I found a comfort in poetry, a warmth I have come to adore. My words are transparent feelings of heartbreak but with the ability to seek closure. To be ripped apart, to be taken advantage of, but to piece myself together and save myself: that is what I am proud of. a fable. It’s a graveyard of gestures where the weeds bloom into wallflowers and the full-bellied woman makes love to the half-hearted man under the intoxication of the blue moon, waning. It is magic: his eyes dilate before he gropes her spine before falling between her thighs- an addiction- and she keeps the drug of a boy from seeping into her skin like coconut oil because she knows he will lose his head when she saves herself. – KELLY PEACOCK / MADISON, NJ Five years. Five years ago I was still a kid who had a lot of learning to do. I hated myself. My body. My personality. There was so much I wanted to change about myself. But couldn’t. Five years. Five years ago I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life. I had just started taking pictures. I had moved to a different country. I didn’t have any sense of identity. Five years. Five years ago I started to hide my anxiety, my depression, and my problems and put on a mask. So no one would judge me more than I already judged myself. It took five years to figure out how to love myself. How to find good in bad. How to laugh at myself. What it means to be an Asian American. What it really means to be a woman. A lot can happen in five years. – MADISON PAE / LA MIRADA, CA (PHOTO BELOW) – MOMO GUTIÉRREZ / MEXICO
– CAROLINE JAPAL / BIRMINGHAM, AL 30
On the cover, Karen Yeung // Featuring: Ally Brooke, Nikia Phoenix, Ross Butler, Violett Beane and loads more.