By Neomi Vira

‘Cloud 9’ by Marisa S White

I see my mother when I hear the number 3/4
“3/4 cups flour and 1/4 cup water,” she used to say 
When we made my favorite blueberry pancakes
By the emerald marble stone window sill in the kitchen 
Only the song of a lonely nightingale keeping us company
While it awaited its next flight. 
“3/4 cups,” I whispered to myself 
While trying to figure out what exactly that meant. 

We never really understood each other, my mother and I. 
She was the strongest elephant in the herd 
While I was a lone wolf lurking in the woods. 
Her heart seemed to beat blindly 
To an invisible drum hidden within 
The wrinkles on her chained palms,
While mine was fuelled by voracious fires of the rebels 
Being born behind the windows opening in my almond eyes. 

I wish she knew who I was 
And who I wanted to be. 
I wish she realized that I wasn’t 
Carved numbers in rigid cups 
But the universe and its moons and stars 
Compressed into a big black ball
Patiently awaiting the BANG! 

I was not the blueberry pancakes
Being made by emerald marble stone window sills
But the lonely nightingale awaiting its next flight.
While she might have been 3/4 cups of this and 1/4 cups of that
I was the jet black ink flowing in
The sonnets that my fingernails bled with.

Neomi Vira is a 19-year-old poet and psychology student. When she isn’t writing her next poem, she is reading her next favorite book. Often finding inspiration from the people around her, she believes that words have the power to stir hearts. Reach her on Instagram @neomi.vira.

Marisa S White is best known for seamlessly stitching multiple photographs together, weaving her own personal narrative through surrealistic and fantastical imagery. Marisa has received numerous accolades for her art, has exhibited across the US and in Europe, and is collected internationally. Her work was recently featured at the Crocker Art Museum in Sacramento, California. She currently resides in Colorado with her husband of 10+ years, whom she fondly refers to as Captain Awesome, and their two fur babies.