You can tell she is a writer by the way she speaks. The way art flows from her mouth in short sentences and long ones. The way her lips curls with the intensity of the subject. The way her tongue rejoices at pretty-sounding words like solace and lilac.
She is a writer by the way her hands wring on unspoken words and cursive letters.
She is a writer in the way she listens as words toil in her ear. When she squirms at words that itch and smile at words that rhyme. She is a writer. Proceed with caution.
She is a writer by the way she keeps a notebook for all her unspoken thoughts, everything she wanted to say but can't. Or won’t. Her mouth seals shut as her hands roam free on a page. She finds herself in the small spaces between the lines and the smaller spaces between your finger.
She is a writer by the way she compares you to a summer’s day. Your Shakespeare in the making. You oblige but you only wish you could be half the person she thinks you are.
She is a writer by the way she locks stories in her heart. And lovers too. The way she’ll write about you will sting forever because you have known her truth. When you met her, I don’t think you knew she was a writer in the dark, but all the signs were there. Idiot.
She is a writer in the way that even her epitaph sounds nice. Here lies our beloved daughter of heaven, writer of universes, dreamer amongst the stars. You hold those flowers she liked in bereaved hands. You think how poetically she would have described it, the way she lies here the same way she lay next to you under starry skies.
About the author: When God was handing out privileges, He decided not to give Leny any so "she would have something to write about." Featured in the New Verse News, Bridge Ink, and the Loud Journal, Shalala Leny is a high school senior from Miami who writes and makes art whenever she has the time. Her works tend to explore topics of identity and she continually strives to show new perspectives throughout her work.