Fealty

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

 

moonlight

streamed

through the open

window,

 

casting

silver glow

upon the

liquid

keys

of the piano

 

the 

black

and 

white 

so

stark

in fluorescent

lighting,

were now

softened

by the night

 

a breeze blew

into the room,

 

magnolia petals and

green leaves

riding the wind

as if returning

home

from a

long journey

 

and her?

the still figure

silhouetted

against

the stars?

 

the child

slept

there upon the

windowsill

leaning against

the wall

 

as if

keeping a quiet

vigilance

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

saw

the still form

 

that serenity

should

never

be taken

for granted

 

Riptide

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 

because 

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 

 

Riot

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
want,
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.

Icarus

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

Reflection

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.

Opened Shell

by Zayne Ali

You could tell your friends,

but you don’t.

Instead you turn to the adults you’re so used to.

 

How would your friends act if they knew?

Would they scorn you?

Think you’re too vulnerable?

You don’t know.

You don’t want to know.

 

Why are you afraid of judgement?

These are your friends for gosh sakes!

They’ve been through the same stresses and challenges you have!

 

But you still don’t say.

Fear weighs on your heart.

Avoiding the topic is like a slow, careful dance.

 

But one day, the clouds were too much.

You just needed someone to talk to.

Someone who understood.

Someone who cared.

A peer that been through this dark storm like you.

 

This person appeared,

just like an angel.

The two of you had a heart-to-heart talk.

 

“It was like talking to a mirror,

you think to yourself.

“Someone who’s an introvert with depression too.”

 

You hugged together,

cried together.

You built a friendship that could never be broken.

 

Though depression might seem like a challenge,

don’t think it makes you any weaker!

It makes you stronger,

as a matter of fact.

Don’t let anything or anybody tell you otherwise.