Akshara Taraniganty | Art by Livia Zhu

I am on a tightrope & the months change,

leaves green to red to gone. I am on a tightrope,

one end tied to the top of the Empire State Building 

the other to Chrysler. This is the city I dreamed of—

fish out of water, five feet tall & ready to take on the world.

This is the place where I felt I would be at home, 

down on the ground, not one thousand feet up

& away from everyone but you. 


You are flawed & you are an angel. 

Wings pale pink, just enough that they turn white 

& blend with the snow. I wonder if the pink has come

from the blood of the people you killed. 

You are a parasite & I cannot live without you, 

feather-soft hands & stone-cold eyes. 

Talons, sharp enough that they tear my skin 

with ease & make it feel like home. 


You want me to need you & I know you do, 

let your sticky-sweet solace enter my lungs until I breathe

your power & slave to your energy. We build a dam, 

not a bridge & you will lie until it overflows & I will lie

by your side. Whatever it entails, I chain myself to you

like a necklace & a pendant. Like a lover & a

receiver of love. Like a commander of the heavens

& a lonely girl, teetering into infinity.


I am on the tightrope & the months change, 

skin flush to pale to bruised. I am on the tightrope, 

stuck between loving you & losing me.