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Table of Contents Anonymous James Bleecker Kate Borows-Lai Dora Bremond Leo Bremond

Isabella Bulone

Mei Carter Nubia Celis-Etienne Eliana Cohen-Orth Benjamin Connolly Weston Delacey

William Dotson Oliver Eig Ari El Gharsi

Emily Familetti Louie Figliulo Mary Catherine Fitzgerald Jemma Fox Miles Friedman Stella Rose Gahan Marlowe Glass Sylvie Goldner Sarah Grados Onaje Grant-Simmonds

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Untitled 1 Untitled 2 Bob the Cactus A Spooky Story of All Hallow’s Eve Connections President Trump Photograph Photograph Photograph Photograph Haiku #1 Haiku #4 Haiku #2 Haiku #3 Photograph They Asked Me Who I Was Just For Her Afraid Photograph Photograph Photograph Photograph A Day in the Life of William Smith Chai Latte Photograph Photograph Photograph Photograph Photograph Photograph Photograph Photograph Photograph This Is Not My America In the Night The Wall Strong: a Haiku Protests Dream of Thousand Nights Wandering Through Your Brain The Truth Peace Be Upon You Painting Painting Painting

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Elijah Harris Emma Hirsch Jonathan Hodge Foster Hudson Marlo Hulnick Kalli Jackson Piper Jassem Zoe Karp Hudson Kassen Jakob Katzman Alexa Kennedy Sophia King Gav Langer Konrad Morgan Lehmann Colette Leong Margaret MacGillivray River Magee Benjamin Maltz

Virginia Manning William Martin Marcus Moise Rachel Morrow Julia Noonan

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Painting Painting We’re Moving Safe Place Brighton Man Up The Stars, the Planets, and the Galaxies I Stand Up This Poem Was Made Out of You If I Die In Police Custody Invisible Home The Glass Ceiling Rainy Night Silent Noises in the Night The Deadliest Catch The King Passes Bred The Marshmallow Man Sex, Drugs, and Going to Bed Before Ten Photograph Photograph The Game Dear Isabella The Glass Ceiling Words Photograph The War Inside Photograph Photograph Photograph Photograph Photograph Photograph Photograph Coincidence Photograph Photograph Photograph Drawing Drawing Drawing Limits The Story of America Photograph Photograph Photograph

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Pilar Olivieri Ta’Shea Parham Paula Maria Persiani Skyler Pierce-Scher Gwen Raffo Olivia Reis Carlos Rodriguez Gisell Rondon Clara Rosarius Milei Sagawa Sofia Santoro Sofia Sharp Jessica Speight Mabel Stafford Sadie Stern Tilda Sutter Oni Thornell Atticus Uttendaele Harvey van Blerkom Eve van Rens Carley Watman Ruby Wexler Sophie Whelan Benjamin Winokur-Applebaum Noah Wistman

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Photograph Photograph Photograph The Rain A Daughter’s Love Is Unconditional Spin Cycle 10/21/04 Girl Drawing A Letter The Sometime Sestina for the Sestina Untitled Sunflower Yellow Pigeon Marred Untitled 1 Untitled 2 Healing The Light That Only Reflects In the Dark Everything Each of Us Owned Photograph The Shining Light Drawing Wings and Wind Drawing Classic Singles Ad The World Is Here The Color Grey Cold Burning Blank A Personal Question Two Birds The Spoon Doctrine Be My

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[1]

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This Poem Was Made Out of You* Kalli Jackson This poem was made out of the seams in your mattress, the ones with the springs that cry when you go down on them, the same way you did when he swore he read his name on the inside of your thighs. You never slept on that mattress again. You never got rid of it either. This poem was made out of the strings of your hoodie, the ones they used to lynch you before you could make it home from school. They used the rest of the hoodie to soak your blood up off the pavement. You left stains. This poem was made out of the pages of a bible, the ones they found in what was left of the church your mother built your morals in by hand. The church they burned down hoping your praying body was inside. Jesus had the cross. You have Amerikkka. This poem was made out of burnt hair, the strands you lit afla e yoursel watched fall out the scalp your mother had spent your childhood pulling at. The ones you hid under the hair you bought at the corner store between the whitening cream and the shea butter. You thought i your hair wa ed in the wind like a white flag you could find so e peace You were wrong. This poem was made out of the electricity bills, the ones they used to put you in the dark. This poem was made out of a rejection letter, every hospital bill you have ever received, the feathers in that pillow we could never wash your scent off of, [2]

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This poem was made to be ripped up every night so that you could put back together again every morning,

* Winner of IE 2016-17 Writing Contest [3]

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The World Is Here Harvey van Blerkom The world is here Wind is howling The world is here Wind is howling; Loud and clear The world is here The world is here Rain is falling The world is here Rain is falling; Soft and sincere The world is here The world is here War is raging The world is here War is raging; It won’t disappear The world is here The world is here Loud and clear, Soft and sincere, It won’t disappear The world is here

Wandering Through Your Brain Marlowe Glass Wandering through the darkness Wandering through the night Exploring the brain for it will not bite It may bring out fears It may bring out fright But nothing is more uncertain Than what it brings out at night [4]

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The Spoon Doctrine Noah Wistman On the first day od created The Spoon e said T IS IS S OO HENCEFORWARD, IT SHALL BE USED TO FACILITATE THE CONSUMPTION OF FLUIDS, SEMI-FLUIDS, AND SOLIDS SUSPENDED IN LIQUID SOLUTIONS IN SMALLER AMOUNTS THAN A SIP OR A GULP WOULD ENTAIL. NO OTHER UTENSILS SHALL BE USED FOR THIS PURPOSE, AS IT WOULD BE AN RO T TO M OD nd the spoons did acilitate the consu ption o fluids and se i fluids and there ore flourished and ultiplied and od saw the spoons flourish and multiply, and it was good. owe er all was not as rest ul as it see ed or ro the fiery depths o ell itsel a new threat emerged: The Spork, the Devil’s Instrument of Terror. Tempted by the apparent convenience of simultaneous stabbing and cupping capabilities, people around the world put their faith in this unholy combining of things that should never have been combined. Truly, these times are an affront to God himself. But there is hope. The ancient Prophets of Spoon tell us that our Lord and Savior: SpoonJesus, will someday return, and there will be a battle between the Forces of Evil, and the orces o Spoon illions will perish ut ro the fiery ashes o this sil erware war Spoon-Jesus will emerge victorious, and all will be good, as it was before.

BENJAMIN MALTZ

Amen.

[5]

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The Color Grey Eve van Rens Grey is... like squinting your eyes and watching all the colors drain away, like the corners of a white room with all the lights on, like the smooth curve of an empty candlestick, like the face made of craters on the moon, like a mind, hopelessly bewildered, like dark tears streaming down the soft cheeks of a child, like old photos discovered on the dusty top shelf, like the dial tone when you call even though you know no one’s home.

The Rain Ta'Shea Parham

The rain that I had prayed to come raining down to conceal my tears Went up instead, pulling me further down My eyelashes are heavy with dewy regrets as I stand here Vulnerable Exposed to the world as it’s own jester Everything I do is funny, I paint my face in a permanent laugh The smile you thought you saw, well that’s the gag The rain has left me naked As if on command, the droplets form a mirror of sorts and I see my true form It’s never good enough I run my hands through the liquid glass and hope it will shatter ut it only splatters into pieces o reflections I curse and shy away ro I’m surrounded by myself and I have never felt so alone The rain’s melody sounds like laughter Hyenas cackling after the slaughter I can al ost see the ultures flying a o e waiting or e to all The rain won t all the reflections won t lea e ut I eel ysel ading What will it take for the rain to vanish and leave a rainbow Make me a rainbow, make me a rainbow, make me a rainbow As my body collides into the ground, I expand into beautiful colors The rain finally co es down [6]

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GAV LANGER

The Deadliest Catch Jakob Katzman here a I The thought was repeated o er and o er in his head The last thing he re e ered was eing underwater e had een walking across the seafloor when suddenly he was pulled up in a net and thrown onto a ship. Thanks to reading what the hu ans called isher an eekly he knew where he was The hu ans called it Deadliest Catch.” He had been caught. He knew of his fate, to be sold to the highest bidder on the ‘crab market.’ When the ship arrived at shore he would be shipped, for a hefty price, to a local restaurant or large chain. Truly this sale was a fate worse than his inevitable de ise e sighed he and the two hundred and fi ty thousand o his rethren were to e sold to restaurants. The ship landed at the shore e sat with the two hundred and fi ty thousand o his fellow crab-kind in a truck awaiting his fate. He knew he was to be a martyr. The other crabs had rallied behind him for strength, and he had given them that strength. He told them the plan halfway through the drive, as soon as the time was right they would spring forth from the van and deliver swift clacker-y justice to their kidnappers. The van arrived at its destination and lurched to a halt. The crabs fell and clambered about their cages, but they knew the time was nigh upon them. As the doors opened, the crab legion attempted a rebellion. They were swiftly defeated. They proved [7]

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RACHEL MORROW

no atch against the superior technology o the fish tank and the de terity o the opposable thumb. Silently, they cursed the opposable thumb and lamented their errors in strategy s the truck approached the slaughterhouse or restaurant our protagonist ade his move. He quickly bashed himself against the glass. His brothers joined and soon they had broken free. Immediately they were assaulted by oxygen, a crab’s worst enemy. They scurried ro the endy s to the near y waters ut it was all in ain They were quickly rounded up. Save but our protagonist, who, thanks to his slippery exterior, managed to fly ro his captor s e il thu s and ack into the waters s he sank thoughts of revolution swirled through his mind. All of those days of pain and suffering would fuel his revolution. All he needed was time, time he would have, for the web of lies the huans had wo en would soon e unra eled y the fleshy claw o ustice

A Letter Olivia Reis For once in my life, I’m going to write from what I know, and what I know is you. I don’t know your face, or your laugh, or anything that I could identify you by in a crowded room. But I know how the skin of your forearm feels behind my head resting on my shoulder, how your eyes might look differently shaped in the morning when you didn’t sleep enough, and how if I were to hurt you, you would splash water on your face because it helps you not cry. I don’t know things about you, like how you were mean to a boy with Asperger's in your class in middle school, and how ashamed you feel of that now. Sometimes when your eyes drift, I can tell that’s what you’re thinking of. I don’t know a out the scars on your ody I can t point to the and say this is when you were skiing with your rother in er ont or this is ro when your e threw a ase at you I can’t do that. I’m sure someone could do that for you. But I do know the octaves of [8]

