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CAS for Database

Sabrina Mei

Boyds, Maryland

Richard Montgomery High School


begin in the belly of the monster: skin pulled so thin

its captives must shrink to rusted sardines, writhe, now pray

be frugal with your breath darling, each

gasp drips green and gold. trace

paths of cracked china in your palms from hourly

ablutions red.

bodies tick up in refrigerator light, how

saturnine tetris leaves sour taste on tongue.

who deals this sick deck of cards?

please some god/which god/no god could watch

Cassandra weep fruitless for Queens,

how can they listen when their ears have been cut off?

tears bite tender bands raw, they pulse

below your eyes, blistered fatigue.

travel now—

few hundred miles down south,

find paper dolls. they cling to carousels for normalcy’s last

breath, these cul-de-sacs will splinter under symphony of silence:

we/children of disaster

cry/this is America.


Every line manages to feel like both a call for help and a call to action—a rigid dichotomy that really captures the social climate that we live in today. These issues are not new; the warning signs are everywhere. Yet the poem embraces this, and in doing so, comes into its own.

Sabrina Mei is a senior at Richard Montgomery High School in Rockville, MD. Her work has previously been recognized by the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards, John Hopkins University, and the F. Scott Fitzgerald Literary Festival. In her spare time, she enjoys rereading Sherlock Holmes and watching an excessive amount of cooking videos.


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