A Study in Chiaroscuro


Sarah Lao





















Sarah Lao is a sophomore at the Westminster Schools in Atlanta, Georgia. She currently serves as a first reader at Polyphony HS and as an editor for Evolutions Magazine.

In the firelight, mother twists in her

edges something dark. Something lost

& feral. She’s corkscrewing the rim of

some half empty bottle oxidizing in the

open spill of her palm, watching liquid

murk swish and climb up the curve of

the neck. Something viscous, vicious.

She is all stringent & brittle, glass blown

to a breaking point, a hot iron welding

over cracks. Her hands shake, sweat-slick,

crowded around the fire for something

like warmth, & outside, the wind is still

beating the window & the clock on the

mantelpiece is still ticking & the fire

is burning something so hot that

I feel cold.