the limits of play-doh

sunday            christmas morning—
            santa brought me play-doh and a cup full
of naivete. and mama, over the years i’ve
            watched how you cherish that present long
since my outgrowing it: those days when the
            sky is melting and laced with obsidian you
cherish it all the more. i’ve watched you
            reopen jars of shriveled pigmentation
and use it as your origami weaponry,
            pretend you are the architect and sculptor
and tell me how i am your masterpiece.
            press fluorescent shades into the crevices
of my skin, your thumbprint coiled around
            my fractured membrane. wind my torso
over/around your silver spool of thread
            and try to mold me into something prettier.
reorient my molecular structure to that of
            mass-produced miracles: child’s play
so you can reject the proven limits of
            elasticity and stretch/compress me until i fit
into your glass box titled perfectdaughter.
            yes dear mama, wouldn’t you be glad now
to disregard the laws of physics and
            the limits            of            play-doh

Katie B. Tian is a fifteen-year-old writer and journalist from New York. She is a Scholastic Art & Writing National Medalist and two-time Adelphi Quill Awards First Place winner. Her work is published or forthcoming in The Rising Phoenix Review, Blue Marble Review, and Kalopsia Literary Journal, among others. She is the Creative Writing Director of online literary magazine The Incandescent Review. Her favorite things are peanut butter and poetry (in that order).

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