The air is dead in the city,
the politicians too.
Teeth click and babble wordlessly
and polished shoes flatten
dry leaves without a single crunch.
Only the silence screams.
The horizon stretches
along a single breath of wind.
A tuneless song chokes, and drowns
in the screeching of rusty gears.
Bloodied fragments of history have
long since faded into the cold.
There is a fracture in the wall
where the universe ends.
A stray bullet. The scientist
discovers the future and returns to
Eventually, someone will uncover
a stack of glass bodies with dewy skin.
Ghosts sigh across their lips.
Annie Ma is a rising senior at The Harker School in San Jose, where she is an editor of the school’s literary magazine, HELM. Her poetry, prose, and photography have won several Scholastic Art and Writing Awards. She is the founder and president of The Book Bank (www.bookbank.org), a nonprofit organization that serves underprivileged communities by collecting and distributing free books to K-5 school children. Her favorite author is Jane Austen.