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i see you on the streets of florence

Artwork by Michelle Dong, staff artist

i see you on the streets of florence


look in the eyes of michelangelo’s david, chiseled in marble.

but his hands are soft-- they are honey and fluid and translucent.

they say david’s eyes are flawed, the left looking straight and the right looking down

at somewhere, elsewhere.


venus smiles in cerulean, flaxen hair billowing. half moon of a shell,

cold and pearly beneath her bare feet. she is cruel.

breathtaking. her gaze never breaks but her eyes

are soft. her hand against her heart,

listening to its beat, reminding her that she’s still alive.

and there’s something circular about it,

the way the song repeats,

again and again and again.


euphrosyne, aglaia, and thalia dance spring’s dance.

venus watches them, serene. she knows that

april is the cruelest month.

cupid, blindfolded, aims his bow. an arrow sinks

into chastity’s translucent silk dress. chastity dances but her mind is elsewhere;

across the room, mercury looks off into the distance.

she stares at him, thinking if she stares hard enough,

maybe he’d turn around. maybe his eyes would meet hers.

she prays, thinking that if she prays hard enough, he’d

ask her to dance with him. she dances with the others

but looks at him all night, dreaming

that she’d be able to dance with him until dawn.


love hasn’t changed.

she is as perpetual as ever, circular and hopeless,

beautiful and as cruel as april.

the faded paint of a fresco, a gaze

from across the room. so love, look at soft marble. look

at the birth, and at spring. this

is everything love is and should be. i

want to make you feel it. so tell me what love is;

show me what love tastes like.


Kristine Ma is a high school junior hailing from Michigan. She received two national gold medals and several regional recognitions from the National Scholastic Art & Writing Awards. Her work is forthcoming from Bridge: The Bluffton University Literary Journal. Kristine is an editor for her school's award-winning literary magazine as well as the English section editor for her school's academic journal. She also loves music, and can be found listening to a variety of music, from Chopin and Ravel to Seventeen, 88rising, and anime openings. When she isn't writing, she can be found playing piano, hugging stuffed animals, watching anime, and dreaming.

Michelle Dong is 14 years old and is from New York. She loves programming, design, art, and music. Her passion for website design and research led her to qualify for nationals at NHD, which is situated in Maryland. As of 2019, she won the Lowell Milken award grand prize for her website about an unsung hero, Caroline Ferriday. Her hobbies for art and music have led her to become a late-night doodler and an avid earbud breaker.

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