On the Porch

Submitted by Willie Smith

Stand out front, staring across the valley,
thinking of myself over there a mile away
staring back. Smile at how small
I must look, looking back
at this my small self. In the mind
I wave. In the mind over there
the familiar stranger the wave returns.
Can’t see if the phantom smiles or
“really” waves, distance likewise too far
for the chummy spook to read my face
or discern a wave. Press together fingertips –
pinky-to- pinky, thumb-to- thumb,
other six tip-to- tip. Pump the hands
like a spider performing on a mirror
pushups. Feel myself over there,
closing eyes, feel myself here. The
quiet pulses in the warming dark.
Although self be something more
than mind and body sum, open eyes,
dropping hands, to fall, in a heartbeat, on
nobody on the far ridge
in the pink dawn.


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Photo Credit: Sunday, 1926 – Edward Hopper


Published by

The Vita Brevis Team

“Ars longa, vita brevis" (art is long, life is short). This maxim so moved us that it seemed only right to title our online poetry magazine after it. It may seem curious that we chose Vita Brevis (life is short) as our title instead of Ars Longa (art is long). But this choice was more than appropriate; after all, the aim of our journal is to publish work that shows a keen awareness of not only art’s beauty and immortality but life’s toils and finiteness. We want to revive and nourish the rich existential literature that forms when art and the human endeavor collide.

2 thoughts on “On the Porch”

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