon.