protector. I am searching for one. do not go extinct.
I once shielded a heart the length of a beluga, width
of a stingray. wrap me in newspaper. make me a bed
of broken timber. smuggle me under lightweight suns
and shallow stars. ship me across the arctic so I feel
the collar tug of shipwreck carcasses skewered like fish,
bleeding gold escudos and waterlogged guest books.
warm my skin with melted glaciers as we cut through
the Pacific. I can point to you 50 miles off the coast
of Nikumaroro where a head full of auburn curls thrashed
like a spider web quakes when it catches its prey.
here once rested your aviator until the sharks mistook
her silver goggles for barracuda and swallowed her vertebrae.
now, let your eyes devour me. fill the shelves with ivory
carvings: Chinese relics, African busts, mammoths,
rhinoceros, rearing horses, corsets. you are next in line.
suck in your belly. we will both suffocate. I will be your ribs,
I will meticulously skin you and waterboard your organs
until my initials are carved into your skeleton.

Writer: Cassandra Hsiao is in the Creative Writing conservatory at the Orange County School of the Arts and an editor of her school’s award-winning art and literary magazine, Inkblot. Her work has been nationally recognized by the Scholastic Art and Writing Awards and the National Student Poets Program. She also conducts print and on-camera interviews as a Star Reporter and Movie Editor for multiple online outlets.

Artist: “Beauty in noise, narrated line.” –Bryce Gier.

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