I am grabbing the pink knob; it’s been squeezed 

in my hand through the entirety of this project, this journey, 

damp with sweat: hard work, hard grip. 

The knob flies from air to paper, an unconscious slam 

and quickening rub echoing 

the need to get rid of a wrong mark, a line outside of the border. 

Why had she taken it away from me before, 

the rock that could rid an entire city of remorse? I stop.


The inevitability of mistakes lives in nature. 

It builds its own school, in the city of a mind. A tree, 

shedding its wisdom of leaves, of mistakes, 

into the future. 


Why does the pink sandstorm get to sweep the secret sorrow of this sapling?


A reversal of time, perhaps. Under the control 

of human grip, the soft comfort of rock erodes, 

crushing books, absorbing trees, bits of rubber dust swept away 

with now-rotten leaves.


Gone. The gray graphite once glazed over an empty lot. Not empty 

anymore though, despite an erasure sought—

once marked, the canvas is forever imprinted. 

One feels indents in the ground, the history of walls once penciled. 

Ruins live on as ruins, immortal, never forgotten, 

despite yet another failed attempt 

at destruction. 


The white lot of this city has been crumpled—plate tectonic and earthquake resided along the sandstorm of pink, as they feasted on time. 


And yet 

this was not earth’s command, no.

Only natural regret can power this human disaster.


Pencil in hand, the heavy potential 

of erasure weighs down this most common utensil.

Do I eat or not?

Ines Alto


18 years old

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