Spring/Summer 2021 Issue – Identity

Me

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

guacamole.

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.

Ultraware 

of my breaths, of my bulging

body.

Was stuck awkward and tense 

unsteady—

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, 

wondered

What about me.

Tortilla chips dry crunchy legs red mildly itchy a 

Nobody 

just Lonely 

Ugly and 

              Weak.

So Stop.

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

me.

And I froze 

                tipped on my chair, 

                                      shielded in teeter.

                                                                                                                                     Watching them.

Not watching. 

“Trepidation”
Julia Kuang