At the line where the land meets the sea there’s nothing,
not even a pocket of smoke for my fingers to latch on to.
I trace the edges of the skylight with my tongue,
try to fit in words for bird and space and bleed.
I can feel the time passing. Once on a mountain
in Vermont a boy picked up my dropped ski pole
and handed it to me. Once a girl who slept below
the shore of Lake Michigan sent me letters
postmarked St. Paul and Alberta. The trees form a fence
and surround us. Like Halley’s Comet they know the way,
are liable to circle around again until we get what’s
owed. In your father’s old shirt you are faultless,
unsure, and the first open mouth on yours has sold you
an unshakable force: it leaves you wanting more and
more of it. A goose cuts through the whiteness overhead.
The acrid smell of earth and tree-rot. In the leaf litter,
something tries to hide its own heartbeat.
Eliza Browning is a seventeen-year-old high school senior from Connecticut. She is the editor-in-chief of her school literary magazine, Sidetrax, and the founder of the Janus Review, an online publication aimed at promoting diversity in the arts and amplifying the voices of high school and college students. Her work has been recognized by Hollins University and College Xpress.