Jesse Ferraioli is currently a senior at Shenendehowa High School in Clifton Park, New York who hopes to pursue a career in literature. She has previously been published in The Bookends Review and The Louisville Review. In her free time, she enjoys biking and reveling in all the beauty that Upstate New York has to offer.

 

Christopher’s Story

il codardo//si sbriciola sotto il peso della preoccupazione

a lucid disguise varnishes his features, turning him into a living claymation
an upturned frown engenders chalky pale creases where the paint intensifies his wrinkles
the wooden chair ensconces his lifeless form bracing the tonnage of his misery

he convulses his eyes to think not to think
of the Polish boy sauntering down the Venetian beach
tattoed vividly onto the surface of his eyelids

he scrunches his countenance, folding shadows over crestfallen mountaintops
the thick epoxy sows a hardened mask that cracks
with every wince and recollection

his heart aches to see oblivion
he focuses on inciting vacancy, hearing static
but cannot ignore the searing itch festering under the white paint

he forces his eyelids ever tighter yet still his mind won’t suppress
the garish intensity of tainted white light
and the Vatican walls start closing in

gasping, eyes jolt open and dried paint chips off
his veneer begins to crumble onto a novel balanced on two robust thighs
fastened to legs that quiver like wenches stumbling through those tainted white halls

Christopher regains composure and itches the remaining paint off his eyelids
Christopher opens the novel and begins to thumb through the pages
replacing a life that is but a carbon shadow of truth

with one at high noon, no ghosts to perceive, no silhouette to follow
sotto il suo stesso peso schiacciato//no disguise to harden.

 

Soliciting Reality in the Unknown

Hurling the pebble down like some godly figure
smiling as it bounces back half the height
“kick the pavement” a little voice proclaims
     throbbing is the toe that endures the pain
innocence begins to wither with every new observation and splinter
     “jump like the pebble, pop back up”
     the nurse asks whether the child has been beat
soon she’ll be unable to heal his wounds
cannot fix on him what discretely scars her own skin
no person desires to be drowned by the sea
inundated by the noise there is no flesh left to drown
only soundwaves remain, clusters of misformed arteries
pulsating through the ocean causing the high tides to swell larger
and the lows to unveil the bigotry resting beneath
the motion
the emotion of a sea heaving with digestion
     “wait for his truck he just forgot”
     incapable of devotion, mama says he was.
innocence begins to wither as the sounds of waves form navigable paths
the sailor becomes adept at mapping aggressive seas that consume humanity
he pitches a pebble into the pelagic, testing the depth, listening to hear
Plunk
     it should sink, his experience tells him
     catching him off guard, the pebble charges out, barreling towards the sky
screeching as Lazarus reveals where faith laps blissful logic
he smiles and touches his toe to the disrupted ocean