Strawberry Haze

Kirsten Liang

i had a dream about you and
strawberries. not real strawberries: the sour,
pimpled berries that are never quite sold ripe

i mean their fanciful cousins: the pink, poreless
fruits who flood instagram aesthetic pages.
because in dreams you can have anything you

wish and if i could have anything i wanted i
would have you and strawberries. i tried to paint
this feeling into a picture but all my ideas come

out contorted on paper, so i ended up with an
outline of a character that didn’t capture your
warmth at all so now i’m writing this letter that

you’ll never read, trying to explain the rosiness
of the clouds and how i see you in my dreams
and how in my mind you tasted sweeter than

any strawberry and how in real life strawberries
are these fibrous green protrusions
encapsulating white, fleshy caves within them

they are never, ever sweet and leave a thorny
residue on your teeth long after the last berry
has been consumed.

Lady from Saint Mary by Kirsten Liang

Kirsten Liang is fifteen years old but wishes she were seventeen so she could watch R-rated films. Her work has placed in many competitions for students: on an international level in the 2022 Writing Contest hosted by Wintermute Lit, on a national level at the Scholastic Writing Awards, and on a state level at the 2022 National History Day Competition. She is trying to be more optimistic.s.