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This is How You Make a Storm

Stella Lei

At thirteen I try to swallow the sky.

Try to lick it clean of rain so my stomach

balloons wide, so I can float above the world

and watch it from outside. But clear blue

traps me—a spotlight on stage—my eyes

pinned wide. And the audience is faceless

yet loud. They want sparks. They want flames.

I weave lightning into a show (do you see?),

scar my skin with electricity, sear lines

into my palms. Intermission and I claw

down cumulus and wring it dry. Knit

it against tongue against throat, each fiber

spooling around my organs and tightening.

I’m bleeding blue. Breaking through the stratosphere

and I’m cracking it open, searching for an exit sign,

lungs swelling to the brim. This is how you make a storm.

At thirteen I blow out the stage lights, look

myself in the eye and unhinge my jaw.

About the Author

Stella Lei is a teen writer whose work is published or forthcoming in Gone Lawn, Milk Candy Review, Whale Road Review, and more. She lives in Pennsylvania with her two cats and writes way too much about water. She is an Editor-in-Chief for The Augment Review and she tweets @stellalei04.

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