Piece Name

1

Fourth of July

Vivien Song

I mourn what is in its path. 
This congregation full of wax museum statues, and God still wants us
kneeling. He’s burned part of the church down, which is to say
a part of us. Imagine if we, too, fell—fell under the spell of the light 
coming from his grapevine arms, through his fingernails acting as
the matches we light on Advent wreathes. Even the burned 
would get haloes around their heads. Our ghosts, bouncing off walls 
made from sterile ash to ash to the ash we haven’t claimed yet. 
It's not every day that Our Lady burns, says a père to his son 
baptized, now, by fire. You are an artifact. I shall shove you away
before your stained-glass eyes shatter in front of my own.

VIVIEN SONG is a high school senior from the Bay Area. A 2020 National YoungArts Finalist in Poetry, her work appears or is forthcoming in Asian American Writers' Workshop: The Margins, Cosmonauts Avenue, and L'Éphémère Review, among others. Vivien likes long, aimless walks and overnight oats.

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