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echo of a glowing shadow

Artwork by Rita Chen, staff artist


I’m worried

about you.

You haven’t been replying to my texts,

and when you do,

your words are papery-thin,

translucent, and

porous enough to take flight

because they have nothing left

to stay behind for.

Your texts cast a glowing shadow

at two forty-six AM,

when the sky is inked with charcoal,

and the world is enveloping itself in its dreams—

but what about you?

Are you doing alright?

You give so much,

but you hide just as much,

and I can tell behind your slippery smile

that drips down like raw honey

that you are flaking away in a combat

in your heart

that tugs


on your tired gaze,

your staggering walk,

your fidgeting

of your too-long battered sleeves— have you reached a stalemate?

I’ll always be here

if you ever need me.

I remember the last time

you called, distraught,

hesitantly telling me about your mother

and I heard everything


how you were doing,

but then the connection severed,

shattering the buzz

of white background noise

into a steady hum of silence echoing from the receiver.

Read at 2:46 AM

#textmessages #reachingout #friends #mentalhealth


Noreen Chen is a sophomore at Jericho High School. In her free time, she likes to read, write, and think of ways to improve herself. When Noreen isn’t brainstorming ideas, you can find her watching YouTube or obsessing over peanut butter.

Rita is a senior at Bayview Secondary School in Ontario, Canada. Although her parents (and the tumultuous state of the job market) have endlessly advised her not to, she has decided to pursue a career in the arts. She enjoys drawing, writing, and playing Animal Crossing in the little free time she has.

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