Gameboy gets played

 Gameboy is born in 8 bit glory,
no backlight so he learns to read
in the dark under his covers
He slips away
to a land of digital living.
Of thumbs with an “A” temporary tattooed
from one too many rounds of Mario Kart.
Learns triumph from defeat
Gameboy learns to see in color.
Becomes brighter than he thought
he was he learns to see at night that
it just took him some time to find his footing.
Learns to not only play the game
but to be part of it.
He pushes all the right buttons but
his princess is in another castle. He’s out of extra lives.
Gameboy is worried.
With each advancement he becomes more obsolete.
He fears that he will only be played for nostalgia.

Of Advice Aged in an Oak Barrel

“Spirituality is a good glass of scotch”
–My grandfather

but getting better with age I pour a finger (or two) for my mother into a green crystal cup, offsetting the oppressive air of late May with two small stones foraged from our freezer. I sip, trying to understand the draw of this bitter beverage, the brown butterscotch brew that burns on its descent, branding the back of my throat. In this moment, I struggle to see why on a summer afternoon my mother’s solution to cool down is to burn. I ask. She answers. “Spirituality is a good glass of scotch” she says calmly, echoing her father. She tells me to set myself ablaze. That controlled burning is the only way that change has ever been made. I take another sip. I am reminded of what burning feels like, and my soul becomes reignited. Funny, I think to myself, that family secrets can be found in store-bought bottles.

Jack Rubinstein is a rising senior at Brandeis University. He has been writing poetry for three years and has found much growth through the art form. He was a member of the 2016-2017 Brandeis Poetic Justice Slam Poetry team, and his work "Calculation of Self Worth" can be found in the spring 2017 publication of Laurel Moon.