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,

Rebuilding.

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

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.