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Derek Otsuji

I am moon shaped on the lips
nothing so tangible as you imagined
though it is true I have no soul
but a core.

This lack keeps me pure
as the flesh of grapes
so that plucked from a river
I am its memory:
permanent, cool, and distant.

But at the last
when even memory fails,
dissipates like mint
on the skin,
I am measureless—
the slow months passing
deep in my center.

Derek Otsuji will soon graduate with his Master's degree in English. He has been awarded the Hinckley Scholarship, the English Department's Thomas award and cleaned house in the Vera Hinckley Mayhew poetry contest. If you're nice to him, his family may bring you macadamia nut cookies from Hawaii, as they did for us.