Whispers by Vrushab Rao
There are whispers about me –
“Who is he?”
Unlike the olden days where I hide behind these hands as a mask,
I try to find out.
“Who are these collections of flesh and bones who’s curiosity I spout?”
A fascinating personality, they seek to meet,
Fascinated souls I seek to greet.
And I do.
The fortnight of whispers finally comes true.
Oh curiosity of mine, where did this sudden resurgence arise?
For now, what I see is pure, unique, to surmise.
Between shooting stars from echoing cars
We had meaningful talks with words so sparse.
And among smokes, both brown and green
I had truly seen the unseen.
A new perspective on living –
Bright, beautiful, happy, hilarious, tiny, yet generously giving.
Amongst constant interruptions and belittling
I hope my happy tales of existence calmed those nerves unsettling.
We may or may not meet again
It’s reality, let’s not feign.
But those moments of awkward happiness
May have kindled some light on my inebriated mess.
In hopes of another moment of childish content in variety,
Eager to reduce the remaining unspoken anxiety,
I say my thanksgivings
To something bright, beautiful, happy, hilarious, tiny, yet generously giving.
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By Jayla Martin
Ethel Beauregard is not dead.
Ethel Beauregard is alive.
She died, not with a choked gasp, scream
Not metal or a screech
Ethel Beauregard died of paper cuts on her fingers and face
She died, not of heartbreak, but of a heart made whole too many times.
She did not die with her whole life ahead of her,
For she was old, and knew better than to dream,
Nor with her whole life before her eyes
But thinking only of one place…
Somewhere in the world there is a procession of weepers, dressed in black, and circling an open grave.
I am not there.
I am in a library.
A forgotten corner
Full of yellowing books of poetry and light from a single window,
a wooden chair, and a single desk
And perhaps I knew her better than anyone else:
For she did not die full of courage, strength or humility,
But full of brass keys to unopened locks to unopened rooms that lay old and forgotten,
She died full of yellowed letters, tragedy unread
She did not live of cloud and light
But of wood and dust she is buried
As she always was.
She did not die of old age
It was not old age that killed her
Don’t look for her in a hole, or at a grave of stone.
She is not there.
Ethel Beauregard is buried here
In the forgotten corner of a library
Among yellowing books of poetry
In the light from the window
Among spines of poems that mourn and weep the emotions never read
The forgotten poetry of the unnamed thousand
Covered in dust
Ethel Beauregard is not dead
For she lives in the corners of a library
Where forgotten things go to rest.
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