2:37 AM is an ungodly hour / it is glass breaking, thumbs without grip / it is an emptiness, it is souls leeched hollow / it is hair stuck on my shower wall, tangles caught on combs, brushes, / it is my stomach replaced by a paperweight.
it is unequivocally human, perhaps most human of all / syncopated breathing in out in out in out / it is claustrophobic, time stops moving / i hold down the hands of the clock with my excess paperweight
2:37 AM will be written on my epitaph / my obituary will be written at 2:37 AM with a paperweight on the edges of the paper-light / sheets of white, light light feather light / 2:37 AM is when i pull out the measuring tape and / paperweight
2:37 AM / wrangled bodies scattered in pencil-thin margins / i am locked in my medicine cabinet, final. quiet / the hurricane rages outside, raucous, / my cocoon is untouchable by the storm on the outside / inside, maybe not / but no fear, my forms held down by a paperweight. they will not fly away. / will i?
i do not have a paperweight to hold me down.
my skin is waxy / my hair does not stay in my scalp / my fingers do not stop vibrating? why / i am cold. it is too cold / someone turn up the heat / my pencil hurts my fingers i squeeze it too tightly / i am still cold / papery eyelids, mache hidden in breastbone / held down by a paperweight
i watch / as i atrophy / at 2:37 AM / it goes on / forever / or maybe just a moment. because then / at 2:38 / i hide it away,
my paperweight / is just another skeleton in my closet.
Halle Ewing (they/she) is a fourteen-year-old from Orange County with a love for the written word. She finds herself reflected in the lines she writes, and when they aren’t frantically trying to remember that one word on the tip of their tongue, they’re drinking way too much coffee, playing water polo, or begging her friends to take pictures of them. Their work can be found in Paper Cranes Literary Journal, Crossed Paths, and Cathartic Youth Literary Magazine, and the Weight Journal. Her Instagram handle is @halleewingg.