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In my calculus class was a man in an iridescent polo and
pigeon feathers in his dark, tangled hair. i frequented the
city near by the college everyday, absorbing the people
and the sights until they were all deftly engraved into the
darkest creases of my mind, yet not once had i seen such a
fantastical and whimsical sight. he had eyes the shade of
jade, with a piercing stare that inflamed my body and led
me to ascension.

In my calculus class, we imputed derivatives and found
the area under the curve, with algebra and geometry
breathing seducing words into scarcely feeling brains.
the man raised his hand, and though i could not
understand the alien language that possessed his tongue,
i was rather fixated with his zest and dynamical control of
a pedestrian room.

After calculus class, i hastened my steps, the colors
reflecting from his shirt a beacon for my worn eyes as we
bounded past the hall, the garden, then the lake. his
feathers were a curious case, newton’s law of universal
gravitation having no impact despite the dainty autumn
wind that ghosted against our skin. i was tempted to steal
away, perhaps with a feather or two and call it a day,
if only he didn’t turn around to face me, eyes knowing
and blackened veins running down the length of his neck.

Under the sun, i learned many things at once. his unnatural
ivory skin, his bulging veins that were pure black, his
very being was—

Singular. mythical. perhaps even a foreign lifeform that
beguiled those who saw him and enraptured them until
their hearts beat solely for him and no one else. a warning
sign that i took as ecstasy.

His lips moved, but no words came out. instead, i felt my
cheeks flush at the precipitate influx of emotions that
threatened to tear me apart. his jaded eyes intersected
with my soul, and i let no further thoughts consume me.
no, every atom of my existence faded.

I was blank; empty space.

When i came to consciousness, he had vanished. i could
see a hole in the atmospheric layers of the earth, obscure to
those who did not share the experience, but nothing else
indicated the presence of an idiosyncratic man or being.
he was gone, yet i took solace in the fact that he let me see
him, in my calculus class and here at this surreptitious lake.
i lingered for a fleeting moment, watching the ripples of the
crystal water as they flashed green in the light, before
returning to normality.



Michelle Dang is a Vietnamese-American high school student based in Massachusetts. Besides being an enthusiast of the literary and visual arts, she is also the vice president of the Speech and Debate Club and a member of her school’s choir. Head in the clouds, she enjoys fantasizing about life outside of society and in her own self-created mythical realm. Find her on Instagram at @astronomicwords.
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8 Apr 2024

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