by Nathalia G., 18

by Priya R., 15

Years write stories on my skin,
ages and lives and battles
sink into the lines of my flesh,
pirouettes of ink,
marionettes twisted and pulled
by phantom hands and phantom touch.
Ribbons twist and dance like
roman candles on the fourth of July,
buzzing too fast, too bright
to burn for long.
Flowers blossom
from the cracks,
the cut on my cheek, the gash on my knee.
Crimson veined touch
feeds the torture
of weeds and silence.
Sunlight comes from my hollow breath,
nourishment comes from the years left
emptied and decayed,
a carcass of smothered experiences and stifled words.
Whispers leaden with ice and screams muffled with fury.
The touch of fire and rain,
chaos and revenge,
My eyes are tired, my gaze still.
I allow my own tales to write themselves out
in the folds of my tired eyes,
my lips upturning
into something bittersweet
in the flowers, which blossom
and curl away from the ground underneath my feet.