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TheCriterion The Literary Magazine of

American International College

Spring 2012

THE
CRITERION
EZINE
–
SPRING
2012
EDITION
 President
of
the
College
 
 
 Dean
of
Arts,
Education,
and
Sciences
 English
Department
Head
 
 
 English
Faculty
Liason
 
 
 Editor‐in‐Chief
 
 
 
 
 Featured
Writers
and
Visual
Artists
 Seferina
Starks
 
 
 
 Wilmary
Gonzalez
 
 
 
 Samantha
Tabak
 
 
 
 Artist
Unkown
 
 
 
 Jenna
Miller

 
 
 
 Melissa
Labbe
 
 
 
 Phoebe
Peterson
 
 
 
 Abriana
Morales
 
 
 
 Kadeem
Gayle
 
 
 
 Seferina
Starks
 
 
 
 Aubri
Bailly
 
 
 
 
 Breeyn
Green
 
 
 
 Darrel
Rivera
 
 
 
 Fabria
Joseph
 
 
 
 Kimberly
Scott
 
 
 
 Artist
Unkown
 
 
 
 Wilmary
Gonzalez
 
 
 
 Seferina
Starks
 
 
 
 Artist
Unkown
 
 
 
 Kadeem
Gayle
 
 
 
 Anonymous
 
 
 
 
 B.
Robinson
 
 
 
 
 Devon
A.
Gibson
 
 
 
 Saradgine
Sincere
 
 
 
 Artist
Unkown
 
 
 
 Abriana
Morales
 
 
 
 Artist
Unkown
 
 
 
 Ryan
Hubbell
 
 
 


Vincent
Maniaci
 Vickie
Hess
 Robin
Varnum
 Lori
Paige
 Julie
R.
Bodnar


Gory
Bits
of
Nature
(cover
artwork)
 Paws
of
Purity
 Jamie’s
Story
 Student
Artwork
 The
Prince’s
Endless
Slumber
 Student
Artwork
 Student
Artwork
 Why
am
I
so
strange?
 Distance
from
the
Sun
 Indifference
 Tribute
to
These
Curls
 I
Can’t
and
I
Will
Show
You
I
Can
 Student
Artwork
 Student
Artwork
 Untitled
 Student
Artwork
 Insomniac
Secret
 In
Any
System
 Student
Artwork
 A
Storm’s
Journey
 Student
Artwork
 Student
Artwork
 A
Reason
to
Rewind
 Solitude
 Student
Artwork
 Thank
You
 Student
Artwork
 Student
Artwork


WILMARY
GONZALEZ


Paws
of
Purity
 Dearest
Isolde,
 How
could
they
have
loved
so
fast
then?
 Dearest,
oh
dearest
best
friend,
 Who
could
do
this
now?
 
 The
real
hearts
are
gone,
 And
now
those
that
corrupt
have
come
to
stay,
 But
I’m
staying
right
here
in
my
bright
clouds.
 
 I’m
gonna
dream
of
pretty
pinks
and
yellows,
 The
luscious
reds
and
not
the
evil.
 I’m
going
to
dream
of
the
baby
blues,
 And
the
sea
green.
 I’m
going
to
swim
in
the
goodness
that’s
still
out
there.
 Oh
Dearest
Isolde,
 Please
let
me
keep
dreaming,
 Dreaming,
dreaming
and
dreaming.
 
 Paws
of
purity
are
fading,
 Where
are
you?
 But
I’m
going
to
stay
here
stroking
my
paw,
 Meow,
I
purr

 Because
I
believe
I’m
pure,
 No
matter
what
my
insecurities
have
to
say.
 
 I’m
going
to
kiss
the
prince,
 Because
I
believe
he
exists
 
 Dearest
Isolde,
 I’m
going
to
dream
of
the
pretty
dresses
 And
all
the
fairytales
come
to
life,

 Dearest
Isolde,
 Can
I
make
these
come
true?
 


SAMANTHA
TABAK


Jamie’s
Story
 We
walked
in
just
ten
minutes
ago,
with
smiles
on
our
faces,
 Just
to
leave
as
quickly
as
we
came
with
tear
mark
traces.
 I
had
so
many
thoughts
running
through
my
head
after
reading
those
three
words,
 Two
of
which
were
simple
and
the
last,
well
that
was
unheard.
 I
hadn’t
understood
why
you
were
chosen
above
us
all,
 But
I
admire
your
strength,
vigor,
and
ability
to
stand
tall.
 Let
me
take
you
back
to
December
15th
and
explain
my
best
friend’s
situation,
 Between
the
red
cells
and
white,
something
had
gone
wrong,
so
the
doctors
had
to
find
an
 accommodation.
 
 Word
traveled
fast
of
her
family’s
second
run
in
with
this
plague,
 Many
times
this
disease
is
uncovered
because
of
a
bruise,
perhaps
on
the
leg.
 She
started
treatment
immediately,
as
no
one
has
yet
to
find
a
cure,
 But
the
chemotherapy
was
never
easy,
to
watch
was
pure
torture.
 And
so
the
doctors
kept
saying
it
had
to
get
worse
before
it
could
get
better,
 It
began
to
seem
as
if
the
drugs
would
completely
destroy
her.
 She
continued
to
smile
and
fight
back
her
tears,
 After
all,
she
had
already
fought
her
brother’s
battle
for
many
years.
 
