Luisa Giulianetti

Should I Not Survive the Year

for Matteo

Overnight nothing will fit.
You outgrow dad’s ski boots.

Cherub cheeks hew and lips
shadow. Wet with adulthood.

When the world feels heavy
pause. Unfurl the map

boughing within you. Legended
in New England woods, expanses

of icy earth softened by noon.
Wizard Nonno’s curiosity of flight:

birds and balsa Starfires.
Fluid imagined futures.

Don’t be like me, native to worry.
Borrower of trouble. Settling

and ordering before things chance
to unfold. Or not.

May you catch the updraft
land softly in trampoline meadows.

May you swim river-long love
messy and exhilarating. It will shake

you to the depths. Its companion,
grief, will plummet you.

Both shape the ground beneath
you, the terrain veining you.

Don’t buy into the tortured soul
myth. Steadiness sustains.

Children stretch your capacity
to feel in ways that sound cliché.

But aren’t. You only have my word.
The proverbial grain. Assure yourself.

Cannonball into glossy summer.
Perfect your carbonara. Trust your gut.

Keep skateboarding. Keep a journal.
Collect memories in a bucket

below your window: campfires,
black diamond runs, heartbreak.

After you build your next computer,
snow-angel on the grass.

Soon, you’ll wing from here,
chart your own course.

In the darkening dusk
a candle aglow on the sill.