by Dana Blatte
Dana Blatte is a sixteen year-old from Massachusetts. Her work is published or forthcoming in Fractured Lit, Rust + Moth, Gone Lawn, Up the Staircase Quarterly, and more, and has been recognized by the National YoungArts Foundation and the Pulitzer Center, among others.
Double Sonnet for Salem
If we die and no one remembers us, say
we were tragedies. Call us doll-
faced girls with lace and grief and all
those pretty endings. We reaped
names wherever we found them; convulsing, spit-
fire, dealing mercy to martyrs, little
girls with ribbons turned ribs and graves.
Maybe this was our punishment: to bare
our bodies and always envy those who saved them-
selves. Look, kindness leads to greater tragedy:
there is no one to christen girls
forced to gather flames. We sacrificed
our savagery and look where it got us. Girls:
touchless, timeless, lovely, and laced-up—
this is what it means to be hunted, to fancy
yourself untouched even as you run
out of fingers to count your crimes, bodies
to bear your endings. We call ourselves
tragedies. Unspool our kindness time and time again
until the fire hunts our names. We look
the same, you know, underneath
the glamor—grief is grief is grief.
When we count ourselves on the pyre, it is
not grace, not martyrdom. We sacrificed
our mercy and christened everything we stole, died
and no one remembered to call us doll-
face, sorrow-eater, tragedies in every ending. Look
at our crimes—this is what it means to be a girl.
We Control the Tide
after Christina Im
& in another life i turn moongold & go paper when it storms // in another life i tongue the sky & deposit no rain // in another life my echo is a moth / less of a sun with no lighthouse // in another life your cavity bears no promises / no organs waiting to be unskinned // in another life you are still weeping a knife / & i swallowing its hilt // in another life the moths lantern my graveyard / while the water ungods us by its breath / they call that remembrance // in another life we are slipping in & out of worlds / postcelestial paper trails // in another life i am the lighthouse / & your echo warbles into mine // in another life i am carving the blade / & you are still papering the sky.