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Ocean City High School’s Literary Magazine 6th and Atlantic Avenue Ocean City, NJ 08226 contact: (609) 399-1290 Editor in Chief: Jay Barrett ‘20 Editorial Staff: Lauren Roop ‘21 Logan Monteleone ‘23 Gabriella Verducci ‘20 Georgia Roache ‘21 Isabella Johnson ‘20 Ashley Collo ‘21 Schuyler Lennox ‘21 Katie Carter ‘20 Emma Rodriguez ‘20 Michaela Belskis ‘23 Seaira Manning ‘20 Asha Hoffman ‘20 Cover Art:

Robin Altman ‘20


Jenna Scioli, staff

Thank you to the following additional contributing voters: Riley Fisher ‘21 Carlee Rumaker ‘21, Brian Wang ‘22, Kariana Mora-Loyd ‘23, Eddie D’Amico ‘22, and Haley Stanks ‘20. Thank you to Michelle Pesda, Adriana Palmer, Paul Matusz, and Heather Cox for your artistic support and guidance.

Table of Contents Swerve Neon Under the Surface Second Sight Danny Heart of Darkness Stacked Dawn Patrol Paired Petals Sunflower Fields Cosmos Flame Flash Anatomy of Ice Cream Daydream Geometry Sophie Death TWINS. Victuals goodnight Mr. Anxiety regret Eternally Part of You Vida The Beauty of Mushrooms Indulgences musings (in haiku) Strong Favorite Memory Made Men Doorknob Laridae Blue Butterfly A Season’s Breeze The Hunter INSANITY wings Beat of Life Fore Wind Why? It’s Coming for Us All Dusk and Dawn Lamb Boy of 1981 Currents of Time today’s tide Dónde? Still Beautiful Stoked Home Sunflower I Was in a Dream or Was I? Take a Seat Exhale DARE Watch Your Back Whose Culture is This and Does Anybody Know? Rebirth of Ra

Caleb Gartner Katherine Palermo Isabella Johnson Seaira Manning Gabbi Verducci Gabbi Verducci Sara Todd Mary Hudak Elizabeth Wilson Gillian Reid Keely Calloway Schuyler Lennox Jeremy Albergo Soleil Yakita Soleil Yakita Rachel Bacon Riley Fisher Michaela Belskis Jay Barrett Katie Carter Jay Barrett Carlee Rumaker Jay Barrett Adriana Palmer Anonymous Lauren Roop Kevin Smith Jenna Scioli Schuyler Lennox Christian Ganter Eddie D’Amico Lauren Roop Brian Wang Peyton Matura Elijah Cochran Conrad Schmidt Eddie D’Amico Michaela Belskis Ashley Collo Katie Carter Katie Sprouse Kaden Roy Anonymous Georgia Roache Asha Hoffman Ashley Collo Haley Stanks Elijah Cochran Adriana Palmer Luke Gallagher Cole Perfetti Erin Hanlon Adriana Palmer Erin Hanlon Lorna Connell Nadia Longfellow Kailani D’antuono Nadia Longfellow Madison Rocap

6 7 8 9 10 10 11 12 12 13 14 14 15 16 17 17 18 19 20 20 20 21 21 22 22 22 23 24 24 25 26 29 29 30 30 31 32 34 34 35 35 36 37 38 39 40 40 40 41 42 43 43 44 46 46 47 48 49 50

Prayer While My Guitar Gently Weeps Captive Through The Eyes of Others Introspection Hidden in the Void Frigid Abandoned Shell Good Boy Brown Eyed Women and Red Grenadine The Celestial Unbecoming Medusa I Can Still Hope Practice Problems your perfection tu me manques She Feigns her Sadness What if I Can’t Forget You? When We Met On Closing the Door it’s 2am, feels like summer And If I Am A Field of Flowers Blue Untitled Hope in Sun Head in Sky First Love A Love Letter Rhyming Couplets Determinism The Pastry Shoppe Lady Garden Fructus Arborum Pomegranate Pasture Gucci Gaze Pastel Glow Return to Sender Gravity Icarus Runaway Elagabalus Reach Terminal Ripple Logic Fracture View Sweet Dreams Night and Day Declawed Long Division Duality Breakthrough To Dust Again Jailed Bat Slow Burn Love Between the Lines

