Sebastian Appelt CC
An Alternative to a Battle Cry
If you asked me to tell you a story of twenty years, I would start in a tiny isolette--like a hospital bed, but for the
the not fully-grown.
I learned earlier than most what it was like to be broken.
I would tell you of two people I love more than anything, who came every single day
not to stare, like tourists looking at a tiger in the zoo,
But to hope, to summon all of their strength and squeeze each other’s hands as tightly as they could
and eat ice cream after
in celebration, or melancholy
that same sweet treat they’d eat in front of the television every Friday night,
that I’d share with my friends as I graduated high school
in celebration, or melancholy.
I would tell you of how the entire world was in those moments:
the first time that baby breathed on her own
or every time I make it all the way to work and back without swerving into the opposite lane
just because I can
just to see what it would feel like.
I would tell you that the world is beautiful.
I wouldn’t be lying, necessarily, just romanticizing,
putting all of the discord and yelling and chaos into an order, that
same OCD that makes all of the volumes multiples of five or else the car will crash and you
have to wash your left side then your right in the shower because, well, who knows.
I’ve never actually messed it up. But something bad.
There’s supposed to be a battle cry here,
some ingredient we can pluck out of the stars that makes our veins look
less like the drunken streets of Boston
and more like the strict grids of New York City,
something to avoid the tangled words that always sit in my throat, right below my voice box, right where I can’t reach them.
There’s supposed to be a battle cry here, but that’s too loud.
Maybe it’s more like a whisper.
“I’m here, you’re here, and that’s good.”
I don’t quite know what’s going on, but I will kiss you through all of it
Olivia “Livvy” Williams is, at the time of publication, a sophomore at the University of Vermont. She is double-majoring in English, with a concentration in Creative Writing, and French. She has been writing since she can remember and is the recipient of multiple awards, including Regional Winner of the Patriot’s Pen Essay Contest, Audience Favorite at a poetry contest and Poetry Out Loud class champion. Olivia has attended writing conferences at BreadLoaf and Smith College. Writing is one of the only times the world makes sense.
Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.