Sophia Kantsevoy- The Lantern

In a hidden part of a freezing mountain lies a hollow obscured by frost-covered stone. Not marked on any maps and unknown to humanity, the tiny cave is a rare refuge for weary lost travelers, its hard exterior protecting them from the predators that make the harsh, quiet mountain their home. A tiny, nearly-invisible hole in the roof of the enclave lets in trickles of soft, sparkling snow, and, over the centuries since the hollow was formed, it’s filled up with layers of frost. Though visitors rarely stumble upon the hidden shelter, and the constant cold has eroded nearly all traces of humans, one mark has been made on the obscured, icy cave.


In the spring, when the top layers of snow have melted, only a pile of the cold white crystals, soft and a few feet-deep, remains in the center of the hollow. Atop this heap of unfamiliar, undisturbed snow lies an old, ever-burning lantern, left by a traveler who’s certainly all but forgotten about the glowing contraption he left behind in a strange, hidden hollow on a harsh, snow-covered mountain.


The lantern lights up the darkness

And warms up the cold.

It softens the starkness

And turns everything gold.


It’s a woolen coat keeping out the harsh wind

It’s an inviting word, erasing chagrin.


It’s a soft tissue soaking up salty tears

It’s an understanding look exchanged between peers.


It’s reading a book in a soft, cozy bed

It’s cutting into a fresh loaf of warm, home-made bread.


It’s the arm of a friend draped around shaking shoulders

It’s the roots of a tree sprouting up between two mossy boulders.


The lantern’s a light keeping nightmares at bay

The lantern’s jumping into a huge pile of hay.


It’s a soft, yellow duckling swimming across a still lake

It’s blowing out the candles of a sweet birthday cake.


It’s a mother cat licking the heads of her kittens

It’s putting on a pair of snug, knitted mittens.


It’s a rosy sunset emitting soft, golden light

It’s a silvery moon illuminating the night.


It’s a lone lifeboat floating in the roiling blue.


The lantern is comfort.


The lantern is safety.


But, most of all, the lantern is you.


Brenna Connell


He had dirt in his mouth

and dirt in his lungs

and dirt in every crease and crevice of his skin,

but at least it wasn’t sand

because after sixteen years he’d had more than enough

of sand.

So he tossed his blade down

and knelt before the stone-hewn thrones

and spat the blood from his mouth

so he could swear himself to a king and a queen

that were not his own,

but who were the sentinels

guarding the part of a dream 

that he’d never reached

because he always woke before the end.


Come Back

Lamya Chawaf

Don’t know if you’re still there, 
Don’t know if you still care. 
I try to call, I try oh I try. 
Please come back, it’s not too late 
You’ve messed up. She’s messed up. 
Are you there? Or over here? 
You’re like smoke that comes and goes. 
You’re like a clock that keeps on ticking, 
Always making me do a lot of thinking. 
You’re a thunderstorm that fades once i have my rain coat on. 
Like a boat during a storm. 
Trying to keep the tears from running down my face as I pace and pace and pace. 
It’s not a race between you and her. 
So I guess i’ll try to call, i’ll try oh i’ll try. 

The Moon Made Her a Halo

By Naomi Horner




through the open




silver glow

upon the



of the piano








in fluorescent


were now


by the night


a breeze blew

into the room,


magnolia petals and

green leaves

riding the wind

as if returning


from a

long journey


and her?

the still figure



the stars?


the child


there upon the


leaning against

the wall


as if

keeping a quiet


that even in rest

she couldn’t bear

to break


and the full moon

watched her,

and decided to make her

a crown


a halo of silver

entwined in her hair

as if to remind any who


the still form


that serenity



be taken

for granted



By Annie Fitch


The salty, ice-cold, New England water grazed her feet

Staring into the wide Atlantic in disbelief

What had been a month, felt like a year 

Her extreme sadness over her brother’s accident 

led her to the point of despair 

that fateful summer day when her brother

 was swept away by the wave 

her tears floated away into the darkness of the water

He was gone

Disregarded like a piece of plastic

The world which once had a meaning

now seemed as empty as the wind that gave her chills 

She couldn’t bear it anymore 

The absence of laughter, 

the secrets that she had to keep to herself 

All of it led her to that desolate beach in October

The tears, the screams, and the loneliness 

Just sixty seconds later and he would be here

If it wasn’t for that riptide, 

She would be a happier sister


Overture of the Callous March

Inspired by “Second Sun” from City of the Sun, and Night by Elie Wiesel

 By Julia McCormack


Running, marching like Elie said

42 miles of ice and snow

42 miles of trampling over those I used to know

Endure or die, that is the command

No stop. No rest. No reward.

