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Spread My Ashes Like Flames by Isabella Troiani

Weeds sprout like

2,000-year-old empires

along basalt cobblestones,

torn from the ruins of their home.


In a town older than time

in a time of tall tales

and tall weeds

there lie short people

with short tempers.


Bloodlines (and hairlines)

that trace back


here and


reach out and latch on

like tentacles from the

Mediterranean Sea.


Trace it back to the roots

of towering mountains

and basalt cobblestones and

plants that smell nothing like me.

How long is your bloodline?

Let’s peel back your veins.

Let’s plant our seeds in

Roman aqueducts.

Call upon Trojan soldiers,

sharpen your iron sword.

Spit me out, vaffanculo!


I’ve come to make peace;

drown me in my ancestry.

About the Author

Isabella Troiani is a junior at WSU, majoring in creative writing. Her life includes a lot of traveling, food, and her cat, Nori. She’s loved literature since she learned to read and hopes to one day be a part of the publishing industry.