 When
Wade
had
passed,
there
was
no
escaping
the
ultimate
change,
 All
of
her
feelings
on
losing
her
big
brother
had
to
be
caged.
 Every
year
Wade’s
courage,
character,
and
continuous
smiles
are
celebrated,
 So
now
she
has
to
stand
there
in
front
of
a
crowd
and
explain
how
she
could
relate.
 Being
Wade’s
perfect
match
was
never
an
easy
thing
to
endure,
 Because
she
could
give
him
blood
and
marrow,
she
ultimately
controlled
his
future.
 Who
would
have
guessed
that
her
future
would
hold
the
same
hospital
sounds,
 late
night
beeping
and
all
of
the
nurses
making
their
rounds.
 
 As
I
sat
there
and
saw
the
fear
in
her
eyes,
the
smile
on
her
face,
and
all
of
her
pain,
 It
made
me
realize
that
in
my
life
I
had
nothing
to
lose,
but
all
to
gain.
 As
I
sat
with
her
in
her
hospital
bed
and
she
rubbed
her
now
bald
head,
 We
discussed
our
futures
and
she
planned
to
continue
the
life
she
led.
 No
one
saw
it
coming;
it
all
started
with
a
simple
headache,
 But
those
blood
tests
made
everyone
wake,
it
was
for
her
life’s
sake.
 Her
name
is
Jamie,
and
she
is
my
best
friend,
don’t
you
see?
 As
of
June
17th,
2010
she
has
been
completely
cancer
free.
 
 
 



 
 I
am
so
proud
of
her,
and
all
she
has
overcome,
 All
I
hope
for
you
in
life
is
that
you
encounter
someone
like
Jamie,
just
one.
 Then
you
will
see
the
true
definition
of
both
fear
and
fearless,
 You
will
soon
be
like
me,
with
a
respect
that
is
completely
endless.
 Unfortunately
it
can
come
back
and
there
will
always
be
that
constant
worry,
 But
I
am
happy
that
I
had
the
opportunity
to
share
with
you
Jamie’s
story.
 
 



 


JENNA
MILLER


The
Prince’s
Endless
Slumber
 I
was
to
be
married
on
May
24th,
1822.
My
betrothed
was
a
Prince
by
the
name
of
John
C.
 Gringley.


He
was,
by
all
means,
devilishly
handsome
and
unfathomably
rich;
however,
he
 lacked
a
strong
personality
and
rather
bored
me.
Our
engagement
had
been
arranged
upon
my
 birth.

Unfortunately,
on
the
morning
of
our
wedding,
the
situation
took
an
abrupt
twist:
Prince
 Gringley
did
not
wake
from
his
sleep.
The
cause
of
his
passing
still
remains
inconclusive.

There
 was
speculation
that
he
was
poisoned
by
a
rather
potent,
yet
inconspicuous
substance,
but
 nothing
can
be
proven.

One
can
only
wonder
as
to
how
the
whole
situation
occurred.
 When
I
learned
of
his
death,
I
knew
that
I
could
not
stay
within
the
confines
of
my
home.
There
 I
would
be
haunted
by
the
sympathies
of
my
family
and
friends.

I
needed
an
outlet
to
organize
 my
emotions
and
cope
with
my
grief.

Although
my
family
was
not
extravagantly
rich,
traveling
 abroad
as
I
pleased
was
never
financially
troubling.

Generally,
it
was
not
permissible
that
a
lady
 travel
alone,
but
I
pleaded
with
my
parents.

I
expressed
how
deeply
distressed
I
was,
arguing
 that
time
alone
was
the
only
way
for
me
to
arrange
my
scattered
thoughts.

Reluctantly,
at
the
 one
request
that
I
stay
with
a
family
friend,
my
parents
let
me
go.

 I
arrived
at
precisely
half
past
the
hour.

It
was
a
long
trip
by
boat,
and
I
was
eager
to
retire
for
 the
night.

When
my
carriage
pulled
up,
I
could
not
help
but
feel
a
twinge
of
excitement,
as
my
 heart
began
to
beat
faster.
The
small
town,
located
within
the
heartland
of
Tanzania,
was
 rather
fantastical.


As
we
traveled
down
the
bumpy
roads,
the
lights
of
the
night
gave
off
an
 aura
of
mystical
secrecy.

I
was
very
intrigued
and
quite
satisfied
with
the
town.

In
the
morning
 I
would
wish
to
explore
further
into
the
depths
of
the
country.
 The
rest
of
the
night
was
hazy.
I
do,
however,
recall
meeting
an
intriguing
young
man
by
the
 name
of
Sir
Daniel.
I
assumed
this
man
to
be
the
family
friend
to
whose
hands
I
had
been
 entrusted
into.

His
countenance
revealed
bold
features
and
an
individual
of
his
late
twenties.


 He
had
short
cropped
brown
hair
and
eyes
like
sapphires.

He
escorted
me
to
room
1897
and
 reassured
me
that
I
was
to
receive
whatever
I
needed.

All
I
could
ask
for
at
that
point
in
time
 was
rest,
and
so
he
maneuvered
his
way
out
of
the
room.

With
a
faint
click
of
the
door,
he
was
 gone
and
I
fell
into
a
deep
sleep.
 When
I
awoke
the
next
day,
it
was
odd
how
easily
I
had
been
revisited
by
my
dream.

The
 events
which
had
occurred
in
my
unconscious
thoughts
seemed
so
real
that
I
knew
not
what
to
 think
or
feel.

I
had
dreamt
of
a
cemetery
that
was
filled
with
dozens
of
tomb
stones.

