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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, and in real life staring out windows, ruminating.

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