Living

 
photo by Stephen O'Shea

photo by Stephen O'Shea

It’s in the coke-can fizzing,
lunch-box cracking,
friendship bracelet wrist-hugging memories of childhood, 

in hands held too tightly, when letting go was scarier
than holding onto the past,
in the moments that were meant 

to last; it’s in the rhythm of
nervous heartbreaths, when
you sigh so deeply you feel oxygen in your aorta, 

and fresh air wraps your spine like a bandage of
cool satin, healing the moors that
formed like dry pools of

forgotten oceans in your
skin. It’s in the creaking of old
bones like splintered wooden chairs waiting

to be used into breaking. It is in the beauty
of inevitability, the smoothing of wrinkles
burned into skin with clothing irons, 

remembering the words, writing
books backwards into history
with laughter, forgetting
symmetry, and listening
for hope in the wonder
of the everyday.


Jess Smith, University of Edinburgh. She says: "I’m Jess Smith, an American Edinburgh-based poet and casual photographer. I grew up in Tokyo and Geneva, occasionally moving back to the US in between, and picked up a few languages along the way. I love writing, graphic novels, and RPGs, and aspire to work in the video game industry some day."