Because I am young
I secure a mirror tightly to my bedroom wall
But I still see shadows cut fragments,
Fractures form in the dark of twilight, where stars hide
Themselves beneath this cloth we call universe.
Through heavy eyes, the glass begins to sway like
A grandfather clock, my restless mind begs for sleep,
Or begs for dreams, or begs for dreams to bleed
Into reality, to wake once more in a better dream.
I’d like to say I trust the universe. I hold her hand
Like my own mother’s. My age holds no
Significance. I am afraid of separation, drifting
Somewhere lonely, in some empty sea.
Destiny is seductive.
It points to a place and commands you go there.
And so, you do.
My life-line diverts as I wake, wandering
Towards some heaven I can’t pronounce.
Vermeer, did you fall in love with the woman or the painting of her?
Amongst your subjects’ delicate features lay softened shadows.
I see a spirit in every fierce brow, in every blotted complexion. An imprint:
your life in those malachite paints and burnt sienna shadows.
Your reflection mirrors in every brushstroke, every gentle unfurled curl.
Did you desire the sun for warmth or required light to erase the shadows?
We share common ground: art is our oxygen. Without it, we wither and wilt.
Teach me how to uncover the beauty of a world stained with shadows.
I wish you could paint me. I cannot think of a lovelier way to be memorialized
than living through a masterpiece. Fragment my soul, remnants of past lives shadowed.
If you could paint me, Vermeer, leave the title anonymous, I don’t want them to
know my name, but the woman I could have been.
The Poet Warrior
an ode to Garcilaso de la Vega
You listen to the music of your own beating heart underneath
medals and insignias. Hear the swelter of the lyre trapped in the heavy breath
of war, watch your men fall and pray for mercy.
Between the rush of blood and anguish,
you whisper verses
as you draw your sword.
A fragile balance between two souls:
grounded by the cold reality of death, eternalized by the fire of poetry.
There is a fiercer battle persisting in your heart.
Fate always seems to take the ones who
understand too much: the tapestry of the man you were,
unraveling at your feet as you fall into the arms of a saint.
Holy, holy like the strum of your lyre, silk chords settling
into your veins. They fade out into silence against the toll
of church bells.
Caroline Rubin is a 16-year-old poet from Naples, Florida who is currently attending the Community School of Naples. She has been published in the American High School Poets National Poetry Quarterly and has been recognized by the Scholastic National Art and Writing Awards. Through her poetry, Caroline aims to explore the existential questions that keep her awake at night.
Visual Art by: John Michael Dee