Among


these,
one
caught
my
eye.
Right
central
in
the
cemetery
was
a
grave
marked
by
a
giant
black
 marble
mass
and
weighed
down
by
heavy
boulders.
The
words
on
the
stone
I
could
not
make
 out,
only
a
name,
possibly
Richard
or
Robert.

As
I
was
squinting
to
decipher
the
lettering,
I
 blinked
and
the
scene
morphed.
I
was
now
standing
next
to
the
grave
which
had
been
flipped
 and
dug
up.


 With
my
gaze
fixed
forward,
I
would
not
dare
look
down
at
the
strewn
about
earth,
but
an
 invisible
force
penetrated
my
concentration.

Slowly
I
tilted
my
head
down
to
glance
upon
the
 shadowy
figure
that
began
to
levitate.
All
I
could
make
out
of
the
figure
in
the
darkness
were
 glowing
green
eyes
and
pale
hands
drenched
in
blood.

 I
screamed
and
woke
for
I
felt
a
hand
brush
upon
my
neck.
When
I
arose
from
my
sleep,
it
was
 morning
and
I
spotted
a
beautiful
cross
pendant
on
my
neck.

Just
then,
a
tall
man
left
the
 room.
I
would
not
let
it
bother
me;
it
was
probably
one
of
the
hotel
employees
checking
on
me.
 I
was
obviously
uneasy
since
the
occurrences
with
my
fiancée,
so
I
resumed
focus
on
the
 necklace.

I
was
so
drawn
to
it
that
I
decided
I
would
keep
it
on.
 Once
I
had
composed
myself
and
gone
off
to
breakfast,
I
came
across
Sir
Daniels
who
informed
 me
that
my
whole
evening
had
been
planned
out.
He
wanted
to
ensure
that
I
experienced
only
 the
best
parts
of
Tanzania.

For
the
most
part,
my
day
was
executed
with
ease.

It
was
not
until
I
 was
returning
to
the
old‐fashioned
hotel
that
I
felt
a
little
disturbed.


 As
we
were
turning
the
corner
onto
the
road
of
the
hotel,
I
noticed
a
cemetery
on
the
left.

 Instantly,
my
mind
flashed
back
to
the
dream
I
had
the
night
before
and
cold
drops
of
sweat
 trickled
down
between
my
shoulder
blades.
Located
centrally
in
the
graveyard
was
a
giant
black
 marble
tombstone,
as
I
had
seen
in
my
dream.
Flustered
with
confusion,
I
turned
from
the
 graveyard
and
decided
that
I
would
retire
for
the
night
once
I
returned
to
the
hotel.


 Still,
it
did
not
make
sense.

Upon
arriving,
I
had
traveled
in
from
the
coast
to
reach
the
hotel
 last
night.

There
was
no
way
that
I
could
have
crossed
the
cemetery
last
night,
allowing
the
site
 an
access
into
my
unconscious
thoughts.

I
was
all
sorts
of
confused.
Rest
would
be
the
only
 answer.

 As
I
lay
in
bed,
I
tossed
and
turned
in
and
out
of
sleep.
My
dreams
soon
became
reality
and
a
 strange
man
invaded
them.

How
he
got
into
my
room,
I
cannot
recall,
but
his
face
seemed
 familiar.

Slight
recognition
stopped
me
from
tensing
up.
I
allowed
him
to
draw
closer
as
I
 continued
to
make
out
his
face.

Just
as
he
reached
the
foot
of
my
bed,
I
gasped.
I
had
thought
 him
to
be
a
friend,
but
instead
he
was
the
deformed
version
of
a
familiar
face.

I
cringed,
pulling
 the
covers
near
to
me.

He
smiled
showing
fierce
pointy
teeth.
His
pale
skin
glowed
in
the
dark,
 accentuating
his
long
misshapen
head.

Still
he
grew
closer.




 I
had
nowhere
to
escape.

When
he
was
to
the
point
of
hovering
over
my
face,
I
felt
pain
with
 each
and
every
throb
of
my
heart.

It
was
in
this
moment
that
all
my
sins,
flaws,
and
 imperfections
came
to
life.

It
summoned
forth
the
real
truth
of
why
I
left
home.


I
had
to
run
 away
from
possible
accusations
and
the
reality
that
I
had
poisoned
my
fiancé.

I
could
not
bear
 the
possibility
of
living
a
life
burdened
by
an
unsuitable
husband.
The
hideous
man
lunged
at
 my
face...

 
 
 
 
 



 


Mellissa Labbe

Phoebe Peterson

ABRIANA
MORALES
 


Why
am
I
so
Strange?
 
 Is
it
the
keffiyeh
on
my
head?
Is
my
outfit
too
long?
 I
just
want
to
walk
and
people
not
whisper,
not
be
scared
 I
am
a
citizen,
this
treatment
I
am
receiving
is
wrong
 I
am
not
a
bomber
not
a
terrorist.
Why
is
everyone
so
visually
impaired?
 Yes,
I
am
Arab,
but
why
am
I
so
strange
 Should
I
be
ashamed���will
this
ever
change?
 
 Is
it
my
brown
skin?
Is
it
because
I’m
wearing
a
hood?
 I
just
want
to
go
in
a
store
and
not
be
followed,
every
step
I
take
everything
I
touch
all
eyes
on
me
 I
am
not
a
thief;
you
have
me
misunderstood
 I
just
want
to
shop,
I
have
money,
I
have
a
job,
but
still
I
am
treated
as
a
criminal
to
be
 Yes,
I
am
Black,
why
am
I
so
strange
 Should
I
be
ashamed
will
this
ever
change?
 
