swell like the symmetrical waves of
a children’s crayon drawing of the
ocean, up and down, up and down.
if they are the ocean,
then headlights and taillights are
fish swimming in schools, rising and
falling, flickering flares. in the distance
looms a veteran god, a willowy white
beacon that once symbolized
america’s future, now a relic of its
past. an apollo that stretches toward
his sister stars, held to the ground with
in the east lies no man-made starships
or rolling roadways but instead the
verdant remnants of a mountain range,
sloping hills that cast a blue shadow over
a smattering of steeples and towering
window glass. in the center lies an
ancient spring, the water always clear
and cold, snaking through a park full
of blossoming pink trees like a serpent
in the blessed garden, offering some
secret hidden knowledge, a key to the
illustrious city. to possess
it, you must dip your hands into the
wellspring and drink.
to the south a river courses rapidly,
dangerously, bending with a roar until
it is out of sight. this is the city’s boundary.
near its edge is a crumbling dock, alluring
in its derelictness, covered in shattered
bottle glass and scruffy weeds. if you listen
closely, you will hear the voices of children,
toeing the starting line of adulthood but not
quite ready to hear the whistle blow, shouting
with joy as they run and they jump, their
sloppy splashes and shrieks of surprise
carrying on the wind. across the river,
a barbed wire fence lines the silent pine
forest, a forbidden fringe, not to be breached.
a deafening boom echoes across the valley
and bounces off its foothills, rustling the leaves
of every tree and silencing the swifts in their nests.
smoke rises from a test stand in the skyline.
perhaps the sleeping apollo will wake once more.
Anna spent her first 18 years of life in Rocket City, USA, but has recently relocated to a different part of the state to study English at the University of Alabama. She has always been in love with words, but only in the past few years has she finally found the courage to write them down. When she isn't writing, Anna often bakes, plays piano (somewhat badly), shops for new books (despite having a dozen or more unread ones at home), and panics about her future.