How long will you remain?
One more moment and I will sink into your arms,
Build a home around you brick by brick
Where you will paint the walls with watercolors,
Steal photos of my true smile on film
Left to bleach in the sun.
The sapling of a cherry tree will reach
Her roots into the soil, until she grows
Tall and abundant, fruit dark and sweet.
I cannot leave her or you behind
Until I have tasted the fruits of our labor,
Let the juice trickle down my chin,
Awaiting the deft brush of your fingertip,
What should be the final touch,
Though I cannot resist running my hands
Down your sides, allowing my palms
To linger just a moment longer,
Just another moment, one final touch
Until I can pry myself away.
Though I forget the cherry pit
Tucked into my pocket, bits of the sweet flesh
Clung to its ridges, unreachable.
If it tumbles into the grass,
Showers in the rainwater and basks in the sun,
Will a sapling take root once again
Or will even our first cherry tree
Wither and collapse with the next gust of wind?
“The Bittersweet Taste of the Night”
They drink red wine from goblets
Sculpted from translucent glass
Wrapped in delicate chains of gold.
Her teeth are sticky, blood-red
As she licks her lips,
Tastes the bitter dew at the
Very tip of her tongue.
They stand at the edge of the balcony,
The moon spilling pale gold
Into their arms. She blinks as
It floods her eyes, studying the
Silhouettes in the dark beside her.
The misty air shocks her every pore,
Awakens her lungs. They ask,
“Where do we go after death?”
And she tilts back her head and
Waits for the last drop to trickle
Down her throat, opens her eyes
And says “right here.” She can see
Little more than the gleaming
Of their eyes, though she smiles
Through her shivers, waits for the
Cold in her limbs to permeate
The glowing warmth in her chest.
“What Has Become of Today”
It’s scary to think the moment has come
That we’ve begun to get older
And leave behind these effortless days.
We’re Rue and Jules, gazing at each other
In the deep plum light while the camera
Circles over our heads, under the bed
We have stars plastered under our eyes
When we lie next to each other in
The middle of the night and somehow
The air is pearlescent even after
All the light has drained from the sky.
Some nights we lie back to back
With inches of space between us
That we want to close, scrub with
Sandpaper until we forget it was ever there.
The essence of our youth lies in
The simple feeling of your skin on mine
When it’s cold even in the summertime
And we have nowhere to go but
Into each other’s grasp;
The ocean’s bathwater on bare skin,
The gleaming of your eyes under the moon,
Waxing and waning as we drain
The long, amber days of their honey
Until the air is as cold as your palms.
The sound of waves crashing into the shore
At sunrise swells into a crescendo.
The divine melodies play as I
Race the sun to sleep that evening.
I’ve since forgotten those sounds.
I’d drink your perfume to remember
The last summer before we grew up;
The memory of your silhouette tangled
In the sheets beside me, your soft breaths
Into my ear, the slanted beams of sunlight
Turning your skin to shimmering gold.
There’s nothing left of you in these
Brick buildings, these ghastly monuments,
Wrought iron gates and stone walkways.
New England’s full of ghosts, but
Yours is nowhere to be found.
I’ve begun to wash my home away in
Plastic cups of white wine,
Downed in two sips under the streetlights,
But nothing from a bottle gives me
The euphoria of lying next to you.
— Maya Page ’24