your ghosts are not your own (may 2013) by Rona Wang

alone reflection downcast sad chaos street road
Photo courtesy of Natalie Chyi

……….It starts when, in the shudder of spring warmth,
ghosts shatter in skyscraper shadows.
………..You spend afternoons drifting in the streets,
trying to find the missing seams of your bones.
………..Instead, you:
stumble upon a philosophy major who asks for the purpose
of the blurred horizon, which you do not know the answer to;

meet a coffee barista who is saving up for a rose-gold city south of here,
somewhere beyond the trills of sunrise, beyond hearts stolen and crushed;

listen to the stories of the girl standing with a cardboard sign at the gleaming traffic light,
green blinking into yellow blinking into red over and over and over.

………..It’s been creeping upon you for weeks, this recognition
that you are fourteen, one kid standing in one place,
there is an infinite expanse of worlds beyond,
………..and your ghosts are scorns of an ubiquitous past.






Rona WangRona Wang is a sixteen-year-old from Portland, OR. She has been recognized nationally by the Scholastic Art and Writing Awards and has been published in The Best Teen Writing of 2014. She attended the Iowa Young Writers’ Studio in 2014. Currently she is a poetry reader at The Blueshift Journal. When not writing, she is prodding at a math problem or exploring one of the many downtown restaurants.


Natalie Chyi is an 18-year-old from Hong Kong who has recently moved to London, where she will be studying law for the next three years. She started photography to capture moments and pretty things/people/light/scenes as she sees them, and that idea is what continues to fuel all of her work. Find more of her work on, Facebook, or Tumblr.

Germ Magazine guest author
… is a contributing guest author for Germ, which means the following criteria (and then some) have been met: possessor of a fresh, original voice; creator of fresh, original content; genius storyteller; superlative speller; fantastic dancer; expert joke teller; handy with a toolbox; brilliant at parties; loves us as much as we love them.


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