the deprivation of rosemary

by Kelly O., 15

I saw her dancing there beside the moon, 

and the stars dimmed themselves,

paving way for her light. 

On the familiar wooden pier

above where the waves caressed the sand, 

she danced with me, 

and we were lifted home to the heavens. 

But eternity does not last, 

for more than just a moment. 

And the soulful bliss of love

will always be broken

by the cruelty of human existence. 

Now I must see her; 

she is far too weak to dance,

for only standing is too crippling a pressure 

for the knees 

of the widow’s weakened soul. 

The wood of the old pier 

has sunken down

and cracked into pieces

from the footsteps of failed forevers. 

And underneath,

the waves who softly intertwined with the sand, 

now crash against one another 

in an agony, 

that is bound to repeat itself without end. 

I watch her slight smile falter, 

Since memory is not enough, 

when one’s companion is their shadow

rather than the one they love. 

Her once round face of beauty falls to nothing. 

Caught in between worlds

of the missing and the remaining.

Her haunting by darkness itself will continue

Until the moment where she too must end. 

For now I am only the burn, 

the arid dust that is 

caught in her long, 

soft eyelashes, 

as she throws me into the ocean

where the fragments of many others 

now live. 

Our fire has been extinguished, 

and I am left to drown in the ocean’s depths, 

while she tries to swim 

in what we used to be. 

We are but a stolen moment,

held captive by endless night,

and love will never cease 

to be pained by the fragility of existence. 

Manasquan, New Jersey

Notes from our interns on selecting this piece: This poem is a melancholy dance through lovely images and enticing word choices. The alliteration in lines such as “footsteps of failed forevers” and “widow’s weakened soul” make it shine. This bittersweet tale is timeless.