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Created by the Creative Writing Program at the University of Miami. Sponsored by the English Department.

Editors in Chief Poetry Editor Nonfiction and Fiction Editor

Neha Rajan Natalia Rovira Marissa Maddalon

Faculty Adviser

Jaswinder Bolina


Amir Mahmoud Anna Timmons Greeshma Venigalla Kelli Finnegan Neda Mokhtari Peter Amador

Mangrove is the University of Miami’s undergraduate literary journal, publishing quality fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and art from current undergraduate students from a variety of majors and universities. Mangrove is edited and designed by an undergraduate staff and advised and managed by university faculty. For additional information, please visit mangrovejournal.com. printed in the United States. Cover art by Neda Mokhtari. Š 2019 Mangrove. All rights reserved. No reproduction or use without permission.


Seeing River Flows in You


Untitled 1 Kimberly Tumblin


Red Sunrise Keanu Jones


Office Daze Ricky Galindo

Neda Mokhtari



Jasmine and Banana Liwen Xu


Naupaka Kira Santana


A river of forgotten things, or poetry David Xiang


When you ran away from home, what did you take with you? Charlotte Freccia


I can’t find My Pupils Evan Palmer


Cehleda Tarek Ghadder


my grandfather’s hand Carrie Close



The 2 hours you spent at the frat party Connor Beeman



Shower Maivy Bui



Freudian autocorrect or Frank O’Hara taught me everything i know about public transportation Anthony Thomas Lombardi Ali v. Inoki - June 26th, 1976 at Nippon, Budokan Alice Benson


You are an island Pat Richerson


The State of the Undone Cecilia Savala


They tell me I am made in the image of God Frankie Soto

Neda Mokhtari, “Seeing River Flows in You” Acrylic on canvas.


Jasmine and Banana Liwen Xu 1. between screaming matches with my father, my mother taught me to never marry someone you don’t blend with. even your children will frustrate you. she taught me this by how she looks at me when i misplace tea. 2. jasmine— a floral green tea. oolong— mellow and nutty. add fruit accents to them; peaches to oolong grapefruit to black tea. inhale the scent before you set the kettle. a precaution.


3. i pour my mother jasmine tea on friday nights. more, she says. her wrinkles defined. let me drown out my memories of him. i hear what she won’t say— the parts of you that are him. i add oolong, a cleansing tea. for five minutes, a new start in a settled life. 4. banana does not go with jasmine. if you mix them their flavor will implode and you’ll be left with a sour taste.


Naupaka Kira Santana I met you in a city split in two by a river I came down from the mountains, kiele flowers in my hair Stuck my toes down in the earth until water flowed up from the banks, gently lapping over my skin Wherever you are, there is a tether between us, pulling me towards you, tugging on the sleeve of my shirt, reminding me you are out there But there is this terrible distance between us, and I don’t know how to ever overcome this cosmic injustice that keeps us at arm’s length, with only our pinky fingers touching, orbiting around the sun at different speeds The universe; pulling us apart while pushing us together You seem to always be rushing off to catch another plane, yet I just landed at home The world keeps spinning us off in the opposite direction, and every now and then we collide in the middle, and I try to hold on to you, but by the time I open my mouth to ask you to stay, you are gone I walk my fingers across the plastic globe standing on top of my desk, tracing the swell of the oceans, the curves of the continents, the air flittering like the petals on a lei, the lines keeping us apart,


I run towards you barefoot, the skin under my feet blistering, my knees buckling under the weight Of knowing if it’s not you then it will just be me We split ourselves into halves, dwelling by the seashore and up in the green mountains brimming with palapalai, From kahakai to kauihiwa Hoping one day the winds will blow and push us together to be whole somewhere in the middle I think in a parallel universe we are together I close my eyes and I can see us now I want to tell you that we are happy there Sometimes it feels like this is all I can ask for, that somewhere out there it gets to be you and me. I would do anything to have that somewhere, be here.  


