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Table of Contents Letter From the Editor 6 Artwork, Roslenny Bejaran 7 Homegrown, Rickie Quansah 8 Hole, Samantha Ramos 9 Artwork, Noelia Peguero 11 Where I’m From, Miranda Arroyo 12 You Stay, Debbie Hardnett 13 Artwork, Gabriella Heyward, Yohani Paz

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New York Poem, Kevin Paredes 15 One Day, Ashley Cordero 16 Artwork, Halima Tunkara, Johanie Brioso

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Artwork, Kimberly Amarante 18 Team Building, Lauren Fardig-Diop

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Artwork, Jasherah Nalls 20 Little Protector, Christian Hernandez

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Today’s the Day, Yarelys Encarnacion 22 The Long Winter, Michelle Matto 24 Artwork, Paula Estupina 25 I Am the Bridge, Suli Alvarez 26 Buttercup the Dove, Yasmin Johnson 27 Artwork, Excellene Mensah 29 Artwork, Gabriella Heyward 30 What the Prophet Taught Me, Rickie Quansah

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Michael Jack-o-son, Chante Belcher

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Artwork, Jayven Cruz 33 Artwork, Excellene Mensah 34 I, Too, Britney Soto 35 You Should NEVER EVER Fall in Love, Vanessa DeJesus Bravo

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Zayn the Bear, Jarlyn Martinez 37 Love Poem for the Heartbroken, Yachi Bonilla 41 A Student’s Jail, Elisha Aviles 43 Artwork, Richard Klu 45 Black Lives Matter, Excellene Mensah 46 Artwork, Isatu Jawara 47 Iris, Emily Belen 48 Artwork, Ashley Robledou 49 Overheard on the Train, Amina Fofana 50 Sonnet 1, Christina Agnissan 51 Sonnet 28, Jasmine Soltren 52 A Bee Without Honey, Alisha Donaldson 53 Left Ear Lobe, Christian Hernandez 54 Artwork, Garna Gaymon, Christian Morel, Jean Carlos Ortiz Pacheco 55 Captain Obvious, George Smith 56 Artwork, Carlos Vargas 58 Living Life in the Boogie Down Bronx, Excellene Mensah

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Flashbacks From the Ave, Alisha Donaldson 61 The Stupid One, Shadey Ruiz 62 Artwork, Johanie Brioso 64 Insecurities, Yachi Bonilla 65 My Friend, Maha Mused 67 Artwork, Ashley Robledou, Excellene Mensah, Shantay Lanier, Delquan Durham

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Instructions for My People, Shanieya Seda

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The Universe, Christian Lee Rivera

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Artwork, Gabriella Heyward 71


Letter from the Editors It is a wonderful feeling to open a book of such moving, expansive and honest work. It is an extra fantastic feeling to realize each poem, story and piece of art floating in the pages of this journal are by our students. And our students sure have a lot to say (in beautiful language, at that!) Creative writing has the tremendous ability to reflect our deepest fears, dreams and realities. We bet you’ll find yourself among these pages, discovering a single line or a full piece that speaks your truth. Themes that run through the blood of this collection touch on our must human experiences: love, community, home, loss, connection. There are funny moments and poems that will sock you in the gut with their strength. It is a great comfort to be reminded of your own humanity in another’s language. We remember that we are not alone in our experiences. We are not alone. There are mirrors all over these pages. Please read with care and an open mind. Take this journal to the park and browse under the summer sun. Bring it for long subway commutes and be transported into other worlds. Read your favorite pieces aloud to a friend. Let it inspire your own writing and pull out the journal! We hope in reading your day gets a little brighter, a little more interesting, more vibrant and alive. Congratulations to all students published in our pages. We are so proud to share your work. In writing, The One Pen Team

One Pen Staff 2015-2016 Student Editors and Art Curators: Writer in Residence, Jasherah Nalls One Pen Advisor & Designer: Christian Lee aRivera Caits Meissner Shania Russell Cover art by Mohamed Traore Back cover art by Robert Owuso Special thanks to Sam Sellers, our 2015-2016 Writer in Residence for facilitating poem-making, Mr. Berns for the wonderful student art, Ms. Lauren, Ms. Mercogliano, Maggie Bofill and Lidia Ramirez for submitting student work, and of course, our principal Brandon Carder Hernandez for tirelessly supporting our vision! Special thanks to YOU for reading.


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The Universe Christian Lee Rivera The universe... made up of stars, galaxies and planets. So many colors to discover, but most of them are white and most of them are blue. So many other species to undercover. My friend and I study the universe and shine the flashlight at different colored plastic bag I turned red she turned blue we shined both colors at the bags it made purple. Was purple the color of our Milky Way galaxy? Let’s study more colors. Yellow and blue a possible color of two planets. We shine the flashlight at a yellow and blue bag together it makes green. Green as leaves, and we create a planet together. The planet will live on forever we have millions of planets to discover. Gray as the moon, vibrant as the sun. The moonlight shines upon us, and we shine at them. We create a new moon, and multiple eclipses. Our green planet comes forth, and blocks the moon. The moon blocks the planet. We name it planet Earth, and the moon is it’s neighbor. The sun is their owner.

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One Pen Literary Journal, Issue XX  
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