concentration, 64 by Kristine Ma

             no repeats or hesitation.
i go first, ‘cause you’re the worst.
             category is: taste. 
             in my dreams, you taste like stale lemon drops.
overripe blueberries splitting down chin,
             tension wrought between us like a knife
slicing into the flesh of a peach. i cradle the pit
in my cheek. 
             dalgona kind of lethargic,
seaweed-around-rice kind of unraveling,
             and so do you think it’ll ever stop?
i hate how your voice gets soft when you talk to me,
fork sinking into oven-fresh sponge cake.
you can have your cake. eat it too.
keep it all. you pause. 
             i win.
             i hate how i’m thinking about it.
persimmons left in the sun.
sugar in water.
             we cling.
             we scatter.
really, the worst.
             the words sour on my tongue.
they always do.

Kristine Ma is a writer and high school senior hailing from Michigan. She received three national gold medals and several other recognitions from the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards. Additionally, her poetry has been recognized by the Young Poets Network, nominated for Best of Net, and appears in or is forthcoming from Up the Staircase Quarterly, The Hunger, Up North Lit, and The Indianapolis Review, among others. When she isn’t writing, she can be found playing piano and oboe, watching anime, and dreaming.