A river of forgotten things, or poetry David Xiang The way to the river leads past late doors broken glass gentler echoes Letters trailing ash old and still smelling of home See the trail is here there will begin a procession of children taught to look backwards It is a place of no names only snapshots in foreign tongues But soon after I will learn and bring a handful of water Walk slowly to listen Bring my palms close write on


my rinsed pocket mirror Look closer and it seems empty until only I am left Husk discarded to count in sync with a faceless current Every second is new a way to forget memory of small things For they will flood this direction Prevent turning back Perhaps I will find another dip myself in Shiver read out loud It will be comforting It will go Drifting on on as it always has.


my grandfather’s hand Carrie Close my grandfather’s hand is cold with death when Reid and I return to his hospital room from dinner—he ordered the suckling pig, and I La vie en rose, a gin cocktail, not the song by Edith Piaf or the sentiment expressed in the words, to see life through rosecolored glasses, which could not have been less applicable, but I find Edith comforting, her voice nasally, but beautiful, and I think of her, as I sip my rose-colored drink, with the stacked, square-shaped ice cubes that hit my face every time I take a sip—my grandfather is gurgling, he cannot swallow the spit building in the back of his throat, which they suction up periodically when I am absent from the room—I keep coming back to kiss his face as I am trying to leave, afraid none of the previous kisses were good enough to be the last


Kimberly Tumblin, “Untitled 1” 13 Oil on canvas.

Kimberl Oil on ca

The 2 hours you spent at the frat party

Connor Beeman drink. it is cold and rainy and you wonder how people do this every weekend. you are in a world that isn’t yours and you feel like a tourist. drink. you are drinking beer from a keg. you hate beer and you’ve only seen kegs in movies. the solo cup in your hand feels like a cliche and the murky liquid inside couldn’t taste worse if it tried. drink. there is a guy in a basketball jersey slurring words in your direction. he calls you “bro” and “dude” and you remember what it’s like to pass for the first time since high school. drink. there is a girl from one of your classes last semester. you haven’t talked in months but she hugs you anyways. she says she misses you but can’t stop her from being swallowed back up by the shifting crowd.


drink. when you walk through the basement full of bodies, your glasses catch the condensation in the air. you’re slightly aware of the fact that you find this situation intensely claustrophobic, but don’t care. you are unsure why you don’t care. drink. your friends are going to a different party. you didn’t even have time to get comfortable at this party. as you chug a beer you didn’t want in the seconds before leaving, you wonder how anyone ever feels comfortable at a party. drink. you realize the answer to that last question is alcohol. drink. the streets are crowded and it is still raining. you think that this would probably be more fun if you were dry. as you stumble down the street, you slip on a wet grate but don’t fall. your friends cheer for you. drink. when you arrive at the other party, it’s already been shut down. your friends elect to go back to the first and you follow, watching for grates this time. drink. the first party is exactly how you left it. one of your friends asks you if you are having fun. you don’t know how to answer, only that you are not drunk enough to answer truthfully.


When you ran away from home, what did you take with you? after Caki Wilkinson

Charlotte Freccia A suitcase full of Cheerios and pennies. Clean underwear. A handful of earth from the garden behind the garage. A flashlight and two juice boxes. My sister. A sleeping bag. A foldable knife. Three dollars. A jean jacket. A deck of cards. Three baby teeth, rolled up in a pair of socks. A gun. The safety-deposit box. Bobby pins. A tube of lipstick. A pair of handcuffs. A wrench. A toothbrush. A book of crossword puzzles. A Wrinkle in Time. Thirteen hundred dollars. A gram of cocaine.


A box of hair dye. Clairol Natural Instincts Medium Golden Brown Pecan, 5G/18. My passport. His passport. The train tickets. A roll of quarters. My ballet slippers. My violin. Diamond earrings. Halloween candy, and a wig. Six oatmeal cookies. Six pencils and a bus schedule. A cardigan. Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenence. My Bible. Matches. Granola bars. Caffeine pills. Proof of address. A library card. Diapers. An envelope full of credit cards. A baseball bat. Duct tape. A coloring book. A thermometer. A thermos full of coffee. My driver’s license. My engagement ring. Penicillin. Mascara. A grocery bag full of receipts. An air mattress. A push-up bra. A bottle of pills.


