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Yesterday: An Island

Updated: Jun 12, 2021

Art by Rebecca Song, staff artist

1941—the year of the metal

snake. what the hell is that? you ask

to snappy prayers under

milk skies, but can you blame

us? girls who play hide-

and-seek in bikini-striped bodies—

play immigrant, not burial,

play blues, a noose fitted around

winter’s throat. there’s more

than one way to say we’ve killed two birds

with one stone, but that’s the bone-

bruised alley our grandfather took

before the bombs. now,

i paw gardenias with my bare feet,

and shovel papaya flesh

into my mouth—two orange suns

colliding. when evening comes

in a crow’s call and creamsicles

weigh on our tongues,

we scatter breast bones like songs,

hunger for another migration

to where we are no longer

stacking dolls but daughters

fisting bullets.


Set in America during World War II


Esther Kim is a high school senior from Potomac, Maryland. In the summer of 2019, she participated in the Kenyon Review Young Writers Workshop. A National Student Poet Semifinalist, she has been recognized by The Atlantic and the Poetry Society of the UK, among others. When she's not writing, she can be found taking long walks while listening to a podcast.

This is Rebecca! She’s just started her first year of art school. She not only loves to make creative content through her drawings but she also loves to listen to music (from R&B to kpop), dance, read novels, binging shows and movies, learning new languages on Duolingo and hanging out with friends.

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