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your oice that you use when you eel inspired y a o ie or how you only wear flannel when you’re insecure. I know that you’re competitive, more than anyone else I know, and I know that you’ve cheated when we play Go Fish, the most complicated game we could master, but I’ll never tell you that. I know the crease your body makes on my sheets, and I can tell when you’ve stayed up late reading, because there’s always a snack next to the bed. Last night it was Carr's Whole Wheat Crackers, baked with 100% whole grain. I was looking at it this morning. I hope you were reading Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead, because once you whispered to me how much you wanted to read it, and how lazy you felt because you hadn’t yet. I know how, when I talk about love, your face goes a little red, and you feel like there are coals behind your cheeks and in your rain You re terrified o it I don t know your name, or how it’s spelled or whether it has a silent letter in the middle people always get wrong, or where you live, but I hope it’s in Europe. I think I prefer urope to erica ut the grass is always greener on the other side.” Of the ocean, in this case. I bet you wish you lived in America. I don’t know your opinion on hats, that’s something I’d be interested in, because I don’t know about hats either, yet. I wonder if you look good in a beret. But if you’re from Europe it might be a little pretentious. Or authentic. I don’t really know. I know that sometimes all you need is for someone you don’t know very well to tell you you’re very intelligent, and talented, and it makes you smile for a week after. I think I know that feeling. I like it too. I know what kind of wine you like, and I know it’s only white. JULIA NOONAN Red, you say, is too heavy to sit in your stomach. I wish you knew me. Maybe you think of me, sometimes. I want you to know things about me, like how I so eti es lea e y clothing on the floor o the athroo a ter a shower I hope you don’t know how I got my scars, because there are just too many embarrassing stories, but one day, you’ll have memorized all of them. One day, I’ll tell you what I’m scared o and how terrified I a so eti es in this world nd I can already hear you telling me that I can’t control everything, and that you love me. I don’t have any memories of you saying that, but every second, I can hear that in my ear. Your voice is so warm, I recogni e it i ediately It s you isn t it [9]

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Man Up Jonathan Hodge

VIRGINIA MANNING

You’re supposed to play basketball, not worrying about a nice Instagram aesthetic. Man up Stop ocusing on i s ro ery and ocus on her huge utt Man up Don t try and speak your ind without s uaring up your hands and fighting one on one Man up i e e that choker you should go and C O R or goodness gracious an up Don t think you can escape these realities y hiding in your wonder ul world where what you re doing is okay and is leading the path or little lost oys like you ust an up. Don’t think you can turn away either. Why don’t you play a song from that phone o yours with the right colored case and swirly little arrows t Man up o ahead hit that play utton I dare you Listen hat is this I don t want any eyonc ullcrap My lord ust an up lay that rapper that s in right now Yeah that s the one The one that talks about how many unknown girls he’s taking home, or how much money he can throw in your ace or how uch ice he has on hi hat s the atter ot into that kind of stuff. Ugh, just man up. Don’t close your eyes, close your mind. Don’t overthink just o erpower please o er flaunt ne er o er conceal t the end o the day co e to ter s with the act that you are an alpha C on Show the world your riches your talent and wisdo ut re e er not to spend ti e talking to the poor hate on the do nothings and diminish those with stupidity. After all, it’s what it takes to be a man. So do you really want to an up

[10]

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Bob the Cactus James Bleecker It was on a warm, sunny day in April when I was twelve that Dad came home ro a walk holding a potted cactus I ought it at the street air on Uni ersity he said eagerly e s iled and his eyes twinkled I thought ay e we could put it in your roo and you could take care of it.” I shrugged, thanked him, and rested it on top of my AC unit. Life happened. I did my homework, felt happy, felt sad, felt guilty, anxious, envious ealous awkward and cruel ll the while o or I had na ed y cactus o sat in front of my window, a quiet observer. I graduated from middle school and went to high school. I grew taller, my golden retriever grew greyer, a couch was moved into my room, and a new laptop sat on my desk. Things changed, as they tend to do, but Bob, the cactus, did not. My stoic guardian was always there, watching me. I fell into a routine. I watered him every week over the summer, once every two weeks in the fall and spring, and once every three weeks in the winter. Bob was more thirsty in the summer because more sunlight shined through my window and threatened to wither his arms. I had never thought much about Bob until my dog put her paws on my table and ate my dinner. I kicked her. She whimpered and slunk away. I felt a terrible guilt, but found solace in the fact that nobody had seen it happen. But a thought occurred to me. Slowly, I turned my head to the innocent cactus, its immobile structure silhouetted against the magenta dusk. Bob alone bore witness to my crime. My pulse echoed in my eardrums. A sob of anguish rose in my throat and my insides felt hollow. A force pressed down on me, pushing my head down in shame. Bob knew what I had done and he hated me for it. The sun rose and fell and my happiness dissipated. My morality rotted. I showed open disgust towards anybody who would still interact with me. It was a vain attempt to experience the disgust that my silent judge felt towards me. Soon nobody spoke to me anymore, and when I returned home from school each day, I took out my anger on the first thing I could knock o er or kick My o li ious parents wondered why our old and lame dog wouldn’t go into my room anymore. It was three in the morning on a school night, I forget which day of the week, when I lay awake in my bed, unable to sleep and staring upwards at the shadowy patterns created y the slow rotation o y ceiling an particularly right fire engine dro e past my apartment building, casting a beam of light through my window. It penetrated the thin curtain, and for two seconds I saw him. And he saw me. He had been watching me toss and turn. He had been watching me pace back and forth for hours every day; he had watched me watching him. I killed him. I did it in the kitchen sink so the soil wouldn’t spill everywhere. In the morning, when Mom asked me what had happened to my best friend, I told her that [11]

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RIVER MAGEE

the curtain had snagged on one of Bob’s spikes and pulled him off the AC unit when I tried to draw it back. I grew content again. I began to pet my dog again and feed her my table scraps. I hugged her when I returned from school each day. I like to think that in the last few months of her life, she forgave me. I made good with the people at school and had friends visit regularly. At night I smiled before I fell asleep each night. I smiled ecause I had eaten od o ody udged e any ore I didn t seek sel ulfil ent to purify myself before judgement day, I did things because they were good. One night I chuckled to myself before drifting away, but I told myself that I would not do that anymore. Lest the alarm clock on my bedside table began to deem me insane.

I Stand Up Marlo Hulnick I stand up My heart starts beating so loud I can hear it echoing in my head It is a steady beat that goes faster and faster Like a drum beat in a song that keeps going and going Until it stops [12]

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Sex, Drugs, and Going to Bed Before Ten Sophia King On y first day o iddle school I walked through a spitting contest That isn t a metaphor or a euphemism, it is the sad truth. Within two minutes of stepping on campus I was being spit on by kids I had just met on the bus ride over. Keep in mind I was eleven. I don’t think there is anything worse for a girl to have to deal with than publicly being spit on by a group of older boys. Actually, I think a person at any age would be hard put to think of a good way to handle that situation. That is how I started my middle school career. However, this didn’t completely crush my spirit. I didn't cry or call home, I just wiped ysel o and thought ell it can t get worse than this It s nice to hit rock bottom so early: it can only go up. Look out, world, it’s me, covered in 8th graders’ saliva and ready for everything you throw, or spit, at me. Middle school started the same way every day. I’m sure you can guess it: A mode of transportation that is in every young adult movie, book, or TV show. Say it with me, the school us e should petition to ake school uses illegal They re a cruel and unusual punishment for kids, and should not be tolerated. I’m sure they violate the Gene a Con ention It was on the school us that y crush told e I ust can t pull o a ponytail.” Apparently my head was too big. It was there that I saw a twelve year old boy astur ate to the song Dyna ite y Taio Cru The school us really screwed e up If that is the stuff I remember, I can’t imagine how bad the stuff I repressed might be. ll seats are e ual ust so e seats are ore e ual than others I ay e isre e bering that Animal Farm quote, but it applies to the Hierarchy of the bus. The school bus is organized the same way society was under Stalin. Cool eighth graders who have tried marijuana get to sit in the back. Sixth graders who are playing card games and will grow up to be investment bankers sit in the front. I always ended up somewhere in the middle, stuck in the limbo land between popularity and social ineptitude. That was my sweet spot. The sliver of comfort where I could joke and play with friends amidst the anarchy. I don’t know what my life would be like if I had taken a car to school. Perhaps I would be nicer or smarter or prettier. I probably wouldn’t have a small scar on my hand from when a oy threw scissors up on the us ust to see what would happen May e in this other reality I’m taller, dating a rockstar, and have transferred into Hogwarts. Who the hell knows what would happen. There is beauty in the mystery of not knowing. It is terrifying and awful but beautiful. I don’t miss that bus trip. I don’t look back at those days fondly. The bus ride ade e co orta le with cussing and yelling and fighting It stole y innocence efore I was even aware I had innocence to steal. Maybe that is what the bus gave me. It broke open my shell like a hammer coming down on a walnut. The bus is the reason I don’t wear bows in my hair. It is the reason I get into spirited conversation with people who have differing opinions from mine. Perhaps I should say thank you to that hell hole. Thank you, bus, for running over my innocence and spitting me out stronger and tougher. [13]

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Dream of Thousand Nights Stella Rose Gahan He puts his hand out to me gesturing me to take it, to come to his land. Soon turning to a command, I follow his demand. A ghost, in a room full of people. Familiar faces, but they look different to me now. Voices calling my name, curing the temporary pain. All you do is drive me insane, ut are really to la e

ARI EL GHARSI

My tea gets cold, but my mind is burning. My mother’s voice swirling in my mind, her lullabies almost hypnotize. But I sold my soul to the devil, so I’m stuck in his trance. My mother’s voice quiets, and the silence starts to dance.

[14]

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Untitled Gisell Rondon My mother’s voice is drowned out by the painful winds of New York mornings, u fled y the thundering o su way trains It stutters at the sound of English, like a sputtering engine that slows to a stop. It flinches at the sharp oreign words thrown around her dodging them as if they were needles.

BENJAMIN MALTZ

But my mother’s voice is free at home. It sounds like the warm breeze of the Caribbean. Like the spilling o a filled glass uick Spanish flowing out o her outh with ease Like the bubbling of boiling water on the stove. It sounds like the clash of soapy dishes in the sink. Like the sizzling of oil in an old pan. It sounds like the crushing of garlic cloves in her pilon. Like the merengue blasting from my neighbor’s window. It sounds as if she has never been restrained.

Safe Place Emma Hirsch Creating a safe place for me Making decisions, based off of me, every day Although they do not live together, they take on this challenge together My parents [15]

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‫( مكيلع مالسلا‬Peace be upon you) Sarah Grados I need out I whisper re you in His eyes gleam back at me in the blackness of the Syrian night. His eyes light up our tragic city. They always have. Zeinah, the old woman at the marketplace, would always tell him that. She would give us leftover pieces of bread because of his eyes. It s a wild idea he finally utters kicking a s all piece o ru le etween his feet. It s per ect I snap e can t stay here ore er Looking out towards the black blanket of night covering our nightmares, he shrugs absently. I catch his ga e and pull his stare ack to eet ine ocus It’s been so easy to lose him lately. It’s almost as if he doesn’t want to hear me anymore. It’s as if he’s lost all hope. I don t know he sighs You do know You know you don t want to stay here You know it s not sa e I articulate the word sa e sharply to drag hi ack into our dangerous reality I care a out you I continue I want us to sur i e this May e we ust aren t eant to sur i e this Did you e er think a out that ow can you say that May e we re put here or a reason I can t elie e the words pouring out o his outh llah ust wants us to die e shakes his head sadly staring out again into the lack I ust is oice cracks You know that I ha e a responsi ility here I can t lea e y a y rother I can t leave my home. This is our home.” I grit my teeth. This would never be my home. eryone here is already dead nd i they re not they will e soon I watch his lip quiver as this sets into his tan skin. I lea ing I say finally reaking our silence I want you to co e with e I outreach y hand toward hi e finds y eyes again ut this ti e they are filled with the deepest sorrow. o he says I want to die too My heart falls to my stomach, realizing I will never see my best friend again. I let a heavy sigh escape from my lips, dropping my hand as I meet the light of his eyes one last time. As I turn sharply from him, he doesn’t stop me, he doesn’t say anything. I wish he had. I pull my hijab over my head and I run into the blackness. I will never look back.

