mia golden

after Jayne Cortez

beneath september’s harvest moon

by light of maple dewdrops

skewed by gentrification’s ugly maw

in autumnal effigies; house of worship

beautiful in suburban wishes [that the streets may caress you one day]

lovely beneath crepe myrtle rain [that you hear the floral colloquies]

alluring in the sound of sandalwood mockings [that the grasses may stroke

your tendons]

beautiful in auric sonnets beautiful in crimson songs beautiful in artisan soliloquies

Who will lie in this starlit coffin we’ve created?
the streetlights are cloaked in eggshells
cloaked in bristles of pomegranate pain

cloaked in acidic angst; cauterize your tongue

cloaked in semolina in hemoglobin in strife

facade of chain link / pulled away to reveal mortality beneath

beneath the bloodied moon \ beneath petrichor’s veneer

will you go so far as to craft your saliva into semblance of life?

will you /shellac/ or /stucco/ your /sentience?/

Alloy of Iron Synthesis of Gold

when will i move from Ekphrasis to Catharsis of my own?

after Qing Han


they look on as you art. you paintbrush, you pigment, you portrait.

careful not to Burn your hands; painting stars into the sky isn’t a job for the faint of heart. but you’ve been through a lot; skin and mottled scar tissue beneath melanin. you want to scream, cry, fade away. can’t they see you’re the same person? your blood flows the same; your synapses Fire the same. nothing has changed.

but everything has changed. a year ago, you wouldn’t have been able to pick up the Scalding paintbrush without recoiling in pain. now, the Boiling sensation just merges with the other Fire dancing through your follicles. a year ago, you wouldn’t crave catharsis like chocolate. you wouldn’t need an outlet, one that was just for you. a year ago, your parents wouldn’t press their noses against fogged-up windows, drinking in every breath like it’s your last.

it’s unsettling, because it could be. but you don’t want to think about that. so you do what you do best. you place the stars in the azure sky, hoping you’ll find your way to them someday.


they look on as you combat. you struggle, you struggle, but you still disease.

careful not to let the Fire eat you up inside; it’s hungry and you’ve lost your appetite. infusion after infusion steal your spirit, bit by bit, and you slather stardust onto the walls, a memory, an aspiration. you dance with your iv pole; you embrace your weakness, because it is in fact your strength.

the skies smile for the breakable, and you’re as fragile as it gets. and you still fear that you’ll snap under the weight of untouched lunch trays and worries. and Flames grow hotter, licking at your ventricles, closing in. you mix warm colors and paint your pain. it

looks diminished on paper. how can anything compare to the poison Scorching your organs?

so you advance, you art. you release Steam through bold strokes of your pen. you draw flowers and long to lie in meadows. clocks, running out of time, haunt you, so you sketch them. and the Fire keeps devouring your kindling; your cells scream as they Boil. you clutch your paintbrush; it is the only thing grounding you to this world set Aflame. will you live to see your asymmetric stars dry?


they watch as you darkness, darkness, darkness, relief.

careful not to slip on the stars, ’cause they’re ice cold; no Fire to Burn you here. you digest fatality like it’s your lifeline (and you marvel at the irony). you’re free to art without the tubes and the pain and the Blaze holding you back.

you Ignite your past regrets.

you Incinerate the guilt, the distress.

you’re left in your oil-paint meadow, and you smile at the stars.

Mia Golden is a student who loves stringing words together to make something beautiful. When she isn't writing or thinking of something to write, she likes to spend time with her dog. She is passionate about activism and hopes to change the world for the better. She hopes you're having a great day!