By Catherine Cheng
Dying for the One
You’ll be the one with his broken heart
clutched gently in closed palms. You’ll be the one
who sews back his pieces one by one.
Darling, one day you’ll meet the one you’re willing
to die for. His tears will become your scars.
You’ll drink up the poison within his veins,
shed drops of red as his words slice across your flesh,
through it all you’ll smile.
Baby girl, one day you’ll get your heart broken.
It’ll feel like the world has collapsed on top of you,
you won’t be able to breathe.
Your hands will scratch at the heavens, trying,
trying to rip a hole in the sky so that you might be able
to gasp for a breath of air.
When you lose all control and the world disappears in darkness
you’ll still see him with your eyes. He’ll become your ghost,
following you through the deadest hours of every night.
He’ll become the nightmare to your every dream
and you might start to fear sleep.
I could tell you a thousand things about him and you,
I could whisper a million warnings in your ear –
But as dawn breaks and sun rises once more,
you’ll run back to his side because darling,
he makes you feel so alive.
So even though it breaks my heart to let you go,
go, go, and go my loved one.
Go live, go love, go to him and stay.
Color of the Devil
His fingers trace through the strands
of my newly cut hair, and I remember
when he used to braid them taut.
His chest presses against my back
and I concentrate on the rhythm of its beat.
I bare my skin to his chapped lips
and lock our fingers tight, knowing
he will kiss me to death tonight.
He came in the variable time of
summer’s sun and autumn’s breeze,
bringing with him an air of regality.
Proud and unmoving in his ways,
he was spotless marble stone,
and I wondered who would be the one
to chisel in his shape.
His fingertips set fire to the hearts of girls
as he sat by the rushing riverside,
carving his soul’s obscure desires.
I watched him by the bubbling brook
as he brought his blade to wood,
crafting from pine and oak and elk,
a world I never knew.
That midwinter, he carved for me
a wooden rose with thorns.
Spring, I made my marks on him
and carved me across his heart.
I called for him in the dead of drawn-out nights
and wished on shooting stars
for an eternity by his side;
faithful, young, and loved.
The heavens did not hear my cries,
but my words were heard by him.
His chest still presses against my back
and his breath still tickles me,
but now I see the red within his eyes,
the blood smeared across his broken flesh.
I’m not sure if the red is mine or his,
just that his lips are cold with frost,
too cold to kiss me with.
Even now, I cannot see
the horns buried beneath his crown.
But I know they are there, invisible,
red and lined with thorns.
Catherine Cheng is a senior at Westwood High School in Austin, Texas who writes both prose and poetry. Currently she is obsessed with realism, green tea, and debating among other things. She has been published in various journals including “Navigating the Maze,” “Glass Kite Anthology,” and “Canvas Literary Journal” and is an alum of “The Adroit Journal” Summer Mentorship Program.