[16]

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The King Passes Jakob Katzman

JULIA NOONAN

Mo e The ing s co ing to pass A narrow side-street idst the fla ing wreckage o a long orgotten city Lined with the blood of fallen men and women Desperate to stop the coronation of a King yet to take his throne. The King’s attendants: a woman and six men. Their cold eyes trained on the broken bodies of desperate peasants. The Se en Sins n i pro ptu fighting orce o the da ned Murderers. Criminals. Monsters. Their eyes: Cold. Their hearts: Empty. Their sole purpose: To bring about the coronation of the one strong enough to realize his ideals. The King. Seven loyal soldiers kneel as a boy--caught in the void between teen and man--walks past them. The King Has Arrived.

[17]

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The Game Konrad Morgan Lehmann I love the game, It lets me run. I love the game, It lets me talk. I love the game, It lets me kick. I love the game, It lets me free. I love the game, It molds my life.

b a l t g s m

m h e l b n m

Brighton Emma Hirsch Happiness joyfulness excitement rushing through my body as I am in the car on the way to get my dog Sitting next to my brother and my dad in the front silence Names generating through my mind pretzel captain coffee itters rise and I eel utterflies in y sto ach for some reason I am nervous I am nervous that there will suddenly be a whole new responsibility in my family thousands of questions enter my mind who will walk the dog will the dog get trained where will the dog sleep will the dog like e a year later and I have a new best friend Brighton, we love you. [18]

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Untitled 1 Sofia Sharp

ONAJE GRANT-SIMMONDS

Before I mustered up the courage to utter a word to her, before our gazes collided, before her touch sent vibrations through my body, I fell in love. I wrote poems and books a out our lo e a out the passion that flowed ro our odies creating gold itsel I outlined the curves of her puffed skin, glossy lips, her bright eyes. My pupils dilated when they became attracted to the constellations that lived between her freckles, making her glow. I saw the bronze liquid ooze out of the cracks and dents on her structured nose, that still managed to be adorable. But when I looked into her eyes, when her colorful orbs met mine, I was suddenly drifting in the ocean. The turquoise, dark blue rifts wrapped around y fingers and slipped out o y hands like silk pure sea salt taste erupted in y mouth, that created a pit of warmth rooted in my stomach. And for a second the beauty halted, and her widened eyes brought me back to life. As I looked deeply into them, deeper than the darkest part of the ocean itself, I saw specks of amber sprouting in her waterlike eyes like a fla e cra ing o ygen The fla es were twisting and turning li ing and breathing. Her eyes were so alive, that it sent a stutter to my lips when she asked what my name was. I didn’t say. I couldn’t say. It would terrorize the purple and blue, even amber, moment of pure perfection that is her. So I stayed quiet, and let her walk away.

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un o e e o Clara Rosarius Dried rose buds lay between framed pictures of people she will never meet again. Dust unnies scutter a out the roo lurking in the cracks o floor oards The paint on the window ra es is a tarnished sunflower yellow The windows are ogged with years o rain and snow The light filters through the panes casting a s all presence o light upon a gold lettered book. A pressed lilac lays inside, on a page of diagrams with drawn fruit seeds and tree roots. A small fox carved into jade rests on the sill of the window, its eyes droop as if it feels the emptiness of the house. A line of dated polaroid pictures hang on bent thumb tacks. Her eyes are drawn to a black and white photograph. A man sits in a rocking chair, in ront o a fireplace little girl sits on his lap peering up at hi with wide eyes She wishes she would be that little girl again. Her eyes still remember when she could see little worlds li ing inside flowers and elie ed that she had a ar o oon dust in her room. She remembers a day when it was pouring outside and her younger self imagined how life would be when she turned older. She promised herself she would call her mother everyday. She promised herself she would never hurt a living creature. She promised hersel she would ne er orget the day she painted the windows sunflower yellow

Haiku #1 Isabella Bulone Cracked and worn out on the surface. But closer I am white, blue, yellow, green.

Haiku #4 Isabella Bulone Muggy summer’s day, The wind violent and warm. This is the journey.

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The Wall Mary Catherine Fitzgerald My hand touches the fossil-colored stone wall. I look at the emerald green ivy that crawls up the wall. I close my eyes and feel the cool autumn breeze puff against my pale skin. It’s refreshing, but I try my best to forget that everything around me exists or a short o ent I i agine that the wall cru les to the floor I i agine ysel stepping over the cinders to see what lies behind this barrier that has blocked my world from discovering what else lies out there. No one talks about the wall. Ever. No one bothers to whisper about this ugly rock-like wall covered in ever-growing ivy. I sigh and open my eyes. I look at the blue jays soaring overhead. I smile at the hidden sun and the gray sky. I pick up my rose red backpack and sprint home down the wooden path before the lightless night time comes and the supervisors come out. Supervisors: People who VIRGINIA MANNING parade the area of the wall, looking like they’re searching or waiting for something. I’ve seen them once. They scare the living bejeezus out of me. I live on number 45, 9 West Palm Lane. It has a line of charming grand Victorians that all look alike with their atching white doors and eauti ul flowered lawns I reach ho e to find y other and ather sitting in y ather s study y the red and gold crackling fireplace I try y est to tip toe upstairs ut a caught illa co e here child y ather states with his gru ly oice I stop in y footsteps and turn around. I sigh and trot back down the stairs and take my seat, unwillingly, on the green basil velvet chair across from my father’s mahogany armchair and left of the matching sofa, where my mother is perched. I brush my dirty blonde hair out of my blue-green eyes. illa you are now fi teen so you are o age It is ti e we tell you the truth My father continues, slowly. His round nose and slicked-back jet black hair have always set him apart. But his raven eyes were the treasure. But now they burn holes in my skin. The truth hat does he ean the truth e stands up and walks o er to the urning fire his hands ehind his ack and his [21]

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cold ack aced to us a e you e er wondered what the wall is or he asks Yes all the ti e I always go there ut I a cut o y a gasp o surprise y my mother and my father whips around. You ust ne er go there That wall is dangerous he scolds his ace cri son in anger I u le apologies The gold fire keeps urning ut the air eels as cold as winter There is a reason there is a wall you know It s not as i erica ust puts walls all o er or the un o it o he screa s oah illa s s art She understands y other coa es o Madeline She cannot ust go to the ear wall My other gasps ear wall Is that what they call it hy I ask My ather stutters and trips o er his words I eel y pupils grow wider in curiosity My other sni fles She wasn t supposed to know one o the new generation was supposed to know S ueals y o I stare at the con used My ather s ace is straight ut y mother looks anxious. I don’t know what to say. I stumble over what words to explain how I feel. Taken aback. Startled. Afraid. My ather sighs illa I know you re scared Listen to e othing will har you if you listen to me. Never. Go. Back. To. That. Wall,” he says, gritting through his sparkling white teeth. I frown. hy I ask gritting through y own teeth I stare at hi or a long ti e One hundred years ago in 201 a disease started y ather e plains This disease is e tremely contagious and not soon after this disease spread, half the population of the world was dead.” My father walks over to a small coffee table and pours himself a drink. Mother sits on the edge of her seat, ready to pounce at any given moment. I sit back in my cozy asil chair I gnaw at y dirty fingernails as I listen e ore I continue you ust understand that we didn t know what to do So we needed a way to keep the sickly away from the healthy. For our children. This, my dear girl, is where the wall comes in. The government rounded up all of the sickly in the US. On the other side of this wall, there lies millions of sickly people. Now, we know that no regular wall could keep the infected away. The fear wall. It’s built on fear. As long as the weak have fear, the wall stays. No gun, grenade, cannon can penetrate that wall.” I feel my heart skip a beat. The worst possibilities have come. All this time, I have thought that eyond that wall there lies fields o flowers and trees and eauti ul days ut instead, there lies weak, crumbling corpses crammed into small spaces. The super isors I ask already knowing the answer re there to keep the sickly ro cli ing o er the wall I e ne er seen the other half but I know that it’s not as nice as our half,” says my mother, her voice as soft as a whisper. So this whole ti e there has een dying people o er that wall and we sit here in our ictorian houses acting as i the world spins on and no one is dying I screa I eel [22]

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ONAJE GRANT-SIMMONDS

my face redden at the mention of the wall. Less than two minutes ago, I would dream of what lies on the other side, and now the thought makes my skin crawl. The world does spin on It s the way it works illa It s not pretty ut it works lt works the way we need it to,” my father explains. And he’s right. The way we need it to work hat a out the I screa standing up My ather ru s his orehead illa we need to look out or oursel es Then I realized something. The wall isn’t powered by the fear of the weak. It’s powered by us. Our fear. We’re so afraid of getting the disease, that the people with the disease are braver than us. I don’t know how to live out of order. They have to. They don’t have a choice. Sometimes I would like to be the one to climb the fear wall. To reach the other side and face my fears. So to this day, people die of this unnamed disease. The world spins on, and no one can stop the fear wall from standing towering over us, physically and mentally. Not even the re ol ing earth nd each night I watch as the golden fire turns to cinders ust like I once wished the wall would. But the wall will stay there. After I die. After my children die. After the world dies, the wall will stay there, standing tall in nothingness.

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ONI THORNELL

A Daughter’s Love is Unconditional Ta’Shea Parham I see the way you look at me sometimes As if I remind you of the past you try so hard to run away from I remember when you told me you didn’t like black women That night, I stared at myself in the mirror I think it was a trick of the light but I could’ve sworn I saw my shadow turn away I laid in bed thinking what if one day I became the black woman The black woman that you could never love I don’t understand why you don’t want me As I look down at my baby sister Curls smooth like caramel Light as an angel’s halo I wish she could be more dark Dark like my memories of you Mental pictures of strong arms and fragile love You rocked the cradle until it became too much Then you let it drop I’m falling trying to cling to pieces of the broken home you left behind Had to crudely glue the pieces of mama’s heart back together I am still taping the holes you poke through my soul [24]

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Like a draft in the winter cold, your negligence slips through nd ust when I think our asterpiece is finally co plete You abandon the easel and leave me.

ARI EL GHARSI

hy couldn t you catch e hy couldn t you hold e hy can t you lo e e I tried so hard to be a daddy’s girl

The Shining Light Tilda Sutter When the air turns to mist, And lights to abyss When dark clouds run over old homes, When all can’t be seen, not even a gnome As darkness prevails, People are left without a trail But as we continue to turn, nd fires start to urn As the sparks hit minds, Gears start to wind, And soon the mist fades, When nothing can shade The shining light ith so ething ready to take flight [25]

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poo y

o yo a o James Bleecker

e

hen I grow old and grey I want to e known as Old Man a es I would e a mysterious and feared recluse, and all the neighborhood kids would be afraid of me. Should we take the shortcut ho e ro school the new kid ust in ro Chicago would ask eck no a ore e perienced oy would reply w gee illikers I Old Man a es catches us in his unkyard he ll gut us like trout nother kid would then pipe in eagerly nd then he ll crush your ones in the cellar and eed the dust to Spike his ean ol Rottweiler On Halloween they would draw straws to decide who would have the task of knocking on Old Man James’s door for trick or treat. The loser would tentatively inch his way orwards his co panions shadowing hi ro a sa e distance Ding dong The sound of a lock being unturned on the far side of a rickety door could be heard. Then another. Then another. Then a latch, followed by two more locks. Then the dull, brass doorknob would slowly turn, breaking away the cobwebs and grey paint that encrusted its base. Old Man James would appear in the open doorway, beaming and holding a bag with a Jack o’ lantern face on it. Maybe, just maybe, the kids would dare to wonder, Old Man a es isn t so ad a ter all I would ask the a out their studies and hand the all toothbrushes, because I’d be a kind old man who cared about their oral hygiene. The children would never be seen again.

