Guided Writing Portrait

Insegnami a Volare translates to he/she/they (singular) taught me how to fly. I’ve just finished intermediate classes for the language, no biggie.

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I’ve just finished up my sophomore year of college (all A’s!) and have finished up the class necessary to take in order to work in the writing center. In that class, my professor introduced several ways to guide ones writing for our projects on literary sponsorship. My guided writing portrait–

Assignment: Choose someone who appears in your literacy narrative draft and write portrait about them. One paragraph. Based off the directions given in class.

Insegnami a Volare

We had been seeing each other after school on Thursdays for a few weeks straight. Each session I brought my Italian text book, Amici, that she adored thumbing through, the cover striped to mimic the flag: red, white, green. We bonded over Italian hand gestures, signaling we both had a bloodline relationship with Italy that water couldn’t loosen. Both of our ties to the country were as strong as steel, and together we fleshed out each other’s stories about heritage and the language itself. It was on these Thursday’s that we’d sit down in a classroom on the fifth floor, adjacent her office, and remind ourselves of basic and complex words, cultural experiences that occur in Italy, and of the sights we were set to see. It gave her a Mediterranean smile. A wide smile, wide like her wingspan, which slightly stretched the neckline of whatever dress-shirt she wore. We had a lot of laughs during our session and I often find myself wishing we could meet after school every day to click more and more. It wasn’t hard for me to feel this way, in fact one Thursday we spent an entire half hour talking about the cats that roam freely in the colosseum in Rome. We made mountains out of molehills in terms of meliorism of the language.

Soon enough, our sessions finished, we were on the plane to Italy and were adjusting to Rome. Days later she and I sat on stairs in Venice that overlooked murky, dark blue water—the smell of the Old Rock Cafe a yard from us was of potent cigarettes. She was like a guardian angel, I realized the first night in Rome, after I was sick and she waited outside the bathroom for me with a stick of gum. Fantastico. She taught me to fly abroad—insegnarmi a volare.

With love, Alyssa

September by the Bay

I still ask myself, was my hair actually akin to Lombard Street?

One drummer

Plays in his one-man golden gate garage band on an askew street

Cymbals echo for several blocks

 

My father yearns to question tourists, though

If he says

“I am like you,” it

Nullifies my memories.

 

1.  A man hiding in the bushes, unaware of his own scent

Cannabis and salty air,

Startled me as I ate

 

2. An ambiguity between legs and

The trees of Muir Woods that only

Made me question my vision–

Was my hair actually akin to Lombard Street?

 

I am not like you

 

Mom made me stand in every cell in Alcatraz in front of

Decaying walls like sunburned skin

I can’t bind myself to this history, and to suns that bleed like molten lava

With love, Alyssa