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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.



           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.



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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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Fallen stars are all we are,

Alighting with a pitch black silence

Into this void we call a city—

A city filled with celestial things,

Things from the heavens,

Fallen stars gone astray—

They have fallen into hell.

Do they know? Do we know?

All we are is falling,

Falling with a heavenly grace

Into this extravagant underworld.



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From here, I can see the world.

The ocean blues of the sky and the sky blues of the ocean,

The milky dawn and the purple twilight acting as bookends

For the expanse of time in which the sun’s rays shine.

And then the stars—oh how the stars blink into existence

As the moon rises gracefully into its own perch—

But not as splendid a perch as mine.

From here, I watch the people.

They act as if they are alone, not watched by even God,

And it is endearing to see them—

To see them dancing when the rain drizzles,

The light of the street lamps making halos around them.

To hear them singing under their breath, whistling, humming,

Throwing their head back as they laugh.

I watch them as they fall in love and fall in despair

And hug their arms around them when it’s cold,

And in the heat, their faces turn shiny—they feel it all.

I feel it all.

But they don’t even think to look up.

I watch them in silence, always watching

From this magnificent, isolated perch I found.



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There is someone standing on the corner of

Upside-Down and


He is silhouetted against the backdrop of Night;

He is silhouetted by the light of Day.

He is lost to those who know him,

He has been found by those who don’t.

He is happy and sad

And pleased and mad and

Every feeling, every color in between.

His life is red and blue,

Wine and water

Spilled onto the floor

And seeping into the carpet.

Lights turned on again and off again,

Indecisive and certain of his purpose.


What purpose?

Would he,

Could he,

Should he,

Fit into the circle when he is a square?

The beginning has wound to an end;

The end is only beginning.

Waiting for nothing;

Waiting for absolutely

Without a doubt




At the corner of Right-Side-Up

And Upside-Down.


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