Writing Catalog

Gabriella Quintana

Grade: 12

Hathaway Brown School

Instructor: Elizabeth Armstrong

love held bittersweet to her


love held bittersweet to her


love held bitter sweet to her.

it tasted of the cherry soda they liked to drink,
it smelled like strong cologne and felt like rough hands gripping her own or her entire self, pulling her to an inescapable dance. it was a tune she heard all too many times, a melody she had thought she could listen to endlessly, succumbing to low beats. she never understood their warbling lyrics, she didn't get the chords, and she was fine with that. she didn't need to, as long as they kept a guiding hand to pull her forward, showing her where the pathway led.

yet, they directed her away from it.
the roads with polished gray seemed to stray further from view, and she was brought to a grass patch towards the end of a hill. from the standpoint she had, she could see shades of crimson staining the ground. their smell reeked of power and sweat, the honey slicked words seeped into the air surrounding them. an illusion of a golden throne atop everything, drawn delicately in front of them only. it was unpleasant, but escape was a fickle concept. what was truly being free?

she left, but her mind remained at a standstill.
she could no longer feel the coarse breath of them on the back of her neck, but she could feel touch ghost where hands once were, dragging down her core. she could hear their voice in the back of her mind, words never leaving. it was taunting, whispers of feux love following every aching location she went to. it was repetitious and painful. all the fairy tales had always sung of romantic stories that ended with a happily ever after, but she clinged to the aftermath in feeble fingertips.

pretty little stories, illustrated with a golden quill of hopeless dreams.

she had learned to let go of that nostalgic feather. there was no reason for her to pay such a high price to just be hurt once again.
but she was never good at learning from mistakes.

a sucker for someone making her smile, she felt her heart beat again when she caught eyes for one certain individual. again,
oddly enough. the girl of the exuberance who she could once rely on. it was treading through familiar waters of writhing pasts,
she feared a wave would overtake her once again, crushing down with even more force than the last.

what came instead was a breeze, the light scent she'd wish to linger longer, lapping in with a comforting sense. it wasn't heavy, she knew she'd never drown with her. the careful song of promise and delicate reassurance in tow, coupled to the subtle sound of piano keys alongside. it came with ease, but stayed behind in a lovely tune that never quite dissipated.

that was how it sounded to her.

with their fingers interlocking with hers, she felt warmer.

the suffocating fellow, following of unknown music was replaced by melodious rhythm filling the hum of a car and easy ears.
the sharp aftertaste of bitter tongue was left behind, and in came the taste of ice cream and chocolate milkshakes of summer dates.

the pathway she had long ago tried so hard to follow was miles away, yet it didn't seem to matter.
her smile was outstretched and free,
she didn't need them anymore.

love slowly became sweeter for her, as it came in the form of the people she cared for most.


i can't look at paintings for long .
i'll be warped , immersed into the confines of the pieces intrinsics and fall victim to the predator within art nouveau especially .
i wouldn't mind , if not for you beside me.
Yet you
so talkative ,
so much more interesting than the years and
lives artists have bored into comparatively arbitrary works .
who i've so decidedly chosen to rather think about.


laughter rings through the air, bringing you back to a moment of nostalgia.
it's friendly, summer.
filled with a love that brings you to laugh in the same way
she is, living and ecstatic.
wit tossed in illusory banter,
the demeanor of the young girl in front of you similar to one of a pesky teenager.
she ropes her arm around
you, eyes positive with an optimism
akin to a child who was promised a new toy.
perhaps one day you could understand that promise.
when you ask her what's got them so happy,
she simply raises an eyebrow,
shaking you to bits if ever to be moved by such a passion.
her voice settling a message into your hearing.
but there are no words to listen for.
her words are art


I can't fold
looseleaf refutes my fingertips, guide my hands, please
though I won't retain your moves, if i may only let my mind be lost in your instructions.
I don't know the second step, the ground shakes in furiated doubt as i travel to your movements again
show me your heart once more, capture me within it's contraption
Let me lie within
I will fold otherwise
for your voice, warbles pressing my chest till insanity
meet my eyes, my sun may you melt me to happy pools
Greedily keep me,
Let me fold for you,
For your heart,

for You, entirely and always


You are
of many words, words i can only beg to collect
I give no prayers for our memories,
though, as my mind has served me well
your words will erode like the rocks as my mind fragments,
for new consonants and vowels mashed together

no prayer for repeated syllables
repeats are withheld in confines

But time
I pray for time.
I pray for seconds, of finished whispers and tied tongues for a moment more
I pray for hours, disassorted sounds abandoned as we share each other in reckless fervor
I pray for months, that will edge our beings to only come if wished, for you to hold me till morning rise

My prayer is you
and for just a bit more Time.