Julia Quintin Paul Matusz Robin Altman Robin Altman Nadia Longfellow Lex Larcher Robin Altman Isabella Johnson Cole Perfetti Riley Fisher Nadia Longfellow Lilly Teofanova Emma Rodriguez Maeve Stanford Christopher Katity Haley Stanks Haley Stanks Katie Sprouse Kariana Mora-Lloyd Seaira Manning Anonymous Asha Hoffman Eva McKnight Emma Rodriguez Ferguson Kurilko Ashley Collo Daniella DiCicco Juliana Carmean Conrad Schmidt Emma Rodriguez Sami Wagner Haley Stanks Katie Carter Aria Lindberg Haley Richards Evan Leeds Sarah Burgos Kariana Mora-Lloyd Vanessa Karayiannis Isabelle Smith Sophie Pailleret Hannah Martin Summer Raab Emma Rodriguez Gabbi Verducci Keely Calloway Erin Hanlon Paul Leiser Tyler Greene Mya Shaw Sami Wagner Soleil Yakita Michael Wagner Gillian Reid Juliana Giardina Michaela Belskis Isabella Johnson Isabella Johnson Zeph Zenson Katie Carter Elizabeth Wilson

51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 58 59 60 61 61 62 63 63 64 64 65 66 69 70 71 72 73 74 74 74 75 76 77 78 80 81 81 82 82 82 83 84 85 85 86 86 87 88 89 89 90 91 91 92 92 93 94 95 95 96 97 98 99

Swerve Caleb Gartner ‘20


Neon Katherine Palermo ‘22


Under the Surface Isabella Johnson ‘20


Second Sight Seaira Manning ‘20


Danny Gabbi Verducci ‘20

Heart of Darkness Gabbi Verducci ‘20


Stacked Sara Todd ‘21


Dawn Patrol Mary Hudak ‘21

Paired Petals Elizabeth Wilson ‘20 12

Sunflower Fields Gillian Reid ‘21


Cosmos Keely Calloway ‘23

Flame Schuyler Lennox ‘21 14

Flash Jeremy Albergo ‘22 15

Anatomy of Ice Cream Soleil Yakita ‘20


Daydream Soleil Yakita ‘20

Geometry Rachel Bacon ‘21 17

Sophie Riley Fisher ‘21


Death Michaela Belskis ‘23


TWINS. hanging, grip unyielding to nips at the finger tugging and crying and screaming; nothing. steadfast still. tilt and totter and grow and shrink and jump and tug and punch, never go leaving only ripping, scraping, cutting, decapitation. threats, plans, scheduled. onward undeterred, the juts of hatred all the easier to cling. Jay Barrett ‘20

Victuals Can you see it? Eating me alive like rotten cantaloupe, Maggots wriggling on a slab of Reynolds Wrap. Cotton eyes bleeding man’s milk, Warm blanket, rough hand, And trash. Katie Carter ‘20

goodnight the babe at the gate, thanking you for throwing it to the birds. the infant ripping up and down its gown, choking you up from where you live in its throat. the child perching on the steps, your tin softly rolling to its base. the young pleading for their own forgiveness, for the old, the moon a welcome relief. Jay Barrett ‘20 20

Mr. Anxiety i’m sorry i am i just don’t see how this is my fault i’m sorry for the way you can’t stop thinking about me how you can’t get me out of your head about how it didn’t work out about how you can’t get out of bed i didn’t mean to make you cry and i didn’t mean to make you fear things i’m sorry i made you hate goodbyes and i didn’t mean to shut off your feelings i’m sorry i got to you during class i didn’t mean to lead you on i’m sorry i followed you to the bathroom where you thought you could be alone i’m sorry you don’t understand the cause of the confusion that just filled your spine i’m sorry they reached your parents they could have never reached mine i’m sorry she asked what happened to you i didn’t mean for it to end like that but i saw the confusion slip to concern when she asked if this was the first time i attacked Sincerely Mr. Anxiety Carlee Rumaker ‘21

regret how in the moment before, you breathed, aware and small, and forced your legs straight how it lingers months later, in the form of a tang on the tongue and scrapes on the wall how my name pressed into the paper, affirmative, and it’s all you can guess i saw you in the dry marsh, looking for acknowledgement, but i moved on, the pink steel clinging to my side just how it didn’t with you Jay Barrett ‘20 21

