What I Hope I Sound Like Through a Gramophone

by Raynor Baker-Rosenberg, age 17
What I Hope I Sound Like Through a Gramophone Raynor is a rising senior in high school, where her favorite subjects are English and History. She is co-president of her school's UNICEF club and in past summers has volunteered for Oxfam International. In her free time, she is a competitive fencer and enjoys writing poetry and fiction. This summer she is completing a virtual internship with the Northern Virginia Mediation Service. She is inspired by the music and poetry of Leonard Cohen.

“we shared an ice cream, by the shore
and then i found that i much preferred
your presence only in pictures”

it was a time of prosperity

in heart and in gold

my neighbor had just bought a new cat

that didn’t like to eat cat food

         the irony did not slither past me

we shared an ice cream, by the shore

and then i found that i much preferred

your presence only in pictures

         and i used to chat every week on the phone

with a raspberry plate at my hip

and the words seemed to come easily

water off a duck’s back, i shake my head

         i preferred to build my bridges out of marble

the only problem was

that it made all of my guest’s feet cold

and it’s listlessness, it’s unfocused, it’s unforgiving

in this lighting

         the ugliest become lily of the valley

it’s become an unheard-of desire

to have a better valve of color between my creators

i take some hope, i must confess, from all of the cinema

i’ve devoured

         and the romanticism is infectious and surreal

in the capturing of the twitch of the man’s lips

against the bare oak of the outside tree

but i hold my tongue, i close my eyes

         one more night of silence won’t harm anyone

least of all my ailing suitors, who moved in to the floor below me

to retire into a stream of green

and allow myself to affect you

i don’t hope for much

         but i would be content to know that a piece of me

has situated itself as one of the many ribbons

in your soul.

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