I can’t find My pupils Evan Palmer Eyes walk the horizon searching for the name of a childhood friend. Searching for a pair of shoes they haven’t seen next to theirs in ten minutes, for a ring that they lost ten years ago on a beach two thousand miles away. For anything other than the skull in which they are fixed.



Tarek Ghaddar Ce-leh-da, your name is a “three-step journey of the tongue,” First a hiss through two teeth, then two taps on the soft palate. I miss you, your gold laughter, and sharp sarcasm... Lips red of a fragile smile, painted on a glossed canvas Shoulders small but still vaulted me to greatness. Eyes cynical but kind, the witness of both My failures and my successes. You are on your path, I am on mine, Should they intersect— once! That would be fine.



Keanu Jones, “Red Sunrise” Digital photograph. 21


Alondra Adame

I read aloud the line Blood spills on desert soil And I know they know what I mean. I can hear their breathing begin to quicken, the blood in their veins rushing stronger than before and its heat makes their cheeks glow pink. We are no longer reading words on a page. We are standing in the heat of their shame. We are watching crimson red seep into sand. I cannot hold their hands in the borderland. I cannot give them the comfort they crave. I cannot tear them from the guilt of five words.



Maivy Bui

My mother scolds my father for washing the car when dark clouds clearly forebode a deluge. But he just says I’ll put it in the garage after I wash it. I would rather scrub cheese-drenched dishes than help him dry that giant car, so I flee and take a shower to hide. But he finds me, hair still dripping, and says Go help your sister dry the car. In the chilling wind before the storm, we dry the windows, windshield, wipers and all. I am sick the following day and


watch the rain pour down. My father goes to Walgreens to buy cough syrup— I watch him drive the car into the torrent.


Freudian autocorrect or Frank O’Hara taught me everything i know about public transportation

Anthony Thomas Lombardi

between falling in love with F train ad models every Tuesday afternoon i bend each exclamation point into a question mark so you have something to hold onto while you straddle the New York Times you read me ATM receipts & laundry lists i listen exquisitely & nervously if they align we’ve hit the jackpot the last time we ate breakfast on Saturn you stubbed your toe on the rings


you brushed your hair into a pot of clay you smoked cigarettes while painting your nails neon pink with little dots that looked like hearts — at least i thought they looked like hearts (i’m never really sure what hearts look like do they look superfluous or mellifluous or menacing or lackadaisical am i just using words that sound like hushing in a movie theater?) can you please will you please — they’re asking us to leave! we’re leaving we’re leaving as i remember we still have one evening left to destar grab your sickle & let’s go trickle-down economics inhales everything on the kitchen table so put a hustle in your bustle & scarf up the ellipses we saved for dessert — store bought of course — & a hollow pie you baked in a polka dot dress so even without filling or flavor it has to be good for something right?


Ali v. Inoki - June 26th, 1976 at Nippon, Budokan Alice Benson Electric eyes to the sun, one billion trillion televisions. Four ring-posts and three steps of rope to set apart myth from nosebleed seats. Man’s ascent to deity silhouettes against the sea of camera flash. Both men, 6’,3”, heavyweights. No words shared, fists speak East to West. Gloves lined with a fighting chance.


Inoki with the dropkick! On the mat we build culture. Ali throws a defensive jab! On the mat break body and bread. Inoki sends a chop! On the mat they climb from hell. Ali takes a step! On the mat we earn our heavens. Their boots tap in pugilist rhythm. Angels walk in squared circles and never leave as they came. Sixty-four strikes to Ali’s five. Bout ends in a draw. Electric eyes turn to snow.


