The two of them wore white to prom,
her thin layers of chiffon flared like pixie wings poised
and we knew it was something magical
if only because the red strings of fate sang
and moonlight glowed where he kissed her.
When wine spilled on her bodice,
she laughed, drunk off the night already anyway,
washed away the truth with bridges from the past,
glanced up once at cesspool skylights
and declared she’d love him for better, for worse,
even after death or college did them part.
(If you have endless quantities of a resource,
does that drive its demand down to zero?)
But distance, it pulls too taut, then plays melodies
on Atropos’ lyre until the lines
snap, leaving in the air a diminished seventh, dissonant
but finished. And it was only after the crashes, depressions,
the inflation, consulting, tallies on their palms, debts, cycles
of arpeggios ebbing and flowing and slamming against doors, when finally
they realized the more interest, dopamine rushes,
genuine apologies they wanted from each other,
the less they had to give.
Lillian is a 17-year-old gal with chronic vagabond symptoms, but her heart’s more or less obliged to smelly onion roots, so Chicago’s lucky enough in that sense. Her work has been nationally recognized by the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards, New Voices Young Writers, and Sierra Nevada College.