Saudade Sestina

"I was the one without time, glancing at walls to see something / colorful plated in dirt." Poem by Thaina Joyce.


A strong yearning to be close again to something

or someone, that is distant, or that has been loved

and then lost. Saudade is the love that remains.

The piece of me I’ve left in São Paulo, the thought of food that inundates the tongue.

Saudade is letting someone make a home in your chest.

Saudade has two pressing hands, CPR on my chest. It has a name and address. Wraps itself around something shiny, gifts itself inside quiet thoughts that last for years.

Taking a hot shower, remembering everyone I’ve ever loved,

scrubbing the longing o my body but tattoos always remain. It is driving to New York City, just to feel closer to my São Paulo.

Saudade is the touch remembered, the smell that remains. It is bending a photograph for pushing too close to the chest,

letting the rain drizzle on your face to feel the garoa of São Paulo.

It is untranslatable language, a word left to be something only the senses can decipher. Parts of who you loved stay present in you when they’ve been absent for years.

Saudade is reminiscing on how happy you felt years ago and didn’t realize it. Rejoicing in the memory that remains.

Weeping yourself to sleep, dreaming to go back to what was loved.

It is the fear that deep down inside someone’s chest you would no longer be treasure, be forgotten in something

mundane like rush hour in the metro lines of São Paulo.

Saudade of the colorful art on the streets of São Paulo An open museum for those who don't have time. Many years I was the one without time, glancing at walls to see something colorful plated in dirt, internalizing the messages that still remain. Street poetry that stings, injects life in my veins. It finds home in my chest,

breathes through my writing. A reflection of everything I’ve ever loved.


I can still taste the mangoes my mom loved bringing home from the street markets of São Paulo. Ah, the pleasure of little things still salutes the heart. A chest full of moments taken for granted, loving the past in dog years, a little too late. Saudade elicits guilt with regret that remains, it gives you a seat with a restricted view of someone or something.

Saudade is ageless, evergreen. Love that lasts, grows over time.

Memories stay untouched. Saudade is the love that remains

behind the eyes of those who feel too much and carry on.


 

Thaina Joyce (she/her) is a Brazilian poet and educator based in Maryland. Nominated for Best of the Net by Sledgehammer Lit, her poetry has also been featured at Olney Magazine, Lumiere Review, South Africa New Contrast, The Bitchin’ Kitsch, and elsewhere. She hopes her work will empower, connect the human experience, and evoke new perspectives.


Image by D A V I D S O N L U N A.

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