I O O O T I

I T T I I

I T T T I I I

ONAJE GRANT-SIMMONDS

I d O T T T I p I

I O O O T T T

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They Asked Me Who I Was Nubia Celis-Etienne I am of the light and the dark Of the wrinkles etched into the freckled skin of my elders Of the silky complexion and dewy eyes of my youth Of the skin I own They say I a o a pu le piece that doesn t fit I know I am of blends of people I am of the countries of indigenous people colonized by the Spanish and French They say I am of the country of cocaine and Escobar They say I am of the country of poverty and disaster I know I a o el pa s de oe rroyo la es eralda y ca I know I am of peyi a nan Du Bois, Kreyol, ak Griot I am of the Brooklyn streets They say I am of crack corners They say I am of gang violence They say I am of ghetto boulevards and slum avenues I know I am of west indian men playing dominos in the street I know I am of 2 a.m. block parties I know I am of black communities I am of the sounds of jazz, salsa, kompa, rap, the fever, reggae, hip hop, afrobeat, r&b, dancehall Of the swaying of hips and stomping of feet They say I am of loud noise and a waste of space They say I a o a ad influence They say I am of something they don’t understand I know I am of the sounds of the brazen trumpet, sultry sax, rhythmic congas, melodious piano I know I am of the song of myself I am of a cracked family Of secrets running deeper than the world’s core Of generations of goals and aspirations Of unknown dialect They say I am of illegals and convicts They say I a o la y o taking astards who don t elong They say I am of foreign content [27]

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I know I am of the spilled blood that soaks the earth I walk upon I know I am of the salted tears that created the seas in which my family was washed away to this nation I am of a divided society I am of a state split in two I am of a union wavering on a point of mutual destruction I am of a country that founded itself on many principles but established them all through a white patriarchal system of authority, thus instituting the idea of white superiority Toni Morrison once said hite people s con iction o their natural superiority is a long understood definition o erica and so scary are the conse uences o a collapse o white pri ilege I do not get the pri ilege to eel or e race the co ort o eing naturally etter than I’ve grown up in a nation that's been against me and my family since the 13th century It needs to be known that white superiority is not a physical concept but rather mentally instituted Our job now is not to look back to a time and attempt to undo the damage, because it is already done, but advance ourselves past it To look back to a time To look back to a time before means to look back to my ignorant self To remember the days where I didn’t know who I was To remember the days I didn’t know what I was To remember the days where I walked hand in hand with my mother through the crowded halls To seeing brown faces pass swiftly, To seeing tubs of vaseline emptied on the faces of innocent children To seeing girls walk through the doors, hair up in braids and boys walk in with new sneakers on their feet Kinky hair - don’t care Earthy eyes - look up to the skies Loudmouth - coming from ancestors in the south But to look back in time is to remove me from my reality To ignore the fact that I’ve been awoken to the realism of privilege and oppression It is as if something has switched from the time I so desperately cling on to [28]

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Something has changed, but to be asked to explain is an impossible feat How do I explain the shifting winds Or the changing tides of the ocean A new state of mind The words I speak now I speak with a tongue that has been bleached through years of conforming The eyes through which I see now I see with eyes that have been tattooed blue The hair that I use to shield y ace has een pulled and straightened so I can fit so eone else’s standards The ears I listen with hear only the censored speech of those around me, listening only to what pleases me The hands I touch with I restrain to halt the possibility of making someone else uncomfortable The skin I am in has been washed to remove the blemishes of my blackness The heart that I beat I force myself to love the man who is put before me The head I thought I controlled, I rather think through a colonized mind, my ideas Criminalized, paralyzed, compromised, sterilized, patronized, criticized, Only to lead to the demise of my individuality

LEO BREMOND

To remember the days before is to relate to the days I have ahead To remember the days before is to know who I am To remember the days before is to know what I am To remember the days before is to know where I am headed, to liberalize my radical existence

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Marred Sofia Santoro From the age of 6, she’d been living with an unwanted guest she’d never really acknowledged. The unwanted guest disappeared every now and then, but she didn’t mind most of the time. She remembered nothing but that happy times; the times she laughed so hard tears streamed down her face; the times she would talk about for a whole week after, because they brought so much light to her. Then the unwanted guest started to hang around more. You see when she was 14, the unwanted guest she’d lived with for so long got a name and only went on vacation once in awhile. Anxiety she’d been living with Anxiety for 8 whole years. Slowly but surely her light dimmed abandoning her in the cold wet darkness. During long periods, Anxiety was up and active. At school, Anxiety crawled up her throat and choked her as it spread like wildfire in her ind She began to come home some days and sob for a good 45 minutes, without knowing why. She would wake up some mornings Anxiety possessing her entirely, her body, holding her down to the bed. Sometimes Anxiety brought a friend over, Depression. Together they sucked the life out of her leaving her with nothing but numbness. They would set fire to her head and laugh as they watched her burn. She could not speak up.

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She could not escape. And to this day, All the caves in her mind Oh boy do they echo and roar At the same time.

GWEN RAFFO

The Truth Sylvie Goldner I had to It was all me I felt obliged I’m the culprit I wasn t influenced I chose to I was alone I’m a good kid At least I thought so I was forced to It was all them I was scared I’m the victim I was threatened I didn’t want to I was surrounded I’m naughty At least they say so [31]

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ONAJE GRANT-SIMMONDS

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PILAR OLIVIERI

LEO BREMOND

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Just For Her Eliana Cohen-Orth She remembered when the house had felt like a castle – a big pink palace just or her She rushed a finger against the ouwtside wall and stared at the pink dust that came off on her hand. As a child, that would have been pixie dust. In a glimmer of the light, she could see the girl gently stroking the painted walls, as if it were a pet, letting the pink magic stain her. The little girl wished that she could put the dust in her room with the house's other gifts, like the pieces of ceiling that fell every now and then. She would glance at the ceiling, watching a crack spread and a piece of plaster fall over the course of a few days, like an impossibly slow rain, like the house was opening up to the heavens, conspiring to create a window for the angels to watch over her. But she didn't need the angels. The house was her protector. She would sit in the corner, back pressed in between the two walls. She would gaze at the mysteriously dim room around her, imagining a dragon lurking in the depths. Nothing in the dark would hurt her, though, she knew. She was safe in her solidarity that could never be loneliness. The house – her castle, her friend – didn't have other jobs to do, places to go, other people to see. It was just there ARI EL GHARSI for her. ow she looked again at the paint dust on her finger itching to wipe it away on her eans oards were issing on the floor o the house Thirty years ago they were secret passageways to fairy worlds. Now, they were part of a damaged property not worth fi ing nd od it was so s all She elt like a giant ne t to it like she could crush it beneath the toe of her black pumps, like she could blow it over with just a breath, like the big bad wolf. She sat on the stoop, letting her head rest against the doorway. At her current home, she had a beautiful, antique looking entrance. It was big – actually big. It wasn't a castle, though, and though it was hers, it wasn't for her. Why hadn't she ever returned to her castle She closed her eyes listening to the distant sounds o a truck horn There was always an excuse, a reason to reject her mother's invitations to visit. Then, there was never a time to visit the house while her father lived there alone. And now, now that it was e pty now that it was ready to e torn down she finally had to end the e cuses But, she realized, the bulldozers would make no difference. The castle was already gone, and so was the girl. [34]

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The Stars, the Planets, and the Galaxies Foster Hudson I have never fallen in love with someone like I have with the sea. I fell in love directly after my marriage had fallen apart. It feels like I can barely remember the marriage now, but I do recall the very end of it. We split for a myriad of reasons, primarily of which was that she thought I was cheating. I had no job then, but I didn’t want her to know that, because I thought it would ruin my masculinity. So I left the house every day as i I worked at an a iguous law fir the na e o which I ne er told y wi e Soon enough she eca e suspicious and figured out I wasn t a lawyer ut I still wouldn t tell her where I went. Time went along in the subtle way that it does, and suddenly she was smashing things and screaming. All I could do was cry. I remember signing a few papers as I cried some more, and then I was alone. I spent a week like that, crying. I don’t remember why I decided to go out sailing. I was drinking a lot that week, so my thoughts were disjointed at best. I do remember how I started sailing though, oddly enough. It was the evening on a Saturday or Sunday, I don’t remember which, and I was staring at a painting of the ocean my ex-wife and I put up years ago. The painting hung parallel to my couch, and my feet were positioned right under it. I spent hours watching it, drinking from a bottle of hard liquor. Even though it wasn’t moving, watching the ship sail across the ocean made me realize how long I had stayed inside my house, and despite not knowing the exact value, it felt like it had been an eternity. erhaps the alcohol had egun to finally kick in y then ecause reali ing the amount of time I had wasted that week had somehow energized me to get out of the house. So I began to drive, to where I did not know. After what felt like hours of aimlessly trying to find so ewhere to park I stopped at a poorly lit dock I got out o the car and stumbled toward the largest-looking boat, at least as best I could tell under the light. I clambered onto the back of the boat, and to this day I’m not sure why I decided to leave that dock. I don’t know how much time had passed since I fell asleep leaving that dock and when I woke up, but I do remember the moments directly after. There were no clouds in the sky, and no land to be seen, which I remember was vaguely troubling. I was too hungover to feel any real sense of apprehension, however. It was daytime. I got up and decided to e plore the oat There were two floors and the architecture was not unlike any other ostentatious yacht you would find so ewhere in Connecticut The otto floor where I had fallen asleep, was mainly composed of two decks, one in the front and one in the back, and an indoor area, presumably where the original owner slept. Inside there was a fridge, with food and liquor, a notebook, and an easel with some paints, as well as the are necessities or li ing On the top floor there wasn t uch ust a control roo and another deck. The walking, the sun, and the leftover feeling of aimlessness lulled me to sleep. gain the ti e that passed here is unknown to e ut I woke up again to find [35]

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BENJAMIN MALTZ

that I had not moved, and that I was still stuck out at sea. The hangover had worn away by then, so I suppose the weight of being trapped on that boat should have hit me, but it didn’t. I was never bothered by it, actually. I spent that day sitting on the front deck, studying the grooves in the wood. I walked my eyes across each line until I met the water, then I would come back to my crossed legs, and start again. Some days passed before I felt the urge to do anything besides study the details of y scenery I drank little and ate less and ostly I wandered the two floors o the ship like an empty ghost who doesn’t know what to haunt. I felt vague impulses to do something with even a semblance of purpose, like play solitaire on the ship computer, or write some mundane thoughts on some stray paper. There was one night however, that changed my life. I began to feel the pressure of my recent past weigh on me, but I was still not ready to face it. Instead I tried to drink it away with the liquor in the fridge. In what perhaps was a drunken stupor, I dragged the canvas out to the front deck. My hands had needles shooting through them, but I was to stop for nothing. I set the canvas down, and went back for the drinks. My body was

vibrating with the sensation that I was on the edge of something enormous. I wasn’t ready for something enormous. My legs began to drag against the wood, and I could only look down. I leaned against the railing as my body felt like sinking into the ground. I could not stay inside or long ecause the artificial light elt as though it was urning y skin I uickly le t with a glass and a ottle I sat in ront o the can as and ran y fingers o er the cloth. I started crying. I could feel my heart heaving, and I put my hand over my eyes. [36]

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I stayed like that for what was most likely minutes, but what felt like years. The water made soft ripples that complimented the sounds of my tears. I closed my eyes and pretended the emotions in my head were galaxies crashing together. I could not protect myself, however, with that idea. The galaxies, it seemed, were all around e in y past and in y uture The stars and planets were reflecting o the water, which was still. I felt like an astronaut stuck in the crushing beauty that is space, and I was losing track of the planets. They seemed to be only large spheres, spinning near and far, like a broken mobile. I wanted to take off my suit and sort the planets straight, but I knew I would suffocate in the vacuum of space. I didn’t know if I wanted to suffocate or not. My body couldn’t handle staying on that boat, so I stepped over the railing, and my feet fell parallel to the water’s surface. I carried my glass of liquor with me. I could feel its trace on the bottom of toes crawl up my body. I looked down, and all the stars, all the planets and all the galaxies in the universe were looking back at me. It seemed as though they were all expecting some great answer to all their questions, but my mind was blank. I felt my soul wasn’t capable of giving an answer. So I watched the blank faces of the stars, the planets, and the galaxies. They watched back. I moved away from the boat because reality had no bearing on my heart. My drink felt cold on my throat. My skin was still so t and raw ro tears I stopped to outline figures under y eet I i agined my toes to be a pen, drawing with ink made from astronomical ink. The stars bent and swayed, as I created constellations in sizes big and small. My heart was exploding like fireworks and the uiet sounds around e registered as a sy phony that only I could hear I took the last sip o y drink and let the glass float away ra ity stopped suddenly, and I could lean my body backwards and forwards. I turned my face to the stars, and let my soul expand beyond the constraints of my body.

