Picture this: it is dusk in the countryside. The fluorescent lights from the pool shine all the way to my backyard. We are summer-drunk, mosquito-bitten. Itching at the scratches on our collarbones, hidden by the necklines of our T-shirts. Acrid sweat drips into our eyes, the scent mingling with the fragrant late-blooming roses. On summer nights, laughter travels further and echoes louder, uncontained by any medium—there’s something about the sweet air, dark blue from the troposphere to outer space; something about the way the Earth is aligned along its magnetic fields. Something unexplainable. The late night runs and cricket symphonies imprint themselves onto my left ventricle; we have countless nights like this tucked into our pockets, and countless more waiting in line. I want you to know that there will always be a home for the constellations that drift across our skies, for Orion with his empty bow and for Hercules, ever kneeling; I do believe that Cygnus’s wings are broad enough to form a sanctuary for the wanderers, the travelers, wherever they may go on this earth. The neighbor’s dog is restless again, but then who can stay still on a night like this? Our muscles tense, eager for flight; our skin, pulled taut over our bones like drum skin. If we had wings/ we could go anywhere/ but if I had wings/ I wouldn’t go anywhere/ but here.

Vicki Lin (林诺曦) is an aspiring Chinese American poet and writer born in New York. She currently lives in Florida and is a junior at Bell High School along with her twin sister. She enjoys drinking tea and having educational conversations, when she’s not reading and writing. Vicki is a participant in The Kenyon Review Writers Workshop and Polyphony Lit’s editor course. She has won Keys from the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards, and looks forward to having more accomplishments.

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