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Heat makes a rude appearance,
Announcing itself in a paroxysm of fire.
Homeostasis, that elusive aspiration,
has been yoked by the tectonic shift of seasons.
It is this announcement that propelled
the insulated crust into the surface,
met by disagreeable forces challenging
the delicate reconstruction of its nucleus.
Dry air charges with daggers, piercing
the epidermal layer of skin, swimming
in the nutritious banquet of subcutaneous tissue.
The body jolts, awakened.
It must somehow reconcile the dueling directions
of seasonal change with the continuity of consciousness.
Data abets data, memory creating prisms
that pop in color and presence.
The cold, pleasant winds used to tease
and tickle the skin with soft kisses.
Now, it migrates to another land,
forcing confrontation with the rude ashes of the past.
The finger touches the memory, and it sizzles.
Steam rises from the hot inspection of DNA,
infinitesimal rings, like those of an oak,
proclaiming not the mark of age but the mark of identity.
For it is identity that imperializes the rough underground,
roots that assert themselves in the soil,
valiant against the clouds of dust and ash
that wish to cover and to bury.
No, the obituary must be delayed.
Breathe in the air that fills the lungs
with coals beaming orange; exhale the fire
and watch it fly in the gust blooming a bloody flower.
Do not allow oblivion to win the race.
Load the arrow, string caressing the cheek;
let it race across the land and bend to the breeze: 
until it comes back, renewed, next Spring

A child of Bosnian and Iraqi war refugees and a first-generation college student at Arizona State University Barrett, The Honors College, Sami embraces his diverse academic and multicultural background...