Untitled Anonymous Buildings loom over Bridges illuminated y fluorescent ho es

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If I Die In Police Custody Kalli Jackson I I die in police custody do not let the say it was a suicide Do not let the choke the air out of my throat, tase the life out of my body, beat my bones to shattered glass, put bullet holes in my being, and then have the nerve to say I took my own life. Do not let them say the dog ate their homework. Because they are the dogs. And they ripped through e ecause I was a piece o dark eat nothing ut flesh to sink teeth into ut the only teeth that do the sinking come out the mouth of a gun barrel. Do not let them murder me and then let me take the blame. I I die in police custody please know the first thing I checked or was the police o ficer s hands I wanted to know what color they were I wanted to know i y li e was in them. I wanted to see if their palm lines took the form of a noose. I wanted to see how their knuckles looked wrapped around a trigger I wanted to see what arks their fingers around my neck would leave. Please know that I also checked my own hands, to know what they would see when I put them up. I went to a palm reader once. She told me my lifeline was deep, I was meant to live long enough to tell many great stories. I wondered if they thought their bullet would make a great punctuation mark. I I die in police custody do not let the orget y na e Re use to let the swallow the sylla les as soon as they finish pronouncing e dead hen they encase y ody below a patch of dirt, do not let my name become letters lost on tombstone. Don’t plaster a hashtag in front of it as if likes on a post might make up for the days lost. But don’t stop saying the names of the girls who never got a hashtag. The dead girls’ whose names were never said loud enough to be noticed. Ask them what happened to Sandra Bland, Kendra James, Kathryn Johnson, Natasha McKenna. Ask them what happened to Tanisha Anderson, Aiyana Stanley-Jones, Tarika Wilson. Ask them why Dylan Roof got Burger King for shooting up a black church, but Rekia Boyd was killed for holding her cellphone. Ask them why only one of those two names is recognizable. Say my name over and over until the inside of your mouth resembles a graveyard. I I die in police custody don t say I was a good person It doesn t person I was. My hands were up and empty.

atter what kind o

I I die in police custody please know that it didn t hurt ter so uch pain you start to go numb. The pain of being hated for your skin, being hated for its color, being hated for no reason. Remember that it hurts ten times more to live in a body that was never meant to sur i e in the first place ody that was whipped and lashed so uch that its ack looked like a sheet o usic crying out or relie ody that was hosed down y the fire department at a pressure that could dampen bones and drown out screams. A body that [38]

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turns on the TV and sees its brothers’ and its sisters’ and its children’s corpses on display. When Trayvon was murdered, I took a bullet too. It ripped through my heart and my hope when spilling out the hole it left. I I die in police custody pro ise not to learn to orgi e the Do not let anyone tell you that I a in a etter place or that e erything happens or a reason e know the reason It s the white an ehind the sil er adge that pro ises to ser e and protect It’s the same man who promised us forty acres and a mule. The same man who smiled pretty as he dee ed us three fi ths a person and called it a co pro ise Do not let the tell you any different. Do not stand at the podium during my funeral, and cry softly as you whimper through my eulogy. Stand tall with the spine only a black woman can carry, fill your lungs with all the air I ll ne er reathe again and get ad et enraged hen they call you an Angry Black Woman, show them an earthquake. When they tell you not to make everything about race, show them a thunderstorm. When they are found not guilty with the charges of my murder, show them a natural disaster. Raise hell. Make noise. Be heard. I I die in police custody

I did not kill

ysel

ARI EL GHARSI

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PHOTOS BY WESTON DELACEY

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The Sometime Olivia Reis

ARI EL GHARSI

In the Sometime I exhaled the scent of snow, and bit on cinnamon. I watched the waltzing dust rise from the holes our heels made in the sowed desert. I felt the slime and slap of blazing skin. I let sweat trail down my face, and saw my breath crystallize in the wind. I clapped chapped hands, and stomped spry feet that led trembles in the sand-ridden air. In the Sometime, I saw a clock pause its overworked hands when we began to howl and sway, and suffocate our senses, and I saw the hands return to their movement when we fell, and slept in our steps.

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The Glass Ceiling Margaret MacGillivray and Zoe Karp They’re standing up there, Triumphantly I wonder ow did this happen I I were a an would it e di erent ould I e triu phant Instead of sitting here Watching their success Their happiness Their non-existent sorrow hy are they standing there Not even breaking a sweat While I’m down here, sweating hard I would raise my voice if I thought it would make any difference But as I look up at them, and they work without seeing me, I realize They feel nothing for me Or anyone else down here They only care for their own prosperity That should have been mine They say I’m not working hard enough Deep down, I’m wondering if it’s true If they are working harder than I And as I sit beneath them I ask myself why I’m looking up at a glass ceiling While they look at the sky

10/21/04 Paula Maria Persiani Leaving the house, I say goodbye to my carved pumpkin, and walk with Grandpa to the park where we see the crimson leaves and the helicopter seeds. My momma had dressed me in a blue shirt, black skirt and red shoes. Because it is the day that I turn four, Grandpa grips my hand, kissing it with his lips, and tells e appy irthday with lots o lo e [43]

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The crisp air outside is brisk and lovely. Some leaves on the ground are the same shade of orange as the pumpkin, and some leaves on the trees are the same red as my momma’s lips. Grandpa takes a helicopter seed, splits the top in half and sticks it on his nose. He takes two others for my shoes. There’s a hint of green now on my red shoes as I prance around the sidewalk with my lovely Grandpa. He holds my hand as I pick up leaves for my momma. I hold some pumpkin colored leaves and collect more seeds to make a bouquet for her, hoping to receive a kiss from her lips. e run to the park and I find y riend hilip who like me has red shoes, but I still have the green helicopter seeds that Grandpa gave me. Philip’s cheeks blush with innocent love, and his hair is orange like my pumpkin. He tells me that he is four too. We run to the monkey bars and we chitter with four other children. Philip sits next to me on the merry go round and my lips brush his cheek. A pumpkin colored leaf falls on his head. My red shoes fly up in the air as I spin On the shoes I see the lo ely green seeds fall onto the playground. I take one of the seeds, split the bottom in half like Grandpa, and stick it on Philip’s nose. I take four ore My first innocent lo e Philip has red shoes and hair the shade of pumpkin. Skipping up the sidewalk in my red shoes I greet my carved pumpkin and show Grandpa my bouquet of helicopter seeds. That was the day I turned four. Grandpa places my hand to his lips and my momma embraces me with love.

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In The Night Louie Figliulo Her soft feet touched the multi-stained carpet. She could see her blood red nail polish; it looked cracked like the boy on the bed next to her. Her knees ached as she tried to walk. There was a mirror next to the bed. She walked over to see herself one last time. Her hair was falling on her shoulder like a leaf in fall. Her piercing hazel eyes stole the attention from her face. Her nose was carved more perfectly than her painted aw line ould she lose that er teeth were per ectly aligned unlike her tre ling knees She had an hourglass figure that e ery girl that got a gli pse o her en ied In the background, the boy in the bed turned toward her exposed body. The blanket hugged the boy tighter than she did the night before. His eyes were still closed. His arm reached for her body. His calloused hands outlined her thighs. She turned around like a broken merry go round, her eyes more intense and open. His eyes, tough brown and dull, still hurt when she looked at them. His lips were parched and his nose was like a mountain. His Adam’s apple was low in his throat and thick. The sheet was a pale blue, bland. Without a sound she left the room. The hallway was unfamiliar. She was familiar with unfamiliar hallways. The windows were stained with white dye, more blank than her memory of last night. A table blocked the window from being cracked. It had a vase on it to carry dead flowers The ase was stained the same way as the window only slightly darker. The table looked made out of metal, much like the cage in her house. The wall to the right o her was filled with lue tiles The GAV LANGER grout was a per ect white until her red fingernail stained the She was holding onto the wall trying not to fall as she walked. Her knees still trembled. She exited the glass door that started the hallway. She was in the living room. Her nails got longer. The couch was light grey with dark blue throw pillows on either corner, nicer than she could afford. Her knees expanded. Her toenail grew larger. The shelves were ull o ooks One o the read to kill a ocking ird it didn t look like it was e er opened. Her legs got hairier. The windows were clear as day but it was night out. The moon was at its peak shining right on her now imperfect body. Her legs with silk skin were growing hair thicker than steel. The couch had a blanket that rested over the end of [45]

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ARI EL GHARSI

it. Her feet arched. The T.V. was playing, the sound of it crept over her back. Her shoulder blades grew like mountains cutting through the sky. The light hung over the room denying gravity’s existence. But gravity can’t forget the lamp. Her beautiful long hair looked so di erent ro the wiry spikes that grew ro her ace The light reflected one spot on the kitchen counter. It was like a beam of light from heaven. Her nails were now longer than her lifespan. More books cluttered the shelves. She was out of the house now. She saw the sign next to the elevator. It had a big white shape that read She pressted the utton ut her nails stopped her She ell like a tree and a lumberjack was cutting into her. She picked herself up but she could barely stand She entered the ele ator She pressed the utton The ele ator ell into the deeps of hell, where her last boy said she was going. The ground beneath her was vibrating uch ore than when she had only two eet on the floor She could e called hu an and no one else ever did.

