There will be black triangles, stiff ironed skirts and ties,
and their owners will be straightening
to keep up, to mold into the curves
of somber, the ambiance they’re going for.
I’ll be nestled in a nook, the squiggle of the s
that’s just a hiss of air before it’s swallowed by the
like deep rumbles of approval,
as if it’s just a meal,
bottom lips pressed upwards, retreating
from the rain and into teeth
that anchor down their smiles
from surfacing into the
It will be cold and wet,
hollowing the pop of words
and the staccato of their teeth,
chattering out firecrackers
to mingle with the downpour.
I wonder if they’ll remember
to slip me past their mouths,
if they’ll dress for the occasion,
as if for smiles and fireworks,
and not for me at all.
Helen Qian is a high school junior in Rockville, Maryland. In the past year, her writing has been published by Prolific Press and recognized by the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards, as well as the Bethesda Urban Partnership. In her free time, she’s usually painting, reading, or trying to craft more interesting stories from less interesting personal experiences.