Sofia Lavidalie

Bio: Sofia Lavidalie is a 16-year-old aspiring writer and poet from Louisiana, a state located in the southern part of the United States.  Aside from writing, her life’s passions include psychology, law, theatre, and raising awareness of and funding for childhood cancer research.  More than anything else, she hopes to impact the lives of children in need.

Editor’s note: Both of Sofia’s pieces show an interesting balance of clarity and ambiguity. She manages to tell the reader enough to engage them without spelling out every detail, which demonstrates that she is comfortable with the idea that the reader may hear a different story from the one that she intended to tell. Both pieces evoke emotions very powerfully, not by naming them or describing them but by allowing the reader to experience them – an excellent skill for an aspiring writer!

 

A Study in Grievances

 

Think, if you will, of the blood-copper bench,

the flies that hang like cherries,

the apologies you’ll never read.

The sun is blinding. I’m choking down little rays,

 

I’m swallowing stars. Listen closely when I say this:

A dog that dies in a hot car knows only that

it has never died in a hot car before.

Maybe I thought I could change history. Maybe

 

you just wanted something to kill. Sometimes

I try to rewrite the story. I skim, leaving bookmarks

and little pen scrawls and pages bent

like I’m reading it for the first time.

 

I keep looking for the red herring, the way out,

but the ending is always the same.

I’m sorry. It’s the only ending I know how to write.

I can’t run away from that.

 

I waited until my abuela died

 

What is it?

 

Her hair, tomato gardens,

and the bones of my

childhood are stained

 

What was it?

 

green. Not her real hair.

Chemo tore it to knots,

I can’t remember.

 

What will it be?

 

Judaism says cremation

hurts like death, like

the soul never left the

body. Hers was weaned

on pain. It could never

grow cold. What is it?

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