Bearing Summer, Bare

in dreams i stand

barefoot, soul bearing

bear the brief bittersweet 

baring teeth, bare

back against the earth

bear its weight on my back –

(it’s) heaving, spitting

(i’m) drowning, living

the sun rises 

it burns, i’ve 

been burnt before but never burned like this:

body bare, barely breathing

my chest stings

i brace myself

watch the earth as

(it) catches, blazes

(we’re) dying, fading 

in dreams i take my

first breath, last summer

take what is barely mine

bear the rest

the earth retches as i 

sleep in

run down cracked concrete

the sky is always pretty

bathed in burnt orange-red

bleeding bare

there is rest when i want it

peace when i need it

and the sky is always pretty.

you leave me be 

you come back to me

i never let go

i never have to.

in the end it’s just

the heartbreak of another summer

come only to pass 

bearing the bodies of the burning, 


but if the sky is always pretty

this passing (earth’s. ours.) 

wouldn’t be all that remarkable


I wrote this piece in the height of summer, with the seemingly never-ending sun beating down. I thought of how I’m growing up, how this is likely my last summer here with the people I love, how this summer feels like the end-all be-all to life so far. Thus the end-of-the-world references and doomsday scenarios. Still, there’s a sense that it couldn’t end any other way. After all, if things were different — nicer, prettier in a sense — the end wouldn’t be this remarkable.

– Yunseo Chung


Emily X.

Nadine R.

Anoushka K.

Joyce S.

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