To my right, I’m surprised at the number of cookbooks.
How many different ways can you make a pork chop?
To my left, embellished classics sit with spines as straight as those of private school children.
Ahead, I try my best to distinguish between the identical covers of teen fiction.
They all have a white girl, eyes cut-off, holding some object, some symbol.
Further down, science fiction not based on scientific principles at all.
An abundance of autobiographies by quote-unquote “celebrities” that only a few people recognize.
Children’s books about heroes that are too perfect and villains that are too evil.
Poetry collections ranting about the same old one-sided love,
Decorated with fancy words that don’t fit in at all.
And they’re all divided by dark oak bookshelves.
Why can’t John Green be friends with Jane Austen?
Why am I so afraid to cross the bookshelf borders?
With the shelves as markers to know when you are,
Each book a single event.
Who am I to travel through time?

Isabel Nguyen is currently a freshman attending the Orange County School of the Arts for Creative Writing. She mainly writes poetry, but does write short stories as well. Many of her pieces are based on the emotions she has felt about real-life events. Isabel enjoys reading classic novels and traditional poetry, like sonnets. She has a goal to read all of Shakespeare’s sonnets and plays.