Lauren Livingston ’18

The Sky’s a Canvas, and the Ink Your Face

I fell in love with a painting:

porcelain skin, sharp angles, battered face.

I created a constellation in your name,

but stars are a constant reminder of the past;

and not all the debris in the world could make a forgotten wish come true.


I wanted to be a painter,

but I couldn’t capture the last rays of embers

before they blinked out of existence.


Sometimes I count stars,

on a cloudy night,

and I glimpse the freckles on your shoulders, and the birthmark on your knee.

I watch Disney movies because I like to imagine you as the little boy on the moon

reeling in the gentle joys of life,

a reminder that life is too short.


You’re a dying star on its last breath,

blindingly bright as it waits to implode.

I tried to wait for the star to collapse,

but it was only the illusion of light that I sought.

And with the delay between the light and my eyes –

I didn’t think was worth the wait


Don’t Temper the Artist

There’s an art to making art

An illusion, if you will.


A repetitive, menial task –

molding clay,


and smoothing ridges of broken ashtray.

Fingers glide like ghosts over the edges,

shaping them in compliance with her will.

The clay fills the creases between her palms.

A homage to lost hours, and reverent touches.


The reward in her art –

to bring forth what others cannot see.


Years later she marches:

her patience wearing thin,

her emotions fraying –

translucent walls, collapsing inwards.

Her base is all that remains.


“Hands up, don’t shoot,”

she said.

Her palms are caked in red, and

her clay long forgotten.


Her hands steady.

Didn’t you know?

You never touch the clay

when the wheel isn’t spinning.



by Lauren Livingston