Home 9 Issue 9 knight in paper armor by Olivia Cao

Olivia Cao, age 16


I wrote this piece to express the joy and the security that comes from hiding oneself through reading. The responsibilities that come from reality (school, family, social life, etc.) are often overwhelming, and books have always offered me a certain comfort that no other hobby has.

knight in paper armor

wrapped in paper armor,
i shield myself like a warrior born for the battlefield.

the only weapon i wield?
a pen to tear through parchment
snapping wood-wrought bones and
splintered sockets with
ink spilling from a broken glass bottle

(it looks like a last goodbye)

i am outnumbered, outgunned, outmanned
by worries in this
opposing army of anxieties

i want to hide between the
once upon a time
                        (and the)
end of a novelist’s dream

or maybe don the invisible cloak of a dedication page

(it tastes like a childhood ambition)

there is no one who can
find me here in this
       sweet escape
not homework or tests
or the rustle of bulleted lists
that dot my desk in teardrops

(they smell like a debonair failure)

no sound but a microwave
and pen to paper to
drown out the beastly cries
of wretched responsibilities
nothing but ticks and typewriters
to write them into melodies

(they sound like my inspiration)

i will never be truly alone
my own thoughts haunt me and
all I can do is
                         F E E L