Saudade, et al


you hissed through
your lips, salty
like the rim of a margarita glass,
i wonder if the word
tasted sweet, hitting your tongue.

you explained to me
with an effortless cool
isn’t a word but a feeling
of nostalgia for
object or time
or flesh.

you mused,
washes over you
like a baptism
but certainly
doesn’t cleanse.

a whisper or plea
a tug or a pull
for something that was once
clutched tight between your fingers
but has drained from reality
not memory.

you said before you
slipped away,
in a whirl of exhaust fumes
and exhaustion,
of good-byes
but not see-you-laters.

a swallowed laugh
when a memory pops,
a ringing in your ear,
a wince of déjà vu,
an anchor in a frozen lake.

Ad Hominem

It’s not like they have anything good to say, those white lies poured out of whiter teeth and wide smiles too big to be genuine. The questions are bullets needed to be dodged but they feel like targets at the gun range. Under the burning spotlight their opinions are evaporating as steam from a kettle, confidence seeping through the pores of their tailored suits. A stutter or pregnant pause will render whispers, pundits analyzing behind thick glasses the day after. But it’s not like they have anything good to say. They’re regurgitating their notes, scribbled by some hapless assistant. Or words hastily whispered to them cranked out of the megaphone mouths mere seconds later. That sound bite made one plummet in the polls, percentages buzzing around them like old flies. This view angered a certain demographic, except everyone’s clumped together in a Greek chorus that has nothing to sing. They’re walking on tightrope and they can’t help but look down, with every sentence one more toe slips off. But it’s not like they have anything good to say.

Scopes’ Student Revelations

I always thought my ancestors were pink faced,
wearing fig leaves and scowls and trying to climb up
from their fall.
Now they look nothing like me;
they cannot feel shame or blush
as my—my former ancestors could.
They could climb, surely,
but they do not know to where.

Did the color of moths determine
that selection is no longer divine?
Did the finches chirp
that survival no longer depends on prayer?
What does the evolutionary tree contain
that the Tree of Knowledge lacks?
What Acts did the orangutans perform
that made them so human?

But maybe you’re right.
For who’s to say that
the spark in their eyes is not like
the one that ignites in ours?
Or that the touch of their palms
doesn’t hold the same comfort as ours?

Some tell me that religion
doesn’t belong in a laboratory.
And that science shouldn’t be preached
from an alter.

But maybe they’re wrong.
For who’s to say that
science is only Numbers and mechanics
and religion is stitched together by Romans and superstition.
Can’t they work together, can’t they share
as Genesis and Origin share the same meaning?

Anna Iovine
Age 17, Grade 12
St. Joseph Hill Academy
Silver Key

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