Katie Lu

Hunter College High School, ‘21    “Climate change is a very prevalent issue that affects or will eventually affect everyone. Being part of a younger generation, I feel that climate change will be our future if we don't do anything now to try and stop its progression.”    Katie  was born and lives in Queens. She credits her culturally diverse neighborhood as being a large influence on her life and values. She has been writing poetry since middle school and has developed a love for it since. Aside from poetry, she likes to swim and is a member of her school’s Varsity swim team. In her free time, she frequently runs in Central Park. She is considering pursuing a career in law in the future.

Hunter College High School, ‘21

“Climate change is a very prevalent issue that affects or will eventually affect everyone. Being part of a younger generation, I feel that climate change will be our future if we don't do anything now to try and stop its progression.”

Katie was born and lives in Queens. She credits her culturally diverse neighborhood as being a large influence on her life and values. She has been writing poetry since middle school and has developed a love for it since. Aside from poetry, she likes to swim and is a member of her school’s Varsity swim team. In her free time, she frequently runs in Central Park. She is considering pursuing a career in law in the future.

Hot Summer Nights

I live for those hot, summer nights.

The kind where the air is so thick it

trickles down your throat, like sweet molasses

Where sticky thighs get trapped under rustling sheets

because it’s hot enough for the cotton to be stifling

but not hot enough to wiggle out the polish-painted toes,

in fear of dangling over the edge and baiting the

monster underneath the bed.

The summer of 2011 epitomized these nights.

Cherry popsicle-stained lips and string-tied hips

were the look of Rockaway Beach

The sun was blazing, the waves embracing—

and when I couldn’t go the beach because

my parents had finally put their foot down

I had the chilled AC’d room rubbing backs

with the burning asphalt.


So when the weatherman said it would rain

in late August, I said, “let it rain” right back.

Because I was young and it was summer and

best friends and boys and 4th grade

sat on my brain—

Rain was the simple afterthought to

air smelling wet and earthy,

to clouds grasping hands with soil

to humidity and hair frizz and hot dog barbeques and,

even when the weatherman said it would hurricane,

I swept the tropical storm under the carpet category

of mythological weather phenomenons:

ones I had caught whispers of but never really witnessed.

Only when “rain” started throwing rocks at my window

like a sodden Romeo, begging for my attention

did I begin to think that I should have turned the

weatherman’s voice up.

Only when wind sloppily french kissed my storm door,

sticking his tongue behind her hinges and underneath her gaps

did I start to regret changing the Weather Channel to that “Disney one.”

Because the multi-headed monster named Irene, Irma, Sandy, Maria,

had finally chosen to crawl out

from underneath my bed and knock on my front door

Because I didn’t have the luxury of hiding

underneath my covers anymore.

Because my parents could only bring one suitcase,

so my youth and my responsibility could not both fit.

Because summer had died on my porch step that day,

and a piece of me—and the rest of the world—

unknowingly died with her.

I once lived for those hot, summer nights.