This year, we, the people,
Every cheek streaked with tears
Not one heart left whole
To watch the sun darken
Yesterday and ignite tomorrow

The heartbeat of the
World slowed, stopped.
Each breath of ripe, unbottled air
More precious than the last.
Noises of screams and silence intermingling—
Too many screams, too much silence—
You and I, one nation, indivisible.

Oh, to have liberty and justice for all, but
No, it seems that
Equality is too much to ask.

Annika Bajaj is a 17-year-old aspiring writer, musician, and neuroscientist. In her spare time, she enjoys reading fantasy novels, baking, and hanging out with her labradoodle, Sana.