Claire An: Two Poems

at home

form a prayer
empty gods
between thin
strings of
potent glories
eat them

my mother
ate them

i forget to
clean the dishes of my
hundred poems
written on the side
of the dining table

a notebook for
the starving
lips open
to devour
something holy
windows in cornerstone
hearts float into balloon
towards heaven

my mother planted
in earth
shoes of grass
waves goodbye


before the street

we visit a home we no longer belong to
i finish eating mango ice cream in a cafe
i never visited
i tried not to sleep b/c i need to be awake
in the city to be remembered but
i am grasping my mother’s hand
filled with soft, worn, and blue veins
i am afraid to let her go
in her home country.
the street, faded red and black
concrete, i have embedded the shadows of my steps
into you hundreds of times, years ago
the sky of the small street holds wires
intersecting sketches of pencil
i always looked towards the heavens
paper thin realms.
buildings must be fifteen years old.
windows and mismatched signs penetrate the walls
for the first time
i pass through the street in a window
of a car older than me,
more relic with me
a photo i have
in broad daylight
fail to capture the lights
of the signs at night
the voices intermingling
a strange song
i cherished
before we visited the home
we no longer belong to


This is a series of writing to come from the amazing teen writers who were part of CSSSA (California State Summer School for the Arts) 2023. For most, these will be their first publications. 

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