October 16, 2020
Ria Dave is a 2020 graduate who not only was a past student at Pembroke Pines Charter Highschool, but is also a former Broward County Poet Laureate. Her ekphrastic poem was presented at last year’s annual Poetry Slam; however, with the benefits of technology, we are all able to read and hear this masterpiece once again. Her poem is deep and in your feels — we hope this makes you take a minute to think, appreciate, and enjoy! If you wish to see more of works like this, just check out the National English Honor Society’s new literary magazine, The Atala. It will be launching this year!
By Ria Dave
The wound doesn’t stop, but the pain does
There is a beginning and also an end to it
Perhaps you will never again breathe as you used to
After all, there is a small blue something living in your chest now, and your lungs don’t have room for any more
If you breathe too deeply, it will not hurt you (it is too new to do that) but you might hurt it.
We must be kind to our neighbors,
So your breath is shallower now.
But you do not die.
Shallow breath still holds oxygen
The knife does not but the cut does
So the ends of your skin begin to knit themselves together.
The knife doesn’t stop but the cut does
It scabs over
It is maybe the ugliest thing you’ve ever seen and it is definitely going to scar.
But it isn’t bleeding anymore
And you’ve had scabs before, you’ve had scrapes
Everyone has fallen on concrete
Cracks in concrete.
You are like that. Cracked like that.
You’ve heard that sometimes people mend cracked plates with gold.
So that they are more beautiful for having been broken.
You don’t believe that. Or at least you don’t believe it yet.
The cracks in you are too deep, it seems.
There is not enough gold in the world for you.
So you buy string lights. You hang them over the edge. So that you may turn them on later and try to see the bottom of the crevices in your heart.
Maybe the creature in your chest will be glad for the light.
The days don’t stop but the hours do,
So you start finding ways to spend them.
The days don’t stop but the hours do.
You start looking at the sky.
You figure out that clouds look best after sunrise
Or before sunset.
When they’ve been blushed by the color of sideways light.
When their shadows make them look solid.
Sometimes birds fly by and you are struck by how beautiful it is
that they have somewhere to go, and that you don’t know where it is.
That there is a world outside of you.
And that birds are in it.
And their bodies are perfect for flying.
And the birds fly.
And they eat seeds.
And they go places that you’ve never been.
And there are places you’ve never been.
And the world is so big.
And you are so, so
And any crack that exists inside you, no matter how dark, no matter how deep exists inside this big, big world
And when you come back to yourself
You find, somehow
Though the creature is still there and you are still cracked.
It is a little easier to breathe.