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The Literature and Art Magazine of LREI Little Red School House & Elisabeth Irwin High School


~ Phil Kassen, Director


Table of Contents Diandra Adu-Kyei Celia Babini Jesse Bermudez-Deane Jerel Blades Leo Bremond Sara Caplan Cameron Carter Mei Carter Zoe Carter Alegba Celis-Etienne Alexa Code Sophia Cook Dylan Corn Wilder Cosaboom-Son Sarah Costello Keith Daly Devon Donahue Mekhi DueWhite Cara Eagan EsmĂŠ Edwards Ethan Ehrenberg Jaron Evelyn Ruby Geiger Austin Getz Ali Gharsa Matt Glickman Saskia Globig Daxia Godoy Eli Goldwag Lulu Grant

Summer Before Eleventh Grade... Untitled Photograph Photograph Gone, But Never Forgotten Nathalie, My Sweetheart Untitled Untitled The Boy Who Lived in the Abandoned House Musical B On Turning 13 Untitled An Underwater Issue Photograph Photograph Photograph Mixed Media Untitled Untitled So Much Depends Upon

28 25 47 59 68 78 73 43 52 50 63 24 72 7 18 76 26 23 48 18

Awesome Photograph Photograph Photograph Photograph Untitled Untitled The Composition of Love Sixth Grade Autobiography They Say Drawing Drawing Drawing A Day in the Life of Charles Madison.... Photograph Photograph The Distant Light The Threshold Lament for Aunt Erna Bus-Ticket Rose Photograph Photograph Drawing I Just Like the Smell of Cigars

63 29 53 35 58 2 55 5 12 21 25 46 55 38 11 37 83 1 70 80 27 66 4 51

Claire Greenburger Ava Gural Carina Hardy Chiara Hardy Brandon Hartley Asha Hinson Lucy Hirschfeld Juno Hobbs Lula Hyers Lexi Jones Danny Jung Harry Kassen Chloe Kellison Sam Kielian Ally Klemer Mei-An Lee Ben Maltz

Virginia Manning Trust Martin Virginia Mason Julia Meltzer Stella Metzger Jarrett Moore Rachel Morrow Luca Nicholas Julia Noonan James Oliver

Mixed Media Chocolate with Papa Photograph Photograph Photograph Drawing Ode to the Subway Photograph Sure You Can Ask Me... Painting Photograph Photograph Stood Up Pinnochio’s Awkward Years Sleep Photograph Photograph Photograph Photograph Photograph Painting Photograph Home Cook Painting Untitled Ceramics Drawing Untitled Photograph Photograph Photograph Photograph Photograph Photograph Calligraphy Untitled Violet’s Killing Drawing Drawing Eighth Grade Autobiography Untitled Be Careful What You Wish For Drawing Drawing A Poem For the Stars and Nelson Mandela Drawing

39 44 22 47 52 37 41 77 34 77 50 67 7 82 3 47 63 20 33 53 19 31 57 19 56 45 24 64 5 9 15 59 72 3 81 60 22 46 54 51 76 57 45 71 4 17

Pilar Olivieri

Photograph Up, Down, Ending Photograph Why I Am Photograph

9 18 59 69 78

TaShea Parham Jonathan Pesantez Emilio Picayo Lola Picayo Gaia Prete Monica Quirante Sophia Raccuia Bella Reid Liv Reis

“The Witch is Dead!” The Nightmare Photograph Princess Looking for Dreams Summer for Me Ode to Polaroid The Fantastical Escape... PULP Mediocre The Little Man and His Impish Monkey

20 67 13 35 66 8 26 79 18 45 54

Yellow Bird Sure You Can Ask Me... Coffee Photograph Photograph Photograph Untitled The Deadly Remedy Untitled The Man Under New York You Can’t Run On Turning Five The Snow-Like Sand Untitled Photograph Photograph Photograph Mixed Media Untitled Painting What If? The Takeoff Mixed Media Click Click Click I Speak When I Was Young The Dragon

74 58 27 47 77 57 50 40 55 16 29 71 62 8 14 15 42 42 77 10 19 36 30 28 46 6 11 45

Eve van Rens Daria Richman-Price Clara Rosarius Sam Rosenblum Sarah Russell Laila Samad Luke Schimmel Olivia Sharpe David Siklos Riley Siltler Semiramis Sophroniou Sophia Stewart-Chapman Katie Taetle Malaika Tapper

Phoebe Thomases Iniko Thornell Loveday Trumbull Emily Uss Lenny Weissman Ella Wexler Noah Wistman

The Threshold Saskia Globig She has strong hands and canvas skin, must have wiped away my diaper rash when they were stained with ink but it never mattered because with them she draws the sure lines and sweeps of color smoother than on any curling parchment clipping she stretches up to tack on the barnacled wall of her studio, vertiginous with easels and shelves so I am crunching across the curved insides of a plaster cave whose window has Venetian blinds, wanting to ask her where each inspiration came from, though in the light of afternoon dust she turns and straightens her sweater, and the scent of rose geraniums is under her nails the way it was when I was shorter than her. with drawings I did in washable marker.


Untitled Esmé Edwards The ten feet of cracked cement that lay in front of me guided my eyes towards the familiar paint chipped porch and abandoned rocking chair. A shriveled wreath hung from the door, full of un-kept promises of a new year. Small holes had been dug in the ground by animals who had more of a home than I would ever know. I walked on the cement towards my house. The porch barely supported my weight, a task that seemed simple, even necessary for it to do. The door was slightly ajar. It left me feeling nothing but disappointing familiarity. Though I had walked through this door every day of my life, this time seemed different, as if something new would happen. But propped up on the coffee table. They look like my feet, but hers are smaller, with dark speckles and blue veins. A chipped coat of drugstore nail polish is painted across her toes, in a color called “Rapid Red.” Faded grey sweatpants and a UCLA sweatshirt encapsulated the woman I called Mom. Her chest moved rhythmically. I wanted desperately to curl up against it and feel her calm breathing the way I used to, but instead I had been replaced by a bottle that dripped a light brown liquid onto the white A of her sweatshirt. Her other hand held a mug of cold coffee that read “Mom of the Year.” I choked down the irony and headed into the kitchen. Small cut up carrots and faded green peas plopped out of the Chicken Noodle Soup can and into the stained steel pot. I slurped my soup loudly, knowing she couldn’t hear it. I read my newest book, page after page as I became part of Long Island, part of Gatsby, part of another life. Daisy Buchanan. The elegance, the whirlwind love affair with a man named Gatsby. The tinkling laugh, the parties, the drama, the beauty. I wished to be her. I couldn’t help but imagine my mother at one of Gatsby’s parties, drinking champagne, staying out late. She would be a regular in West Egg. I stopped reading. I glanced at the clock as it ticked towards 6:00. I sighed. Outside, rain had begun to spatter on our cement walkway. Thick clear drops snaked down the back of the rocking chair and fell between the slats in the porch. I looked at my pile of homework; on the top rested a newly pressed middle school diploma. It represented everything new to come. I could feel the hope it gave me, the sense of adulthood and independence. I jumped as a snore came from the couch and the mug slipped from my mother’s grasp. Coffee splashed onto the carpet, and a dark stain began to spread over the aged wool. I glanced at her and thought, you haven’t changed, but I have.


Sleep Juno Hobbs the lids of my eyes cover the world then roll back into my own or transport me to another all worries all feelings block out from sight at a standstill in night

Virginia Manning


A Poem for the Stars and Nelson Mandela Julia Noonan I am fourteen and my eyes are wide open looking and hearing but not understanding how can it be that we feel so much but not really not truly feel it at all

I am fourteen but you are not. In your life you’ve done great things here but now you are there and we can all feel your love for another eight minutes and we hope that you’ll feel ours for much longer.

Eli goldwag

I am fourteen and I’m sleeping as I wake shapes and lines and color constantly swirl how can it be that there’s so much to do but I feel so bored

I am fourteen and I’m lying in grass it’s cool like the air and the black sky still shines for another eight minutes even after it dies.


BEn Maltz

The Composition of Love Jaron Evelyn Love is you. The essence of the presence you possess. The love you exude is enough to make one obsess. Love is us. We don't need the world to combust our compact cavity, Our ability to trust. Not worrying about an incompetent reality. Love is Eternal. It's the reason we are here. It records everything; a personal journal. Its pages forever turn in care. When the inquiry invites itself to know what love can do, The simple fact is love is me and love is you. [5]

I Speak Noah Wistman You may know a language You may even know a few But I know that I speak many Many more than you For I speak the language of the beast From land or sea or air From the meekest little insect To the proud and mighty bear And I speak the language of the plants The ferns the grass the trees I comfort them when summer warmth Turns into winter freeze Then I speak the language of the land The mountains, deserts, plains I’m there for them when sturdy rock Grinds down into a grain Now I speak the language of the sea Of waves of depths of tides With just a word I bring out The beauty that it hides When I speak the language of the air It calls out in response It tells me what it has in store It tells me what it wants I can speak every language That’s found upon this earth So now that I can say all of that Next up, the language of the universe!


Stood Up Lucy Hirschfeld It is a gray, powdery afternoon She sits in the squeaky wooden chair in the corner The one that had once belonged to her grandfather Large, glassy pools drip from her dark, gloppy lashes Hard gulp, moist hands gripped Feeling like a princess in mounds of stiff pink taffeta Bare wrist, Holding its place for a corsage that will never arrive She feels her mother on the other side of the door And hopes the sadness will evaporate before Her mother comes in to sit beside her and give The familiar strokes on her back

dylan Corn

She cannot push her thoughts away from him His straw golden hair, His seaweed colored eyes, The dimple on his left cheek Even more apparent with his beautiful smile But in her heart She knew it was time to let go


The Snow-Like Sand Katie Taetle I inhaled and dipped my big toe into the blue-green water. The second it broke the surface, a chill echoed through my entire body. I exhaled. I stepped on the cold, wet, sand. First my foot; I struggled not to shiver. I took another step in the icy water with my left foot. Toe, ball, heel. The water was barely at my ankle. I took another step. Toe, ball, heel. The water was up to my mid-calf. Another step. Toe, ball, heel. The water was just past my knee. My wet jeans stuck to my freezing skin where it was wet from the salty water. I took a step. Toe, ball, heel. And another. Toe, ball, heel. Another. Toe, ball, heel. The water was up to my neck. I took a deep breath and fully submerged into the still, crystal water. When towards the shore. I took the same, slow steps that I took before. Toe, ball, heel. I felt the warmth from the outside air as I left the water behind me, my clothes soaked, and hair a until my legs threatened to give out. Then and only then, I looked back.

Summer For Me Monica Quirante I close my eyes and see it, the water glistening in the sun, the grass freshly cut. My cousin is screaming excitedly in the pool and I can smell the delicious “Ensaladilla Rusa” being cooked. This sounds like an unquiet, frantic place, but it’s not. I love the sounds I hear, the smells I smell, but most of all, the sights I catch a glimpse of. This is what my summers are like; this is my home. It keeps me calm when I hear those happy screeches because I know they mean that I’m with my family. That I’m in my favorite place. Ever.