Eternally Part of You Fly me a staff up on the cornfield hill and bury me up where the wind blows scatter me in a river of my youth remember me looking at the ocean feel me with the sunset at the end of your day the day I go celebrate what I am the hour I turn to dust I will become all the time I am gone, observe the universe and I will become part of you forever Adriana Palmer Staff

Vida Vida es muerte Oscuridad me toma Me comĂ­ el veneno Anonymous

The Beauty of Mushrooms Fungus from funky floor its fleshy Sporelike structure stems from soil rich with ore Its stalk, or stem, shaped disclike underside Where spaced out slits are occupied Lauren Roop ‘21


Indulgences It is midnight and I am standing in my kitchen eating cookies at the sink. They make me think of Cuba, 1958, when there were still hipsters and dreamers when jazz was still subversive and poetry was cool. I think, This is how the great ones should have done it. Not with drugs but with chocolate, Hershey bars for Pollack on his walk to the barn each morning. Gelato for Picasso while setting Barcelona on fire. And Bukowski, in rotten tenements suffering whores and cold water, a pile of Tootsie rolls beside the typewriter to keep the wolves at bay. I like the image of Billy Collins writing “While Eating a Pear” while eating a pear. Only I wish he’d called it “While Eating a Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup” and wrote not of the enormity of time but of the sublimity of sugar. And what else, I wonder, would Plath have left us had she baked a cake instead? For me, let it be chocolate birthday cake with butter-cream icing. Let it be Ben and Jerry’s Dublin Mudslide let it be Oreos and milk. You had so much more to sing, Amy Winehouse, if only Pop-Tarts were your vice. Kevin Smith Staff


musings (in haiku) wingbones point south as blind waters rise; prayer, a silent migration, the journey in mist. Newton to blame when rain falls – a noisy return. sailors claimed to see children with paper boats cry – a parting with someone else’s dreams (are lost here in my visions of birds taking flight). in a dream we drove for hours, our talk the pulse of wind, windows – you had found the bones of those blue mermaids turned back to shell and stone. when her long hair turned gray gulls made nests in elm trees; sparrows took to sea. (counted rings in trees won’t equal those tallies you etched against the stone.)


if snow stops falling, please feel for the silence that holds us in place.

Strong A word that cages me. Traps me in my head. I can’t speak of it. I’m strong. Too strong for pain. Too strong to get help. I’m strong. An adjective to kill. To alter your mind. Hush child, you’re strong.

Jenna Scioli Staff

Schuyler Lennox ‘21 24

Favorite Memory Now five blocks away, the streets of New York are packed. What else would you expect on the day of the Thanksgiving parade? “Why did it have to be today,” he thinks, “out of all days, why today?” He pushes people out of his way. This is too important. Now four blocks away, he thinks back on how terrible this day went. He had been in a meeting that went on for an hour longer than planned. He left his phone on silent, as to not look unprofessional. He was supposed to keep it on at all times, but there were still three weeks to go, and this was a big sale. “That was a mistake,” he thinks. This is too important. Now three blocks away, he remembers leaving the conference room, checking his phone and seeing missed calls and missed texts. He dropped his bag and ran. He completely forgot about the sale. He didn’t care if he lost it or not, he just started running. This is too important. Now two blocks away, he glances at his watch. It has been over an hour since the first call. “There isn’t any time to lose,” he thinks. He keeps running. His pant leg gets caught on the side of a bench and rips. It’s his favorite pair, but that doesn’t matter to him now. This is too important. Now one block away, regret floods him. Why hadn’t he taken his bike to work? Why didn’t he just keep his phone on vibrate? How could he do this to her? “Focus on right now,” he says to himself. This is too important. Now half a block away, a sound interrupts his deafening thoughts. He pulls out his phone and answers the call. A single tear rolls down his face. It’s too late now. He missed the birth of his first child. Christian Ganter ‘23


