welcome      not      to subterranean city
natural light vanished      diluted to apocalyptic yellow
be twice-wary      trip wires      across the sky
mousetrap every pigeon      & plane
ready to electrify you      bluer than sadness
i contraband wrists      i execute colorblind      i don’t call you by name
pacemaker      skin of gunmetal      eyes of screws
surgeon stitches      your lips over mine
voice of lark      you will sing      every lullaby i know
& insist to like it      when i touch you      else patrol
beeps slave      beeps code breach      synonyms to suicide
but damn me      your way      tongues entwined      & bitten
by which i don’t mean      kissing      try not to look
at the middle finger      on the trigger      look to the night
bled black      the stars remember every martyr      incinerated
& love      in the native language      can seduce a knife
out of a thief’s hands      the cacophony of these names
keeps me sleepless      stealer      police officer
masked with needle      smoke-crowned monarch,
& i hear your name      in every nightmare.

Trinh Tran is a junior at Milpitas High School. She enjoys writing about social dynamics and coming of age.

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