Rise by Sheila Dong

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I’ve got this dream in my head, this blissy hothouse
flower, petals like tongues beset with glossolalia.
This dream, an animal that bounded into my arms
in the midst of a lemonade-flooded wood. It beats
against its bars to the exact timing of my heart,
so the doctor suspects nothing. Whetted and keen,
it is armed to the teeth with oxygen and colors. I may
let it break the lock. They warn us: if our dreams abscond
to the world of the waking, if they breathe their fire, society
will char to cinder. So come on. I see menageries rearing
behind your eyes, your pupils reflecting pitiless sunrise
through the coma of night. I know there is a battering ram
in your chest that wears your heartbeat as its mask. So
let’s start. We were born knowing the melody.

Sheila Dong

Sheila Dong is a senior at the University of Arizona. They have been published in Persona Magazine and Collision Literary Magazine, in addition to winning the Western Regional Honors Council Poetry Prize. They enjoy collecting stories about people who have died unusual deaths.