Writing Portfolio- Kathryn Jagai Age 17 Grade 12, Hunter College High School, Gold Key

Humming at Passing Storms

The rhythm in the gutters and
the whispers in the trees make her think
of Musetta, in a ricochet through time,
leading Slutwalk through puddles
and cold autumn streets, and
she wonders if the cold would trouble her tramp, or
draw attention to the gems in her crown.

The little girls dance, splashing
in rain boots, splattering mud, birds
taking shelter under cool mansard roofs
and their hooked umbrellas swing like canes,
twirling like lollipop sirens.

And romance is innocence, or
perhaps naiveté, wishing
someone will take time to dip you, all wet, or
perhaps romance is faith that
Marcello returns, holding elbows out
in askance.

Not Forgotten

I stopped wishing I could forget
the way your hands felt in mine, the sun
was our lamplight, the wind
coaching each twist of the skin – impact –
fighting back to back against a world
that would never understand.

But I do wish
that you were here with me, breaking
stars apart, infinite universe ours
to possess, control, belong – love,

We could have stolen the world
away from everything, unneeded but
desired and so it would be ours.
We were brilliance in the dark, a
space heater for the cold; we
could have razed mountains to valleys,
broke apart the heavens and kept
stars as our diamonds. We
were unstoppable, and just like that –
it was over.

But I do want to thank you

For breaking promises meant
to be broken, fielding thrown china, catching
hearts in weathered leather mitts, you
and I were golden and we broke it
but I’m telling you, never
will this ever be forgotten,
cause Us was worth more than fear of pain,
even just an empty echo of you
and me.


She’s the type of girl that makes you want
to fall in love, maybe, or
go out dancing in the rain, lying in fields
laden with dewdrops, damp
under skin. Her smile like a car crash,
a beautiful accident, intoxicated, dangerous
but you can’t look away, and you think
she looks so bashful
under low, fluorescent lights, but really
she’s all too dangerous for you.

You thought she looked at you
once, long ago, across the expanse of a
not-quite-crowded room, and she laughed
tossing her head back, with wild abandon,
her silhouette a chalice in the moor of the parlour
and this ache, settling
inside the barren cage of your chest
not unlike love, or perhaps malaise, creeping
slowly up into your throat, but
you fall in love with strangers, or acquaintances of friends,
if only hoping maybe someday
someone else will pick you, too.

Leave a Reply