You are an island

Pat Richerson

A rush of blood to the head and the sound of faraway trumpets tooting while the dew falls from the pines, coffee-steam rising in the green air

reveille yellow

I want to go where the moss grows up the soggy side of a stump and you can smell the smell of rain there in that place and the branches of many trees protect you


I want to plant myself in rich soil in clean air, a land without boots a land without trumpets where glistening webs threaded overhead are owned and operated by slick black and yellow spiders and you wonder what kind of story a spider tells and how your story sounds where you can taste the sea in every breath, you are an island where you can feel the sun on your eyelids you are an island


Ricky Galindo, “Office Daze” Digital Photograph.


The State of the Undone

Cecilia Savala

I’ll have to be outraged later on my fifteen minute break at my first job or in the car on my way home from the post office, eye appointments at 10 and 10:30, mandatory CPR class. Yes, I’m sure I want to push that meeting out, yes I’m aware the ER bill’s due in two days. I apologize, ma’am, I have school, I have two jobs, two kids, I have a pot roast in the oven, with garlic and onions carrots are too sweet.


and my youngest pushes them around on her plate, then excuses herself from the table without asking. I like the idea of a house plant, but I’d forget to water it, something else alive, to take care of, something else I wouldn’t dust plastic leaves, the alternative to neglecting the lawn. I’d never equate over-time with an after-school suspension, with the phone call from the founding fathers, I’d never forget to switch the laundry.


They tell me I am made in the image of God Frankie Soto

I hope he cries at the end of movies and that that his pulse is a Nascar driver speeding in his neck and at times a dark bathroom is the only place that isn’t spinning. There is no such thing as an anxiety attack in heaven, so this too shall pass. I tell myself this doesn’t happen to people as strong as us. That every sunset makes everyone miss the morning. That all hearts carry a burden with no reason and sometimes not being able to breathe as you shrink between the walls of a room is just part of shedding stress.


There is no such thing as an anxiety attack for this Puerto Rican-ness We are not allowed to be labels. My abuela left her home for America. My mother carried me at 16. My Aunt woke up every day never knowing if today cancer would win. Until it did. We are not allowed to be labels. Not allowed to submit. Our kind doesn’t carry that stigma. Our people don’t have time to be depressed. That is a white man’s drug and we are immune to those symptoms until we are not. Until our body’s become a candle without any wick left to burn. Until our tongues become too paralyzed to say today I feel like I am disappearing and I don’t know why. I will say I feel dead inside and will be told to pray. I wonder if that’s what God meant, when he said we carry a Holy Ghost. Maybe we are more alike than I thought.



Alondra Adame is currently

a graduate student at California State University, Chico. Alondra was raised in the small rural town of Sutter, CA by two traditional Mexican immigrants. Alondra spends most of her time writing about immigration, Chicanx culture, LGBTQ+ issues, events from her own life and mental health.

Alice Benson is a poet who finds

Connor Beeman is a second-

at Regis University majoring in Biochemistry and minoring in Creative Writing and Visual Arts, and she will be graduating in May 2019. She is especially fond of fantasy, magical realism, and children’s stories, of which she enjoys exploring in her writing and art.

year student at Ohio University who’s pursuing a double major in Creative Writing and Women, Gender, & Sexualities Studies and will graduate in 2021. His work has previously appeared in Polaris, Ohio Northern University’s undergraduate literary journal. When not being overwhelmed by his course load, he reads and writes poetry and fiction.

herself caught within the space between encroaching southern kudzu and stained city cement. She is currently pursuing an English degree at Georgia State University and can easily be mistaken for an oversize rat in glasses and sweater.

Maivy Bui is an undergraduate

Carrie Close was born and raised in central Maine, where she is currently attending the University

of Maine at Farmington for Creative Writing. She has previously been published in KYSO Flash, The Halcyone Literary Review, and Miracle Monocle, among others.

reading just about anything I can get my hands on, and I play a lot of video games when I’m not at research, volunteering, or studying.

from Columbus, Ohio. Her poetry, essays, and short fiction have been published in Adelaide Literary Magazine, POTLUCK Magazine, and Newfound, among others. She is currently at work on her debut novel.

at Navajo Technical University studying Creative Writing and New Media. He is from Grand Falls, Arizona. He grew up on the Navajo Nation and enjoys capturing the beauty of his ancestral lands. The beauty found on Dine’tah (Navajo homeland) inspires him to continue capturing photos as well as writing poetry and other forms of artistic expression.

