A Stellar Flare of Young Adult Writing and Visual Art
BY ISABELLA TURCINOVIC
Light comes to catch wing
arthritic ends hardened
similar to Pachycephalosaur. Crown
for the reptile a head ever-changing,
no three species. Ditto for Triceratops.
Tyrannosaurus roamed the interior forests
with ever-elongating femurs
knobby skin and scavenging.
Setting sun over the Greater Interior Seaway,
splitting the North American sub-continent
rising above the Serengeti
to cicadas and choruses
Kandahar, a sparknotes love poem.
Founded by great Alexander, such a worldly conquest.
Fought over after death, a fulcrum for empire’s powers
generals dreaming for unequaled strength.
Arab caliphates with Islam clattered in
carrying resplendence in religion. Adding geometric arts
high crescent domes to Hellenistic faces.
Ibn Battuta saw your face during worldly wandering
some three days walk from Ghazni,
large and sparkling under the Timurids.
Mughal and Persian empires fought over the silks
of strategic positioning. Recorded those epic memories
in Qandahar-nama, old tales of magnificent deaths.
Mirwais Hotak revolted against Persia:
quick heartbeats and singed gun smoke.
Kandahar burnished into the throne of Afghanistan.
Britain: steeped in colonialism like their teas
from the conquered. Desiring Afghanistan as an India,
subdued by parasols and tired corsets sweat-stained with sun.
Colonial armies fortified inside the city: war
with the Afghans, again, for guns and people to cry
obedience to mother re-established. Instead: forced out
like Soviets years later, Kalashnikovs and ideological
recruits instead of riflemen in red, fleeing
in tanks, Pakistani and U.S.-paid mujahidin.
Kandahar tired after violence from her people,
walls kept under boots of young Russian commies,
American slang condescending as they wage proxy wars.
Gul Agha Sherzai held you in arms, lament the loss
of the heroic battle, substituted with civil war. Cries of people
and rockets, no more storied tales of death.
Exodus of comrades and civilians, fleeing the white flag blotched
with black of Taliban. Years later, those misguided mujahidin
surrendered you, to Sherazi, to America.
Afghanistan’s heart: grand marble facades, monuments to great war’s
leaders, airports built by Americans and Soviets. An empire’s
bedrock prized for reasons divorced from truth.
an address to Nobody:
This bouquet of flowers will wilt
on their lower edges.
Red yellow green
Fragile ends of summer.
The pictured corkboard in my room
National Geographic war zones,
zones of peace bordering war.
Syrian boy thrown to the air by the father
a field of full ripe blooms–
tomatoes, plump balloons satisfied
somewhere in refuge in Jordan.
Next: Lagosian parties
powerful women in purple.
Nobody, imagine: great-grandmother
leaning on the proverbial ship, searching
to wed Person A who delivered
Person B, a marriage gift in reverse.
My room is cold-smelling.
Fresh sheets and citrus lotions
in two perfumes, overpowering pepper.
Slipping between late nights
Classical station bouncing loud and soft.
That definite hum.
Nobody, is this fate–
wed to the proper noun while looking
always for the second. To reconcile
nouns (all) all are tied to.
What’s left of it all:
a bewilderment that takes away
clever formations of thought.
What’s left: observations
mundane and old-known.
In truth I am killing time
waiting for my mother to sleep.
in heavy anticipation.
of a lacrimosa
and from waves
photon strips on the screen
a parenthetical hemming
such science insisting:
in the beginning
things of progress
rebirths of fortune:
“the black plague was chill”
rapture an elegy
charms of finality
Isabella Sophia Turcinovic is currently a 12th grader in Austin, Texas. Poetry has become a way for her to craft her love for international policy in a non-essay form. Writing poetry has continually intrigued her, as it allows for a complex intersection between the rational and the emotion that is fun to explore.