by Imogen Arate

Every day, roller coaster rides await
to convey from white-hot rage 
to tear-soaked happiness
for lone consumption
for lone enjoyment 

Spaces appear empty
only to untrained eyes
They are filled heavy
by littered words 
post sensory assault

They mock in poses
lean against walls
loiter in kitchens
they beg to engage
and they don’t leave 

Imogen Arate is an award-winning Asian-American poet and writer and the Executive Producer and Host of Poets and Muses, an award-winning weekly poetry podcast. She has written in four languages and published in two. Her work was most recently featured in The Hong Kong ReviewThe Opiate and The Abuela Stories ProjectVarada J.M is a 9th-grader based in Kerala’s Koyilandi, studying at Rani Public School, Vadakara. After hurriedly doing homework, Varada divides her time between practicing classical dance and watching horror films. She loves dogs but nobody at home wants one.