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by Lily Wang (United States)

July 2021

Write the World Review

Audio: "goldfish," read by Lily Wang

for two cents, the man
answering will reach into the ocean
open another sail & draw
a second sky. in this picture
the sky was never just blue
but pink & yellow & orange long before
sunset—in your version of the story, lao lao,
the bottle makes it across
oceans & will wait on gaping sands for the promise
that even a family of dandelion hopes
rooted in the present
will make their way back on August winds.

for a hundred ren min bi, the girl
will pirate away the gold,
will wish you, lao lao, “fortune like the east sea
& a lifetime like the south mountain.” if these words
come out with static, then nine years
has drifted a summer into a stranger, between us
is the trans-pacific cable & there’s a girl yelling
in background, her sand castle was melting
too early, she was lost in the currents
between us, our paper card promises, a deep ultramarine.

for three thousand dollars, mama
will buy the ticket. one-way & not home.
in the wrinkles of her eyes
there are long nights & somehow we still fit
two shots, polymer masks, a thousand
paper cranes & still everything
is left behind. the sky
should have been grey. in your stories
it’s always the ones smoking delicate arcs
& curves of dreams,
life, oxford comma before
stage 4 lung cancer, who disappear
into silence, into grey.
but lao lao, what if people become stones.
what if they sink after a few skips, even in this rain
only the bottle is allowed
to be made of glass.

for one inch of time, the girl
chasing the leaving wave, will swim across
the glass earth & find the blurring,
the passing.
in her story there is a bottle, inside:
a goldfish & two cents.

Lily Wang is a 16 year old living near the New Jersey shore. She often goes there to rollerblade or just to look around. With this piece, she hoped to write about the ocean that’s always there and the horizon that can bring everything closer.

#Identity          #Nature          #Family          #Memory

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Lauren hudd

2/3/23, 12:21 AM

Reading this story was realistic and relatble


2/2/23, 11:27 AM

"I collected little glimpses of the north to hoard away for the future, like treasure" is such a beautiful line!


2/2/23, 11:23 AM

What a fascinating piece!

2/2/23, 5:21 AM

One of my favorite pieces ever published on Write the World!


2/2/23, 4:41 AM

Well done Everett on this powerful piece. I hope you continue to write!


2/2/23, 4:40 AM

Well done Genevieve - what a beautiful and evocative piece of writing!

1/17/23, 2:15 AM

This is so beautiful


1/16/23, 3:52 PM

I love all of it. It’s so real and so many feelings are there.


1/5/23, 6:02 PM

This is amazing. Do not ever stop. That is really inspirational, the whole writing piece made me want to help.


1/3/23, 7:19 PM

This article was absolutely amazing! I am so thankful to live in a country where periods and sex are fairly normalized, but I will never forget to educate myself about the lack of education others have. It pains me to know that in countries like India, girls are still put down about what they where and how they act. It was very brave of you to share your voice, and I commend you endlessly for that.


12/8/22, 7:25 PM

I really love this! I, myself, am not black, but I know of a lot of good black people. Sadly, I will admit, at one time, I used to think of a black community filled with gangs and poverty. But I know now how perfectly capable it is to live together if only we got rid of the stereotype that is so, so wrong. I do hope you accomplish this. This will great for our country.

Sorry but can't share the name

12/7/22, 10:40 AM

Basically I don't know how to react.
All the conservatives should be reading this.........

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