Pilar oliViEri

BEn Maltz

Untitled Iniko Thornell On the other side of the promenade I could see a silhouette materializing from the darkness. A tall thin girl with dark skin and black bobbed hair appeared. She walked over to the fence that overlooked the water and just stayed there, so still it appeared she wasn’t even breathing. Then suddenly, all in unison, the lights came on all at once, glowing with a brilliant white light, the bulbs appearing as if they were suspended in air. She lifted her hands as if

And while my attention was set on the strange and magical girl, a shadow of a man crept from the darkness behind her. He seemed to drip as he walked, as if his body were behind. Even when he was breathing down her back, she seemed to be too far sunk into a trance to notice his presence. Then all of a sudden her eyes lit up with fear and she turned were no longer blue and white but a stunning mix of crimson, blood orange and gold and quickly consumed his entire dripping body. The ghoul shrieked, a loud and ugly noise, and dissipated almost instantly into sable ash which was whisked away by the wind. Then suddenly it began to pour and the promenade became covered with puddles. After the moment it took for me to take in all that I had just seen, the rain stopped, leaving the ground gray mist seemed to appear and hang over the girl. And then the air was once again quiet and still as the strange girl sunk down into a heap, her dress tangled around her long outstretched legs.


ali gharsa

When I Was Young Noah Wistman One day when I was young, Hair messy and unkempt, A fog descended on New York, And I wondered where, through messy hair, All the tall buildings went.


Sixth Grade Autobiography Jaron Evelyn I was eleven when I entered this prison. Metal detectors and security guards everywhere. Inmates old and young stood high and mighty as I walked through the halls. This was the place where I was to receive an education. A place where laughter was prohibited. A place where violence was promoted. A place where fear is promised. In this place everyone was on their own and everyone had to watch their own back. That was unless you found a gang to associate with behind these prison walls of course! That was unless you knew the hustle and could handle your business without getting caught of course! You see here, street smarts override book smarts… and here intellectuals are the true prisoners while delinquents are the true victors. the stereotype of a disadvantaged inner city black youth that doesn’t care about the intellectuality behind the word and meaning of success but cares more about the thuggish and tough persona that one can achieve by disregarding their education. But me… I was different. I knew the importance of my education and I knew the struggle I’d go through without it. But what was I supposed to do when I was handcuffed and restricted from allowing my mind to roam free and absorb the knowledge and wisdom that was out in the world? But what was I supposed to do when the system told me that if I tried to break free my sentence would simply become longer? But what was I supposed to do when everyone around me was trapped and fed nothing but garbage that barely allowed us to survive? But then I realized… there’s no point in constantly questioning my circumstance expecting that my oppressor would give a valuable answer. I realized that the only person who could answer my questions was me. I realized that the key to my success was in my motivation and vigor to get out of my situation.


So I did my time and I utilized everything given to me. I used my isolation to facilitate my independence. I used my suppression to strengthen my elevation. I used my forced quietness to vocalize my alliteration And I used my required illiteracy to push me to achieve the highest distinction in intelligence. But I was eleven when I entered this prison. Metal detectors and security guards everywhere. Inmates old and young stood high and mighty as I walked through the halls. This was the place where I was to receive an education.

EMilio PiCayo


Untitled Malaika Tapper The water is deep and cold. Not ugly cold, but the kind of cold that makes your heart feel brimming with fullness and the air charged. Margaux’s wet hair clings to her bare shoulders, beads of summer water running down her face as she throws her head back and laughs. Her long legs fold under her as she pulls herself up the black rocks, out of the water, and closer to the birch trees that grow at the top of the cliff. You climb after her, the sun’s happy rays caressing your frigid and damp skin. The swing is hot and dusty, its long, knotted rope whining in the July gusts. The light dances across the lake in the silence, and suddenly you feel brave. You feel like Margaux. On impulse and high on adrenaline, you shout into the wind, “I dare you.” You are talking about the swing. She knows that you are talking about the swing. You both know the stories. But delirious with your freedom in the moment, you look at Margaux with a challenge in your Margaux’s fearless eyes, fear or something more sinister, you cannot say. The moment passes and she is smiling cryptically, her blood colored toes slowly, seductively brushing the edge, the glowing lake water churning below her. Margaux’s hands carefully feel the rope. They examine doing this? The reality of your malignancy is cold and hard, but you don’t want her to die. A slow, enveloping layer of fog is setting in; its eerie tendrils weaving between the trees and over the water. The sky is gray now, and you don’t want to be here. Cold, malevolent chills are racing through your chest, but you smother them. You want an ice cream sundae and a warm blanket and a loud T.V. Not this, not now. is there. Her hair looks different; she has bangs. But everything else is the same. The dangerous playing in the water. Suddenly Margaux’s small head disappears beneath the waves and you remember the feeling of panic as you shouted and yelled and looked, but nobody answered. water, eyes wild, breath ragged. Margaux slowly pushes a stone into the water with her foot. The sound of its ripples echo too loudly as it hits the lake. You don’t know how much time has passed. No one has spoken. You open your mouth to say something, but only gape before closing it once more. Why are you not stopping this? You should go home, end this now, end it before it goes too far. The air is still quiet. You hear a whisper but it is lost in the tension as you stare at the sanded black boulder by your feet. Another small sound, a quiet, far away scream. This time you look up. Your heart drops and you throw up immediately; the fear and shock hits you like a truck, and suddenly it’s gone. Just numbness now. Numb as the swing rocks gently back and forth in the breeze, numb as you see the empty place where she had stood, numb as her blood dilutes into the black lake water. Numb as the sirens pull her away, her face still perfect as porcelain. [14]

BEn Maltz

Malaika taPPEr


The Man David Siklos The Man that always has a smile The Man that is a winner The Man that has the motivation The Man that never gives up The Man that came from nothing The Man that met a woman The Man that thought that woman was the most beautiful thing he had ever seen The Man that fell in love with that woman The Man that married that woman The Man that loved that woman The Man that came from nothing and now had something The Man that had a child with that woman The Man that loved that child The Man that had responsibility The Man that made his parents proud The Man that made his child proud The Man that had mounting pressure The Man that was living the dream The Man that had deadlines, stress, and anxiety The Man that had expectations The Man that had a family and a house and a future The Man that was happy The Man that had the weight of the world on his shoulders The Man that taught his child right from wrong The Man that taught his child that family is more important than money The Man that told himself that family is more important than money The Man that never gives up The Woman with the lump The Man that had to make tough decisions The Man that thought his wife was beautiful even without hair The Man that drove his wife to chemo every day The Man that had a family and a house and a future The Man that told his wife everything would be okay The Man that knew everything would not be okay [16]

JaMEs oliVEr


So Much Depends Upon Devon Donahue so much depends upon the ocean waves set beside the crisp september sand Inspired by William Carlos Williams’s “The Red Wheelbarrow”

dylan Corn

PULP Liv Reis

Up, Down, Ending Pilar Olivieri Youth High point, low point Ever so slowly the problem Arises Pure fear at this point And then suddenly In that moment, youth teaches you Something Repeated with bigger Loops than others But no matter the coaster There will always be an end [18]

A despicable word. Pulp should not refer to the bits of orange in juice. It should be the procedure of treating internal bleeding. “I’m just going to go pulp his intestines.” Pulpy, pulp, pulp. Say it. Ten times. Fast. At the tenth time you will be left with a mouthy glob of a word. Pulp.

ChloE kEllison lExi JonEs

loVEday truMBull


“The Witch is Dead!” TaShea Parham She sat alone, out of place in her home Where her screams were silent, But her soul was violent. Her insecurities hidden deep inside, And they did, indeed, eat the poor girl alive. A tear rolled down her face, her mind, beginning to race. She took the blade, tore her skin, paper thin. Ripped at where the depression lay within. Her razor was an artist, masterpieces on her skin. This went on for days, months, years Until she cried her last salty tears. She decided that she’d had enough, The world she lived in, was just too tough. She placed a gun to her head: Click, BOOM! Congratulations society, The Witch is dead!

lula hyErs


They Say Jaron Evelyn They say I’m worthless. They say I’m expected to go to jail at least once in my life. They say I’m not capable of achieving anything higher than a high-school degree. They say I’m not worthy of anything. They say I’m useless. I say they’re wrong. I say they’re still intertwined with the stagnant mindset of the past— I say I’m liberated. I say I can do anything I aspire to do and be anyone I aspire to be. I say I am who I say I am. I say my success is determined by my actions, goals, and decisions. Why is my life expectancy so short? Why is my literacy a shock to them? Why am I not considered normal? Why am I the underdog? Why should the brown undertones determine my future? Why does my pigmentation prey on people’s opinion of me? Why can’t I be judged by my achievements? Why aren’t they able to see my worth? Maybe it’s because they’re blindfolded with a veil of insecurity, Or maybe because they can’t grasp the concepts life. Maybe it’s because they’re aware of my power and threatened by my omnipresent divinity, Or maybe they’re simply heartless rogues who are the true blemishes in our society. Even if they say I’m worthless, Even if they say I’m useless Even if they say that I’ll never amount to anyhing. I say I can do anything I aspire to do and be anyone I aspire to be. I say my success is determined by my actions, goals, and decisions. I say I am who I say I am I say I am me.


