Interview as the Pillars of Creation
Naperville, Illinois, USA
Naperville Central High School
Listen for the star limbs. Where were you a hundred million years ago? I was a pterodactyl with a piercing beak for plucking fish. Below me, there is a herd of stegosaurus with jagged, triangular plates along their back that look like orderly rows of suburbs. Here, the jungles of the cretaceous are made of old high-school TI-84s and Ziploc bags. Are we bodies with minds or minds with bodies? I know the answer as I look past the Greek columns of the Field Museum to see myself eating a hamburger, watching through the eyes of an old Egyptian pharaoh warped from salt and wrapped in linen. Three thousand years ago, I was a pharaoh that died young. Ever since, I have learned to die slowly. Have we always been moving? Where were you a billion years ago? I was the first multicellular bacteria that breathed oxygen into the atmosphere so one day there would be trees and pyramids and high schools that don’t photosynthesize. Do you believe in rebirth? Do you believe in death? Was the world created yesterday? Five hundred years ago I was an Inuit that lived off salmon before being buried in the snow. Last semester I was learning about pollution and algebra. The midwest has no stories. The courts are too wet for basketball today, so we sit and talk about summer.
“Interview as the Pillars of Creation” brushes elegant slivers of Greek and Egyptian mythology into a muddy watercolor of our ebbing natural world. While delicate in scenery and detail, the message behind the piece is grave: through the lens of an observant, young boy as he compares the majestic valleys and temples of the ancient world to the one before his eyes, “Pillars of Creation” is a call to action to save our dying Earth.
Michael Liu is a high school sophomore from Naperville, Illinois. In fourth grade English class, he wrote his first poem. It was about leaves. In his free time he listens to Spotify.
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