When you get up from the sofa at dusk, it will be dark, like the frost-bitten month of January you were born in. In his room, the dust devours your clothes in the closet, before it is emptied. Your toes will stub the knots in the carpet; use your fingers to untangle them. At the window, the dishes are blistered with grease, while the fading sunlight will cover your face; it won’t hit it the same way again. You will pass the dinner table, where last week’s baozi lies stale and uncovered in the voracious air. Its dank smell of rotting pork and chives hovers. Past the basket of his laundry, the fragrance of detergent emanates from the load. Outside, the grey snow of Nanjing will last in your bare fingers for a while, before dissipating into the air. Pines will inhabit the horizon, dark lines that jut out from the meaningless snow; snow that is dirtied as you trudge out. Past the Welcome to Nanjing! sign that you’ve seen every day; it looks dimmer now. It might not welcome you back.
Sarah Zhang is a 14-year-old who loves writing poems about unexplored topics. In her free time, she plays tennis with her sister and likes New York-style pizza.