Poetry Feature

 Priana Aquino. PHOTO COURTESY OF ISABELLA SANTORO

Priana Aquino (she/her) is a third-year business management major, with an emphasis in legal studies. She’s a member of the executive board for Panhellenic and Residence Hall Association and is also a staff member of the Leo T. McCarthy Center. You can find out more about Aquino as a poet on her Instagram page: @piecesofpri

What inspires Aquino: “Poetry has always been a way for me to express how I’m feeling without ever actually having to say it out loud. I actually started writing “Breaking Tradition” when I was in the Philippines a couple of years ago and only finished it a whole year later. To define what it feels like to call multiple places home and exploring what home is to me remains a definite inspiration in my writing.”

What a Waste       

The lavender house at the end of the street

is covered by their trees

with windows lined with emerald vines— 

trimmed and painted “eggshell cream”

There are knicks in the walls that are the proof

that you were once here too

that life was lived within these walls

but still was left too soon

The other homes through the end of the street

gaze upon and almost pity

at the lavender house that is beautiful/strong/empty

and at me 

who can’t afford to live in the city

Breaking Tradition

Crouching down you can find me

dipping my hands into the water 

leaving handprints and coming up with 

fistfuls of sand—all of which is inspected

and eventually given back

Most times before I stand and wade to shore 

I hold my hands under and let the 

water clean the rest of the dirt off of my skin 

You can not fool me into staying

telling me these beaches are more 

than those that line the bay I know

There are always reasons to come back

but never to stay

It is never enough to be stuck between— 

it was never fair to be the one to keep me here

It is my turn now

to stay on the sand 

look around one last time 

and be the first to walk 

away from the water, saying 

“I’m ready to go home.”

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