Dear Levi

By Margaret Zhang

"Incoming"  Image © Luke Peterson (

“Incoming” Image © Luke Peterson (

Dear Levi


Levi, the oysters still clamber against shore,
latch onto fly-by-night toenails the way you

snap on my index joint, eyes twinkling like bent
corners of a parchment page. This day, you clamp

onto me and refuse to let go. We’ll find
happiness in the crests of the waves, you promise,

and so we amble, like tourists, amid disintegrating
towers that rake the blue-white splatter

of the heavens. Towers so untamed they cannot
exist beyond the grainy sands of our hourglass,

and yet they do. We merely warm the bench
and observe the fallen towers, neither scribbling

revolutions on our paper eyelids nor showing
people what a heaven this world could be if only

they tried. Maybe we’re too content to care.
Maybe we don’t yet believe it ourselves.


I press my
     chapped skin
to your balmy
     lips, for you
are a red-tailed
     vixen, as
lonely as I
     am. And
you let me
     go, drop back into
the foam with
     a tiny plop.
Levi, did you
Your songs
     are mint
chocolate bark,
     in my mouth.
Levi, did
     you know? Even
fire tastes
     cold sometimes.


“I will be happy tomorrow,” I tell myself a million
times. But tomorrow never waits for me to catch up,

never takes my heavy limbs in the crevices of his
hands. Levi, I don’t know how to dance anymore.

Maybe my arms ache too much to move, or maybe
my toes never taught me how. Maybe I’ll stamp

my sandals into your footprints, dear Levi, find black
pearls scattered across a black shore. Maybe I’ll pick

out grains of salt from my molar cavities and call them
the type of metropolitan paradise I always wanted.

ZhangMargaret Zhang didn’t always love to write. But in 4th grade, the belief that she had superpowers sparked her interest in storytelling, and her life has revolved around creative writing ever since. She is a Foyle Young Poet, a recipient of numerous Scholastic medials, and one of the founders and editors-in-chief of Glass Kite Anthology. She currently attends Castilleja as a sophomore. At this point in her life, she is a Holden Caulfield who wants to be an Atticus Finch.

Subscribe / Share

One Comments Post a Comment
  1. Abdul Bahis says:

    a grieving heart
    with a lot of hurt

Leave a Reply

What Is YARN?

It's a brilliant thing to have a place where you can read fresh original short stories by both seasoned YA authors and aspiring teens. YARN is a great tool box for growing up writing. - Cecil Castellucci

Imagine. Envision. Write. Revise. Submit. Read.

YARN is an award-winning literary journal that publishes outstanding original short fiction, poetry, and essays for Young Adult readers, written by the writers you know and love, as well as fresh new voices...including teens.

We also believe in feedback, which is why we encourage readers to post comments on pieces that inspire thought, emotion, laughter...or whatever.

So. What's your YARN?

Publication Archive