BY EMILY ZHANG
After Mathias Svalina
In the beginning Georgia burned. In the beginning
you were born in a motel pool, all blue fever.
The soda machines in the corner sputtering
with quarters in their bellies, made you think of time,
shuffling and reshuffling. A smokestack, slow lips
of a song, your sister kissing a man with the back
of her teeth as if digging her hands into the calm,
bent earth. All of it soft, bruises flush with light, open
and glowing, blooming and unblooming the way
it is impossible to grow into something unstill.
Emily Zhang is a high school senior from Maryland. Her poetry appears in Word Riot and theNewerYork, and her writing has been recognized by the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards, the Patricia Grodd Poetry Prize, and the Sierra Nevada Review. Her poems "Salt" and "Story for the Salt" were selected by judge Tarfia Faizullah as Honorable Mentions for the 2015 Adroit Prize for Poetry.