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October

meet me in October,

and we can relive

that moment when

the focus of my life

 

became trying to get

outside of this fence that

chains me in—

holds me in—

and into your heart,

into your mind,

never regretting a thing.

 

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Stone

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Thoughtful onlooker—

The world is alive; you watch,

Petrified in stone.

 

Color

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You are my color—

Every hue, every tint is part of a masterpiece,

Which only now has been unveiled to me:

A work of swirling shades and dizzying tinges,

Of impeccable details woven together into a vision

That makes the onlooker gasp and the artist beam with pride.

You are the sky after the storm,

When the rain turns into drops of the sun

And the flashes of lighting surrender to your fireworks,

Whose crashes and booms will away the song of thunder.

Your eyes are blind, you cannot see what I behold,

But your words are art; you are my color—

The only splash of paint in a world of charcoal.

 

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Throwing pebbles that skim the surface—

The water’s depths will always remain a mystery.

If you spoke to the fish, they would tell you

That I’m wading in my mind’s shallow sea

And glimpsing at you through the waves—

You, the moon who quietly ebbs the tides.

 

A self-absorbed onlooker is all I am.

You are the only one who can pull me away

From my own mind, from my own surface.

 

All the world’s wonders combined, I see in you;

The Great Pyramid a mere pile of blocks

And the Taj Mahal a tombstone—

New York City a small town, if you’ve never been there,

And if you have, a world in and of itself.

 

We step in the same circles and lines.

Your air is mine, and the wind that caresses your face

Is the wind that tangles my hair and whispers to me

Things of the past, things beyond this wretched present,

 

Where we are unchained bandits and uncensored gamblers

Who put our money on the things we tell others

And choke on words left unsaid face-to-face.

Others forget, we never forget—

We never learn, we never try.

 

And so I wonder if silence is truly golden,

Lips glued shut, tongue dry,

My eyes cast down and yours like they were that October day

When all this started.

Yet—this is nothing, nothing at all on the surface.

 

 perfect

           Latin is considered by many to be a dead language. Once the native tongue of thousands across the Roman Empire, it nowadays is spoken fluently only by a certain few, including the Pope and other members of the Christian clergy. The use of Latin in modern times does seem limited, but upon closer examination one realizes that the language still lives on. It is the basis for some of the most spoken languages today, it has many English derivatives, and it is taught in schools around the world.

            The Romance languages branched off from Latin. Millions of people throughout the world speak these languages, which include Spanish, Portuguese, French, Italian, and Romanian. Some of these languages are very similar, such as Spanish and Portuguese. Others, like French and Romanian, seem vastly different, but even those are linked together by certain words and grammar structures. Whether the parallels are obvious or subtle, they exist and can usually be traced back to the ancient mother language: Latin.

            Even English, which comes from the West Germanic language family, has several similarities to Latin. There are ample Latin derivatives in English, and the prefixes and suffixes most commonly used in English have Latin roots. Examples of these are the prefix anti, which means “against,” and the suffix –arium, which, in Latin, denotes a place where things are kept and, in English, can be seen in words such as “aquarium.” Some English grammar structures were also taken from Latin. For instance, the plural forms of the words “octopus” and “cactus” are “octopi” and “cacti” respectively. One is able to see the same structure in Latin, for the nominative singular ending of a second declension noun is usually “-us,” and when it is plural, it is “-i.”

            Perhaps the most important factor to take into consideration is that students, teachers, and scholars in institutions across the globe are keeping Latin alive. In primary schools, secondary schools, and post-secondary schools, Latin is a commonly offered language course. It widens the vocabulary of students and even helps them become better test-takers. In the U.S., statistics prove that students who take Latin achieve better results on the SAT than students who take other languages. In college, one may continue on the Latin path by becoming a Classics major and thus hoping to be enlightened and enriched by Latin and the corresponding ancient culture throughout his or her life and career.

            So to those who say Latin is dead: mortui vivos docent, or “the dead teach the living.” Admittedly, the flame of Latin has smoldered, but after more than a millennium since the fall of the Roman Empire, the fact that it still makes an impact on the daily lives of people in the modern era is impressive. Latin pervades cultures worldwide in its derived languages, words, and grammar structures and in its being taught to younger generations, thus ensuring that the language persists into the future.

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The day came upon us like Indian rain,

And with it, our fruits of labor grew,

Seeds that we’d been planting for months now,

All twenty-six of us, savages,

Nestled halfway between the Florida sun

And the storm steadily brewing in the distance.

 

When we danced, we sounded like a thunderclap,

Our feet ferociously pounding upon the pavement.

The beads on the hems of our T-shirts

Swung like pendulums,

And our painted faces gleamed with sweat.

The sound of the beating drum,

Thump thump, thump thump,

Woven together with the lonesome melody of a flute—

That was our heartbeat, that was the sound of the spirits

Watching us as we twirled in the midst of crystal droplets.

 

I still remember his clammy hand in mine,

The broken savage with the big brown eyes—

Two stars about to blink away before the dawn—

He and I.

I slipped off my feather earrings and

Stepped into the storm.

Thump thump, thump thump.

My beating heart willing me to look back.

But I never did, I never did.

 

Devotion

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It’s funny how faulty faultlessness is

Compared to your eyes under these

Fluorescent ceiling lights.

I don’t know the color of those eyes,

Even though I’ve stared at your pictures

For hours on end—pixelated masterpieces

That put the work of Da Vinci to shame.

 

For there is no muse more worthy than you,

But perhaps it is all in vain

Since when I paint you into my memory.

I get so breathless I forget the details,

And I forget where I started, and where I should end,

And my train of thought screeches in its tracks—

Crash—what color are your eyes?

 

The half-light is streaming in through the window;

It was sunny today—it wasn’t supposed to be,

But it was.

Now the sun is gone—

Welcome to the city of gloom,

Where I never have seen more light,

Especially radiating from you.

 

I just hope you remember the girl

With the half-pretty face

And the smile half as bright as yours,

For you are wholly perfection—

Holy perfection—

The only being I could ever truly worship,

But you never look down when I kiss your feet.

 

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