Spin Cycle Ta’Shea Parham Mic check, 123 wanna spit something real quick, appeal to ya empa-thy See I’m feeling the world around me revolving, moving, levitating Seeing cats that been whack since day one still hating But I ain’t worried bout them I’m worried about my friends and how till death do us part starts at the age of ten And let’s not forget about the little black girls who play with Barbie dolls and are conditioned to think the white girl is the fairest of them all [46]

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That’s when the fall begins, the weight of life sinks in, When you give into the notion that you’ll never be as great as them But we must remember that our brothers and sisters come in all shapes, colors and sizes And though many are ignorant so many out there realizing that underneath the melanin and the edge control Daquan and Tisha and them are out to grab the gold e out here astering high ea s and finding ways to hide our wea es We on the come up to the accomplishment of life long dreams no longer fantasies but reality We swaying to the beat of our own hearts like Run DMC or NWA What I’m trying to say is placing people in a box is not ok not when there’s so much potential this shit is monumental I’m not just rhyming to rhyme this ain’t no accidental I told myself I’d stop being angry, get off my ass and start a change and I looked at myself in the mirror like bitch are you deranged what you gon do at 16 that Mr. King couldn’t do, Got popped in the dome for speaking peaceful truths, I said to myself, that’s true but boo generations were made to break boundaries the past couldn’t get through So I shattered that mirror and the shards spelt out a message that we could be chillin and vibin but we out here stressin bout celebrities and newest trends but when all that fades all we got is family and friends There is no reason why Biggie and 2Pac couldn’t get along the same way they dissed each other they could’ve supported through song Two roses that grew out the concrete but were snuffed out by the same stupidity that allows Love and Hip Hop to still run on TV throughout the nation and why public and private schooling resembles segregation. Why little girls can be sexualized damn near out out the womb niggas like wolves out to get the pum pum bomb bomb diggity my melanin so sexy but that don’t give you the right to sexually assault me And women go through it every day every second every minute It may seem isolated when you’re living it but there’s a reason why there’s shelters and witness protection Listen to e ery clear taste the sweet fla or I ust ga e to ya ear I’m just speaking the truth there’s no misuse of the facts I’m throwing down and I can attest to the fact that this world is tumbling round and round and round and round and round. Ahem I think I’m warmed up, lemme introduce myself I’m just a young black woman from the Bronx boogie down I’m a little bougie not from the hood but I still hold it down and I be wondering why my black brothers still acting like clowns think white is a prize and black is too much responsibility, or the kids they help father are liabilities I’ve been wondering this ever since my father proved that I was expendable months on end without [47]

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a phone call or money envelope I guess that’s why every nigga I encounter gotta have a sledgehammer to get through the stone wall that is my heart, respect my parameters it’s funny how I’m educated beautiful, independent, and fair but I’ll be denied a position because the boss don’t like my hair, I don’t think that’s fair and neither is the disrespect black women face from their own men who lie in their bed and spit in their face and defend another race more than their own and leave villages of women and children all alone and they wonder why we’re bitter. I know I just broke my rhyme but I had to make sure I was still listening cause I’ve been doubting my own people but praying and wishing that other black girls wouldn’t get at me because I’m not a perfect example of a Muslim or a Christian wish that teens would stop talking about each other and listen before I end this lesson I want to instill some compassion from the BX, to BK, to lower Manhattan if you are reading or hearing the words and understand them you’ve been gifted with knowledge and understanding so let’s all be free and come together as imperfectly perfect collections o ato s and air taste this fla or I ust ga e to ya ear Much Love, The One Who No Longer Fears

Invisible Home Piper Jassem Broken Crashing Falling Nothing left to hold up the walls But love and hope Only one other care in the world That’s not themselves Broken houses With only invisible walls Made of hope and happiness And sometimes the people With the least Will have the biggest smiles

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Classic Singles Ad Atticus Uyttendaele Classic: Skin Genre: Fiction Author: Roald Dahl rofile Manager tticus Uyttendaele

ONAJE GRANT-SIMMONDS

Seeking New Readers: I am a book of many talents. I can teach you how to get away with murdering your lover, show you a clever and unique place to hide a small diamond of great worth, tell you how to feel with all of your senses the sorrow of trees and how to design the world's most expensive tattoo. I have many hobbies, and I enjoy inventing things, making art and housekeeping. I can retell my past like a story. My tales maybe short but they are a thrilling adventure, so listen close and you may learn something. I can make you hear noises that you couldn't otherwise. I can teach you how to capture hundreds of birds in a short time, and I can help you see things you wouldn’t before. A rug isn't just a rug, it is an entire world waiting to e disco ered On our first date we will go take a lo ely stroll down to take a refreshing dip in a sky blue pool. After, we will go back to my place for a lamb dinner that you will die for. If you are one for new experiences, full of excitement, adventure, clever tricks and a lot of fun, then make your wish come true and call me at 123-456-7890. I don’t like to be rejected.

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Healing Jessica Speight Melinda knew this wasn’t something to be proud of. The motherly voice in her head disapproved of violence of any type in her household, but the feeling in her gut told her otherwise. She wanted to praise her daughter’s ability to knock out another girl for talking crap about someone else’s mama. To be truthful, Melinda probably would’ve co e orated the o ent y aking deline s a orite dish o saltfish and akes But she knew better than that. She was on her knees in her old dusty pink ceramic bathroom, running a hot lavender bath for Adeline. Melinda knew her own mother would’ve whooped her ass for coming home covered in cuts and bruises while simultaneously screa ing Don t you dare stain y couch with your lood and dirt Melinda s other probably would’ve beaten her ‘till her skin was raw, then made her scrub down the couch and floor ro her dirt ut Melinda didn t want to e that kind o other She wanted to give Adeline the things she never got as a child. Love, Respect, Individuality, and the ability to tell her side of the story. Strip Melinda said si ply ack acing her daughter no real inflection in her voice. Adeline was standing in the corner of the bathroom next to the woven laundry basket that had worn down from generations of overuse. She stood with one hip locked at an angle, her arms folded across her chest, her eyes staring straight down at her toes, all while using her top row o teeth to gnaw at her otto lip C on now I ain t got all day for you antics. Go on... strip,” Melinda said again, with more conviction in her voice. Adeline glanced up at her Mama’s face, her large black pupils staring deep into her mother’s own. She released her previous position and began taking off her ripped skirt and dirtied louse Don t put the clothes in the asket you ll e washing those out y hand ith her Ma a s words in ind deline placed the fight stained clothes in a pile next to the laundry basket. Melinda now stood with each hand holding a hip. Adeline saw the motion, and with a permanent pout on her face, got into the tub. The semi-hot water stung the cuts and soothed the sore limbs of Adeline’s body. Melinda could hear a small whine coming from her daughter, but chose to ignore the noise in favor of grabbing a washcloth and a bar of soap from the basket under the sink. Melinda got back on her knees next to the tub and reached out to grab her daughter’s chin She sucked her teeth when deline flinched at the sudden o e ent Look at this mess.” Melinda scanned her daughter’s face looking at the cuts on the side of her left eyebrow, the dark bruises starting to form under her jaw, and the dirt that had caked in the edges of her hair. Melinda sighed as she grabbed the soap and began to carefully wash her daughter. She was wary of her daughter’s body, making sure to be cautious around her more tender spots. Melinda looked at the soap in her hands. She had always saved this soap for special occasions. She thought back to a time when she was young and her grandmother would say that soap had special healing powers. This soap, a pale ivory color, was speckled with small bits of spices and herbs and adorned with a single dried [50]

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JULIA NOONAN

rose bud. Ma a I pro ise I didn t start no fight with no girl deline uttered under her reath Melinda knew it was a lie ow listen here ddy I don t want to hear the whole story right now. Just keep still and let the soap heal these wounds.� Melinda spoke evenly, making sure to keep her tone just under a yell. Melinda passed the soap all over her daughter’s body, making sure the white foam reached every single nook. Adeline’s face began to relax more and more as her mother continued to lather and massage her. It was as if the evils of the day were slowly being extracted by the gentleness of the soap, only to be left as the residue forming a ring around the tub. Melinda knew this was the right way to deal with things. Melinda knew afterwards she would hold her daughter in her arms, and just listen. Giving Adeline the space to open up her heart and let herself be vulnerable, something she had never been able to be with her own mother. As the ivory soap began to wither down to just the small pink rose bud within, Melinda breathed a sigh of relief. Adeline would learn from this. She would remember this. And she would egin to reali e that so eti es harsh words and angry fists were not the only answers

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LEO BREMOND

SADIE STERN

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Rainy Night Zoe Karp The rain hits my window sill So tly at first But harder and harder as the time passes I lie awake Staring at the ceiling Wondering when the morning will come The heavy pounding Matches my heartbeat Slow and steady I peer out the window Watching the puddles form Watching the late-night stragglers Alone on the streets Watching the wind toss the trees The night is dark and cold I step quietly back to my bed Careful not to wake the others I pull the covers over my head and breathe Slowly Calmly Waiting for sleep to come It doesn’t The time ticks by The rain continues Harder than ever

Untitled 2 Anonymous Warm brown faces glow, Smells of pine tree and gray snow. The city sleeps.

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President Trump Dora Bremond He is very scary, there's nothing more to say We have to hold up our power and make sure that we do not fall or is he really tolerant e will ha e to find out with him in our universe, we are all alone I was protected and surrounded by comforting things But now, I don't believe so Hope is when you can believe in something, but at this point Is that e en possi le For all the families that this may affect, we will not be one But think of all those families, who are struck in lighting Trying to exist in our new universe

Words Margaret MacGillivray Their words sink in, Every word, An internal storm, An invisible storm. I stand tall, Knowing the emptiness of their words, Knowing it’s all lie. Knowing their want for power is inside them, In a place where no one can see. And how unjust, And wrongful, They truly are. But somehow, In the deepest place, I wonder ARI EL GHARSI

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o Benjamin Winokur-Applebaum

MEI CARTER

ird as white as snow flies radiant with light But soon is intercepted by a raven black as night. Together they scramble For their foothold on the tree For this is the world That now has come to be.

Sestina for the Sestina Carlos Rodriguez I thought that this assignment would be easy, but I have clearly met my match with this one. I could have written a piece with the other option that we were given on Connect, but I wanted to try and make this a joyful experience. With everything we have learned, this should be a piece of cake. And now presenting my sestina for the sestina: The trick to writing a sestina is that you have to take it nice and easy, to get the eaning the cake [55]

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as some English teachers refer to it. Still, there is one thing they forget to mention: That this process sucks away all your joy around stanza three, and in my opinion is not a better alternative to other literary options. I don’t expect to become a big poet, none of my work is going in any auctions when I die specially not y est work the sestina or the sestina ope ully no one reading this will say Oh oy this literary artist wrote a sestina and to write one seems fairly easy,” because I will pray for you. Keep in mind, your one desire should not ust e to write a sestina it should e to find the eaning The cake Maybe I should have come up with a better array of words, as cake doesn t really fit in with all the other options I could ha e su stituted it with Run son won are just a few of the alternatives I was thinking about while writing this sestina. e er in y li e will I choose to write another one ecause first it isn t easy and second, it is hard to write when the thing you are writing does not bring about any oy Next time, I would prefer to write a book review. Something even more boring. Maybe joy e ists in a real outside the sestina May e the cake doesn’t exist in forms of literature that are not easy to write. Maybe everything else, the other options, would in fact give me a higher grade than writing this sestina. nd y writing this line I o ficially ha e one ore paragraph to go ust one You can read this atrocious work and think one o two things This person lacks e ery aspect o oy and that this will probably receive a bad grade”. I assure you that my sestina was not meant for you. Or for anyone else for that matter. Not for the cake and not because I wanted to be unique by choosing the harder option, but because writing a sestina, for a sestina sounded pretty cool and pretty easy. One thing you should re e

er when writing one o these is to unlike ine find the cake Something that brings about joy, that catches your eye, not because it's the easiest option then maybe then you will think that writing a sestina is pretty easy

