Rachel Czerwinski

how kind it was

how kind it was
that the monsters of our childhood –
the ones who lived under the bed,
behind the bookshelf,
in the closet –
always obeyed the rules we set?
we were safe
so long as our toes were covered up by blanket,
so long as the hall door was kept ajar
            for the light to shine through
so long as we chanted just the right rhyme
            at just the right time.
children create their own games,
create their own magic.
adults have no such power.
                    -     catch a tiger by the toe

we watched summer cool early

we watched summer cool early
and grew afraid of the darkening sky.
so we picked love as green fruit,
tried to savor it for its tartness,
rather than in spite of it.
but in truth,
we found each other because harvest was uncertain.
in the face of looming winter,
two women clung to warmth,
and we cannot curse such a human decision.
                    -     storm clouds on the horizon

i talked of grand plans.

i talked of grand plans.
schemes and dreams
and wishes. wishes
on stars, on moons,
on satellites of my own conjuration.
there were so many paths i wanted to walk,
so many people i aspired to be.
and then the time came
where i had the power to choose.
and god,
i wanted nothing more than to lose it again.
for all my grand words,
it was possibility
that froze me.
                    -     brave is she who walks by her own light

About the author: Rachel Czerwinski, 21, is a senior studying chemistry at the SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry in Syracuse, New York. She expects to graduate in May 2019 and plans to begin a PhD program in materials chemistry at the University of Wisconsin Madison. As both a scientist and a writer, the margins of her lab notebooks are filled with poetry and her poetry notebooks are regularly interrupted by reaction mechanisms. In her free time, Rachel enjoys singing with her campus acapella group and playing tabletop games with her friends. Her flash fiction has previously been published in the FlashDogs "Time" anthology.