To Live in A World
Illustration by Ash Catalan.

To Live in A World

A poem by Alaina Nesby.


To live in a world…

To live in a world where kings don’t care about our future.
They fill their ears with cement, thick and viscous like the muggy air that gets hotter every year,
Their voices vile like a slug slipping through my lips and down my throat,

Only to arise again through tears.

To live in a world full of weapons:

Bullets plastered on our billboards,
Plastered on our television sets.
The bullets that everyone sees as protectors, 

Plastered on the walls of our schools,
Burrowed in the chests of our children.
The same bullets that are formed into trophies
Suddenly become invisible.

To live in a world on fire:
The trees burning,
The branches breaking,
The air disappearing. 

I wonder what they’ll think when it all runs out.
If they’ll fill their lungs with the money they wanted
—If they’ll realize that capital is worth less than respiration.
To live in a world of suffocation. 

What would it be like to live in a world that’s ending?

Once the match was lit, would it explode?
Or spark and fizzle?
Or melt like chocolate?
Or boil like blood?

Would it pop like a balloon?
Would it erode away?
Like sand into outer space,
Our bones, our thoughts, our lovers, our past, our future, everything we’ve ever had to say. 

To live in a world where there’s nothing you can change 

Is to live in a world, young; 

To live in a world afraid.

Photo credit: Chele Jones Photography

Alaina Nesby is a junior at Akins High school studying music and composition. She currently plays over 10 instruments and is in the top orchestra and guitar ensembles at school. She is enrolled in multiple college courses and is excelling academically as well. She aspires to help and inspire others through her music.