Carina hardy

Violet’s Killing Julia Meltzer I stumble across the broken ground, following what used to be a path. Pausing as I reach it, I gasp with recognition: The destroyed stone walls in the midst of broken glass and scattered ceramics had been my home. Convincing myself that this is a dream, I continue with my stroll down the road that leads to my cottage, skipping as I fall into my routine. I know that the genocide has found its way to my country, but certainly they would not waste their valuable time forcing their way into my home. So, I must be having one of my habitual nightmares of the killing. As I approach the remainder of my dream house I begin to hear the sobs that always accompany the macabre dreams. I settle into my routine, skipping through the house glancing at the ruined furniture and torn pictures and making my way to the courtyard. Passing the house, I turn to where I expect to see my mother sobbing and holding a portrait of my father. I visualize the image so well that I almost miss the horrifying difference: my mother isn’t there. The sobbing continues. I cautiously walk towards the sound. Ahead of She kneels by our fountain, feeling the water beneath her feet. Her bawling transitions to a frightening silence. Tears stream down her face. My mother looks into the our courtyard, the way it looked when I was born. “There be no green, Violetta,” she states with a chilling calm in her voice, “nor red, nor orange, nor purple or pink.” “What, Mama?” I reply, confused, “No color?” “There is color, but our beautiful leaves have been made dirty colors of gray and black. There is no joy without color, no point, no life.” I begin to doubt my dream. [22]

Untitled Sarah Costello Every morning I wake up and get ready for a day of just simply being me. This routine repeats itself over and over again. I go to school and sit down at my usual seat, going from each class until the school day comes to an end. Always, at the same time, the weirdest girl in school would walk in, her hair disheveled and wearing the same clothes she did yesterday. I always personally thought she was sweet, but no one else really did. Everyone gave her the same dirty look, almost like she was from a different species. One day I once again slump out of my bed, but this time it is different. I am not quite sure why. Then I glance into the mirror, my complexion is distinctly unique. I am no longer the person I always have been. I am someone else. My face looks familiar. “What’s going on?” I think, one of the many thoughts I had. They weren’t all my thoughts though. As I rush downstairs I see a man in the kitchen. I’m not in my house and I have never seen this man before. I begin to get scared. “Come say goodbye before Daddy goes to work. sweetie,” he says in a soft but rushed tone. He hugs me as his short and stubbly beard sweeps across my face. It’s almost like there are two parts of me, the normal me and this person I have woken up to be. How is this possible? I’m not sure. Half of me genuinely knows this house and this man, the other half is totally lost in this unknown world. Before this man leaves I ask him, “Where’s Mom?” Something in his face twists, a mixture of sadness and anger. “Honey, Mom decided it was time for her to leave us. Leave this world, leave the pain,” he pauses. “She killed herself.” my eye. Stop it, she isn’t even your mom! I keep telling this to myself to keep me from sobbing. No, but it is someone else’s. I pick up my bag and go to school. I walk somehow knowing the way. When I get there everyone is looking at me weird, but I am too distracted to really think about it. I keep going almost like I am used to all of my friends looking at me like an animal or something. Then I see the oddest sight in my whole life. It’s me, on the other side of the classroom. I’m not talking about the me who I saw this morning in the mirror. I’m talking about the me I have always been. I’m giggling, going along with my business. Then my friends and the other me give this person I am inside of the worst look I have ever seen. It hits me like a ton of bricks. I am that girl, the weirdest one in school. But she is not strange. She is normal, just like me. As I walk around in this girl, I experience things so unordinary. I feel her life, I am her. Then, I wake up.


Untitled Alexa Code

ally klEMEr

Our love, it was different than others. We weren’t there because we wanted each other; we didn’t want someone to love. If we wanted someone to love then we would love ourselves, but we didn’t; we loved each other because we knew that if we couldn’t love ourselves, we had to love those people that are most like us, but the most different. It didn’t seem like we were letting ourselves down. Logan was the only person I knew that was exactly like me but totally different. To continue, and to know that we were allowed to continue with this life, we both needed to love someone, and we found someone else with the same need, that’s what made it work. That’s what made everything between us work, because, in a weird way, we knew exactly what the other person was going through, but we also didn’t have a clue how they were feeling.


Untitled Celia Babini Listen, just listen Put yourself in my shoes Tell me you know how I feel Say it’s okay to forget and let go Tell me it’s not my fault Hear me as I tell you this… Things happen Sometimes things fall down I do not know why, But if you listen Just listen Hear me through my ears And maybe… Just maybe You will know why I am here. ruBy gEigEr

Kate Olsen and Rose Merjos The water is glistening in the searing sunlight. Their sails catch the wind, speeding their gentle stroll into a sprint, they stay side by side. A wave crashes and brings them apart but the heavy pull of the current draws them together. These boats have been through swallowing waves and storms, through what has almost torn them apart. The boats always dock next to each other in the calm New England bay. They would never leave each other’s side until only one remained. separate until death, and we never did. on what seemed like the pathway to my friendship. Now this pathway is meaningless without my fellow boat or my best friend. [25]

Ode to Polaroid Sophia Raccuia You were hidden You weren’t in a shiny case like the rest You were in a torn up rugged cardboard box Sad and lonely I felt like you were calling over to me, Belong You weren’t pretty, skinny or quick like all the others You were slow, unique and real Though you captivate attention because of your unpolished and perplexing looks, I accepted you You weren’t typical like the rest You were approachable and friendly The rest were heartless and fake They didn’t have faults like you And they erased their memory too smoothly They should remember like you do It should be remembered regardless of what it was, Like you

wildEr CosaBooM-son


Coffee Clara Rosarius It was a cold winter morning and as I drank my coffee, I could see the fog creeping up the window I looked at the streets Bare, cold, and without signs of movement Trash still stood under the unwanted Christmas trees The muddy sidewalk slushed with rain and leftover snow It was muddy and the white beauty was gone The small rugged carpet under my feet warmed me My coffee is now empty Just a brown stain at the bottom of the mug I want it to be clean and easy But I need to get through the darkness to get to the snow white door

daxia godoy

Camilo Durr That feeling you get after a long dinner After watching TV late at night on a Saturday You try to stay awake, but you are too tired That beautiful feeling as you fall asleep The world slowly fading to nothing


Summer Before Eleventh Grade Autobiography Diandra Adu-Kyei I’m 15, listening to “Born Sinner,” watching my hamster roll around in his hamster ball My sister is reading a book yet again, Her eyes inquisitive and large behind her favorite pair of glasses, whose frames are too big for her small face. My mom is in the living room on our leather couch, holding her iPhone. She’s playing another game of solitaire, which I was never good at. My dad’s footfalls heard throughout the house, sprint up the wooden basement stairs, He always seems to be in a rush, anticipating this Sunday’s soccer match. I’m zoning out to “Power Trip,” Thinking about how to approach the new hand I’m to be dealt. I peek out the window at the changing colors of leaves. My mom lets out a cry of victory.

Ella wExlEr

her 2565th game of solitaire.


Under New York Riley Siltler Little did I know as I went down into the darkness, I would never see that wolf again. That wolf was Largo, leader of the pack. I climbed down a ladder and was shaken off by a I huddled in a corner and cried. I don’t know how long it was, but eventually I felt the welcoming lick of a pack member. I was so relieved. “Where’s Largo?” I asked. There was no answer. I ran up the ladder into the outside world. What I saw changed my life forever: Fire everywhere. All of the buildings were gone and all I could hear were the screams of the injured. I was pulled back down by another wolf, and I started to cry again. One wolf barked, “There’s no time for that. Quickly, come with me,” so I followed. The next thing I knew I was being blindfolded and escorted down a long hallway. I don’t know how long we walked, but eventually we arrived where we were going. The remaining

MEkhi duEwhitE

The ritual began as they made me their leader, for that was Largo’s last command. Days passed and we buried the dead. Nothing happened for a long period of time. Then came the day I met the one person who would change my life forever.


The Takeoff Lenny Weissman “Sir, is everything alright? Can I get you anything?” Connor’s legs were shaking and his forehead was sweating immensely but he struggled asked several questions at once. It was a trait that he got from his father and he hated that too. He decided to play it cool for once and keep it simple. stewardess but even that seemed insincere. Her eyes wandered from his gaze and down to his attire. “That’s quite a fancy getup. Going anywhere nice?” He hesitated before shaking his head and choking out a response. Just a little family in the empty seat next to him. Starting to feel self conscious, he pushed the bag under the seat in front of him and pretended to send a text message until she left. Like most frantic children, the takeoff had always been both Connor’s favorite and least favorite part of a plane ride. His memory could trace all the way back to his infancy, and even then, the feelings that came with the rush and pressure of gravity giving way to the with a bag of Dramamine and a copy of The Lion King sticking out of his overstuffed knapsack, walking up and down the aisle to close all of the overhead compartments and so he couldn’t calm his nerves by watching the DVD unless he was willing to stand up and announce to the entire crew that he saw it on sale in one of the airport shops amidst an abundance of Nicolas the runway. Angeles. It was as if the dark clouds that paraded over his childhood in NYC were sending him an early welcome home. The plane began to pick up speed. Despite his extensive memory, he couldn’t recall one time where he didn’t feel the need to purge or breathe heavily into a paper always tell him that it was because he had his mother’s stomach. Similar accusative arguments were made for why he couldn’t play basketball properly or make many friends. By the time he have to sit through his nausea in silence while commuting from one parent’s house to the other. Though he’d spent most of his life in New York with his father, the occasional trips to see his mother in LA had always been more favorable. He could celebrate Christmas and go swimming at the beach in the same day. He could go on engaging hikes for hours upon hours without having to hear his father’s allegations that his mother’s genes were the sole reason for his allergic reactions. He could even do his homework in peace and quiet without having to [30]

danny Jung

worry about his father scorning him for a wrong answer while reading over his shoulder. He loved every waking minute that he spent in California and so it was no surprise to either of his parents that he’d attend college at USC. So too, when his mother was diagnosed with leukemia towards the end of his senior year, it was no surprise that he chose to stay in the Golden State to take care of her. When she died three years later, it was no surprise that Connor leased a house in Santa Monica. It just made sense. Five minutes into being airborne, the Dramamine Connor took began to kick in and for but they didn’t offer much in the way of entertainment. Getting more and more impatient, he decided to rummage through his bag in search of a distraction. Despite the fact that it was stuffed to the brim, the bag had very little inside. One massive winter jacket, alone, took up roughly 70% of the space. All that remained was a wallet, a pencil, the portable DVD player, a wool hat, an iPod he forgot to charge, The Lion King, and a worn out little notepad. He had

top of the page. They served not as a title but as an interrupted sentence that he couldn’t bring in a manner that would be both honest and touching. Four minutes later, he was watching The Lion King “Can I get you anything to drink, sir?” The voice belonged to that of a man. Upon

but his eyes seemed to reveal a hint of wisdom and sympathy that painfully reminded him of


seemed to have forgotten all about his job the second he saw what was playing on Connor’s lap. “The Lion King plane. Nice choice, sir.” Connor thought to jump to his well rehearsed Nicolas Cage monologue but instead chuckled and gave a casual reply.

taking orders and conversing with Connor at the same time. “An orange juice it is. So who’s your favorite character?” Connor didn’t even have to think about it. “Pumbaa, obviously. Who else is there to pick?” The steward poured a glass of wine for the people sitting in front of Connor as he responded. “Hey man, to each his own. I’ve always been a Mufasa man myself.” Connor couldn’t help but baulk at the man’s preferences. “What?! Simba’s boring old

Connor had to get out of his seat and lean down the aisle to keep his attention. “But-I mean what does he do? He doesn’t beat the bad guy or save the girl. He doesn’t even raise Simba. He just dies. He lives and then he dies!”

Pumbaa. He’s the reason why Simba exists. Hell, he’s the whole damn reason why there’s a Connor stood there dumbfounded for a moment before bursting into laughter and returning to his seat. He wanted to contain it but the gravity of the entire situation was too hilarious to handle. To think that he almost bought a magazine instead. He looked outside the window to see nothing but clouds. New York City was at least

buy some clothes as soon as he landed so that he wouldn’t be walking around the Big Apple in a bleak black suit for an entire week. Feeling determined, he reached in his bag one last time to words “My father” with a simple “was.” Before he could continue he had to take a moment to wipe a tear from his eye. He looked down to The Lion King smiled knowing that the rest of the eulogy would write itself.