Made Men “Well I guess it’s time to get down to business,” muttered Alphonse. “Yes, I guess it is,” said Scar as he relaxed back in his chair “Alphonse, I’ll cut to the chase. I don’t want this to escalate any further.” “You don’t?” questioned Alphonse. “No, the bloodshed has to stop. Both of us have lost so many good men -- men who were husbands, brothers, sons and fathers. And over what, over what? A pointless feud between you and me. I’m tired of all this death. I mean why are we even fighting one another?” asked Scar. “Well for starters, you killed my brother,” said Alphonse. The air seemed to grow quiet and Scar’s mouth became a hard line. “Yes, yes suppose I did,” said Scar. “You know if it had been me you had killed… if Lorenzo was still alive this meeting wouldn’t be happening. He would have come at you with everything he had, he would’ve opened Hell’s gates and unleashed a wrath that would’ve scared the Devil himself. He would have avenged me,” growled Alphonse. “Alphonse I-” started Scar. “If I was Lorenzo,” laughed Alphonse picking up a cheese fork, “ I would shove this fork so far into your eye until it poked through the back of your head. And I’d slit your friend’s throat open and send both your heads back in a box!” said Alphonse. “Alphonse I’m sorry about your brother, but the fool brought it on himself--” said Scar. “DON’T YOU DARE INSULT HIM!” Alphonse roared as he slammed his fist down on the table impaling the fork through the wood. Scar and Victor were silent as Alphonse took deep breaths. He slouched back into his chair and wiped tiny droplets of sweat off his face with a handkerchief. “You’re lucky… lucky I don’t have both your heads right now. I did not invite you over to slander the good name of my brother. I called upon you because… because I don’t want this slaughter to go any farther either,” muttered Alphonse. “I wanted to see if there was a way that this could end…. end happy… peaceful for both of us. A way for us to coexist.” “I’m sorry if I offended,” said Scar. Alphonse held up a hand and cut him off. “No, no you’re not, but that’s over. Scar, I’m as tired of this war as you are. I feel like I’ve aged twenty years. I go to bed with back pains and headaches like an old man. My men cannot wander the street without fear of being jumped by you Russians. My wife fears for me and my children. Hell, I’m putting my brother in the ground in a few days,” laughed Al26

phonse bitterly. “This war has gone on long enough. I loved my brother but I am not him. I must look at what’s best for the Family and my family. I want to move on. To put… to put this war behind us.” “A truce then?” questioned Scar. “Yes, a truce,” replied Alphonse. “I’m glad we see eye to eye. How should we start? With a--,” started Scar. “I want the southern half of the city. Hunter’s Point, Bayview, Ingleside, all of it. The northern side, Fisherman’s Wharf and such can remain in your control,” said Alphonse. “What about the The Dogpatch?” asked Scar. “Ah, an important wharf, many goods come and go through there. I’ll remove my men from the waterfront in exchange that you allow our taxing of the Presidio,” said Alphonse. “I don’t understand what you see in that idea. You’re stepping deep into SFPD territory,” laughed Scar. “If I want your advice I’ll ask for it,” said Alphonse grimly. “Fair enough. Then I believe we have ourselves a deal.” Scar extended his hand. Alphonse looked at Scar’s hand and then looked back at Scar. “Oh and one other condition,” said Alphonse. “What’s that?” asked Scar, lowering his hand. “I want the man who killed my brother. I want Sasha Chendev,” growled Alphonse. The air seemed to grow cold and silence enveloped them. “Sasha is my second in command, he is a loyal man, he--” said Scar. “Killed my brother. Scar, I am not my brother but I loved him and I will not let his death go unavenged. Be grateful I’m not asking for all the men responsible,” said Alphonse. “Sasha has saved my life more than once, I can’t just hand him over for something I told him to do,” muttered Scar. “Don’t be a fool Scar, this is one man. Don’t throw away peace over one man’s life,” said Alphonse. “We can renegotiate, another borough perhaps, or--” started Scar. “Scar, this is an unnegotiable demand. If I let this man walk, my men, my friends, my own family will see me as weak and cowardly,” explained Alphonse. “I understand, but Alphonse, this is a man I trust, who trusts me. For Christ’s sake he’s my son’s Godfather,” said Scar. “A man you trust, one your family trusts. Sounds like my brother. You know the one you took away from them. This is balance, Scar. An eye for an eye, blood for blood.” Scar remained silent for a long time. 27

