After the Failed Audition
I wait under a streetlight that pools
Lemonade onto concrete and sends
Plumes of mosquitoes to my tender
Skin. The gentrified bakery smells of
Butter and cigarettes. I breathe in
secondhand smoke and listen to
the music of howling dogs and
oblique highways. My heart beats for
four minutes and thirty-three seconds;
I fake synesthesia to fill the space.
Tonight, there are no constellations,
Only sheets of burnt coal and scattered
Pushpins on a map. I wish upon the
Dirt moons under my fingernails.
My ride never comes.
Jodie Meng is a rising senior (‘20) at the Illinois Math and Science Academy in Aurora, Illinois. She enjoys writing for her school newspaper, researching, and volunteering around the community. Her writing is forthcoming in the Chautauqua Literary Journal.