Lilah van Rens

We all gathered out in the garden, We were each given a handful of what looked like dirt. My small pink hand gently sprinkled I saw my family do the same. I don’t remember anyone crying, I just remember the creek humming and the sun laying a warm coat on my skin. I will never forget that pure moment of peace, where it didn’t feel like a memorial, but a moment of rebirth.

lula hyErs


Sure You Can Ask Me a Personal Question Brandon Hartley Hi my name is Brandon Hartley You want to know a little bit about me? Okay here we go: I could say I play sports, but, um, what I really mean is I try to play sports I’m not very good I don’t practice, I don’t have a passion for it or anything. Ya, I live in—um—Bedstuy Brooklyn: “Bedstuy, do or die!” Which seems to be this part of Brooklyn’s motto It’s not like that anymore You might think Bedstuy is bad but it’s not It’s where I sleep, eat, and do everything else I don’t know why I’m obsessed with my phone lol I guess I just like to be “updated” if you wanna say Lmao why are you asking these questions anyway? Yes, I have both my of parents and yes, both of them live together There must be some ignorant rumor or stereotype that says black people’s fathers Aren’t usually in their lives, and their mom is the only one who takes care of them Well that’s not the case for me. My dad got a heart transplant, which sped his retirement process up by a few years Guess what day he had the surgery done? Valentine’s Day How funny is that? No, I don’t say “Yo” or anything like that Do you expect me to? No, I don’t wear mascara I don’t know why my eyelashes are long I guess it’s my genes No, not my j.e.a.n.s jeans my g.e.n.e.s genes But I do have nice jeans You say I act like an Oreo? Hahaha you’re actually amusing me I’m sorry I don’t act like the stereotypical black person Should I even be apologizing Tbh your opinions are irrelevant. Inspired by Diane Burns’s “Sure You Can Ask Me a Personal Question” [34]

Cara Eagan

Princess Lola Picayo Once upon a time, in the kingdom of Launders, lived the fair Princess Annabelle. One fateful autumn day, Annabelle was in her room checking her Facebook when she saw something horrifying. “Can you believe this, Rosie?!” Annabelle shouted to her maid. “Princess Christie from the Kingdom of Bathley just unfriended me!” Rosie looked surprised. No one had ever unfriended Annabelle on Facebook. To unfriend a princess is like unfriending a unicorn. NO ONE does it. “Maybe it… er… was an accident,” Rosie tried to convince Annabelle, but she knew it would not work. Annabelle had an iron will. Now, this iron will sometimes was troublesome, but it allowed the Princess always to get her way. When she was only four years old she managed to convince her father to buy the farm from one of the peasants from Launders so that she could have the farmer’s treehouse. She was persistent in her naggings, always reminding her father that as the Princess of Launders, Annabelle deserved to have a fantabulous treehouse more than the peasant farmer boy did. Eventually, she got her treehouse. “No, Rosie, no it was not. She’s such a peasant!” the Princess proclaimed. Peasant was a very cool thing to say. Annabelle always followed the trends and started them too. She always had the newest Tumblr style clothes, the most hipster camera, and paid a professional to take artsy Instagram photos for her. Every month, Annabelle was hooked on the new trend. She made sure to buy crop tops when those were cool, always wore Uggs and Leggings, and made sure she always knew what the coolest things to say were. Annabelle had her father specially hire a man who was always on top of what the coolest things to wear and to say were. This particular month, he told her that it happened to be very fashion forward to wear feathers in your hair and rabbits on your feet. With this fall trend came new words to say - Peasant: insult of the month, Moonsalt: something that’s cool, and Rabidubie: totally amazing. [35]

What If? Emily Uss They vary from big to small, But none of them can be answered in one sentence Because that would be too easy. What am I going to be when I grow up? Or what will be my major for college? Why does she favor them over me? Is it me? Or them? Or even her? And it’s because I have been going to progressive schools for my entire life, That I ask myself “Why?” I think about things like this too much, But I have to The answers to these questions are going to determine who I’m going to be And it’s not fair Why can’t I go back And live life differently? It would make me so happy To know that I decided something with every possible outcome in mind But then again, I always tell myself to live life in the moment, But sometimes I wonder, What if? What if my overthinking prevents myself from being something great? What if she favored me and not them? What if I choose the wrong college? But I lock them up, turn the key, and continue on.



Chiara hardy ali gharsa

A Day in the Life Of Charles Madison, Colonial Surgeon Austin Getz My name is Charles Madison and I am 27 years old. I live in a beautiful upper class house with my wife, Rebecca Madison, who is 25 years old. I live in the richest part of Jamestown because of my surgeon duties. I was recently drafted into war because they need the best surgeon. It has been treacherous. Each day, I must get up at the crack of dawn, eat my gruel, and adjourn to my station. I stay there in case anyone comes over and I have my surgery kit “GET THE SURGEON! My brother was shot!” I grab my kit and run through the crowd. Everyone steps aside because I am wearing all black which indicates that I am a my ear. I look up at the the blazing sun and stumble over the sandy grass. My heart is racing as I look at the blood running out of my patient’s shoulder. Then I vomit next to him. “There is no time to take him back to my tent!” I yell. I get down on the grass ground and take a probe out of my surgical kit. I stick my thumb inside the wound to see if I can get it out, but all I feel is the gooey muscle and wet tissue. His screams are agonizing but I have to do this. I stick the probe inside his wound and move it around until I feel the musket ball. “Hold this right here!” I shout to no one in particular. His brother holds it as I get my retractors and split the lips of the wound. Even more blood pools out and dampens the cauterizer is burning I squeeze his wound together and I run the long metal stick down the wound, fusing the skin back together. A cannon blasts in the air and a couple men and I pick him up and run to my tent. I set him down on the table. I walk out of my coffee stained tent and go back to the blood red grass and blackish sand to acquire my surgical kit once again. My head is thumping again to ensure that his arm stays together. I run the cauterizer slowly over his pale skin and bind the skin together as he screams in agony. I hand him a sling. “Put it on and don’t move your arm until dawn,” I say with a strict tone. “Yes sir!” he says in a responsive voice. I sit down at my desk and hear a slight creek and moan out of the chair. I take out a piece of paper, ink, and a quill. Dear my beloved, Hello Rebecca, how are you? It has been ages since I have seen your elegantly toned face. I quiver when I think of you. Hopefully this war will be over soon and we shall be united again. I hope you are wearing your red dress with the golden designs. I may be at war and not home, but you may not talk to Reginald, for I fear he may be trying to ruin our [38]

relationship. I am sorry you are lonely, but your devilish sins and urges may not be acted upon. Love, Charles I walk over to the messenger, for it is Monday and he only comes around once a week. I hand him the letter. “Is there anything for me?” I ask. “Sorry sir. You know she only writes every other week.” “Very well then. Good bye!” I walk back to my tent and out of the corner of my eye I see a bullet skin a man’s right leg. I run over. I duck down to where he is and as the sand brushes over my knees I put his arm over my shoulder and help him over to my tent as the sweltering heat boils my back alive. I lay him down and I realize that a small amount of his bone was hit but it wasn’t broken. I extend his leg and massage the right thigh. I put a bandage on it to stop the bleeding and then I give him a three piece splint with leather bindings. “Hello sir, your dinner is here.” “Gruel again?” I ask with fear. “Yes sir.” go to bed.

ClairE grEEnBurgEr


The Deadly Remedy Luke Schimmel December 22, 2023 It was only two days after we released our invention to the public, and it had already been sent to every hospital across the world. It was a device that could be programed to kill Luminaratica technology. Our device had the potential to cure any type of cancer quickly and immediately without any pain or recovery time. We never thought about the other things it might be used for. Four medical journals and almost every newspaper across the globe had written a feature article about our invention. Everyone who used the device had positive results, everything was going well for us. February 3, 2025 I hadn’t been to work in two years, seeing as I was now a multimillionaire, and boredom was starting to set in. I turned on our new television we had just bought for our bedroom, and went to channel 49720: Global News. I went to get my morning coffee and “What’s happened?” I asked. “Oh my God. Cam, look,” she muttered, eyes glued to the screen. I came around to my side of the bed and handed one of the cups of coffee to Emma. with grief. There, written on the screen was, “Cancer Curing Technology Used to Kill!” I grabbed my coat, ran out the door in my pajamas, and started my trip back to my lab. Judging by the day I had, I wish I had taken a sip of my coffee that morning. February 11, 2026 almost everyone across the globe. Because the technology was so easy to mass produce, a single weapon cost little over one hundred dollars. The UN was calling it “The Citizens’ Cold War” but that was about to change. Major terrorist organizations were evolving the technology into even more deadly bombs that could be used to disintegrate every living organism on a continent, but leave no radiation or damage behind. My team and I were working on a type of drug that would prevent the effects of these weapons. We were


Ode to the Subway Chiara Hardy “Woooosh,” the stagnant wind comes alive with movement, every follicle of dust is now being circulated through the air. I stand on the serrated yellow ledge, and danger pulses through my veins, I’m close; too close. and calculate the density of people on today’s train. Not as bad as I thought. It screeches to a halt, and the daily rush of humans comes pouring off. Everyone’s in a hurry, having to be in a certain place at a certain time, and I just watch. I take time to observe. Social class and hierarchy have no reign down here; people are just people. As the last few stragglers make their untimely exit, we begin to board. There’s pushing and shoving and the tacit hostility of who will be getting on and who will be left behind. I grasp for the slightly sweaty pole and try to position myself with as much stability as possible. The doors close, and we plummet through the dark. People are generally quiet, pre-occupied with their iPhones and newspapers, reading about the latest robberies and political scandals. Who had the courage to walk through the tracks and paint on the walls. The train doesn’t feel welcoming, yet it safely transports me to my destination every day like an unfaltering chariot, awaiting me most mornings. The subway is the Alpha and the Omega, and I am perpetually grateful.