 Is
it
my
eyes?
Is
it
my
pale
skin?
 I
just
want
to
go
to
school
and
not
be
expected
to
be
a
calculator,
to
do
people’s
nails
 I
do
not
work
in
a
salon,
I
am
average
I
do
not
know
everything,
and
my
last
name
isn’t
Yin
 I
am
a
person
like
you,
I
may
be
Asian
but
look
at
me
for
me
and
not
these
tails
 Yes,
I
am
Chinese,
why
am
I
so
strange
 Should
I
be
ashamed
will
this
ever
change?
 
 This
is
easy
to
see

 Its
three
ethnicities
ABC

 All
living
in
the
same
place
but
gets
treated
like
they
do
not
belong

 One
person
does
not
make
an
entire
group
so
let’s
stop
the
madness
because
it
has
gone
on
for
too
long
 
 
 
 


KADEEM
GAYLE
 


Distance
from
the
Sun
 



 I
heard
the
sun
rise
in
the
morning

 It
sounded
likes
footsteps
in
the
snow
 Standing
in
the
midst
of
darkness
 Walking
on
a
thin
line

 
 The
sun
has
a
cold
heart

 Its
distance
is
so
bleak

 Curled
up
in
a
ball

 Love
it
dies
to
seek

 
 The
sun,
the
sun
 Only
wants
a
friend

 Alone
like
an
ember

 Dying
to
grow
old

 
 Like
a
stone
the
sun
is
dry

 Like
lightning
in
the
sky
 A
rhyme
that
tells
many
lies

 The
sun
is
very
wise
 
 Spreading
wings
like
rays
 It
flies
throughout
the
sky

 I
hear
the
sunset
in
the
night
 Climbing
like
a
waterfall

 
 
 
 
 


SEFERINA
STARKS


Indifference
 



 
 
 


AUBRI
BAILLY


Tribute
to
These
Curls
 


these
curls
are
my
identity.
 something
people
notice
right
away,
 something
that
i
am
known
for.
 flowy
and
blonde,
 something
fun
to
look
at.
 these
curls
have
been
compared
 to
taylor
swift’s
regularly.
 a
compliment,
nonetheless.
 these
curls
are
my
friends.
 i
can
count
on
them
always.
 though
i
straighten
these
curls,
 they
are
still
near
and
dear
to
me.
 these
curls
are
weird
curls.
 they
go
in
all
different
directions.
 without
these
curls,
 i
would
not
be
me.

 


BREEYN
GREEN


Tell
Me
I
Can’t
and
I
Will
Show
You
I
Can
 
 I
have
always
thought
of
myself
as
being
independent.
I
love
to
do
things
myself
and
show
everyone
that
 a
girl
can
do
whatever
a
guy
can,
sometimes
even
a
little
bit
better.
This
was
quite
evident
my
junior
 year
in
high
school.
The
other
students
in
the
Naval
Science
(NS)
4
class
that
year
were
all
male,
most
of
 who
had
dreams
of
joining
the
Armed
Forces
after
graduation.
Every
day
was
a
challenge.
I
was
 constantly
trying
to
them
to
understand
that
I
knew
what
I
was
doing,
but
they
always
thought
 otherwise.
I
was
determined
to
change
their
“woman‐make‐me‐a‐sandwich”
views.

 
 I
was
never
the
most
athletic
or
the
most
outspoken,
but
I
had
the
gift
of
gaining
everyone’s
respect
and
 loyalty
quickly.
This
worked
well
with
the
underclassmen,
but
not
with
the
seniors.
My
ability,
along
with
 a
lot
of
hard
work,
earned
me
the
position
of
Supply
Officer.
My
job
was
to
keep
track
of
thousands
of
 uniform
items,
to
issue
uniforms
to
cadets,
and
to
replace
any
worn
out
or
damaged
items.
Although
the
 senior
boys
had
thought
one
of
their
own
should
have
the
position,
none
of
them
had
the
computer
 programing
knowledge,
the
patience,
or
the
people
skills
to
handle
it.
This
was
why
the
Senior
Naval
 Science
Instructor
(SNSI)
chose
me.
 
 Another
thing
that
really
aggravated
the
seniors
was
the
fact
that
one
of
the
assistant
drill
team
coaches
 had
chosen
me
as
her
Unarmed
Drill
Team
Captain,
a
position
usually
saved
for
a
senior.
The
boys
were
 captains
for
the
Armed
Drill
Team.
“The
Armed
Team
is
the
man’s
team,”
they
would
constantly
tell
us,
 even
though
I
and
many
of
my
other
female
teammates
had
been
on
the
armed
team
our
entire
 sophomore
year.
What
they
didn’t
like
was
the
fact
that
I
had
some
say
about
the
team’s
goals,
how
to
 achieve
them,
and
who
was
on
which
team.
“Who
cares?”
would
be
the
boys’
response
when
I
asked,
 “What
about
the
Unarmed
Team?”
In
their
eyes,
the
Unarmed
Team
was
just
the
Junior
Varsity
team,
 the
team
where
all
the
new
cadets
go.
 
 
 This
conflict
went
on
the
entire
year,
even
to
the
National
Championship
Tournament.
They
needed
a
 commander
for
their
Unarmed
Teams,
but
none
of
the
boys
had
any
experience
commanding
the
 unarmed
side.
They
looked
at
me
and
said,
“Breeyn,
you’re
doing
this
at
Nationals.”
 
 
 “Me?!”
I
asked
hesitantly.
 
 
 “Yeah,
you!
None
of
us
really
know
what
we
are
doing
and
we
want
first
place.”
 
