I have come to tear down
the house I built on the slopes of Vesuvius
longing to return home I have lost the will to explore

unfamiliar seas, the universe is expanding
yet my chart is already filled
I have felt the sting of lava

lost too much blood peeling blisters
callouses never grow so close to the inferno
what does not kill me makes me weary

Jean-Louis Blondeau burned
holding up the tightrope never burning

I think about the transvaluation of Amadeus
and Salieri— patron saint of the mediocre
ordinary, average, everyday
become prodigy, virtuoso, maestro

I find myself worshipping
the one nobody cares to remember

the child, exile, foreigner
champion of the derelict
a requiem for the smolder 

Noah Westfall recently served as a Presbyterian Young Adult Volunteer (YAV ’18-19) in Austin, Texas. He worked with Texas Impact, an Interfaith advocacy organization. He received a bachelor’s degree in philosophy at Santa Clara University and is continuing to explore his calling by pursuing a Masters in Public Health at George Washington University.