Spring/Summer 2021 Issue – Identity


Sophie Zhang

Them. Splashing and squealing in the crystalline pool. 

Summer sun reflected off their skin, azul sky glowing.

Me. Sulked by the backyard table, swirling my tortilla chip in a tub of


I frowned at their smiles. 

Their hair shiny and slick from the pool water.

Warmth dripping off of them like sour candy. 

Oh swimsuitless 

Me. Thigh fat spread like drumsticks. Polyester shorts sticky with 

plastic seat.

Chair legs teetering.


of my breaths, of my bulging


Was stuck awkward and tense 


What about me?

Pressure pushing 

a puffy cloud hovered above

me Its 

sepia shadow spotlighting my 

singularity Its 

water-color seeping through rigid 

air Soaking the rest in blurry plexiglass shaking And 

I screamed 

alone in a dome of silence, 

breathing the air of other.

Their downpour of sound buzzed like white noise solidified as 

my body, 

lying trapped under its weight, 


What about me.

Tortilla chips dry crunchy legs red mildly itchy a 


just Lonely 

Ugly and 


So Stop.

Why should I want them, if they don’t want 


And I froze 

                tipped on my chair, 

                                      shielded in teeter.

                                                                                                                                     Watching them.

Not watching. 

Julia Kuang