 I
looked
at
them
and
thought,
“They
are
crazy!”
I
had
never
been
to
this
competition
before!
I
had
no
 idea
what
to
expect,
what
the
routines
looked
like
or
what
types
of
floors
they
were.
They
were
asking
 me
to
do
this,
with
only
the
experience
I
had
from
competing
at
local
meets.
I
knew
that
they
must
have
 been
desperate.
I
looked
them
in
the
eyes
and
said,
“I’ll
do
it!”
My
teammates
looked
at
me
and
then
at
 them,
pleasantly
shocked.
Things
were
starting
to
change.
 
 Drill
and
Color
Guard
are
extremely
competitive
sports.
The
Drill
portion
consists
of
a
platoon
of
12
with
 a
commander
in
front.
There
are
three
events:
Inspection,
Regulation
and
Exhibition.
Inspection
is
like
 the
military;
the
13
members
line
up
and
are
questioned
by
military
personnel.
Some
questions
include:


“Who
is
the
president
of
the
United
States?”
or
“What
is
the
cadet
to
your
left’s
name?”

Regulation
is
a
 bit
trickier.
In
this
phase,
a
list
of
steps
(usually
between
48‐55)
the
commander
must
memorize.
This
 sequence
must
be
performed
in
order
on
a
floor
ranging
in
size
from
50’
by
60’
to
the
size
of
a
basketball
 court
(roughly
85’
by
75’).
Exhibition
was
the
most
fun
event.
This
is
where
the
cadets
can
get
creative
 and
add
their
own
style
and
flare
to
normal
military
drills.
Each
team
has
five
to
eight
minutes
to
 perform
its
routine,
which
is
scored
on
originality
of
movement,
keeping
the
routine
within
the
time
 limit,
sharpness
of
the
team,
and
precision
of
the
movements.
In
this
sport,
the
difference
between
first
 and
second
is
usually
only
three
or
four
points,
so
every
movement
matters!
 
 Color
Guard
is
a
little
different.
A
Color
Guard
consists
of
four
cadets:
two
with
flags
and
two
with
rifles.
 The
movements
are
similar
to
those
used
on
the
Drill
Team,
and
they
only
have
one
event,
which
is
 similar
to
the
Regulation
phase
of
the
Drill
team.
The
commander
has
to
memorize
a
series
of
steps
and
 then
execute
it
in
front
of
three
to
four
military
judges.
With
Color
Guard,
the
difference
between
first
 and
second
is
usually
only
a
point
or
two
if
you
are
lucky.
Also,
it
is
a
male‐dominated
sport.
 
 The
National
Tournament
is
held
every
February
and
teams
from
across
the
country
compete.
There
are
 usually
80
or
more
teams,
each
wanting
to
be
known
as
the
National
Champions.
There
are
about
50
 cadets
on
each
team
that
competes.
Ours
had
just
fifteen.
You
could
say
that
we
were
a
little
 outnumbered!
 
 
 We
went
out
on
the
floor
which
was
about
20
square
feet
shorter
than
I
was
used
to
for
Unarmed
 Exhibition,
which
was
about
20
square
feet
shorter
than
I
was
used
to,
but
I
was
ready
to
give
it
my
best.
 The
senior
boys
hadn’t
told
that
this
event
often
pushed
teams
into
and
out
of
the
top
three
positions.
 The
number
of
points
awarded
in
the
Exhibition
events
was
much
greater
than
that
given
out
in
other
 two.
Also,
our
little
team
from
Oxford
High
had
never
placed
in
the
top
five
for
this
event,
and
trophies
 were
only
awarded
for
first
through
fifth
place.
“No
pressure,”
I
kept
telling
myself.
I
had
complete
faith
 in
my
team
and
knew
we
had
practiced
and
perfected
our
routine.

 
 
 Second
place!
I
went
out
and
did
exactly
what
we
had
done
at
practice,
and
we
won
second
place.
 Never
in
the
history
of
Oxford’s
Naval
Junior
Reserve
Officers’
Training
Corps
(NJROTC)
had
we
ever
 done
that!
I
was
beaming
as
my
teammates
cried.
I
looked
at
them
and
at
the
seniors,
and
I
thought
 about
how
things
were
turning
around.
I,
a
female
and
a
junior,
had
done
something
this
unit
had
never
 seen.
The
guys
would
have
to
notice
that
a
girl
could
do
just
as
well
and
win
just
as
often.

 


Darrel Rivera

Fabria Joseph

KIMBERLY
SCOTT


Untitled
 
 And
so
I
am
at
that
point
in
my
life
 Where
decisions
need
deciding
 Being,
as
I
am,
an
indecisive
person
 From
this
I
have
eternally
been
hiding
 
 Where
to?
What
now?
How?
When
and
Why?
 I
need
answers,
I
need
peace;
the
moment
draws
akin
 I
pause
to
think;
I
start
pacing
 Aware
that
the
answers
lie
within
 
 Within
where?
I
ask.
Do
I
dare
search
my
heart?
 Patience
I
say,
it
will
come
to
you,
try
desperately
to
convince
 Ask
myself
those
questions
which
 Have
all
been
long
answered
since
 
 I
am
on
a
long
journey
 Several
paths,
from
which
one
must
choose
 Should
I,
my
instincts
follow
 My
logical
side
instead
to
use?
 
 I
am
weighing
my
alternatives,
options
I
consider


Which
decisions
are
smart,
I
ask,
what
choices
expedient?
 Which
will
get
me
to
my
destination
faster?
 Which
will
I
eventually
resent?
 
