Gabrielle Galchen

High School of American Studies at Lehman College, ‘21    “I had never shared my poetry with anyone publicly. But when I realized that spreading the word about climate change was so much bigger than me and my hesitations, I jumped at the opportunity to use my writing to make whatever impact I could.”   Born in New York City to an Israeli family, Gabrielle speaks Hebrew at home and often travels to her home country to visit her relatives. Her hobbies include reading dystopian fiction and writing. She has written short stories since she was a child, but only started writing poetry as a freshman in high school. As an adult, she hopes to become an emergency room doctor yet still write on the side. She is also passionate about social activism, especially women’s rights.

High School of American Studies at Lehman College, ‘21

“I had never shared my poetry with anyone publicly. But when I realized that spreading the word about climate change was so much bigger than me and my hesitations, I jumped at the opportunity to use my writing to make whatever impact I could.”

Born in New York City to an Israeli family, Gabrielle speaks Hebrew at home and often travels to her home country to visit her relatives. Her hobbies include reading dystopian fiction and writing. She has written short stories since she was a child, but only started writing poetry as a freshman in high school. As an adult, she hopes to become an emergency room doctor yet still write on the side. She is also passionate about social activism, especially women’s rights.




Don’t See Colors

Dear Greenhouse Gas,

I thought I’d like you because you saw no colors;

you seeped black, brown and white out from every postcard

snake hissing poison till you’re full from my blood.

You’re color-blind and I gotta tell you:

like the perfect storm, you do your job well.


You taint the golden state red as

enraged candles flare to fire.

Eyes spot skin into red lumps

to match your foggy green blanket;

trapped in the melting trees

a little girl in a white shirt stands still,

clouded in a smoky halo.


They say that their Christian angels void you

and you’re just a Chinese fairytale;

you exhale like a dragon and vomit fire

because you know that your scales will never sizzle;


Sizzling

as I cook food in my head,

because even my tears no longer soften the dry ground that hogs unborn seeds,

seething against angry hot rays,

ebbing its drink away.


They swim under this stolen water 

so that they don’t have to hear coughing 

that has become the symphony to every neighborhood’s dirge,

or smell smoke from miracle metal twisting into your sword.


They bar this secret under a factory’s locks so that it escapes them,

joins you to entrap them and spit out their delusion

that decorating a snowman trims away 

“global warming” problems.


They lick glinting nothings in the ground to fuel their pity-cars

over the blaring pop-culture of Sandy’s and Maria’s.

They sing out from their window that 

this isn’t their problem,


because even Katy Perry’s song is into weather 

that is “hot and then cold,”

because they’ll die before their cars crash into floods 

that match their eyes,

because on their windshield they draw dust into diaries 

that tell a reality only their kids will have to read.


One day, 

that little girl with sunken yellow-rimmed eyes leaves her school desk empty.

This doesn’t hit them close to home,

but she’s not too far away.


Droughts mean that now her family needs her help too;

two degrees warmer in the past couple centuries

and when everyone darker than your sunny accomplice suffers,

it’s obvious that though you don’t see colors 


you never cared that they

do,

that we do.