by Beniamino Nardin (he/him)
Photography by Conor Bailey.
Life is here, life is now; not ahead nor behind.
The cobblestoned streets are paintings, frames
around my periphery. It’s easy to be happy
when you’re invisible.
Off the silver-sleek Luas,
A boy trips on his own feet – ordinary things.
A girl recites her Irish name, her mother’s maiden.
Four drunk Connemara girls mimic an American.
No silence – the good sort of loud. A warm loud.
Seagulls squalling, buses pumping, handsome
youths making each minute worth. This could
be It. This could be my Now; but it’s my Later.
Happiness is a sandcastle, a brittle papier-maché,
It needs care, toddler’s hands holding steady
While another shores up the cracks –
Caution. Addition. And when destroyed,
Walking the streets, I have a palace.
But the plane is close, the memories are now –
A Before. Square one is what the wave brings,
Dousing the beach in brine and wrack.
Beniamino Nardin is an Italian-American writer and poet (and explorer of all things language-related) from Boston, Massachusetts. Previously he won a National Silver Medal in the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards for a novella; its first chapter was published in the 2021 edition of Scholastic’s “Best Teen Writing.” He also won the Vermont Poetry Out Loud 2021 award, and a poetry collection of his was published on the Vermont Arts Council website. In high school, he served as the editor-in-chief for his school newspaper, was an editorial intern for the Mountain Troubadour, the annual publication of the Poetry Society of Vermont, and he was a writing intern for the Valley Reporter, a local newspaper.