Saudade By Luiza Louback


In my mama’s language,
saudade means a yearning

for a love that has vanished
or never existed.

A root knotted in honey,
whirling inside our soul,

circling our bones
and starving us to death.

In my mama’s language
Latinity is an unwitting river,

a wind coated with torn wounds
sand ashes of wilted homeland.

Each grain is a red vein
rippling and mourning like riptide,

vowels shaped like breaths and prayers.
Mama melts our faces in light,

scalding tiny pieces of myself
as I unearth lost stories of an entire continent.

Mama squeezes our hands together,
hardened calluses waded and wet

trembling to still move
bones soft and oily flesh

raw heart and
courage dripping blood

scared all that is left are forever stained
open veins of an unreachable land

Deeper than any tree root
worn smooth by ancient rivers.

By Luiza Louback


Luiza Louback is a Latin-American, Brazilian emerging writer, and high schooler. Her work has appeared in national anthologies and has been recognized by the NY Times Summer Academy. When she is not writing, she teaches English to low-income students and advocates for literary accessibility in Latin America.

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