Malaika taPPEr

Malaika taPPEr


Untitled Cameron Carter He stopped making eye contact with her He stared up at the stars, looking for the courage to tell her Or a reason not to They were content with the silence Time was impossible to tell unless you were to count the waves that crept up to the shore Silence drifting slowly into the salty air He began playing with the sand, picking it up with one hand and letting it In his other hand was a bottle of whiskey He had been pretending to drink it the entire night, she could tell But now he was gulping it down every few waves She thought she knew what was coming It came out slowly and cracked She lost count of the waves It all made sense now It all made sense in such a terrible, awful way


Chocolate with Papa Ava Gural Anytime of year and any place at all my Grandpa would always be eating chocolate. Chocolate was his favorite thing to eat and it just so happens that it’s mine too. My grandpa and I used to share chocolate bars all the time. I remember visiting my Grandpa in Utah when I was nine. It was Christmas time and snow covered the ground. Inside the house it was warm and cozy with the constant sound of my grandma humming. I went into his room and sure enough he pulled out his drawer and let me pick a chocolate. One of my favorite memories with my Grandpa was in that warm house. I had just arrived from New York and I was so excited to see him. I walked into his room and said “Hi, Papa!” I helped him up out of his old green chair, and he embraced me into one of his famous warm bear hugs. He sat back down and switched the T.V. on. I walked to his bed and sat down on the old bedspread and collapsed into all the pillows. I asked him what we were watching. “Archie Bunker,” he said in his swift Irish accent. I looked over at him and smiled. He leaned over and pulled out the drawer from his oak side table. I looked in the drawer. My eyes lit up and a smile formed on my face. I’ve always known what was in that drawer, but every time I see it, I’m still amazed. “Pick one,” he said. I reached down into the drawer and pulled out my favorite kind of chocolate, Godiva. I handed him the bar and he started to open it. I have always loved the sound of his hands unwrapping the foil and breaking the bar in half. “Here,” he said as he held half the bar out in his warm shaking hands. I thanked him and broke off a small piece. I turned to the T.V. as I ate the delicious chocolate. I remember my grandpa. He was a very sweet man with a huge heart. His green eyes were soft and interesting. They were blue and brown but mostly green. Almost exactly like mine. He was from Ireland so he always had the coolest accent. He would say funny words like “wee” and “mate.” He always used to ask me to get on google maps and show him his home town of Belfast. He loved chocolates and whenever I went to see him in Utah, I always remembered to pick him up a box. He was very interested in history and war much like my brother, so I would often walk into his room and see him in his chair and my brother on his bed both watching The History Channel. He loved The History Channel but he loved other programs as well. He was a very big fan of old soap operas. My grandpa was my favorite person to be around. He always had the warmest hugs and the best laugh. He passed away last January. I miss him very much. He really welcoming man. I cherish that memory with him because that’s something I’ll never be able to do again with him. I love chocolate and I love my grandpa and together they make the perfect match. I miss him very much and if I could, I would eat chocolates with him every single day.


Mediocre Liv Reis

it looks almost French Mediocre. A word no one wants to see on any kind of report card. First medius, (Latin) then mediocris. Actually it is French! M茅diocre.

luCa niCholas

Just okay, not great, uninspiring, colorlessly so-so. Mediocre, medium and perfectly suited to its name. Second-rate, dull, inferior, me路di路o路cre Adjective.

The Dragon Noah Wistman Before me lies the snow The dragon brings destruction The white I do not know The length between us closes The walls are moving in To tell of this dragon He raged across the land Those who stood against his wrath Turned to dust, turned to sand And here I stand before him With nowhere else to go I take a leap of guarded faith And crash into the snow An inch before the surface

saM kiElian

All that made me who I am And then forget it all.


Click Click Click Ella Wexler Every second passes by the tap of her heels click click click by the smack of her lips the bend of her knees each moment marked by the smirk on his face the crown on his head his hair coming out each day is marked by the lick of her lips the sigh in her breath the sag in her step each year is passed with the hours slept the hours kept and more each lifetime marked by the pinnacle of knowledge the fading glory and the sweet release each lifetime begun by a nervous pacing constant chasing and stress each school day lost in a constant craving a new obsession a new surrender every second passed by the tap of her heels click click click

stElla MEtzgEr

ruBy gEigEr


JEssE BErMudEz-dEanE

Juno hoBBs

Carina hardy

Clara rosarius


Untitled Keith Daly CHAPTER 1 He walked the dirty subway stairs and saw the sunset of that cold day. It was a beautiful day, but it had been a long one for him. A long day of school, teachers, and a lot of talking. He wanted to sleep and stay asleep for days upon days, but he couldn’t. Going to sleep small apartment to see his mother and brother waiting for him on the couch. His mother held a mixed look of sadness and anger. “Did you take your medication this morning?” He took a while to respond, because he knew what was coming next. This exchange had unfortunately happened between the both of them too many times. “No, I didn’t.” She knew that was gonna be the answer because I could tell that she had checked. were still there. “I thought I took it this morning,” he responded desperately, but she wasn’t hearing any of it. He poured himself a glass of water and looked at the pills as if he were going to take them. Each time he swallowed them he was reminded of the trauma he and his family would have to live with. He was 13 years old and was pretty much just like any other boy his age. He looked like a normal teen, acted like a normal teen, and to all of his friends he was a normal teen. his survival they were each tablets of power that represented different aspects of the human he hated them with a great passion and just wanted to be normal child. He never wanted to have to take them. When his mom walked away from him furiously, he walked to his pills and took them to the garbage to throw them out. He thought about it. He looked at his hand as he heard of the consequences but he didn’t care. He did his dishes and had other daily chores until he eventually reached his bedtime. He went to sleep having no idea what he had done. CHAPTER 2 The next morning he awoke and knew immediately that something was wrong. The time was 6:22 AM, and he had to go to school, but outside his window it looked like midnight. His body ached all over. He took a step out of his bed and felt a sharp pain shoot through his body and straight to his stomach. The pain was like nothing he had ever felt [48]

before. He took another step andfootsteps of his parents. When door swung open, he saw the worried looks on both of their faces. “Richard, what’s wrong?” his parents asked in unison. He could barely get the words out of his mouth. “My stomach…it hurts.” The words were said in a tone that was no more than a mere whisper, but his parents still heard him. He knew what the next question was, because it had been asked so many times before when his stomach was hurting. “Where does it hurt?” his father asked. before. He remembered the forbidden action that he’d so shamefully done. He remembered that he forgot to take his medicine. As his parents talked he heard them say something about having to go to the hospital...he hated the hospital. To him, the hospital -- similar to get up, and eventually he stood on his two feet and walked to the bathroom. The pain had decreased but it was still there. As he walked, tears rolled down his face. Those tears weren’t from the stomach pain, but they were from the realization of what he had done. He understood that his actions were stupid and shouldn’t have done them. He took another step and fell to his knees. “Mom, Dad!” he shouted. “Yes?” “I’m sorry.” “What for?” “I didn’t take my medicine. I didn’t know what it would do. I just wanted to be like everybody else. Every single day I have to live with these pills scarring me for life.” “Richard,” his mother said. “You have nothing to be ashamed of. Those pills are battle scars. You should be proud that you are one of very few that have survived such a surgery. These pills represent life and happiness. You should be happy to be alive. These pills represent the life you have to live and all the possibilities you have ahead of you. You just the way you are.” He heard what his mother said and gave both parents a big hug. Suddenly his stomach felt better. He felt no pain when he moved. From that point on he learned to love himself.


Untitled Laila Samad

asha hinson

Musical B Zoe Carter

alone, she sits she sits with her back away from the world alone so lost in thought, time passes by slowly a sad violin cries in the background its voice tender, its story sad the sound of raindrops falling against the window beautiful a tear-jerking heart only makes it better she thought about being a raindrop she doesn’t care if she falls she just doesn’t want to be alone

A girl full of passion for music One instrument to another Hands quick as lightning Voice soft as silk High as an opera singer And in her free time likes to experiment with harmonizing “The painted ponies go up and down...” she sings to us As she assembles her instrument, she reviews her music Her embouchure always in ready position Worried to hit a wrong high note, but no, always plays it perfectly The cleaning on the other hand is like giving a dog a bath Times passes and sooner or later she is onto the next instrument The joy of going to the 3rd Street Music School Sitting at the zebra-colored instrument Practice, patience and passion are all she needs Staring at a sheet of black dots as it rests on spaces and lines Her foot pressing down the pedal as if she was driving a car Notes articulated and expressed based on the mood of the piece A girl who truly loves music [50]

I Just Like the Smell of Cigars Lulu Grant I always liked the smell of cigars. No, I’m not a future smoker. Smoking is stupid, an immediate killer, but I always liked the smell. Since I’ve never had a grandpa, I was allowed to imagine him any way I wanted. I guess imagined him as an old happy man, chubby, who tended to a garden, loved me and my brother, and last but not least, smoked cigars. Maybe fake cigars? I don’t know. Those “all natural” cigars that my aunt, the doctor, smokes and says can’t hurt her unless she inhales. She’s really healthy... he would be too. He would have dreadlocked hair and a full beard that turned a whitish gray because of old age. But I don’t have a grandpa, I just like the smell of cigars.

Eighth Grade Autobiography Jarrett Moore Eighth grade was the year, and I didn’t have a fear. As soon as the clock hit 3 the hallways were a frenzy. and found them laughing again and again. This was the daily trend, and there was no sight of a pen. There would be a large circle of children in the middle of the basketball court. We had no true interest in the sport. We sat continuously; cold had no affect on us As long as I was around people I could trust. I got hungry and took a trip to the corner store deli changed and we were never ashamed. We had things on a need to know basis, so parents didn’t have a reason to chase us. Eighth grade was the year, and not I but we didn’t have a fear. [51]

The Boy Who Lived in the Abandoned House Mei Carter On the street where Katherine lived, there was an old abandoned house that had been there for a long time, from the time her parents moved in seven years ago. The thing about Katherine was that since she was seven, she always had an interest in that abandoned building. For the past four months she started to notice a boy who looked about her age. She saw him inside the abandoned building as she looked through the window every time she got off the school bus. Every day when the bus picked her up and dropped her off at school she would stand at the corner right in front of the abandoned building, wondering

couldn’t help but worry about the boy who lived there. straight to her bed to lie down. While she was lying down, she couldn’t help but think about what she had seen that day. Katherine had always been someone who was really the answer… Days after the incident, he told her, “It really all started one day when I came back from school. I heard my parents yelling at each other, and from that day on I kept on

Carina hardy


lula hyErs

MEkhi duEwhitE


The Little Man and His Impish Monkey Eve van Rens It’s a little chilly from the fresh morning air, so I’m grateful for the cozy warmth of my old Volkswagen Beetle. I can see the sun just starting to creep over the horizon, like a softly colored orange centipede. I might start a book with this sort of setting; it’s beautiful.

stElla MEtzgEr

bobble head on my dashboard, given to me by my friend from high school a year ago to celebrate my 72nd birthday. Next to it stands a George Bush bobblehead, a more humorous gift. Perhaps I could make the story take place in Hawaii instead of Cape Cod, starring a wealthy politician and a hula dancer. Although, if it was in Cape Cod, I would be able to give better details, as I did grow up there and live there now. I’ve lived here ever since I was sent away from Mississippi to live with a family in Massachusetts. No one told me why I was sent away, maybe they were friends with my family here. I don’t really think about it much anymore. I used to, all the time actually, but that was when I was younger. As I continue to drive along in my little coral “buggy,” I see someone on the side of the road, walking, too slow to have a purpose, but not fast enough to have no destination. I slowly pull up the car a few feet ahead of him; maybe he wants a ride. I roll the window down and ask, “Need a lift?” I look up and see a petite man perhaps in his 50s. He has dark hair, sharp blue eyes, and seems to have gone about a week without shaving. On his back there is a monkey; I make a mental note to give the hula dancer a pet monkey. The man nods gently and gets in the car, his little monkey clapping and laughing hysterically. It was quite an odd match. When I start up the car again, the man turns on the radio and goes to station 209.8. “How odd,” I thought, that’s not even a number on my radio! Then suddenly I hear a soft crackling coming from the speaker, and it sounds almost like an old tape recording.


