By Gaby Beck
What lies beyond her eyes?
No one knows what she dreams and thinks.
Every grin and every glance is a guise
in the depths of cyberspace as she sinks
into the battles raging within
waiting for someone to see beyond
her eyes and into the life beneath her skin.
Howard Beach. Queens.
The wind exhaled drifting the smell of fish from the bay
permeating the walls of her grandpa’s apartment.
Everything felt the same, but everything was different.
The soft hum of the news channel. The flick of the paper.
Fleetwood Mac record melting on a rusted needle.
Puff of smoke from his pipe coating the ceiling.
His jawline etched in fog.
Now he sat in a present haze,
an unconscious existence caught in the vortex of tragedy
denying the chaos
and only accepting the tide of the ocean with the wiles of stillness
bearing that comforting smell of the world he knew.
Everything seemed less real under the waves of oblivion,
and that’s what he needed.
She knew he longed for fiction–
his home, by the bay, indestructible.
She once ran with innocence through the halls of his apartment
but she no longer had that lens of childhood sweetness
or his escape from reality.
New York’s too cold tonight.
She shivered in the loss of naivete.
The past. She grasps for a shard of your memory,
the one where she rested beneath the sleeping sun
when the stars asked for her to stay until the earth awakened
surrounded by fireflies glistening in amethyst air
and the midnight sky lay like a dream of possibility.
Her soul sang silently,
reaching out towards the blades of celestial honey
between twilight’s shadows.
But you are in exile,
banished in the blur of a world
she calls the horizon
since she knows she may never reach it.
In the morning she walks barefoot in the dew.
As droplets fall, her toes touch the trembling flesh of the earth
in the ash of flames that brought the earth to its knee,
aching for mercy.
Feeling stagnant in the shroud of calamity,
she spends her days, a nomad of cyberspace,
waiting for a smile, waiting for someone
to restore the universe to its graces.
She thinks she is foolish to believe the sky full of stars is more powerful
than the ravages of crisis that rust the world she once knew.
During the week,
graceful phrases fall from her lips to those
across the screen dimensions away.
She gazes at a boy knowing all about him.
She loves his hair, heir of awakened light.
She loves his eyes, tempest of surging seas.
His shield of divinity the girl adores–
But it bans her entry, for she is not golden.
Swathed in the gloom of invisibility,
her kaleidoscope eyes scrutinize
her body, her face, her flaws
and resists the inevitable pangs of hunger
seeping through her mind
to try and reverse the barren bud of beauty.
The paralyzing chains of insecurities
nurture the myth of the mirror.
The pixels echo the unraveling of her eyes
once gleaming with flecks of stolen dawn
now dulled like the thorns of a withering rose.
Her hollowed face and empty presence
fade into the codes of the internet
as she sits
waiting for someone to notice.
In the digital divide,
translate what surges beneath the glass of our pupils,
but our stories and troubles remain unknown
because only a few venture beyond the pixels…
Gabrielle Beck is a 17-year-old writer from New Jersey. She plans to document Generation Z’s creativity, ingenuity, and innovation through her writing and photography. In her free time, Gabrielle enjoys repurposing vintage denim to promote sustainability.