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BENJAMIN MALTZ

Connections Kate Borows-Lai There are strings that tie us together That unite us as one And make us feel as if we are not alone In this mystifying, incredible world With all of its unexpected twists And turns That make our lives more exciting But over time Some of these bonds start to weaken While others grow stronger It s scientific really That bonds change And grow But it still hurts When connections break And that trust you felt when you were tethered Safely to the ground Disappears nd you are floating Alone In empty space [57]

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Untitled 2 Sofia Sharp here did it all go wrong She shi ted unco orta ly at the uestion She had thought about it multiple times, I knew that, but never once had she said it out loud and that was her deepest fear. The pregnancy The teen pregnancy she said a oiding y urning ga e ocusing on her ironing I knew she was lying ut what good was asking or ore She was thinking of that long, endless answer that she had rehearsed over and over in her head, hoping that one day she would muster an answer out. Do you lo e her I asked Do I lo e her hat kind o uestion is that O course I lo e her She desperately put down her iron slightly crossing her ar s Do you not see it Do you not see the drop of my face when I see her on the streets at 9 am or how I see strips of her hair and clothes on the athroo floor She tore away her colorless eyes and went ack to ironing the wrinkled dress. She continued nonetheless I re e er the sunshine She uttered uietly sharp inhale arely audi le as i she couldn t control her words I re e er the sunshine that followed Emily around. It was beautiful. She was beautiful. Her giggle would echo through the house and the birds would respond from outside. They created a song that I yearn to listen to e eryday She was happy er o concluded I could eel it light dripped out of her body like the rain does to the sky. I wish she was happy now.” A sad smile grew on her lips, but she shook it away within seconds. Her eyebrows were furrowed, her hair was messy, she had wrinkles forming from her frown, her skin fell, her once-vibrant eyes were now dull. She was tired. But not the kind that could be helped by sleep. She needed this. here did it all go wrong She looked up her eyes turning into glass her lip trembling a bit. I guess we looked at each other without really seeing each other She let out reathlessly ecause i I really did I would ha e known that her eyes the color o a stormy sky, were actually hiding more pain than I knew the earth was capable of. And if she had really looked at me, she would have known that I am more of a sputter than a spark, more of a puddle than an ocean. That I’m scared, that I am empty. And maybe if we had really looked at each other, we could have held each other through these separate storms, but instead we were left alone to defend ourselves against the cold.” She finished er eyes shattered er heart eat pain ul so escaped her throat She knew what she had said and she knew she could never go back.

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Be My Noah Wistman y alentine e y flower e y fluorine be my fault, be my apocalyptic suicidal messianic cult--

Chai Latte Oliver Eig

e

e y alentine be my cripple, be my chlorine, be my cut, be my automatonic codependent psychopathic slut-e y alentine be my woman, be my sign, be my answer to the question, be my lover, be my mine.

I love my chai latte That is why I will stay with my chai latte I think that this scrumptious gourmet will give way All the way out of my tumm-ay So you better whittle away at my awesomeness

Wings and Wind Oni Thornell Winding ‘round them Conforming to them Black shadows dancing The air whistling through the ebony feathers Rustling them Bring me to heights I had never known Above the city Above the people Above Velaris

Strong: a Haiku Jemma Fox I stand above you I won’t fall for your tricks this time I am a strong girl [59]

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BENJAMIN MALTZ

e y

n ac Mabel Stafford

ne

Everything each of us owned Is a thing someone else lacked Although we try to deny it, Our society is cracked No one can run forever Nothing can hide from its fate, Destruction just hasn’t happened yet, It knows how to wait. As some children smile Others are beaten Some grow stronger, Others weaken. We ignore the lives of others Never knowing their pain When we need help we expect it, And silence the voices that could be the bane O our i per ect and selfish econo y e don t want to fi what we e roken But we expect physical things in perfect repair Hear the people, they have spoken, There is trouble in the air. [60]

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Afraid Benjamin Connolly hat s a terli e hat s the ne t stage hat happens in y li e when I turn the page Do I reincarnate Do I float in the dark I re orn as so e rando dude na ed Clark Should I run ro death Is it okay to e scared Is it ad that I ner ous and is this ear shared I the alone one a raid ll scared and alone Death is real scary, and everyone’s prone. Life’s like a roller coaster, have fun while it lasts. Take each moment in, because it won’t always last. Take life slow, don’t go too fast. So go live your life: be happy, have fun. Because soon or later, your life will be done.

e

a n y e ec Jessica Speight

n

e a

hy aren t you looking at e The boy sat there in silence. The only sounds to be heard were the clinking of dirty dishes being thrown in a bin and the soft vibrations coming from the only fan in the corner of the room. The diner was hot and musty and The Lady kept on dabbing at the s all speckles o sweat dripping down her ace I tried calling she said eye rows furrowing as she turned to face the small window next to their table. The boy perked up at this but still did not meet her eyes. You e called once in the last three onths he said as he olded his ar s across his chest. It s een a rough ew onths or e Me too The Lady gazed at the boy’s face again, her mascara-clad eyelashes smudged at the corners She egan si ting through her s all red hand ag her thin fingers swirling around its contents She pulled out a s all o wrapped in etallic green paper I brought you something.” She placed it in the middle of the table; a slight tremor in her fingertips The oy shi ted in his seat still a oiding her eyes I don t want it lease o [61]

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ust open it she whispered as she crossed her legs under the ta le The oy sat there, eyes locked on the multi-colored glare the sun painted on the green box which reflected onto the white walls o the diner The oy picked it up and care ully tore at the edges sealed with tape. He slowly slid the wrapping paper off the box. You ha en t changed she said as her fingers played with a thin cigarette The oy was con used as to when she had taken it out Still as eticulous as e er she finished as she placed the cigarette in her outh not yet lighting it ow open it and tell me what you think.� The boy lifted the lid of the small box in his hands. A small brass key looked right ack at hi That s yours now she uttered cigarette still in her outh legs uncrossing from their previous position. The boy could feel his heart begin to pump faster as he bit his lip and looked down at the table. hy would you do this The oy held the key tight in his hands. I want us to try again The oy couldn t get any words to come out. The lady stared at her little boy and before she knew it the palm of her hand had reached out to caress the small hairs on the back of his neck. She slowly moved her hand to his cheek, then to his chin, and without resistance the boy turned his head, following her movements. In that moment their eyes met and something within each of them clicked. The oy slowly li ted his hand up to hers his fingers gripping the soft wrinkles of her familiar skin. Co e with e The words ca e out scarce under her breath. The boy's grip tightened, then swiftly his BENJAMIN MALTZ hand swung down from on top of hers, and fell to his lap. He wanted so much at this moment. He wanted to trust her, to touch her, to understand her, and to love her like he had been loving her in the back of his mind for all the years leading up to this moment. But he couldn’t. She hu ed finally lighting the cigarette and lowing a steady strea o s oke into the air above their heads. She began tapping on the table softly then with more conviction, until her entire body was shaking. ter a final tap on the ta le The Lady swi tly got up her chair s ueaking against the linoleum. I ucking tried she said as she gathered her pocket ook le t so e oney and walked out of the diner, her ruby heels clicking with every step. [62]

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The boy just looked down at the key once again, feeling its uneven surfaces and jagged edges. He sat back in his chair, still playing with the seemingly heavy piece of etal in his hand is eyes dri ted up to stare at the so t reflection o green still present on the white walls of the diner.

Bred Jakob Katzman ere you also red It’s not a question you ever thought you’d have to ask another person. Yet the question slips out with an unnaturally practiced calm. As if you’ve been waiting to ask another the question that haunts you. Looms over you. Consumes you. lso is the operati e word You fear it. You can’t believe it. The idea of people bypassing natural selection, of breeding another person. The motive will never be clear to you. as it out o necessity Is it e er really necessary Or was it out o spite as the decision ade ecause o a rage towards the natural order o things Or perhaps it was really a isplaced rage towards the natural order o things You’ll never know. Never understand. Never belong. You are a misstep in a proven system. An anomaly that cannot be worked around. pro le that cannot e fi ed A blight that can’t be gotten rid of. And yet, you are you. You breathe, you think, you feel. You exist. Do you curse that e istence Do you pray or a higher purpose to the li e you were oth cursed and lessed with Don’t. It’s a meaningless endeavor. othing will fill the oid Your questions will never be answered. [63]

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ARI EL GHARSI

But there are more people like you. Bred like you. You can relate to them. They won’t be there forever. But while they are, at least you know you’re not the only one. Someone understands that pain. Someone feels that pain. Someone shares your pain. nd isn t that all people need

This Is Not My America Emily Familetti Departure, walls, and failure This is not my America My erica fights ack against hate and helps out others My America doesn't deport others My America makes me feel safe and at home And does not send people away to places that they think are unknown And my America doesn't give up My erica fights ack [64]

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A Personal Question Sophie Whelan new york city girl yep private school and rich starbucks every day to take that insta pic don’t drink it though, can’t lose that 6 pack a i anore ic or a i at jersey all summer spend my days at the beach got kicked out of the club, crashed the golf cart and screeched skinny little gymnast, nyc elite tried to get on the beam but can’t even reach shorts shorter than my underwear do i think i ki k yep i buy likes just like you buy your clothes no i don't shop at gucci more like brandy melville one si e fits all and it s still too ig or e short and weak you call e ean and fiesty do i e en ha e an iety missed a lot of school and i don't talk in class gtg to soul cycle and work on my abs

Inspired by “Sure You Can Ask Me a Personal Question” by Diane Burns

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Silent Noises in the Night Hudson Kassen

ARI EL GHARSI

All around me the darkness swells enveloping all hope, all love. Senses dulled I look but do not see I touch but do not feel Listen, but do not hear I reach out for what. Something I can’t quite grasp Something in the night. Something pure, Something true. Something that will never be found.