Untitled Ethan Ehrenberg Love that chicken, Like a frog likes to hop I said I love that chicken Like a frog loves to hop I love calling my chicken in the morning I love calling him “Hey there, Chicken.” ruBy gEigEr

He wattles like his grandpa Clucks like Uncle Norman I said he wattles like Grandpa And clucks like Uncle Norman Clucks when he’s happy When he’s sad, he clucks again. His mama liked to nest him beneath her wing Liked to feed him the seeds I said his mama liked to nest him beneath her wing Liked to feed him them seeds. Mr. Chicken got long roads to walk down Before the setting sun I said Mr. Chicken got long roads to walk down Before the setting sun Mr. Chicken will be a small stride walker And a good little chicken he will be before he’s done. Inspired by “Love That Dog” by Walter Meyers

Untitled Olivia Sharpe We live in a stone a stone that roams all over all over my mind spitting it out out of my stone a stone with no home [55]

Untitled Chloe Kellison Looks down At the assignment in front of him With complete disgust As if he’s bitten into something sour He moves his disapproving eyes from the piece of paper To the window And once his brown eyes catch the light of the outdoors He’s stuck in a trance Of the cars whizzing by He draws his attention back to the piece of paper That sits on his desk While playing with his hands His hand reluctantly picks up the pencil And begins to write After a minute of working He stops But eyes stay glued to the paper While a small smile crawls across his face He tilts his head up towards the class of busy students And says something witty Everyone takes a break from the daunting work And laughs for a moment Once the class’s attention is redirected Back to the assignment He looks back down With the corners of his mouth Still slightly curved You can tell that he is Tired Monday morning classroom [56]

Home Cook Harry Kassen

sarah russEll

Zipping about Pantry Stove Counter Stove Counter Pantry Counter Stopping Lecturing Checking math answers Chopping Cooking Repeating

Be Careful What You Wish For Rachel Morrow Johnny B. Jones was an average eighth grade boy. He had messy brown hair, green eyes, and loved baseball. He had a passion for drawing cartoons, so he drew whenever he had free time. His room had faded red paint on the walls, with posters of various baseball players. back of the room was an old cherrywood desk that was piled with drawings and pencils. There was a dim ceiling light that shone onto Johnny’s fuzzy maroon rug. To the left of his desk was a window with a view of his street, Dunnell St. One thing was different about Johnny though. When he drew cartoons, they came alive. Not in his imagination; they actually came alive. Every cartoon he drew with a face and legs became a walking, talking, knew about it. He had always been this way.


Sure You Can Ask Me a Personal Question Daria Richman-Price Hi. How are you? Yes, I’m Asian. No, not Korean. Not Japanese. Not Taiwanese. Chinese actually. Yes, I’m also American. Chinese-American to be exact. What do you mean? No, I don’t speak Chinese, but I’m learning. I was born in China. I was adopted when I was 10 months old. No, my mom isn’t Chinese. I know she doesn’t look like me at all. What’s that supposed to mean? Of course she’s my real mom. I don’t know my biological mom. Yes, my mom is a single parent. My parents are divorced. I visit my dad every week. I’m also an only child. No, I’m not a spoiled brat. Where do I live? No, I don’t live in Chinatown. I live in the East Village. I guess I don’t talk that much... I am pretty shy. But only in big groups. I talk a lot with my friends. Yes, this is what my hair is like naturally. Thank you, I like it too. No, I don’t straighten it. It’s just me. Inspired by Diane Burns’s “Sure You Can Ask Me a Personal Question” [58]

Cara Eagan


JEssE BErMudEz-dEanE

BEn Maltz

Pilar oliViEri

Untitled Virginia Mason I sit at my desk, gazing at the monitor in front of me. And although you are 1,000 miles away I know you will be up soon. You will kiss your sleeping wife gently on the cheek and swing your legs over the edge of the bed, fumbling for the string of the lamp on the dresser a few feet away. Your glasses lie next to the comb on the right. Once the dim lamplight casts shadows over the room, you will place them on your nose. Tip-toeing across the room, you will ease the door open and step down the hall. Your son’s room is on the left, divided from the rest of the small house by a curtain. You will pull it aside and move to his bed. His sheet will have fallen off during the night. You will pick it up off the tuck them under him until he resembles a mummy. I used to tuck my son in the same way. You will place your hand on his cheek, staying for a moment more. But I can imagine you know you must leave. There is work to be done. Walking back out into the hall, you will grab the bike beside the front door, hoisting it up over your arm. With the other, you will open the door and step out into the premorning light. The next-door neighbor won’t have woken up yet for his job in the market. The children won’t have left yet for school. The street will be quiet. You will walk down to the curb, placing the bike’s wheels against the dust-covered street. You will ride off, and I will follow, always keeping you in my range of view. of town. Mountains rise in the distance, covered in mist that will slowly fade as the sun breaks over the horizon. One of the men will pull a large black object with a pin from a bag slung across his shoulder. With metal shovels you will dig a hole in the sand. With the same hands you placed on your son’s cheek and the same hands you clung to him with when he cried, you will place the object in the hole, sealing a soldier’s fate in the sand. You will see the military cars coming in the distance before I do and you will run for cover. Crouching in a ditch, a few hundred yards back, you will face that road. I will watch with you, unable to look away as they draw nearer. My lips will seal and my eyes will widen with horror as I urge them to stop, to turn back, because they do not know what is waiting for them ahead. My body will still and my mind will go numb. I will have seen this too many times to look away and once again, my inability to warn them will strike me. My heart will slow with the dragging seconds as you crouch in your ditch waiting for the bang as a cloud of debris balloons out from the place where you buried that bomb. I

air still covering you. Making you almost unrecognizable from the landscape. There will be [60]

a small mud hut crouching in the desert terrain, its shape hard to make out due to the heat waves that form as the sun rises in the sky. And as you run toward that hut, you will pull a gun from the folds of your clothes. I know that it is better to run slowly and protect your back than take the risk of leaving yourself exposed. You will reach the hut and there you emptied cargo.You will trade grim looks along with a few remarks before you are on your way. And that’s when I will get my order. Cool air conditioning will blast against my back, and the small, sterile room will close around me, as a gruff voice speaks through the headset at my ear. Not now, the others will be too close. Wait until he’s alone, a clear shot with no other casualties. I will follow you as you jump back on your bike, which you in view. The street will still be silent. I will recognize my chance. You will not see my small hovercraft drifting above you. A sharp pang of regret will grip my chest, preventing me from pushing the button. The button which sits in front of me, even now, egging me moment before I press down. I will feel the thirty seconds span ahead of me, an eternity, each microsecond taking forever to pass. And for each second that does I will see an image of you with that laughing little boy whom you tucked in just that morning and the wife that very same toy one snowy Christmas at his grandmother’s many years ago. I will see the lights of the tree behind him, remember the rich scents of mahogany, the soft shapes grasp it, just as your son did. Both holding its small orange clad frame in their tiny, baby hands, staring at it in wonder. I will remember that day when you came home to your wife singing at the stove. Although I have never heard it, I will imagine her clear melodic tone, the very same tone that my wife used to sing in. When I would come home from work, before I entered the house, I would stop and listen to that sound, just like you did. Both of us listening to that sound that seemed to ensure that everything would be alright. I will came home crying because his teacher had given him a crossword puzzle due tomorrow. that is when I will see him, his little hands clasped around the straps of the backpack on his shoulders. You will crouch down, holding your arms out as he runs toward you. But it will be too late.


On Turning Five Sophia Stewart-Chapman Nope never ever never ever ever not even for the sweetest candy How can you say it without a look of disgust? Just imagine all the horrors that come all the work and stress of kindergarten the expectancy to be a big girl I’m going my own way I’m staying four. When I was one were you glum? When I came to two, you accepted all my hullabaloo then on to three, you let me be who I wanted be and I was free. I still want to be able to groan and moan laugh and scream complain and sigh. Can I still cry?

It seemed like just yesterday I didn’t have to think-that my life would change that it won’t stay the same. But now I see, my whole life in front of me. I’ll laugh, scream, complain, sigh, and cry. Inspired by Billy Collins’s “On Turning Ten”


On Turning Thirteen Alegba Celis-Etienne The thought of it makes me feel Like a new person, and I say it’s real A new life with much to come The unexpected is what’s to come And maybe get away with it at six, seven, and eight But by nine, ten, and eleven when freedom’s all gone Responsibility will start to pile on At twelve you are considered someone Who can make all the right choices A being who knows right and wrong And get study group if you do it all wrong It just sounds cool to have a teen in your age It’s when parents start to worry about drama And what will happen when you’re in college Inspired by Billy Collins’s “On Turning Ten”

Awesome Camilo Durr Juno hoBBs

I hate the word awesome I really do Used by male teenagers with pony tails and surfers Usually followed by another despicable word like “dude” or “yolo” Which isn’t even a word at all, just an annoying overused phrase Awesome, pronounced “awe” as in “aw shucks, Pop!” And sum as in “the sum of 45 and 12 is 57” And so I conclude my poem in saying please stop using that terrible word and amazing, mind boggling, mind blowing, imposing, stirring, formidable, and impressive. [63]

Untitled Mei-An Lee After all, she is my best friend. I heard my phone ringing, “Little Numbers.” I knew it was my best friend, the only one with a personalized ringtone on my phone. I thought she was laughing, but she was crying. “I-I got in.” “What?” “SYA, I got in.” SYA was short for School Year Abroad. We both applied for our junior year, she to France, I to China. “Oh my god, congratulations,” I replied after a moment of silence. “Do you want me to check to see if you got-” “No.” No, I didn’t want her to check to see if I got in. I wanted to check for myself. whether I was accepted or not. Especially because I knew she already got in. I went on my phone, logged in to my SYA account, and waited for the page to load. “Congratulations! It is with great pleasure that I write to inform you of your acceptance to School Year Abroad China.” [64]

I was shaking and almost dropped my phone. I really couldn’t believe it. I quickly went on my phone, “Oh my god, I got in too!” “Oh my god, congratulations! I can’t believe we both got in!” she said with excitement. I sat and thought, thought for a long time. Thought about what I was going to do, and thought about what I wanted to do. Two completely different thoughts. “It would really suck if one of us got to go and the other stayed here.” “Yeah, that would suck,” and it does. silence on both lines. I told her congrats and then told her I couldn’t go. She felt bad, but not as bad as I did. I don’t wish that she was here. She’s having a great time and I am truly happy for her. She really deserves this and I hope she makes her time there worth the while because after all, she’s still my best friend. I just wish I could have gone too.


