“La Ciudad” by Ellen Zhang

Late night insomnia in

la ciudad that never sleeps is a gift.

I slip between the dusk, waltzing

weaving between hum of streetlamp.

Twirling in shadows and

embellishing myself in

wandering imaginations. Already the

perfect tune pulses within my veins.

Street vendors mingle, Compre este.

Already seeing our fingers

handing over the clang of coins,

their voices unpeeling the city.

The bitter aroma of coffee wraps around

late night strollers who drift like

migrating birds. Maneuvering through the

cervices of sidewalks, drifting aware

and unaware—fringes of reality;

I am a lone girl in her best attire,

the satin slippers feeling

the paved gravel beneath my toes.

Each stone, another reminder that

vortexes can suffocate.

Trying to take in the view of the world

without leaving the center. Artist eyes scanning

the scene and cinema whirling in my brain.

Keys in my lap like something to forget.

Tracing murmurs of lips and catching

phrases like fireflies as I walk up the hill,

the kind that makes legs burn when biking up.

Hair tousled with the rush of el metro with

the scent of ashen gray clawing onto my coat

Eyes closed for a brief glimpse but

all together

missing too much.


Ellen Zhang is a freshman at Harvard University. Besides being published in The Albion Review, Teen Ink, Creative Kids, Cuckoo Quarterly, and other magazines; she has received national recognition from the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards.

Photo Credit: https://www.flickr.com/boklm/

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