Canvas

for teens, by teens

Canvas Teen Literary Journal is published quarterly in print, ebook, web, video, and audio formats.

A Long Night Thought

Anna Lee


I was once prepared
to embrace
working long nights
as a milestone,
my badges: purple
impressions
beneath "les yeux"
It's obnoxious
to think in French,
but that's just one
result of holy
long nights.

When he says he has
better things to do
than waste time
altering states
(do you) mind, do you
believe him?

I've thought about it
on the cusp
between night
and morning
and I've decided
I don't.

Waste
does not exist
in terms of time—
only in the words
you burn with.

I know you looked
at your breath
in the winter
thinking, "what if?"
and locked it away
in a fantasy land
reserved for
never.

(You did this to me, 
too. I have not grown
ripe with age, just
been stained
by isolation.)

There is a midpoint
of every long night
where I am somewhere
between psychotic
and sane,

where things
get hazy,
and time
becomes spherical,
and I wish

I'd never signed up
for long nights.


Anna Lee is seventeen years old and attends Friends Seminary. Her poetry has won several Gold and Silver Keys in the Scholastic Art and Writing Awards. She enjoys sitting on stoops and eating mango. This would be her first publication.

© Canvas Literary Journal 2016
Writers & Books
Rochester, NY