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Thought experiment for hamartias -- poetry by Sarah Zhang

if Achilles could catch

the tortoise, he would probably


skin it alive for making him

chase it for millennia.


the taunt of a mottled tail

could drive anyone mad, I suppose.


in our house of a bone-worn dog,

we blow gently before we sip.


the gap between our acrid lips and the matcha

never closes. in fact, the limbs


of the space grow, feeding into our obedient noses,

tangy in the small holes of our skulls. Above,


this monkey-faced moon never fails

to make me feel unwhole. unholy,


if I tried to shy from its unabridged sight, maybe

I would come face to face


with bitter Tantalus, so close

to the white Assyrtiko grapes, so far


from feeling merciful juices between teeth.

maybe, in that dark crevasse, I would curl up


in my mottled shell, and eat

the flesh of the side of my mouth instead.


I’m sure it would taste

like repentance.



Sarah Zhang is a Chinese-American rising sophomore living in the Philippines. Surrounded by a community filled with diversity, Sarah aims to share the vivid aspects of her cultures through her poetry. Her works have been accepted in Eunoia Literary Journal, the Daphne Review, K'in Literary Journal, the Heritage Review, and have been honored by the Scholastic Art and Writing Awards. In her free time, she plays tennis with her sister, and likes New York style pizza.

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