Runner-Up for the 2023 Grierson Verse Prize
Malika is a second year English Literature and History student from Miami, Florida. She enjoys writing, painting, and designing. She likes to explore themes of identity, place, and nature in her poetry.
Connect with Malika

Website: Malika McKenney


The Future is a Dying Dog

on the yellow lawn outside,
soft and thin and made of bones
resting in the fading light.

It opens one eye on its own
and sees your graying hair and skin.
It drops its head, and dreams of home.


Sunday means tomorrow crawls up to the door
like that wounded animal you found
and keeps asking if you wanted more

than the soft and sentimental sounds
of beeping phones and whirring old machines
of passing cars and sliced meat by the pound

the throbbing hum of oft repeated scenes
from missing weeks that haunt the edge of sleep
the sound of losing hair at seventeen –


The future could be buried in the yard out back.
If it did it died in April rain,
and laid itself to rest without a plaque.