Looking For Dreams Gaia Prete Dear Diary, It has been more than a month and I still don’t know what to do. While I walk through the corridors in my school I hear people talking about what they are to accomplish, what college they sent an application to or what colleges they are going to. This makes me sad. I don’t know what I want to do with my life and everyone seems to know since they were little. I never even thought about what was going to happen in my future, and now, I’m right here. I have too many choices, and that confuses me. It makes me angry, sad, and many other emotions that I never experienced before. Everybody says that this is the hardest choice of your life, and I can totally tell. Once again, thanks for listening, Diary, Love. Since I was little I had my future planned. When I was three I decided I wanted because I loved animals. I had many ideas for my “future,” but at a certain point everything stopped. Nothing. Blank. My mind didn’t have any ideas left. After dinner I like to write in a diary. I believe that is my best friend. I always tell my diary what happened to me that day and I believe that it will tell me what it thinks one day. I feel like a little girl when I write, but I still can write whatever I want in it and I like it. I also listen to music a lot and dance.

daxia godoy

moment. My problems don’t exist anymore, I just focus on one thing, dancing. Being a senior is hard, mostly because we are all teenagers and it seems that no one wants to listen to what you think. Teenagers “follow the mass.” They all do the same thing and they all have the same interests, or at least that was what I saw from my eyes. The year just started and everyone is looking at colleges, planning their future, learning many ways to make their dreams come true. It seems that everyone has big ideas.


asha hinson

The Nightmare Jonathan Pesantez Driving down the highway, so fast, almost reaching 100 now No one’s around you, you’re free to do as you wish, swerving from lane to lane without care Exit ramp approaching, no matter, no one is getting on You turn around and you see your fate, it’s over Tomorrow’s headlines “Car racing onto freeway rams passing car: 1 death reported” You wake up, cold sweats, screaming, thinking: “It was just a dream, don’t worry” You go back to sleep like nothing happened, wake up tomorrow and the dream fades away like the sun disappearing every night

Very slowly, cautiously, on alert for any IEDs or roadside bombs No one’s around, yet you know someone is watching, Waiting for the right opportunity to attack. A small town approaching, fear running through your veins, you don’t know what to expect A sniper in the water tower on the outskirts of the town? A bomb hidden in the ground as soon as you exit? Or the worst thing, nothing happens at all Giving you hope for next time Hoping the nightmares looming don’t decide to come true The navigator says this is the last town, a straight road back to camp You relax a little, close your eyes and regretfully drift to sleep you work [67]

Gone, But Never Forgotten Jerel Blades Gone But never forgotten 12 years ago A beautiful day in early fall During the seemingly smooth Transition between summer and autumn A beautiful New York skyline That appeared to glow In angelic light from above Two towers—Twin towers Standing high Light blue sky Full sun exposure No cloud in sight Terror 2 planes The Devil’s work Confusion Chaos Fear 2 towers 1 tower No towers Victims Innocent victims of terror Who call 9-1-1 for help Who call home to tell loved ones That they won’t be returning home For dinner Who said their last goodbyes No towers—an empty skyline A landmark burned to rubble Silence Pin-drop silence Silence in the loudest city 12 years ago Gone But never forgotten And built anew [68]

Why I Am Pilar Olivieri 1.

Born into a city of dreams


First of the family; so young, so little, so new


Two years later I become sister


The city is devastated


Stacking blocks till fallen and reading till my dreams


Dress up as what we know to be


If only now that was still true 8.

Graduated from stuffed toys to Barbies, from PBS Kids to Disney Channel


No longer the baby of the family. No longer naive to my surroundings


Holidays, new cousin stories, not my stories. Family no longer intrigued by me, instead eager faces look elsewhere


Taking in the imperfections of the world


My future questioned with every step I take


More responsibilities. Walk, store, taxi by myself


Sewing machines become my palette for my newly discovered canvas


Memories become more adventurous

16. 17.

The school intimidated me for the shortest summer of my life


Then suddenly the fear is taken away

19. 20.


Lament for Aunt Erna Saskia Globig I half-expected her to rise and come sit at the foot of my bed the way my mother told me her grandmother claimed her grandmother did after she died, just when she died. A word, and then she was gone. I’m not sure I would have wanted my name called into the night that way. A candle blown out and a haze over the table are enough reminder. I preferred to masquerade and forget, a hallow’s-eve ghost with a dusting of white powder and a jeweled choker, though I would have liked to stick my hand through her transparent torso. It’s an insult, I know. But the gravestone with its clear-cut lilies was not enough and it was not until I was asked to place a stone that I found she had been Jewish. I didn’t know, like a secret. She must have left so many tossed stones behind her, the faces in sepia photographs out of a history textbook. I imagine the rocks never hit the grass, balancing precariously for ages under a wash of spring jasmine. The scent survives in her handkerchiefs folded in the drawer and not to be removed. They are delicate and pathetic in the day’s sunlight. Rocking back and forth with sobs on the ground, I thought I felt hands reaching, warm on my back under the white blossoms, [70]

You Can’t Run Semiramis Sophroniou Once we are in the car, I tell him where she is. We soon arrive to the ice cream store and run to the back alley. I see her inside a truck knocking on the door with her feet. Her arms are tied up behind her, and her mouth is covered with duct tape. I see her struggling; her she sees me, she begins to scream. I quickly run to her and unlock the door. I untie the rope holding her arms and take the duck tape off her mouth. She then begins to cry hysterically. I put my hand over her mouth and I say, “Now isn’t a good time to be scared! I got

in the car, we see police cars pull up right in front of the car we are in and we hear sirens everywhere. Once all the sirens are silent we hear gunshots. I could also hear Jenna breathing heavily from stress and relief. After a few seconds I hear nothing, but the clang cursing that seems to come from Jude. After a minute or so, we hear silence.

luCa niCholas

Both Jenna and I smile from relief, then we are both taken back to our houses. ... A few months have passed since the dramatic experience, and we are all content, but on the morning of May 9, 2014, our luck changes. I wake up with my alarm clock ringing in my ears and I go downstairs to the kitchen. I hear my mom singing an 80’s song, but once I walk into the room she stops and stares at the counter, where today’s newspaper lies. I walk over to the counter and pick up the newspaper. I see the headline, Local Murderer Has Escaped Prison Once More. My heart immediately sinks to my stomach. I know it, I feel it, I can see Jude running away farther and farther… until he vanishes.


BEn Maltz

An Underwater Issue Sophia Cook Far out in the ocean, where the water is as blue as the prettiest delphinium and as clear as crystal, a crisis was happening. Deep under the ocean, so deep that no one could ever fathom it, Madeline sat on her bed. Her deep blue eyes, much like the ocean she lived in, darted across the screen of her shellphone. Her golden, light streaked hair hung loosely I screamed. What was my father thinking? This was all bull-shark. He had just sent To my dearest Madeline, I miss you very much, and I hope you are doing okay without me there, you know, to rule and everything. Anyways, I am visiting the neighboring kingdom of Larchmont and I have met up with my old high school friend Augustus. Boy, I haven’t seen him in a while. Augustus got married to a beautiful mermaid and they have a very nice, good looking son, if I do say so myself. Together, Augustus and I have made the decision to marry you two. His son, Kyle is twenty years old and since you are seventeen he is perfect for you. Love you, Dad “WHAT?” I screamed again. My maid Tiffany rushed into the room with a perplexed look on her face. Reluctantly, she asked me what was wrong. I told her the whole story knows what to do. She helped me calm down a bit and suggested that I go to the spa and get my nails painted and get my tail rubbed with sea kelp. Like I said, she always knows what to do. Going along with her idea, I went to the spa and tried my best to relax. I could [72]

Untitled Sara Caplan When I was about nine or ten years old I went through a phase where I dressed and acted like a “tomboy.” I was ashamed of who I really was so I hid myself under a tough exterior and baggy basketball shorts. I played football with the guys. I even had a dream that someday I would create the WNFL. However, I felt like I was stuck between two worlds and didn’t give up, and why I didn’t lose hope, was because the people around me understood what I was going through and respected the journey that I was taking. However, the respect that my friends and family gave to me didn’t extend to other people. Based on my backwards which I would have not been ashamed of, had I been either one, but I was neither. In the

of our preconceptions. Take that crazy old lady on the street that we pass every morning on our rush to get to the train. When we look at her, that is all we see, a crazy old woman. We don’t take the time to think about the “why,” and the “how,” and the “when.” We just see now, and in that moment, she is just a crazy old woman.We don’t wonder how she came to be. She is old which means she has lived a long life. There are so many stories and moments, loves up this woman, who we don’t take more than one second to acknowledge. She could be a Holocaust survivor, or a descendant of Amelia Earhart, or the inventor of the pig in a blanket, but who would ever know, because in that one moment, in that one glance that we give her, all we see is a crazy old woman. I don’t want to be seen as just a “tomboy” or a “hard worker” or “that girl who is way too short to be playing basketball so I have no idea why she is.” I want to be seen through all of the stories that have made me who I am. I am a tomboy, and a hard worker, and way too short to be playing basketball, but that is not all that I am. I am so many different experiences and feelings and colors, I don’t want to be boiled down to one sentence or phrase. That crazy old lady that you see on the street, she doesn’t want to be takes the time to think about who she is or to imagine the world through her perspective. I am guilty too. I stay on the opposite side of the sidewalk when I see a large man in dirty clothing who walks with a limp. I wish I didn’t. I wish I took the time to examine and think and not jump to a conclusion without any evidence, but that is the reality of human nature. It is impossible to stop myself from forming an opinion of others. But now, when I cross the street to get away from that scary, crazy old lady, at least I know that my assumption about her is just that, an assumption, and I could be very wrong. [73]

Yellow Bird Lilah van Rens always does this time of year. The faint buzzing sound of airplanes and machinery hums in building a little town out of sticks and leaves and we found an old blue bucket that became the castle. The mud squishes between our toes from the gray puddles left over by the nonstop rain. My father is tending to the crops in our modest garden and I see him smile at us, even though he wasn’t trying to make it noticeable. I can tell my father always enjoys the village and comes up with the brilliant ideas before I do, with my father continuously praising her. Johanna is always one step ahead of me, but the one thing I can take a secret pleasure in is singing; it’s the one thing I can do better than her. Johanna’s voice interrupts the silence in the cocoon of blue sky, “I’m going to get

back, but I don’t see her anywhere; she must have gone down the hill a little ways. I then my father told me there’s been a lot of countries arguing with each other. The birds’ sweet chirping has already ceased and Johanna still isn’t back, maybe I should go see how she’s doing. I get up and ask my father, “Johanna isn’t back yet, should we go look for her?” “No, sky, switching places with the silver crescent emerging through the clouds. I decide to go from the frayed red ribbon in my hair. She’s nowhere in sight; she must be farther down the hill. I hum the lyrics, “yellow bird, up high in banana tree,” as I’m treading down the hill. I see a small pond that I’ve never noticed before and the ditch that’s usually here has look like a pond. I still don’t see Johanna and a big knot of dread twists in my stomach. want it to feel any pain. My hands are starting to tremble and I can’t make them stop. When I approach the ditch I see a frayed red ribbon on the ground, our matching red ribbon. I can barely move my foot forward; I have to force my body with all my might. The water is still and has a calm peaceful quiet. Ten cleansed toes are peeking out of the water, my sister’s linen skirt splayed out in an arc, a golden crown of fair hair protecting a precious head. It couldn’t be, it just couldn’t be. I know this is all real when I see her small dainty have escaped me. It is just two twins, two sisters, two bodies, converging with the crimson crescent spreading across the horizon. [74]

