Mansa Kuang, 16

Mansa Kuang is a rising junior at Lowell High School in San Francisco, California. She spends her free time writing fiction, employing the voices of different characters to focus on difficult themes, such as depression and mental health, an issue that Kuang says affects a lot of young people today. She believes that writing is a limitless medium which allows her to unleash all of her creativity.

Kuang is deeply interested in building equity in the world among women, men, and the LGBTQ communities. Kuang also champions the understanding of environmental science. By educating herself and others on how humans have affected the lives around us, she strives to understand and ultimately be part of sustaining different ecosystems and diverse species. Kuang challenges herself to be constantly learning about human geography in order to contextualize the world through patterns in human migration and the structuring of urban settlements.

She says environmental science and education, just like writing and storytelling, are ways of understanding different perspectives. Kuang plans to attend college to pursue a career in humanities, criminal law, and teaching.


silence fades in time

by Mansa Kuang


i am a captive in the twilight

are you flinching at the hundreds of deceased too?

i am trapped in a tomb

deteriorating below a remote cave

the chronic harsh wind

whiplashes and howls for the sins

life has abandoned me for the high above

do you notice the other bones and skulls too?

moist, ominous silence

descends into me

the soft trickle from an angry blizzard

falls contently on the forehead


the only company is time

gloomy like the funeral

peaceful like the final days

before the beauty in the madness

genuine, rugged, blinking sunlight

i’ve got emotions while other bodies got time

& i’ve got crushed ribs for the decaying rotten heart

i speak like I’m alive

like i'm somebody living that should hurt and feel pain


i exist alone in a doomed, decrepit place

somberly crawling to accept solitude

live in it

breathe in it

being forgotten in it


outside dirt from

my growing fingernails reminds me

life goes on

semblances from the outside world means nothing


not when you don’t recognize yourself anymore

not when the past is busy stuck unearthing

from the sharpened stalactites

not when you’re gone

is that the fragile future and memories?


i was lost but i have been taken out

through the hole i was too afraid to look at

unzip to reveal the flesh inside my bones

but don’t be scared of the sinister lies that taint

your eerily broken body


i dimly gaze at the skeleton digging me out

and i realize with a rising despair that it’s me

time heals everything


but what about an eternity?