 I
have
long
chosen
happiness
and
that
I
long
to
have
 Success,
peace
and
...,
that
decision
was
the
easiest
 The
difficulty
lies
in
the
route,
the
road
which
leads
thereto
 Life
is
like
a
gamble,
decisions
like
a
test.
 
 There
are
huge
risks
involved;
 The
future
has
the
tenacity
of
an
egg
 “Deal
or
no
deal”
is
the
predicament,
 the
question
 Should
I
take
the
easy
way
out,
should
I
cowardly
be?
 Will
I
always
look
back,
regret,
and
alter
my
perception?
 
 I
am
indeed
at
that
point
in
my
life
 Where
decisions
need
deciding
 I
am
an
indecisive
person
 How
much
longer
can
I
remain
in
hiding?
 
 


WILMARY
GONZALEZ


Insomniac
Secret
 
 Shh,
this
is
an
insomniac’s
secret.
 This
paper
is
my
pillow
right
now.
 This
here
is
my
secret
 
 What
am
I
doing?
 What
am
I
saying?
 Could
that
dream
have
meant
something?
 Am
I
really
here
for
love?
 I
know
you
are,
you
definitely
are.
 
 I’m
so
lost!
 What’s
wrong
with
me?
 I
should
just
stay
here,
in
my
mind!
 Please
don’t
come
after
me,
I’m
gone…
 For
now
 
 I
need
to
figure
me
out,
 Because
you
don’t
really
know
what’s
going
on
with
my
crazy.
 My
crazy
is
a
verb,
it’s
every
part
of
my
life.
 
 Shh,
this
is
a
part
of
how
insane
I
am.
 My
insanity
takes
over
me.
 Should
I
be
restrained?
 Hey,
should
I
be
put
away?
 
 What
is
this?
 Who
are
you?
 What
am
I
doing
here?
 Should
I
be
in
this
bed?
 
 Locked
in
a
trance
I
call
out
to
my
mother,
 But
there’s
no
answer.
 The
shot
in
my
arm
is
what
calms
me
down.
 
 “I
don’t
want
to
be
like
them.”
 This
is
what
I
tell
the
doctors.
 I
don’t
want
to
numb
myself
like
they
did.
 I
don’t
want
to
become
addicted
like
they
did.
 I
don’t
want
weed
or
the
bottle
every
day.
 



 
 I
don’t
need
to
pill
pop,
 He
is
the
reason
I
don’t
like
medication.
 
 All
these
revelations
as
the
years
come
 The
memories
are
finally
coming,
 Chasing
me
as
my
sister
spits
them
out.
 Could
these
be
real?
 
 Am
I
even
real?
 Is
his
heart
real?
 Could
he
be
the
one
to
take
me
away
from
all
of
this
pain?
 From
the
family
that
destroys
me?
 
 I
cannot
save
them,
 Can
he
save
me?
 
 Shh,
this
is
my
insomniac
secret
 And
I’m
not
even
gonna
tell
myself.
 
 
 


SEFERINA
STARKS
 


In
Any
System
 
 In
any
system
there
lies
possibility
for
Order;
even
if
it
only
exists
 for
short
time/or
at
borders;
 Order
needs
chaos.
 
 Same
as
light
and
dark/
no
two
opposite
parts
 will
be
part/
for
too
long.
 
 The
sublime/dance
that
we
humans
take
part/in
must
exist.
 Though
we
have
defecated
on
Something
 So
natural/pure.
 
 It
is
still:
Natural
and
Pure,
or
it
can
be.
 Either
way,
it's
Passion
 and
Passion
is
most
necessary
 in
Any
System.
 
 Talent
only
surmounts
so
far;
 only
supports
So
Much.
 Life
and
Death
most
necessary
 in
Any
System.
 
 All
creations
embarked
on
do
not
Need
 Sex
to
drive
them.
 To
allow
passion
to
be:
Sex
Driven
 is
choice.
 
 We
humans
dance
in
numerous
 ways;
innate
to
one's
self.
 
 By
Choice,
whether
Perceived:
 Natural
and
Pure.
 By
Choice
and
Environment:
 In
Any
System.
 



KADEEM
GAYLE


A
Storm’s
Journey
 Phoebe
was
lying
on
the
wide
field
of
grass
and
she
stared
into
the
sky.
She
observed
the
sky
and
saw
 how
it
paralleled
the
earth.

She
had
always
enjoyed
nature,
and
loved
sitting
outside
gazing
at
the
sky.

 The
tents
were
aligned
adjacently;
boys
were
in
one
tent
the
girls
in
another.

Every
year
Phoebe’s
 parents
had
sent
her
to
this
camp,
meant
to
help
young
adults
to
grow
and
mature.

Phoebe
never
got
 along
with
anyone
else
at
camp;
she
thought
the
girls
were
too
catty,
and
the
camp
counselors
were
too
 self‐absorbed.

Although
she
hated
camp,
she
was
glad
she
was
there
with
her
best
friend,
Grey.


 
 Grey
was
a
shy
boy;
he
had
pale
skin
and
was
allergic
to
almost
everything
imaginable.
He
wore
large
 thick
brown
glasses
that
were
too
big
for
his
face;,
he
always
had
to
push
the
bridge
of
his
glasses
up
to
 his
face
with
his
index
finger.
He
wore
clothes
that
were
oversized
for
his
frame,
and
he
constantly
 tripped
over
his
jeans.