Later on I hear footsteps behind me and can sense a living body next to me. I hear a The next day all I see is darkness; dark dresses, dark faces, a dark world. There are the seven empty faces of my siblings weeping and hugging. My parents are making plans for the burial. I see them coldly glance over in my direction and say something to my aunt, one to drown, but everything seems so fuzzy and far away that I could be mistaken. In the afternoon we all circle around the second and last ditch my sister would ever enter. Two men pile the dug out dirt back onto the threshold to heaven. A simple wooden cross is placed into the newly dug earth with the name Johanna carved into it with my father’s pocketknife. After my sister left us, my parents would never treat me the same way again, I would just be another burden to them. I am now twelve years old and World War Two is in full throttle. Bomber planes came through the Netherlands and destroyed our home. Right away, my parents sent most of my siblings and me away; I was the youngest one they got rid of; my three younger sisters got to stay with my parents. They sent me alone to a convent. It could’ve been worse; the nuns were friendly enough, and the bed I slept in was more comfortable than the one at home, but it wasn’t my bed or my home. I worked at the laundry and I cried whenever I heard the sad stories told to me by some of the young a little again. Sometimes I even hummed “Yellow Bird.” It was the only thing that got me through each lonesome day. Mother Superior then told me that I was being sent to live with a family; did she mean my own family? I packed the few things I have, which include Johanna’s red ribbon, my prized possession. Before I left the convent, I was handed a letter from my parents. They made the letter as brief as possible saying to be careful around one of the boys that lives in the family; a girl who had been there before me warned them about him. As I was about to place the letter back in its envelope the truth suddenly smacked me in the face. All of a sudden I was back to the day of Johanna’s funeral. I see my parents talking to my aunt and glaring at me. They really had asked why Johanna had to be the twin to die. They would have preferred that I died. My heart plummets to the bottom of my stomach, and all I can see are blurry diamonds of light; I was foolish to think they’d want me to come home. Once I arrived I worked for the family at their dank bar that smelled of stale beer; I preferred the convent. The woman who warned my mother was right about the boy, I kept They said I would be better off living on my own with another family; they wouldn’t take back their own daughter. My parents had even let some of my older siblings come home, but not me, not the youngest of their children that they sent away. I must be a burden to them, just another person to deal with, not the daughter they love. If I had died in Johanna’s place, they would never have sent her away like they did to me. Johanna was the stronger one, the more outgoing one, and the better one in my parent’s eyes. I was just the frailer and quieter version of Johanna, constantly missing school from ear infections. They chose my older siblings, who can take care of themselves much easier, over me. What did I do [75]

wrong for them not to love me? The sweet song about the yellow bird was always my favorite as I sang it all the time with Johanna, but now it torments me, even in my never-ending nightmares that I now call sleep. The yellow bird keeps saying, “You sit all alone like me.” All I can do now is plug my ears and squeeze my eyes shut, hoping everything will go away. But all I can hear

dylan Corn

tearstained cheeks, my sister’s frayed red ribbon clutched in the aching palms of my hands, and the sickeningly sweet voice reminding me of the truth.

Untitled Jarrett Moore His hands are little, skin and bone, soft and fragile, unlike mine, his aren’t made to do handy work. They look like baby hands, that give adult handshakes. Play is his only concern, hard work serves him no purpose. I wish that was me-All play. No work. In the far right of the living room next to the poorly crafted table my brother made he resides on the couch without a care. My brother’s hands, not made to do handy work. The couch is his kingdom and my brother is the king. [76]

Chiara hardy

saM rosEnBluM

PhoEBE thoMasEs

Brandon hartlEy


Natalie My Sweetheart Leo Bremond

Pilar oliViEri

(Sitting at a table in a diner.) I very rarely go out with girls. Like Natalie. (He smiles.) Every time I look at her, I see her beauty. Every time I look at her, I get a bigger crush on her. I blush. She is so smart and beautiful. Scrambled eggs, white toast with butter on the side, and a cappuccino with extra foam. She knows my order by heart. Here she comes! “How was your weekend?” If I could say what I really want to say; if I could get the courage, I would say, Natalie, would you maybe want to go to the lobster house with me? Saturday night? Or Friday night? Whatever works better. Maybe I should lie and tell her I’m a banker. I can’t tell her the truth that I’m currently unemployed. That sounds bad and unimpressive. (Natalie delivers his plate of food. He smiles up at her and watches her as she walks away.) I love how gently (pause) you place my eggs (pause) and the toast. Natalie, you are so polite. I know it’s your job, but I think the way you carry my plate seems extra special. Did you notice I wore my white button down shirt with my red bowtie? I shaved the little bit of hair I still have on the top of my head, but I’m embarrassed to show you. I really like how you look this morning. (Taking a bite of his food.) This is delicious. I wish I could tell you. If only I had the courage. (He puts his hand up for the check. Natalie comes to table. He smiles up at her again.) “I’ll take the check.”


The Fantastical Escape of the Hopeful Ones Bella Reid We stand outside, eyes darting back and forth. We trudge through the slush As the wind howls, threatening to freeze us to the bones. Our chapped lips crack, and Our toes tingle on the verge of numbness. The moon silently mocks us from its perch in the stars, Laughing at our pitiful selves. Our coats are meager protection from the whipping air that lashes out at us. Taunting, ready to play. We shift positions, heads down, desperately on the lookout for our end. The snow blows on our reddened cheeks, We clomp through a sea of white, So pure, but blinding. We wish and pray we won’t be caught when our luck is Thrown away. A simple second, but much more time than needed to tell we’re in trouble. Our footsteps become rapid, our breaths falling fast, stressed. A clear shout pierces through the howls of the sky: “Stop right there!” We know our time has come. Together, we collect energy in seconds. We raise our heads and shift our feet into a run. Our hoods are blown back, Our feet pound along the slippery earth, No time to worry about falling. Running like that is the only thing that can save us. Because it is. Our minds forget the cold as we dash into the unknown. Not sure where we’re going, only sure we should never, ever look back.


Bus-Ticket Rose Saskia Globig Fold it on the dotted line between one boarding and the next in the space where a person waiting becomes a commuter passing you. Double it there and crease, until it is looping back and forth on itself forever A yellow bus-ticket rose. Mischief is encouraged, because that’s the only way to harvest the ream – sprint down the aisle and snatch the paper from the black-box-control-panel-printer by the driver and trail the tail behind you over the pathway lit for exit. Loathe the people who ask for their stubs as proof – for work, for life, There is no concept of “have to” for you, the only child on this bus and the only one in the universe Offer them to his pocket because they’re too thick for your small hands. He always has big pockets with nothing in them except darkness and a leather glove to match until he relieves you of the blossom and it drops in like a coin. It’s necessary to ask and see it again, leaning into his gray wool scarf and his scratchy shoulder. Touch the little chevron logo under each transaction, purple, pink, and blue, and count the times a tired hand released a bent-up ticket. 7:24:15, 7:24:19, 7:24:21.... Swear you aren’t sleepy, but he wakes you up. Push the button, hear the ding, [80]

Leaning into the wind, gaze out at the sparkling city under black night and wonder how many of the glowing windows and rushing taxis, pinprick lights, will be stamped on your bus-ticket roses. How many stories compressed in the little accordion? Let it fall mary-janes pounding the sidewalk as you laugh. Dates and times lift away, and the ink of stories swirls into the darkness like you never knew them. The sky is the bus’s mica aisle, speckled with stars.

trust Martin


Pinocchio’s Awkward Years Lucy Hirschfeld Pinocchio’s lacquered face was Red with anger An awkward loser who was desperate to be “A real boy,” Tripped in the hallways, slammed into lockers, And shaken down for his lunch money, Pinocchio dreamed someday he would be the Jock and not the joke. Pinocchio grew up With two inspiring and supportive dads, Geppetto and Mario. The two lovers ran a little antique shop in West Hollywood. They had found pieces of him in a nearby Dumpster, His hands reduced to splinters. Painstakingly, Geppetto had refurbished the abused marionette With the plan of selling him in the store, But they couldn’t bear to part with him. The little wooden boy’s best friend was Jiminy Cricket. They were both the odd ones out. After their classmates made fun of Jiminy’s velvet clothes and umbrella, Jiminy fell into deep depression and the only way to take His mind off of all the troubles was to light up the Occasional joint. He would keep his stash in the hollowed out handle Of his umbrella. They hatched a plan to join the Donkey Boys who ran a gambling ring. Making mistakes is the only way to Learn there is no place like home.


The Distant Light Matt Glickman I made a plan for freshman year and all appeared alright ‘Till fall immersed the summer sea in endless days of night; I would’ve drowned had I not found a distant shining light. A light to keep me balanced, a light to keep me sane, To even out the ocean’s bumps and shield me from the rain. More easy to discover than it was to keep in mind, For, as I kept in the direction of this distant glowing sight, The line that towed me towards it got too stressful and too tight. I took a break from sailing strong and staring towards that light. And I died with my surroundings, I darkened with the sky ‘Till I realized it was foolish to give up a hope so high; For our ships can lose their bearing, fall victim to the tide, But that light will keep us shining if we picture it inside. So close your eyes and see it so that when they open wide, You can look into the darkness unaffected by the tide And be amused by its unsteadiness, its lifelike ups and downs– A threat to all humanity, a factory for frowns Except if you remember the light that I forgot– The light that makes us something out of nothing but a thought. In a night as dark as mine was, one can wobble to and fro, But the light way in the distance is the brightest way to go.


The Literary & Art Magazine of LREI HIGH SCHOOL IE STAFF: Jesse Bermudez-Deane Juno Hobbs Ben Maltz Pilar Olivieri Lilah van Rens Sam Rosenblum Sadie Stern Olivia Stohrer Lutfah Subair Iniko Thornell MIDDLE SCHOOL IE STAFF Katherine Barden Austin Getz Rose Merjos Kate Olsen Bella Reid Olivia Reiss Katerina Taetle Ella Wexler FACULTY STAFF: Jane Belton: High School Editorial Advisor Suzanne Cohen: Middle School Editorial Advisor James French & Susan Now: High School Arts Advisors Nathalie Hall: Middle School Arts Advisor Stephen MacGillivray: Production Advisor SPECIAL THANKS TO: Phil Kassen, Ruth Geyer Jurgensen, and Mark Silberberg

IE 2014  

The Literature and Art Magazine of LREI, featuring poems, stories and art from LREI middle and high school students.

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