A Blog of Seattle Arts & Lectures

“Lived. Moved. Wanted. Got?” by Zora Sowinska

“Here” feels so lonely. The hands of a
ghost who loved another
ghost, the space between
fingertips, the hall light under
the door. Whispers that evaporate
into thin air like an August creek.

Ferns line the sidewalks
and the trails, spores frequenting their
undersides. In kindergarten, someone told
me that those spores heal cuts, but against
my skin they rub like sandpaper. Layers of
me are peeled off as I walk through the
city’s proud greenery. I left my heart
somewhere by the university, my senses
on a hill of new restaurants, my wishes
swimming through the Arboretum’s koi pond.

I miss home. Home? What I never
imagined I would call it. “There” feels
full. You can taste the beer on
college-educated tongues, the
laughter drifting through wide streets
like a breeze. It ruffles my hair
when I sit outside and watch the
neighbors, when I witness their
hushed sentience. When the water
finally fulfills its wishes. “There” is
two hands knotted together. Two
ghosts who love each other, two dark
rooms, two weary fans, and one
myth of old promise.

Each time we leave a part of me falls
to the dirt, which is packed hard like
brown sugar at this time of the year, and
sinks beneath it. A seed. Something
requiring light and respite. A memory,
a souvenir. A reminder. A call? When I
call, when I return, maybe a tree
will have grown in the place where
I once stood so steadily. Or maybe
nothing will have grown, and I must
tend to the garden anyway.

Zora Sowinska, 2021/22 Seattle Youth Poet Laureate cohort member, read this poem to open our 2021/22 Literary Arts Series event with Richard Powers on Tuesday, April 19, 2022. Learn more about SAL’s Youth Poet Laureate program here.

Posted in Literary Arts SeriesStudent WritingYouth Poet Laureate2021/22 Season