My eyes stretched up
hoping to see art
on a smooth black smear
in tiny white pinpricks. I
stared there until fine horse hairs
brushed watercolor blindness over my search.

So I sent my ears up. I thought maybe:
the lovely, too-loud laughter of my mother 
or soft notes my father sent with me to sleep, 
whispered somewhere between the layered
lights above my head–but all I heard was the 
thrum of my own spinning question.

So I asked instead if they were kind 
and the stars fell out of their sky
to land in the slick
black puddle
between my 
bare feet.

Constellations resettled in soft
silt as I leaned over my toes to meet
the stars in my shape. Bright dust
swirled to thoughts millions of light 
years away and revelations embraced in 
my eyes, running down my cheeks to
join the moments which streamed past
my fingers. I felt smooth faces, free of fault and 
feature, mouth words of comfort into my palm.

They promised me 
one day and today and 
every day I asked.

So with gentle fingers, I pried my little puddle 
from the pavement outside my parents’
home. I tucked it safely into the pocket of 
space just above the compass inside
my chest and tiptoed 
back to bed.

Illustration by Jordan Souza

Illustration by Jordan Souza



"I'm inspired by the difference between the world inside my head and the words I have to share it, and I write because I love the challenge of pressing my ideas into paper," says Meili, a seventeen year old from Minnetonka, Minnesota. She hopes to continue pushing herself and her writing to new places, one day publishing her own book of poetry.

Meili Gong