Phantasm with Bones
We open at sunrise. The stage is set under flashing lights.
where the convict always dies.
& you’re lurching within the construct,
by the white bars.
Soon, the hourglass will crack.
Patiently, I teeth this cardboard street.
I explode into one million tremolos.
I burn the walls
with my fingertips.
I raid the Capitol.
The puppets flail on their axes,
their strings caught in the machinery.
They jerk, spitting out
rubber bullets and
paint bullets and
real bullets and
splaying open their wooden mouths.
It starts to snow.
My eyes burn, because it is ash.
Applause flutters through the darkened room.
On the stage,
the bones are all the same colour.
The crowd calls: Give us more
Emma Miao is a 16-year-old poet from Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. She is a commended Foyle Young Poet of the Year 2019, and her work appears in Atlanta Review, Diode Poetry Journal, Cosmonauts Avenue, Glass: A Journal of Poetry, and The Emerson Review, among others. She is the winner of the F(r)iction Poetry Contest 2020, and a finalist for the Atlanta Review International Poetry Prize 2020.