Dear Isabella Colette Leong Dear Isabella, I count the minutes until I will see you next. I hope you will never forget my presence. The cold New York winters are calling you back. You will never leave my mind. I love you. Love, Colette [66]

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The War Inside River Magee Insanity is not a concept that can be transposed into words, for it is an infection only known by few. It is the no man's land between the euphoria of your dreams and a hell only your mind could possibly imagine. There you lay, in the dirt, wounded as you make your desperate attempt to see your loved ones one last time, to make it to the safety and comforts of your home. But as you claw your way to freedom and the light, dark forces drag you back into the dark and smoke of this mental war. Here, they scream at you, screaming your regrets, your misdoings, your mistakes. It twists your stomach, sickening you so that you must fall to the ground, sweat dripping off your brow and your hands shaking furiously. The war inside you eats away at your ability to think, created y two conflicting personalities They battle rigorously, with little care for your wellbeing. Insanity is that tantalizing glimpse of a bright sunny day, only then taken away as an ever-growing storm conceals it, pouring sheets of rain on your ever-sonaive face. Insanity is the anxiety one feels whilst thinking about the future, like a knife pressing down on your chest, however not too hard to break the skin. It is at the perfect amount of pressure where you can feel it destroying your soul and taking your life eternally. Never does it grant you the sweet release you pray for. Insanity is the water covering both your nose and your mouth, BENJAMIN MALTZ only granting you a second to breath once you think you’re going to pass out into blessed darkness. Here you remain, unable to cry for help, for if you do you miss your chance to breathe. Your tears join the liquid, abandoning you in your time of need. Insanity is the hope you have, the hope that nearly pushes you to do great things, to achieve your ambitions and aspirations. What stops you is your stupid timidness, the concern of what others may think, the concern of what you think about yourself. You are then stuck, unable to be the person you want to be, and the person they want you to be. Insanity, in simplest terms, is the unrelenting, merciless, sadistic force that pre ents you ro your drea s and drowns you in the ud o your could ha e beens.� [67]

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Coincidence Benjamin Maltz

JULIA NOONAN

It was June 1965, and the mercury had been bubbling at temperatures nearing 100 ºF since ten in the morning. A small twelve-year-old girl with a pink cardigan and s artly tri ed londe hair y o had ust finished one o her last days o school for the summer. She was ambling back home through Central Park, meandering in and out between lampposts, tugging at the sweaty barrette on her head. It was a quiet late afternoon; the air was sticky with the smell of freshly mowed grass and the untraceable hum of cicadas. The lights had pinged on a short while ago. She marveled at how the la plight fi led outwards hanging hea y in the stifling hu idity So ewhere along the way, she grew bored, and picked up a sizable stick. After a couple of methodical thwacks, she found that when branch met trunk of lamppost, a soothing ping resounded. A different tone echoed each time. She sauntered, knocking each light with her twig, and an array of discordant harmonies called after her. Eventually, she grew bored again, and thwacked stick against lamppost as hard as she could. At that exact moment, a sour buzz erupted, and all the la ps within her line o sight flickered out Being the cautious twelve-year-old that she was, the girl looked around, hazel eyes wide. The air seemed to thicken around her neck, and she suddenly couldn’t breathe. Her heart froze. She turned and looked south towards the city and tried to scream–the skyline was also entirely de oid o light hat had she done She listened to the so t chirping of the birds, the distant murmur of incessant car horns, and the silent whisper of the sky Terrified o what her punish ent would e she ran ho e so ing to her parents Her face was as pink as her cardigan upon arrival. No, mom, you did not cause the Great Northeast Blackout of 1965.

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Cold Burning Carley Watman Breathing Breaking Burying enclosed in the cold burning Hole in my heart’s core bleeds purple melancholy

A Day in the Life of William Smith William Dotson I a in an enca p ent in the woods near a attlefield It is not cold ut also not warm. The leaves have turned red, orange, and yellow. I wish my breeches were a bit less itchy, but soon they will turn soft from wear. I feel the same way about my shoes, for they are stiff and uncomfortable. My discomfort is due to my new clothes. It is nice to not have tears and mud all throughout them but I do wish they were a bit less stiff and new. The est clothes are the ones that are a it new ut also worn in so they are so t and fle i le y the ain fire I see en elting down scraps o etal or usket alls and packing the into arrels I can s ell the s oke co ing ro any pipes and fires Today is y day o ut I can still hear the uskets firing on the training field e are preparing for the winter, when supplies will be low and we won’t be able to train because of the cold weather. I’m William Smith. I was set to be a blacksmith, but I was too restless as a boy and decided to work full time with the militia, and also joined a group of Yankee Patriots. We held meetings every week. Then, the war came. We had seen it coming for many years; it was like a malevolent storm cloud sitting on your shoulders waiting to fall. Because I’m a middling white I was quick to be offered a spot, but I am still just a priate I wish to one day ay e eco e an o ficer Last week eneral ashington sent us to raid the fleeing ritish I ad ire hi more than anyone I know, for he has saved me in battle. We were mid-raid when I saw a lad no older than se enteen sitting with a rifle nestled in his ar That was when I realized he was aiming at me. I wouldn’t have been afraid if I hadn’t seen the telltale octagonal arrel o a rifle These weapons weren t ery co on in the ar y ut when used y [69]

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VIRGINIA MANNING

a marksman could hit within ten inches of their target from 328 feet away. I looked for a place to hide, but there was nowhere. Then General Washington was there. He drew one o the pistols he always had at his elt ai ed and fired It hit the oy in the hand and went right through and into the barrel of his gun. Thankfully the bullet only injured him and we were able to take him to our camp to heal. Last night so e o y en and I were talking to hi and he told us My ather forced me into the army because he is a loyalist, but he was too old for the army. The only reason I was trying to fire that rifle was ecause I was thinking o y ather when you showed up or the raid so I had ust thought in the spur o the o ent to fire at you We all felt bad for the boy because some of our own men had fathers and families that were Loyalists and had oined to fight the syste and ha e their own li es The doctor has told us he won’t have to amputate the boy’s hand, but the lad will be out for the next onth e e pect that once he has healed he will oin us on the field in the ne t attle I a proud to e fighting or y reedo ecause it is what we deser e and i I die then I will have died for a good cause. I believe that we have been working for ourselves and the king of England hasn’t done bollocks for us, so we should be independant and not just his lackeys. Liberty or Death.

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Protests Miles Friedman The chanting The marching The yelling The screaming The signs The peace Pink Purple Red And the people The people are the power The people are the fight The people want their rights.

Limits William Martin

We’re Moving Elijah Harris We’re moving I hear my parents say Never before have I ever moved not once But now I must move, move away Knowing that I must step in and see the next chapter of my life

There is no limit To where you can go Go through rain, wind, sun or snow If you listen closely You might hear The sudden urst o snowflakes flying past your ear If that limit is broken Then no one can see There is no limit To what you can be [71]

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The Painter’s Son Liam Mackenzie

ONI THORNEL

is so t fluid otion drawing e in with his defiant o e ents This surreal moment will stay with me for an eternity. My heavy head struggling to move with his nimble hands and his impeccable form wrapping me in. His soul is captured in this-only this. I hear his heavy breath rapidly increasing. His head swiftly turning, breaking me out of this hazy trance. My gaze turns to a pot on the sunlit windowsill-I don’t look back, petrified that I will all ack in

Haiku #3 Isabella Bulone

Haiku #2 Isabella Bulone

San Diego sun falls rapidly from the sky, flashes green then gone

Full of color, leaves all into e I reflect the world around me.

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BENJAMIN MALTZ

Blank Ruby Wexler Blank The page seems to glare at me lowing white that will soon e filled with lack ink traced into words Words They convey so much meaning to us who understand them Though to others they mean nothing Words that paint a picture that is never really there Words that create new worlds They mean something different to everyone who reads them Words that contain our history Our sorrow Our accomplishments Our joy and our love We write these in hope that someone will read them And sometimes in hope that someone will not Though they ay finish di erently They all start the same way ith lank e pty space that will soon loo like a udding flower nd will grow into so ething a estic and filled with eauty [73]

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e

a a o an Alexa Kennedy

I wanna straw erry shortcake sundae with e tra rain ow sprinkles please That was the first order I had e er recei ed as an ice crea scooper o the Ice Paradise” ice cream truck. I was young then, and I had never had the luxury of abundant happy children in my life before. My grandfather had offered me the job after he learned I had run away from my parents, and told me I could stay with him for as long as I needed. He was a kind man, my grandfather, and that's why he started the ice cream service in the first place e said a sweet treat could ake anyone s ile and the s iles he ga e e were the happiest faces he said he had ever seen. The bright afternoon sun and my stuffy pastel ice cream scooper apron with dancing sheep all over it made me sweat like a mad dog in my truck, but the second I saw the children rush out of the school, I had forgotten about the heat entirely. The children were always able to spot the truck because it shone so much brighter than their dark grey crumbling school. The truck was painted with rainbow murals, ice cream mountains and blueberry sorbet lakes, jelly bean dogs, and gelato people; it was very hard to miss. They children were yelling hellos to e i ediately iya Mr Marsh allow My real name was Marcus Colin Mellow, but once my grandfather started calling me a marshmallow boy there was no stopping him. He started calling me that after I had ade y first custo fla or o ice cream, which was meant to be vanilla cookie, but he told me how marshmallowy it tasted, and so I named that fla or randpa Mellow It s any kids favorite now, and so it makes me beam with pride when they ask for it. I take Odelia s order first and then I take Charlie’s, Clara’s, and Steffy’s. I tell them that it might take a little longer to make them than usual, and when they ask why, I have to smile sadly and tell them of how old my ice cream making body is getting to be. BENJAMIN MALTZ Clara asks if I will be her favorite ice cream man forever, and I say I hope so. It's been 63 years since I had my first day on the o 6 years since I disco ered the agic o ice crea eople ha e een telling me it might be time to retire, but I can't stand the idea of my almost grandchildren eing le t in a colorless world without a rain ow o ice crea fla ors to eat

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Pigeon Milei Sagawa I sit on the branch and wait I look ird s eye iew when I fly I have an appetite for everything Especially pie

Girl Skyler Pierce-Scher ow to Lose 10 ounds in One eek ow to atural Makeup Look ut doesn t natural look ean without akeup ow to lease Your Man ow to et the erect Su er Tan ow to chie e Your er ect Su er od ow to et igger oo s ow to et a uller utt 10 o Men s a orite Things During Intercourse what s intercourse 6 ercises to i e You Runway Model Legs Cos opolitan uick orkouts to elp You ight Cellulite Cos opolitan do I ha e cellulite Your uide to eeing olitely nywhere you otta o o en s ealth who s watching e pee 12 inky uickies Cos opolitan what s a uicky The Three ords You Must e er Say to a uy Cos opolitan I thought this was a ree country ew uy Se eep i Co ing Cos opolitan You re Single hy Cos opolitan 0 Things You Should e er Do in ed Cos opolitan ow to Re o e Lip Lines owls In 2 Minutes lat elly inally o en s ealth it ody Cal Mind o en s ealth hat to do hen Your uy ets ll uiet Cos opolitan Does e Like Me ack D 11 OT R LI MYST RI S SOL D Dolly that doesn t sound like the ysteries I read in y ooks S You re doing it wrong D M IT O er naly ing The Se osition That ill ut Ring On Your inger ogue hy You Don t ant to Marry a uy ho Listens MUST R D ogue is that why y daddy doesn t listen to y a a et Men To Do Your idding ithout eing Called a ogue IRL S LI all ashion You ll Lo e Your Drea air ake up retty OY S LI plore Your uture why does no ody care a out y uture ays to Cut O 3000 Calories o en s ealth that s a lot o calories should I e dieting I 10 now Real o en a e Cur es ogue what are cur es ow to Date a Super odel Stu irgins In Cos o e Thought This Day ould e er Co e Cos opolitan a I a irgin what is a irgin anyways is that ad Cut 100 Calories at e ery eal ays to Look OT Se enteen et oticed at arties Se enteen Train Your i e in asy Lessons unknown is that what y dad did to y o ow To Cure a e inist unknown ow to Talk out Sports ith o en unknown us and leasing Co ee unknown [75]

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BENJAMIN MALTZ LEO BREMOND

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The Story of America Marcus Moise People getting shot in the dark Ku Klux Klan making a mark Burning up churches and houses They saw our inner fire and doused it But we strived through it all Because we wouldn't fall down When our heads fell down we picked ‘em up And we barely survived, no longer stuck In the trap they created to bring us down Heard our voices and tried to steal our sound But it has been over 500 years And even still you see our tears Still you see the tears When blacks meet their fears Still you see our blood From our bullet wounds and cuts What did MLK, Lincoln, and Kennedy die for Because they continue to hurt us more and more The Civil Rights were turned left Our lively history made dead Negroes to African Americans and back again It's a cycle that'll go on without an end Unless we take a stand Put our feet down Stop asking and demand Take back our sound From the match used to burn our people e ignite the fire that they doused Use our hearts of steel to break the trap Find the promised lands with our heart as a map Let love conquer hate And courage conquer cowardice Because we are black And this is our month

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