One girl, a tiara atop her head, sits crisscross in chicken poop all summer, a single dozing rooster nestled in her arms. One girl who stole the other’s tea-set, stashes its shattered pieces in her palm. One girl, a bucket as her hat, awakens in a tree to watch a skyline drip with watercolor. One girl, her lungs scabby with expletives, bites another and goes home to shriek into a pillow as her parents fight upstairs. One girl whispers, “We hate you” into another girl’s unsuspecting ears. One girl sinks her teeth into another’s arm and curls up in her closet to hide from words all weekend. One girl jostles the branch outside her window, her mind set to judge the velocity of a plummeting bird. One girl locks herself in the bathroom to escape birthday cake. One girl watches her pigtails skip like rocks on water’s surface tension, not noticing that her brother’s raft has tipped over. One girl has a burial service for an earthworm she just met. One girl cannot comprehend the vestiges of another outgrown friendship, and crawls under her bed to piece them together, one page at a time. One girl throws petals as her best friend gets married at recess then slams a boy’s head into the snow. One girl sneaks out at eleven with her bow and arrow pointed at the stars. One girl, who never owned her own toys, awakens in another world playing with thousands, while her limp body lies still on a sewer cap. One girl (she told you all of this) spots your curious shadow in her eyes, and leaves you wondering why she has begun to cry.
Riley Grace Borden is a high school junior from Whidbey Island, Washington who is passionate about all things literary. Her writing has been published by Sprout Magazine, Teen Ink Magazine, Five-2-One Magazine, Moledro Magazine, Eunoia Review, and the Mercer Island Reporter. In her free time, she edits her writing peers’ work, blogs, reads, and goes for long runs.