inadequately blue

the sky folds open every morning like origami

and i fold out with it, like butterflies,

like pretty birds, lifting away,

only to be caught in the creases of the ocean.

they say that if you make one thousand

paper cranes, you get a wish.

if my fingers did not ache, i would fold and fold and fold

until i got not one wish, but a million,

and i would scatter them across the sea

and kiss the feathers that wash up on the shore each year.

my lipstick stains are stuck on the softest things in the world

like clouds and the boy who didn’t say goodbye.

he dipped his finger into sunsets

and painted my eyes red, orange, fire,

and i would spread that burn out across the ocean

but my fingers shake

and nothing comes out of my mouth but air.

Emma Shi
Year 13
Pakuranga College, Auckland