I AM
BY JORGE ZÁRATE

I am

-– the colour blue, open windows and the smell of old books,
ripped wrapping paper, green apples and a tall glass of milk.
I am a hug and not a handshake – rhymes and pictures without flash,
I am test tubes and flasks; I am all of these and sometimes none.

I am a traveller, a son and a brother. I am a student, a youth and a lover.
I am an artist with pens and no pencils – blank pages,
Both a question and a colon. I am the ocean too, just as much as I am
my nation, a quartet of strings, rice and beans, lines and stages.

I am different selves with different eyes and different tongues,
Shifting not like the seasons, rather flickering like colours on a screen.
Changing, I learn.

-– the final draft and a work in progress.

Jorge Zárate is a second-year student at NYU Abu Dhabi. This poem was awarded first prize at the Taleem Poetry Competition at the Emirates Airline Festival Literature, held last March in Dubai.

 

IDENTITY POEM
BY CRISTÓBAL MARTINEZ YANES

Shattered circumstance,
Language merged,
Behind the eyes
Of a reflection

Yo soy
我是
I am

Memory,
Memoria
Only memory
Memoria

Because I was, I can be
Because I have been, I am

Only memory

Cristóbal Martinez Yanes is a first-year student at NYU Abu Dhabi. This poem was awarded third prize at the Taleem Poetry Competition.

[Photo: Jorge Zárate (Left) and Cristóbal Martinez Yanes (Right) at the Emirates Literature Festival in Dubai. Credit: Arfa Rehman.]

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