“No. I won’t condemn him to death,” growled Scar. “You’re being crazy Scar, he killed my brother and he must pay. You once asked me to hand over one of my men, don’t you remember, Vito Cappelletti. The irony is laughable,” chuckled Alphonse. “I did ask and you didn’t do it. If you had, this whole goddamn war might have been avoided,” piped Scar. “Don’t lay this at my doorstep. You had as much of a hand in this as I did,” sneered Alphonse “But what happens next is on you, this is your decision. Hand over Chendev.” Scar remained in silence as the two foes stared at each other from across the table. Victor looked on in painful suspense, waiting on guard. “No,” whispered Scar. Alphonse erupted from his seat and stood fuming staring at the two men. “Get out,” muttered Alphonse. “Alphonse you have a family--” started Scar. “Scar, I said get out,” growled Alphonse. “You have a wife you love, you have sons who need you,” pleaded Scar. “How dare you bring my family into this. My family whose hearts were broken by you, when you took my brother away from them!” snarled Alphonse. “I don’t want to take their father too,” said Scar cooly. “GET OUT!” roared Alphonse as he swept the plates from the table. The plates and delicate glasses crashed to the ground shattering on the smooth concrete, as Alphonse breathed heavily. Scar and Victor rose quickly, their eyes following Alphonse. “So this is what you choose, Alphonse? War over peace?” asked Scar grimly. Alphonse laughed and shook his head. “No, no Scar. This was not my decision… it was YOURS. YOU choose death over life. YOU choose war over peace. THIS... IS... YOUR… WAR,” bellowed Alphonse emphasizing each word with a poke to Scar’s chest. Scar stared at Alphonse with burning venom but did not move an inch. Alphonse leaned into Scar’s face, eyes locked, their noses almost touching, and growled. “But I’m going to finish it.” Eddie D’Amico ‘22


Door Knob Go ahead Twist me to your mold Place your hands on me like I’m your property I guess I am At least that’s how you make me feel When our relationship Is a constant push and pull You walk through my boundaries As if I’m some revolving door But no I am not some revolving door I stand between you and your room Of secrets I am the gateway to your closed off Mystery From hallway To hollow room I stand between And you bend me just to get in it Lauren Roop ‘21

Laridae Be the gull, Witness to the sea. Reject the dull, Indulge for free. Laugh its full, So vital a key. Not one to lull, Forever to plea. Simple the silver soul, Reward to be me. Brian Wang ‘22


Blue Butterfly I once told you to come to me And that’s when I saw you by the sea, Gracefully circling me, begging me for attention As I took a deep breath in and let go of the attention I knew it was you Your wings were broad and blue As you swayed up and down I felt comfort finally reach my heart. You were with me again All I could think was amen You have fulfilled my wish to see you just once more And as I closed my eyes then opened them, you were gone and tears began to pour. You have blessed my life with happiness, Laughter, and sweet surprise. And I will forever remember you as the blue butterfly. Peyton Matura ‘21

A Season’s Breeze Love is not a strong enough word to describe it The exhilarating feeling when the stars shine the brightest Once a week, three months a year How quickly it ends is my only fear It zips by in a flash and is back in another Only four years to play alongside my brothers Hope never-ending of when that day comes When I’ll be able to confidently run Swiftly I’ll weave in and out of spaces Too quickly to track by unfamiliar faces Adrenaline crackling through my bones Until it all ends in a flurry of snow. Elijah Cochran ‘21 30

The Hunter Before I knew of the constellations I would look out and see his countenance I found a face in his chest, belt and arms He smiled at me Ever stoic, he gazed upon the globe But he only ever smiled for me Selfishly, ignorantly, I kept him Only for me to covet when I pleased Captivated by his static visage Smirking but always content A face where there was none, I searched And found tranquility in the winter He would bear his face to a frozen world And I could look at him in any place When I was out, and when the air would sting He would wait for me When I learned his imperturbable name Gone was my solitary smiling face His true name revealed his true celestial form I can admire him still, though never resurrecting what has gone I choose to look up to him, to admire him, But his new name and his old face cause dissonance in my mind But my interest in the present and the real are nothing Knowledge of this daunting man does nothing but disrupt nostalgia I escape into the rosy liquid past, with his immaculate smile Sometimes still, I find lonesome joy in him. Conrad Schmidt ‘20


