You will walk home everyday. Your ears will go red in the cold. You will spit into hope’s long ditch of dead leaves and the town will flood by morning. You’ll sit still with your ankles crossed for so long that your feet go numb. And every single night you’ll lay awake, stone and breathing, willing yourself to enter a dream where you understand exactly what’s happening. You’ll howl at the moon on a Saturday and equate this with knowing yourself, but it isn’t, and you don’t. You’ll cut your hair off—all the way off—again and again and again but every time it will grow back and you will be disappointed. You’ll get interested in Russian literature. Then criminal psychology. Then the rapture. Every night you will fruitlessly google predictions about the world ending. On a Saturday. On a Sunday. On your birthday in May. On reddit and last-tuesdayism and the real age of everything. On pointing a gun at the sky and shooting. You stare. It glints—hard like a pupil and spitting. It turns on its metal heel. All things come down eventually.

Sophie Bernik is a junior creative writing major at Interlochen Arts Academy in Northern Michigan. Her work has previously been published or is forthcoming in Hobart, Identity Theory, and The Kenyon Review. She was in the top 0.5% of Mitski listeners in 2021 and owns 7 leather jackets.