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“Dog Eat Dog World”

Updated: Dec 31, 2020

Artwork by Helen Liu, staff artist

Met a wolf walking down Wall Street.

I stopped him, said, “sir-

Do you have a minute? You’re somebody I’d like to meet.”

He reached into his pocket, ready to confer.

He stood prim and pressed in his suit and tie,

Lighting the rolled up cigarette in his palm

A businessman and his suited eye

Licking his canines charred up from chewing

Leftover nubs from the tobacco that ate him up from inside out.

“Pretty little doll,

How do you think the world got so small?”

If I were to roll up all the continents into a twirling little disk,

It wouldn’t be so different from the quarter he placed on my palm.

Flip up a coin, any coin, and land on the fate you’re made of.

“Here’s my card, consider it a ticket.

The world’s a race, whether it’s street rats or bred horses, you’re in it to win it.

Ya got gumption to catch the dough and cash the flow. Pack your grit.”

His lips now curved into a slit.

I remind myself to roll myself up from the inside out.

There are flies on the walls and wicked tongues where jealousy runs

Off of charred lips.

“Pretty little doll, why don’t ya give me a call?

Papers, forms, and contracts, I’ll fix it all.

Here, think about it. Take my pen home tonight.”


Helen Liu is a seventeen-year-old Chinese-American from Basking Ridge, New Jersey. When she isn't swamped in schoolwork, she likes writing late into the night, playing piano, trying her best at watercolor, and spending time with friends. Also, at any given time, it's more likely she's listening to music than not. Though her stories and poems are often focused on her personal passions and struggles, she also takes inspiration from her favorite pieces of literature and important current issues.

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