I. One Pinewood Road

oh! i am three and one fourth years old, unsullied by human kindnesses!

i learn to quiet my bones and rattle around in the back seat of our mini van. it smells like coffee stains and mom and dad.

the kind of bitterness that wraps around my chest like a blanket does not warm my lungs yet. i am a blossom, i unfold, too young to know the burnt air i gasp in does not soothe the throat.

II. Eleven Charter Road

it is the first day of kindergarten. i am scared confused frustrated five and one half years old, bouncing around in the back seats of the bus before i learn that i’m not allowed back there.

Lily Margaret Friedman and i sit together and hold hands, make a pact that we’ll be best friends. we stop talking in the fourth grade. i tell myself not to think about it.

don’t think about it sitting in a classroom twisting a lock of your hair

don’t think about it going on a run down the street, cold burning your nose

don’t think about it late at night trying to bring warmth into your feet again

don’t think about it

III. Two Hundred Ninety Nine Main Street Plaza 

seventh grade tastes a little bit like disappointment. they always told us that we’d be the big kids the mature kids but i see the high schoolers drive by in their beat up cars when we’re walking to Dunkin and suddenly we’re six years old again

one day Katie Anne Briskie who is my neighbor and much too cool to talk to me picks me up and i sit in her back seat. we drive around and she tells me about her college apps and how she doesn’t want to settle for some boy some state school and an ordinary office job. the SAT is years away and i don’t know what it feels like to have your future run through a roulette machine so i sit in silence.

it is hard to learn to hold the world; my hands sieve my mistakes

IV. One Sixteenth and Columbia

he is named after a river, We sit on the pier and talk about how it is so fantastically fascinating that we are all made up of various configurations of atoms. Both of us, We know it won’t last.

seven and one half months later, i am back again and the city makes my jaw clench a little bit tighter. i am headed uptown in a taxicab, and suddenly the programming on the little flickering television screen is the most fantastically fascinating thing i can imagine. 

farther along there is a traffic jam and i think of him in between avenues

how we let each other leave

how he wore his shirtsleeves and jeans cuffed

how he was not my first great love, how he was my first great loss

V. One Hundred and Eighty Main Street

oh! i am sixteen and three quarters years old, the sky is grey and muddy and the air tastes like electricity all of a sudden.

the window on my side of the mini van is cracked the slightest bit open so i can feel the raindrops catch in my hair: i am coming i am coming i am coming and and i am also going

the exit on the four ninety five tells me Andover is just Two Whole Miles away, and it feels as if holy hell is breaking out in my head.

lightning wrapped up in my left pocket, cell phone in my right, and i realize that finally i am the big kid Katie told me about –

and all i want is a plastic shock blanket

VI. For Reference


when you are sixty years old you do not know what it feels like to have green run through your veins and burn behind your temples

you are now, you are here, you are bending towards the sunlight like a field of sunflowers


37 thoughts on “MOVEMENT

  1. highkey love this. I like the artistic effect of only capitalizing names. Maybe a metaphor for identity? The sensations are beautiful in this post. I can so relate to the “holy hell” that you described coming into Andover. The ending was so unique. Almost like “This Old Man” in scope, but from a younger sense of self. I like that twist. Fantastic!

    Liked by 4 people

  2. It’s probably an indicator of how fabulous your writing is that I am constantly making analogies to other writers — but this really, really is James Joycean (Portrait of the Artist).

    Somehow the lowercase letters convey tone: it seems to inhere in the flow of your long sentences — the rush of emotion that courses through them. I hear your voice so resonantly in these prose-poem-like vignettes.

    Thank you!!

    Liked by 7 people

    1. The lowercase letters actually have a kind of silly story behind them – when I was in kindergarten, I got really bored of learning handwriting and learning how to write letters, so in order to expedite the process, I would only do the pages with the lower case letters so I could get done faster. I got away with it for approximately a year and a half, and really only learned how to write capital letters by hand at the end of first grade. Somehow today that still permeates into my unwillingness to use them in writing, or to use them sporadically to show emphasis.

      Liked by 7 people

  3. Simply gorgeous! I love how poetic your writings are. The little details you add make the piece even more beautiful and it makes me feel more engaged. My favorite part is probably the reference part, as it reminded me to always live in the moment. Great post Leeza!!

    Liked by 6 people

  4. I really loved the format of your writing piece. You put your own sort of style on this post which really added to what you wrote. My favorite part of this piece was the parallelism you used in Section II. Even more so, I thought the progression on the timeline of events was very well done!

    Liked by 5 people

  5. This is an incredible piece of poetic and captivating storytelling! Like others have (rightly) mentioned already, the subtle yet impressive and effective formatting tweaks add so much color and comfort to the piece. They supplement your clever theme and structure and descriptive tone.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. and to add (forgot to include before i posted): i also enjoyed that your theme wasn’t immediately and obviously declared in the piece. the idea of just including addresses forced me to analyze the multiple meanings of the piece, so that mini-puzzle was pretty cool for me, lol.

      Liked by 2 people

  6. The way you write with not only your lack of capitalization but also your stylistic choices really reminds me of e.e. cummings. I think you did a really great job of painting the scenes in your story instead of blatantly telling the readers about the varying emotions you had and the different experiences you faced. Most of what you wrote about in this post was really relatable and I loved how you transitioned into different parts of this piece.

    Liked by 4 people

  7. That was a beautiful description of a painting immortalized in a tableau, how sensual and deep it is to be able to tell a story of a thousand lives that lived through only a painting. You beautifully put in words what lovers of art see through their sensitive perception of paintings.

    Liked by 2 people

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