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By Rina Olsen

and we were happy, my father and i // orbiting the billiard table // yesterday melting in our shoes and pooling between our toes // chicken wings filling the negative space in our bellies // as we organized the universe into patterns // upon the soft velvet of restaurant noises and quiet jazz // these numbered planets were experimenting with collision theory // creating a whole new solar system while we watched through twin telescopes // somewhere else, a galaxy was cremated // the cue sticks are the remaining bones // and we knew that the dust from some far-away nebula was already beginning to stick to the table but we continued // my father and i // listening to the pulse of this microcosm // the clicks of our cue sticks // letting it rhyme with the sound of home

Rina Olsen, a rising high school junior from Guam, is the author of Third Moon Passing (Atmosphere Press, June 2023). She is an editor for the teen literary magazines Cathartic Youth Literary Magazine, Polyphony Lit, and Blue Flame Review, and she was invited to be an instructor for Polyphony Lit’s Summer 2023 writing workshop Around the World of Poetry in 80 Days. Her writing has been awarded by Guam History Day, the Sejong Cultural Society, and the Walt Whitman Birthplace Association, and she has been published in places such as Jellyfish Review, Okay Donkey, Unfortunately, Literary Magazine, The Hopper, Emerge Literary Journal, and elsewhere. Visit her at her website:

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