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  • Writer's pictureSabrina Guo


In the summer when it pours, a lake forms

in my backyard,

rivulets soaking

the grass—

a jungle monsoon


of miles away.

My boots heavy

in the rain,

I share my sorrow

with calming droplets

and hear my truth,

recall that

I was born in Queens,

of which I remember little

except for smoke unfurling

from apartment roofs

before my family moved

to Long Island,

which is hardly an island

at all. It’s not tropical

for one thing, and you don't need

a boat or a plane

to get there. In Oyster Bay,

it snows in the winter,

cold enough for hot

cocoa and heavy coats.

The blades of my skates

cut into the ice

but they don't break the surface

as the frozen asteroid

65 Cybele did

four point five billion

years ago, breaking off

a chunk of rock

that then became the moon.

In concert with the sun,

that solar nebula,

collapsed by gravity,

spread its tendrils

over the Earth, melted

the ice that remained

into bodies of water.

But where did the asteroid’s ice

come from in the first place?

I can’t help but ask

when I feel the blades

of my skates tracing lines,

knowing full well

all stories must start


water is made of molecules

and molecules

are made of atoms

and atoms are made

of neutrons, electrons,

and protons—

opposite forces,

that need each other

to form life.

Everything a process—

an experience

of coming

into contact

with the other.

Video: Performed at the 2021 UN Climate Change Conference (COP26)

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