Hymnal | Teen Ink


November 13, 2022
By Lydiaq ELITE, Somonauk, Illinois
Lydiaq ELITE, Somonauk, Illinois
163 articles 47 photos 1025 comments

Favorite Quote:
The universe must be a teenage girl. So much darkness, so many stars.

Bones of the rain

Wind shrieks, whistles

And I remember

All the world was bones

Dry, hollow, shaking

Icicles, like bones, hanging from the rooftops

Sky like a gray glass eye

And all the world was bones.

Group home windows shredded light, shredded clothes

Boys like sheep, sulking, scuffling through their herd

Dry sandwiches, wet spaghetti

Strapped inside the walls, gumming music

Repeating decimal of grunts and screams

And I was never there, so how could I know?

I only see you through a kaleidoscope of questions

You always existed through paper and Velcro

But I remember dark, shiny circles of bedposts

Warm, vibrating nights, a buzzing brush,

Books in sympathetic stacks, bindings ripped

Rooms grew dark at bedtime, and I was afraid of outlines

Shadows on my doll-crowded walls, cracks on the ceiling

And all the world was bones.


Kids on the swing sets, sunny kids

Bobbing up and down, like bright butterflies on string

Playground sand in early spring

Damp, chilly, mushy sand, seeds and trash

Sand on my hands—pouring, scooping sand

Plastic pulleys and buckets heavy with sand

Sand castles, Mexican child hands tugging.

At the playground, sometimes, red wooden ships

Crawling with kids, and rope ladders I’d never climb

Sand-covered, sunset-bathed, dripped with promise.

Mom in her dark blue windbreaker walked and walked

Playground paths. Banana Man, Dairy Joy, Banana Split—

Mom’s hands, sweet like John Denver’s voice. Mom gave me a dilly bar.

Bananas dripped in Mom’s hands. Warm chocolate, crunchy nuts.

Air was mild. And all the world was hands.


Windows passing by—

I will return to you. I will stare out the Amtrak windows

All night in the transience of trees

And a chocolate-haired girl sleeping next to me.

I will stare out the train windows, my cares fading fast,

Like the sun in my heart’s windows. I will look inside

My friends’, my strangers’, my angels’ windows

Homeless windows, wordless windows.

My hands will reach out for my ticket of breath. All my life’s a train.

I love what my eyes see. Light rushes through the night in my bones

Look into my soul—you who have bones of glass. And all the world is windows.

The author's comments:

This piece has been previously published in Cathartic Literary Magazine.

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