I am in a cold city that smells of saltwater
and cigarettes. Their crests rising, skyward
roads undulate as homeless men sit on street corners,
their cardboard signs sturdier than their clothes.
The trolleys sing, motherly, a chorus of altos
and fussing construction drills. Believe me,
there’s more to this than meets the sky. Even now
in summer the wind knifes me; the savior sun;
dirty pastel blocks; blinding upsides of cumulus;
Chinatown glows; concrete after rain; the Bay
Bridge shivers; a silky sheen. Up the hill,
the symphony slogs behind closed doors.
Esther Sun is a junior at Los Gatos High School in Northern California. Her work has received national recognition from the Scholastic Art and Writing Awards and been published in The Wildcat Review, her high school’s literary magazine.