His
shoes
laces
were
never
tied
and
he
always
had
to
be
reminded
to
tie
them.
 He
had
freckles
on
the
surface
of
his
skin;
his
nose
was
round,
he
had
thin
lips
that
always
seemed
 chapped.
Grey
was
only
his
nickname;
he
got
this
nickname
because
he
had
a
pessimistic
attitude
and
 like
a
gray
cloud,
he
would
always
rain
on
everyone
else’s
parade.
 
 Phoebe
turned
around
and
said
"Look
at
Hazel,
She
thinks
she's
‘all
that’
because
she's
named
after
a
 color!"
 
 “You
guys
used
to
be
best
friends;
you’ve
been
going
to
this
camp
ever
since
you
were
little.”

 
 “She’s
stupid;
I
bet
her
brain
is
the
size
of
an
ant’s.”
 
 Grey
laughed
and
said
"Be
nice,
Phoebe!"
 
 "Now
that
she
is
Miss.
Popular,
she
thinks
she
has
it
all.”

 
 Three
hours
later
it
began
to
get
dark
and
windy,
the
temperature
had
dropped
sharply
and
the
camp
 counselor
told
everyone
to
get
ready
for
bed.


 
 Phoebe
unzipped
her
tent
door
and
crawled
inside;
she
shared
it
with
one
of
the
camp
counselors.

She
 had
a
sleeping
bag,
while
her
counselor
had
a
manual
blow
up
mattress,
adjacent
to
hers.
It
was
a
bright
 pink
tent,
very
small
and
cluttered.

 
 Phoebe
began
to
doze
off.
She
was
dreaming
about
her
little
sister,
Rebecca,
who
was
about
five
years
 old
and
trapped
herself
in
a
hot
air
balloon
that
floated
away.

Phoebe
called
the
police
and
heard
their
 sirens
ringing,
along
with
helicopters
circling
the
air.
She
kept
her
eye
on
the
air
balloon
until
it
gradually
 faded
away.

She
then
woke
up
to
find
out
the
sirens
she
had
heard
in
her
sleep
were
real.




 "Get
out
the
tents.
Get
out
the
tent,”
She
heard
someone
shout.

 
 She
rushed
and
put
on
her
brown
combat
boots
and
her
bright
yellow
jacket.
She
heard
screaming
and
 thought
something
drastic
had
happened.
She
left
the
tent
and
saw
people
running
around
screaming,
 “There’s
a
tornado
warning!"
yelled
one
of
the
councilors.


 
 She
stood
there
as
the
rain
poured
on
her
olive
colored
skin.
Her
brown,
reddish
hair
was
soaked,
and
 water
flowed
down
her
thin,
neatly
arched
eyebrows.

Her
small,
pointy
nose
began
to
run;
her
red
full
 lips
began
to
tremble.

She
was
cold;
her
pink
pajamas
with
small
little
teddy
bears
became
damp.

She
 watched,
as
people
walked
in
one
direction
to
shelter.

There
were
people
who
walked
in
their
flip
fops.

 She
saw
people
walking
in
socks
alone
and
thought
it
was
disgusting.

She
appeared
still,
like
a
predator
 stalking
its
prey.

There
was
nowhere
to
run.
She
wanted
to
go
back
in
her
tent,
but
she
knew,
if
she
 unzipped
her
door,
it
would
become
flooded
or
blow
away
in
the
wind.
Lightning
flashed
and
thunder
 crackled
as
if
boulders
were
colliding.


 
 "Phoebe,
Phoebe!"
 
 "Grey?"
 
 Grey
ran
to
Phoebe,
“We
have
to
find
shelter,”
he
said,
as
he
was
running
out
of
breath
 
 
"I
know.”

She
responded

 
 Everyone
kept
walking
north
to
shelter.
There
was
a
big
Wal‐Mart
that
could
provide
shelter
to
 everyone.

Grey
and
Phoebe
held
on
together
with
their
arms
hooked
to
each
other,
as
if
they
were
 walking
down
the
aisle
after
having
just
been
married.

The
wind
pushed
them
back
as
they
continued
to
 walk.

Then
they
saw
Hazel.
She
lay
flat
on
her
face
in
the
mud,
her
long
blond
hair
filthy.

She
had
on
a
 plain
lime
green
pajama
suit,
with
her
dark
brown
mink
coat.
 
 “Should
we
help
her?”
asked
Grey.
 
 Phoebe
helped
Hazel
up,
grabbed
her
shoulders,
and
steadily
lifted
her,
Hazel
was
petite
standing
about
 4’11.

 
 “Phoebe,
it
looks
like
everyone
left
us?”
said
Grey.
 
 “Are
you
serious?”
she
angrily
replied.
 
 Hazel
looked
at
her;
her
brown
mink
coat
was
now
beginning
dirty.
She
was
annoyed
with
her
blonde
 hair.
So
she
instantly
took
it
and
threw
it
over
her
shoulder,
revealing
her
real,
black
hair.
Grey
and
 Phoebe
glanced
at
each
other
and
looked
back
at
Hazel.



 
 “I
can’t
do
this.
I
want
to
go
home.”
said
Hazel.
 
 She
stood
up
and
the
wind
was
blowing
so
fiercely
that
they
couldn’t
see.

 
 “Where
are
we
supposed
to
go
now?”
said
Grey
 
 “There’s
a
cave
up
further;
we
can
probably
stay
there
for
a
while,
until
the
storm
dies
down,”
said
 Hazel.