Keanu Jones is a member of Charlotte Freccia is a writer the Navajo Nation. He is a student


Galindo is an undergraduate at Mclennan Community College. He is projected to graduate at the end of summer 2019 with a degree in the visual arts. Tarek Ghadder is a Biochemistry

and English double major at the University of Miami. I first started writing poetry when my grandmother passed away, quite a few years back. I got serious about writing during sophomore year, and I’m currently working on an anthology of short stories and poetry. I’m a mega-nerd: I love

Anthony Thomas Lombardi

is a writer and former music journalist for such publications as Under the Radar, the Big Takeover, and Pop Matters; has had his short fiction published by Abstract Magazine; and is in the process of finishing his first poetry collection. He resides in Brooklyn, NY with his cat, Dilla.

Neda Mokhtari is a senior at the

University of Miami with a major

in Psychology and a minor in Art History. Neda uses both disciplines to depict different aspects of the human psyche.

Evan Palmer is a writer who is currently an undeclared major at Kalamazoo College in Michigan. His work is forthcoming at Third Point Press and in a book collective at Allpoetry.

Pat Richerson is a fifth-year

senior at the University of Kansas studying poetry and philosophy. He is a subpar bluegrass mandolinist and enjoys Kurt Vonnegut novels and sleeping outside in his spare time.


Santana is currently studying at University of Hawai’i at Mānoa on the island of O’ahu, where she is an English major and hula dancer. She is interested in how writing can be used as a tool for healing and discussing trauma. Her work has been published in Collision Literary Magazine and Snapdragon: A Journal of Art & Healing.

Cecilia Savala is a student at

the University of Central Missouri where she’s an English Education major and the Editor in Chief of Arcade Magazine.

Frankie Soto was awarded the

2016 Multicultural Poet of the year at the National Poetry Award. He’s featured for the New York Times, ABC News and at 120 Colleges/ Universities across the country. He’s been published in previous publications (HeArt Online, Rust Magazine, Pedestal Magazine) and more. He’s recently returned to Suffolk Community College to finish his last 12 credits to receive his associates degree in the Spring of 2019.

Kimberly Tumblin is currently

a senior at Bowling Green State University, majoring in TwoDimensional Studies. She is an oil painter and printmaker, working in etching and lithography.

David Xiang is a poet currently

studying History and Science at Harvard College. At Harvard, he has taken workshops from poets such as Jorie Graham and Josh Bell. He also

currently serves on the poetry board at The Harvard Advocate, the oldest continuously published college art and literary magazine in the United States.

Liwen Xu is an emerging writer

and a Creative Writing and Business student at Emory University. Her work has appeared in Model Minority and Outrageous Fortune. In her free time, she’s frequently running park trails, reading and writing stories, and running a haiku food Instagram @bon_appepoetry.

A JOURNAL OF THE ARTS CREATED BY UNDERGRADUATES AT THE UNIVERSITY OF MIAMI Alondra Adame · Connor Beeman · Alice Benson · Maivy Bui · Carrie Close · Charlotte Freccia · Ricky Galindo · Tarek Ghadder · Keanu Jones · Anthony Thomas Lombari · Neda Mokhtari · Evan Palmer · Pat Richerson · Kira Santana · Cecilia Savala · Frankie Soto · Kimberly Tumblin · David Xiang · Liwen Zu MANGROVE ISSN 2164 - 2712

Profile for Mangrove Journal

Issue 14: Spring 2019  

Alondra Adame · Connor Beeman · Alice Benson · Maivy Bui · Carrie Close · Charlotte Freccia · Ricky Galindo · Tarek Ghadder · Keanu Jones ·...

Issue 14: Spring 2019  

Alondra Adame · Connor Beeman · Alice Benson · Maivy Bui · Carrie Close · Charlotte Freccia · Ricky Galindo · Tarek Ghadder · Keanu Jones ·...