In Rio de Janeiro,
empty hands grasp broken promises.
Saturated unfamiliar languages travel in blind eyes,
collects like rivers in unnamed faces.
The tiredness of wanting is palpable and heavy,
scalding sacrifices in the plastic yellowed sand.
Spirits as quick as the desperate shootings that cross
the sky, dissolve into beings we cannot see.
In Rio, no one remains the same. The bodies are
caramel-colored — oily melting flesh, burning
into the ever-rising, drop of light. Invitation in the
form of pulsing mountain curves,
edible tights and uneven crooked teeth. Lilac
stagnant spots carve sanctuaries on their skin
recondite into its own deep. No one sees
the resentful taste on their mouths,
bitterness eternally whirling on closed tongues.
In the sky, dead constellations need no mourning,
no words collapsing into the beam of Ipanema.
The sputtering shooting became noiseless to all of us.
We chain ourselves to our beginnings
and that is all we can be.
Luiza Louback is a 17-year-old Latin-American Brazilian emerging writer and high schooler. Her work has appeared in national anthologies and has been recognized by the NY Times Summer Academy. When she is not writing, she teaches English to low-income students and advocates for literary accessibility in Latin America.