for teens, by teens

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


Kristal Ng

i keep my boyfriend hidden under my pillow/behind the covers.

so often at night you return to me, your skin stained
an inky blue-black. i pull back the sheets and they rustle
as you slip in beside me; my fingers instinctively find your broken spine
and begin to smooth the creases in your back, 
because you have not yet learnt that the pen is mightier than  
your fists, that punches will not solve what words can.

you tell me of what happens beyond the borders of this
hardcover house and what happens between the lines
of its white picket fences. you think you have to protect me
from reality, but all it does is let my own imagination take over. 
when i try to read the raised scars on your skin
(and you quiver from the closeness of my touch)
i finally understand what it feels like to be dyslexic.

do you remember? i picked you off the bookshelf on the off chance
that your attitude was only a cover
that your dusty jacket was merely a disguise
that really, inside, you were a tortured artist
just waiting to be discovered.

if you look closely, you will see that we can be dissected
into letters. we are not composed of atoms after all, but
stories—do we make them up or do they make up us? 
i refuse to believe that you and i are only characters
that stand beside each other on the keyboard
because who knew that something as thin as paper
could still cut so deep.   

KRISTAL NG is seventeen and was born in a place where it is eternally summer; Singapore. She hopes that one day, her writing will speak louder than her voice can. 

© Canvas Literary Journal 2016
Writers & Books
Rochester, NY