 
 They
followed
Hazel.
The
rain
began
to
fall
harder
as
they
walked
almost
two
miles.
Until
Grey
became
 out
of
breathe.
"Grey,
what's
wrong!"
said
Phoebe.

 
 “I
can't
breathe!"
he
said,
almost
gasping
for
breath.
It
seemed
as
if
he
were
having
an
asthma
attack.

 His
face
began
to
turn
red.
He
fell
to
the
ground,
as
the
rain
covered
his
face.

Phoebe
searched
for
the
 inhaler
in
his
pocket,
but
she
couldn’t
find
it.
The
wind
was
in
her
way
and
she
kept
losing
her
grip,
 “There’s
a
cave
right
over
there,
said
Hazel.


 
 Phoebe
and
Hazel
carried
Grey
to
the
cave;
Hazel
held
on
to
his
legs,
while
Phoebe
had
his
shoulders.
 They
carried
him
to
the
cave.

It
was
pitch
black
and
they
couldn’t
see
anything.

Grey
was
still
panting;
 Phoebe
searched
and
searched
until
she
found
the
inhaler
in
his
bottom
jacket
pocket.
She
put
it
to
his
 mouth
and
Grey
pressed
on
it
to
trigger
the
medication.
“That’s
a
relief,”
he
said.


 
 “Ok,
I’m
not
going
back
out
there?”
he
said.

 
 “I’m
hungry
I’m
tired”
Hazel
whined.
 
 “Stop
complaining.”
snapped
Phoebe.
 
 Grey
began
to
shiver
and
Phoebe
was
worried.
She
took
off
her
jacket
and
placed
it
around
him.
She
 looked
at
him,
afraid
he
might
have
another
asthma
attack
because
of
the
cold
and
wind,
Hazel
said
“If
 we
all
huddle
together,
we’ll
all
be
warm.”

So
they
put
Grey
in
the
middle,
clinging
together,
as
if
held
 together
with
glue.

Phoebe
looked
at
Hazel
and
said
“Thanks.”
Hazel
looked
at
Phoebe
and
gave
her
a
 smirk.

The
next
morning
they
walked
outside
and
saw
the
devastation
the
tornado
had
caused.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 


There
were
trees
that
had
been
uprooted,
trees
piled
on
top
of
each
other.

They
were
now
ready
to
 walk
back
to
camp.

Phoebe
stepped
outside
and
saw
how
the
field
on
the
earth
paralleled
the
sky,
She
 observed
the
sky,
now
blue
again
with
no
gray
to
hide
it,
with
no
clouds
to
hide
it.
The
birds
began
to
 chirp,
as
the
three
of
them
took
their
time
and
headed
back
to
camp.


 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 


Anonymous

B. Robinson

DEVON
A.
GIBSON


A
Reason
to
Rewind
 Everyday
guns
are
blazing,
blood
gushing,
souls
flying
 I
didn’t
know
this
was
a
war
front.
 Are
we
not
in
the
same
boat?
 We
need
to
get
back
to
the
beginning.
 9
year
old
humpty
dumpty,
fast
food,
hormone
induced
food
 Diabetes,
high
blood
pressure,
fast
life
 We
need
to
get
back
to
the
beginning
 Metal
birds,
NASCAR,
gas
cars,
rapid
glacier
melting,
violent
storms,
 Gulf
spill,
tornados,
earthquakes,
tsunamis
 Who
told
you
to
mess
with
me?
 We
need
to
get
back
to
the
beginning
when
all
we
had
would
suffice
 We
need
to
get
to
the
beginning
when
nature
was
happy
with
us.
 We
must
get
back.
 


Adam GrAsso

Anne Vishakha Bellizia Lyons


 


SARADGINE
SINCERE


Solitude
 
Came
a
big
ship
 
that
sea
capsizes
 the
fond
memories
 kept
by
your
smile
 take
hostage
of
my
heart
 and
increases
my
pain
 












In
the
net
of
passion

 












I'm
like
a
fish
 












my
ocean
seems
dry
 












my
veil
is
torn
 












I
dislike
life
 In
my
little
sky

 the
sun
shines
weakly
 I
no
more
have
nights
 neither
of
the
stars
that
shine
 This
is
the
dark
 without
any
clarity
 





By
large
gray
clouds
 





the
sky
seems
to
be
taken
 





the
flowers
wither
 





the
leaves
rejuvenate








and
of
all
the
seasons
 





the
horizon
becomes
dark
 





















The
trees
that
die
 





















the
eyes
always
weeping

 





















symbolize
my
heart
 





















bent
under
the
pain

 





















to
live
away
from
you
 





















you,
I
love
a
hundred
times.
 
 
 


ABRIANA
MORALES


Thank
You
 I
remember
hearing
we
weren’t
allowed
to
read
 I
remember
hearing
we
had
to
take
a
test
to
vote
 I
remember
hearing
we
had
to
sit
at
the
back
of
the
bus
 I
remember
hearing
we
were
spit
at
for
attending
school
 I
remember
hearing
about
the
hatred
people
expressed
towards
my
people
 I
remember
hearing
how
inferior
we
were
 I
remember
hearing
about
the
people
who
fought
for
change,
who
fought
for
me
 I
remember
it
all
and
I
will
never
forget
 I
can
vote
 I
can
read
 I
can
sit
where
I
want
 I
can
attend
school
where
I
please
 Because
someone
fought
for
me
 I
will
never
forget
the
wonderful
works
of
my
ancestors

 And
every
chance
I
get

 I
will

 say
 Thank
you


 
 


Ryan Hubbell


The Criterion 2012, The Literary Magazine of American International College