By: Zachary Hammer
Follow me to a place: Hidden deep in your mind, over a short green fence, Amongst the gardens and deserted municipal buildings. A place Where you find yourself Lost, secure under the leaves of dying lemon trees, life blooming in conversation, Interaction Between us. On an island where Each moment is so long,
when you hold your breath, the world turns a tiny bit slower, the nights grow that much longer and the stars brighter. In a
time when you held me even tighter, as I a little looser, Fearing that very rejection, but with each pull, a yank at the orange groves, dripping with juices as you bit my neck a little
deeper, inhaling every scent lingering behind, while consequently tucking me back beneath the
stone of the streets that brought me here.
I am a teacher and a writer in New York City. I began writing consistently some years back but never really had the support internally nor externally. Growing up, I was always told my writing was decent, about a C average, until I believed it. I would hear other stories, read a variety of books and envision it, the writing, the process, the careful decisions but I never believed I could myself create it. It wasn’t until I finally enrolled in University of Massachusetts, Amherst and began on a Journalism track where I focused on longhand, magazine-style pieces and memoirs. I need to feel the story as I wrote it as well as incite a picture for those who read it. My college professors began encouraging me to continue, encouraging me to hone my skills and push to get them heard. They pushed me to expand my voice, giving me the confidence to document what I was thinking and share it.
When I was in Italy a couple of summers ago, Capri to be more exact, there was “life blooming” as it always does when I visit. The energy that I felt, the emotions, the scents, the split seconds that happen all contributing to a single moment or a few instances that just inspired to me write. The people I met, for only a night, for only an hour, left me wondering about those short interactions the ones that happen in a blink of an eye, taking small parts of who we are, and burying them where we last stood. Spreading our marks wherever we go, trapping a piece of yourself in the memories. Through the love, lust, and the longing for a moment to last. Through my writing I hold a little tighter to the smaller moments of bliss, while trying inspiring others to look for theirs.