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(Poem) how to settle in joy / how to create joy

how to settle in joy

here’s the simple answer:

you don’t.


you wander it: travel in its piled photo gallery.

time capsule its zestful laughter bursting in golden,

citrus summer.

you follow it: take its chosen path by hand,

and dare to dream in color, at full brightness.


let the euphoria sway you down a vast,

gaping field of blooming marigolds.


the skies will keep on soaring in grapefruit mornings,

with an abundance of beloved sunshine.

and all you ever need to rest in this phenomena,

in this living canvas: painted in the sun’s gleaming rain.

for just a little longer,

is will.

how to create joy

release yourself from the heaviest bed covers.

shimmy and shuffle in your pajamas.

slip-on some slippers and head to the kitchen make a few butter toasts.

fork the avocados and sizzle a dozen eggs.

crush some summer citrus oranges and chug the pungent juice.

eat the breakfast buffet in no shame.

see the morning fly while cruising in the bedroom.

watch teen romance.

maybe some Pride and Prejudice?

get on the laptop for an hour or two:

browse on the latest anime, sink into a puddle of boredom.

type on a blank google doc, but don’t like, fill a whole page,

just leave the fragments in unfinished beauty.

pile in on the stanzas of an ocean metaphor and give houseplants a shower.

safety pin the heaps of laundry onto the house’s lavender wall.

turn on the ceiling fan for once. watch the black blades swirl up a breeze.

perform the post-it note saved poems from newly ordered books,

film the reading. save it to Instagram, but never share the video.

scroll through the leftover notifications,

don’t respond to the messages.

instead, take a canvas out to the backyard, and snapshot all the gaping orchids into gold.

sculpt a vast field of wild on the bleak page.

stroke the rickety brush until the sun begins to die, one late summer night.

in the living room, rewatch the morning’s cartoons and shovel down some dinner:

a cup of noodles with some salad to dress.

then start to open up a hot Cheeto bag, leave them to marinade in some lemon.

return to your bedroom and place the headphones to your ears:

full volume, turn the decibels higher.

twirl and prance and dance and twerk and rumble and stumble and shout for a while longer.

go searching for the Cheetos while hip-hopping “Rebirth of Slick” down the living room aisle,

and munch on their red powdered sour.

hustle rap and gentle sing and hum to the heart’s liking.

start writing lovers prose in a composition notebook lying around on the wooden school desk.

camera shot yourself facing the moon’s sunshine with an animal plush.

take out the polaroid and capture this linage of time.

save this memory. save this space in your slumber.

• • •

after a while, open the ruckus in mind.

dress up in the mirror. go outside.

grab a ladder and reach for the restful, blossoming stars.

wake up to the watercolor sunrise, and gleam.

take time to stare into the horizon.

savor the sun’s eyes.

remember this smile out in the world.

• • •

camera shot this

in mind:

the littlest of places,

the tiniest pleasure

can create.

can be reborn.

can remember

new joy.


Amy (she/her) is a quirky Salvadorean-American teenager, and one hell of a dreamer. Now aspiring to be a writer, she desires to seize her learning with all kinds of artistic expression. She has previously competed in the GetLit - Words Ignite Middle School Slam Competition in April 2020, and since then, she has been taken under the wing of so many creators, unapologetic to write their world in words. One of her earliest pieces of work can be found on "Voice of the Future" Zine (@voice_future).

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