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on july

—Brian Guan

on july

run like thunder through

the good side of town.

stop when it gets ugly

enough, coughs your father

on whiskey /

Diet Coke: his all




over the radio, your bad

high as drums. they 

took my mother

land last Autumn, beat

her into staccato 


            (I hated it there.

             I’d never tell.) 

my larynx a subtle

sort of lie

like poetry or screwing or

singing until you’re



but it’s pretty

here I know.

here the roadkill

tastes more like cinnamon

toast crunch

but I still hear 

my grandmother

on her cobweb chair

running sonatas 

through her hands:





BRIAN GUAN is a writer from the SF Bay Area. A 2023 YoungArts award winner and Scholastic American Voices Nominee, he currently serves as Alameda County’s Youth Poet Laureate and editor-in-chief of teen literary magazine The Dungeness Press. His original play, “Good”, debuted in LA last July.

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