A Study in Chiaroscuro
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.