Only blows

And the labyrinth of reality

Pandora must have let Hope go 


I can’t find her anywhere

Not in the air that reeks of death 

Nor in the sleep I lack

What happened to my rhythm?

Why do they carve the tempo of my life?

I am full of staccato notes 

that cannot give rise to a rest

Gone are the words that gave life to this shattered melody

Gone are the facades of a better being

All that remains is the calculated beat 

of broken men shambling away

 from their fate

Bittersweet Being

By Diana Melgar


Oh Loud Joy

Mariachi and reggaeton

The beat and rhythm they bring

Instruments, played quick and strong 

Dancing with all those around

Loud laughter replacing embarrassment

Bodies turning and swinging

The cheers and yells of those sitting

Resting till the next song 


Running away as pop-its hit near my feet

Birds singing proudly in the morning

Strong wind rustling leaves and hair 

Dogs barking, robust and playful

The slap of a soccer ball being kicked

The flow and strength of Spanish 

Words confidently spoken

Sung in music never ending


Oh Deep Afflictions 


Rifts in my family 

Fights and conversation I have yet to understand

Silent words screaming in my mind

the stickiness of barley dried tears

Losing a home to flames and heat

Witnessing the slow breaking of a person

Hearing their weeps and sobs

Comforting wails of regret and apologies 


Being a cause of lament

Anger and frustration of wrong doings

A sickening smell of alcohol

The counterfeit of  righting wrongs

Going back and forth, one parent to another 

Not knowing why I cry or feel so low

Taking for granted everything I have


Oh Quiet Bliss


A very specific sweet scent of light pink roses

A red muddy color and roughness of bricks

Creaky stairs, floors, and doors 

Cozy and close feel of the rooms

The smell of new and old books 

Sunlight from my mother’s window 

The largeness of her bed

The orange and red of a setting sun 


Long car rides in a packed car

From Texas to New York

Resting heads on another’s shoulder

Quiet nights of blissful sleep 

Beauty proudly beaming at night  

The cool air and the shining lights

Warm embraces overflowing with love 

Quiet laughter following uncontrolled howling


Oh Bittersweet Being


Reflections of memories, of feelings, and sensation 

All I have felt, thought, done, and seen

A collection always growing in my mind

Loud joy, deep afflictions, quiet bliss

All I am 

Such bittersweet being 



Katherine Butler

Is love bigger?
Because now when the
men in charge
lock up my right
to love and live,
when companies only
acknowledge me to
make a profit off of my identity
just to forget I exist
as soon as the month ends,
when I get criticized
and called broken
for not giving men what they
when I get told to
“pick a side”
because it’s greedy to have both,
I think that love may be bigger,
but hate is louder.
And when those men in charge
decide to scream their hatred
at us, then I think it’s time
to remind them that
the first Pride was a riot.


By: Rachel McLean


A scream

A cry

A shout for help


An endless descent

An isolated fall


Crystal wings

Shining brilliantly


Skin of ebony

A bronze hand stretches out

Reaching for help that never comes


By: Brenna Barrett

Every day, I woke up and looked at her and she sat there looking back at me. The stark whiteness that washed over her face did not reflect over me. It distorted her features, broke her face into fragments, and wiped clean the color of her skin. Yet, she was me, and I was her. Our movements and speech patterns were alike but opposite. To draw the curtains and to block out the light only hid the whiteness that washed over her face. And then suddenly it was me, staring at myself. But, I didn’t recognize the person anymore for the whiteness, the light, seemed like the only thing that separated me from the person I had become. The light from the window, I knew, was not the only thing that differed me from my reflection.