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I wrote this poem three years ago for a World Literature class I was taking. It was meant to be after the fashion of Pablo Neruda (who liked to write odes to menial objects such as tomatoes, artichokes, “broken things,” clothing, etc) however I’m afraid my poem turned out a bit too metaphysical to be truly called Nerudian. At the time, my teacher responded with—write down what it means to you, this is one of those poems that will change over time. She was right. These years later—of the poems I’ve written it remains of my favorites and means something different now than it did then.

the wall
impenetrable, impassible
my constant companion
I’ve seen you a leviathan
and I’ve seen you blue
covered in clouds and rainbows
you are the artist’s easel
the fingerprint of restless minds
easing passions
in white you have flashed
inspiring the relentless
pencil of the engineer
sketching the future
on your surface
inside of you
building
dynasties from the cradle
when first we picked up mud
when first we created
on your inviting canvass
you were familiar
you stood as a child
his fists clenched
stubborn
defying the world
to knock him down
but you are also soft
when I clung to you
back to back
curled in a ball
you hid me
when I beat you with my fists
you let me beat
you still listen to my tears
matching my cries with your own
reminding me I am finite
you have heard every secret
but still you keep mine
you keep me in
you keep them out
you are my eyes first sight
and my body’s last blanket

—3/11/10 by L.E. Fiore

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