Nature of Change
by Sarkis Antonyan
I sit with my eczema and look at a tree
and its salvo of sage fronds, its unripe olives,
before it goes. This moment is a fruit
eroding with mold. I move with blankets of pain
circling my fingers with fingers
before the end times. In this heat
we make songs
to pass though dire hours. And how my flaking flesh is a flame,
scarlet at night, an evening
melting away California motel signs.
The crickets’ chorus cries in the broil. I sit on the steps
of the stairs before the classroom,
gaze peered up. The Sun is a child’s gaping mouth
everyone can watch, how I want to slip it
into a satchel for an hour of coolness.
Everything appears perfect
yet I stand in delusory whimsy—
I beckon my sigh in this candle whose insides
melt quietly year after year. I see ravens dancing—
who knows where they’ll be in a few months.
Crows fray before me, bulbs of stitching above. Since 1880
temperatures have increased by 0.13
degrees Fahrenheit. I live in a world
where smog papers itself
to the sky as a tuft of dust,
arching, invading. No one asks each other what they’ll put
in their time capsule. The leaves will crisp
and fall. Sour oil will glue itself
on the sidewalk. In a year this won’t
exist anymore. I walk through
a semblant paradise: the men on the TV howl
for the neglect of trees, every winter loses a part
of its cold, every ounce of our sky
blue before my sclera is rusting from
the torridity, this greenhouse warping in the fever.
How long before I see our skin crack
to crumble? In a year I’ll look to the sky.
The red bead, loose from the necklace,
will be glowing through smoky plumes,
rays dangling like party streamers.
I walk into a factory and cry. I feel my eyes buckle
and blaze. Speck of life against the climate
I am. I rub an ointment in,
dispatching my message upward
hoping it is received.
About the Author
Sarkis Antonyan is a high school senior from California who considers himself an aesthete. His work has been published in Olit, Peach Magazine, The Augment Review, Pollux Journal, and h-pem, among others, and recognized by the Scholastic Art and Writing Awards. A fan of Sylvia Plath, he likes lemon water, late-night painting sessions, tomato frogs, and taking pictures with film. Find him on Twitter @sako_a13, online at www.sarkisantonyan.com, and in real life staring out windows, ruminating.