INSANITY The night was cold and dark, and to the roaring abhorring storm I hark. I was watching the city, it was busy yet eerie and I saw them all, from the rich to the poor. And I thought to myself — now you have it all, you have it all from your deadly cabal! You have caused your enemy’s downfall, just like you told the people, like you swore. Yet — I wonder would she show deplore, would she have opposed the oath I swore? Would she have favored this unbearable postwar? I lay on my plush, velvet bed, as I felt the pain in my heart, the ache in my head. I thought of her strong vigour, her bright emerald eyes; she had shook me to my core. Since she had taken her last bitter breath I have only wished for the sweet release of death. Ah, those blissful days of Euphrosyne like yore, and all my love she did bore. But the day came when she was upon the floor, and her soul, her body no longer bore. And the very next dawn we had won this bloody war. Suddenly there was a haunting sigh, it echoed through the room but no form I descry. I sat up, my ears could not ignore but there was no sound except a creak of the door. I stood up and heard the petrifying sigh, then I heard more and my eyes went wide. “Who’s there?” I asked as the sigh became a voice and in its lore, horrors it did outpour “Show yourself!” I yelled as thunder did roar, my ears listened as the voice did outpour. Sayeth the voice, “War.” “Am I going crazy?” I asked aloud. I put my head in my hands as my vision went hazy. The voice, its tone did soar, and my thoughts drifted to our days we laid upon the shore. “This is nothing but FALSE,” I bellowed. “You are nothing, some made-up voice of a fellow.” The voice continued and to the city, my eyes did explore and I said, “Her I did adore.” The voice spoke, cut through my heart like a claymore, and I choked, “Her I did adore.” Sayeth the voice, “War.” “I was not wrong. I am not at fault. I won this bloody war with one gruesome onslaught. “I freed this city, and folk went in uproar. I had gutted the king, they wanted an encore. “I have everything, the city is under my rule; to give this up I would be an idiotic fool.” The voice talked and of my heart it tore, I spoke, “To the city, I am a god, I am their Thor.” The voice laughed and talked to me some more, I said, “I am their god, I am their Thor.” Sayeth the voice, “War.” I laughed as wind shook the window; It shattered. I looked at it and saw my life, tattered. I remembered — to stay with her, she would implore, said I, “The city to glory I need to restore.” I walked as blood poured from my feet and sunk into glass, I wanted my fatal handle of 32

brass The voice raved at me like a madman, and I asked, “Then what more is there to live for?” “You son of a whore!” I started but the voice cut me off and I yelled, “What more to live for!” Sayeth the voice, “War.” I looked down; if I jumped I’d be with her, instead of being some worthless cur. The others would have a rapport and then I could be free of this city of an eyesore. Could I leave what I had fought for behind, for what I had killed, and been most unkind? My heart was hers, she taught me love like a mentor, told me it is deadly as a matador. Can I live life without her love in galore? My heart sliced like the blades of a matador. Sayeth the voice, “War.” I looked out to see the bustling city and the night sky, I thought of where my love may lie. In my mind I saw on fire, every house and store and streets soaked with blood and gore. I screamed, “I can’t do this, just let me be free of pain, let me forget her, tell me I’m insane!” The voice told me what I wanted to hear and more, I asked myself, “What more to live for?” I screamed aloud, “In this world, what more — what more in this life is there to live for!” As I thought thoughts most would appall, I beguiled myself to smile. Sayeth myself, “War.” Eddie D’Amico ‘22


wings I have no limitations. I’m free. The sun’s golden rays proudly shine down on me, warming my skin. I look down upon the land below me. People look up. I stare back. They seem tiny, like ants, as if I could easily crush their meaningless bodies under my thumb. I feel like a God. The air gets warmer. I fly higher. I hear a voice telling me to stop. I ignore it. I can’t be stopped. The air gets warmer. I fly higher. Then in a flash, I feel something falling apart. Melting. My power quickly deteriorates. Feathers fall. And I feel the wind. And I see the ground getting closer. The air is no longer warm. It is cold. I feel a rush, and then there is Nothing. Michaela Belskis ‘23 Beat of Life Pound and beat, pound and beat Heart goes thump Time will stop And my heart will drop. Pound and beat, pound and beat. Taking a leap A stepping stone, Only this will prove to know. Pound and beat, pound and beat. Flying by My time will try Only to find out Time is a lie Pound and beat, pound and beat. Ashley Collo ‘21 34

Wind The wind whispers in my ear Sweet nothings that I hear From a far away place Which brings warm embrace My soul floats along the delicate trees Shuttering the colorful leaves My mind fills with loving thoughts A feeling that cannot be bought I love the wind, it’s the path to my heart It leads me to a brand new start Katie Sprouse ‘22 Fore Wave to days spent on the swing And nights swaddled in sheets, Afternoons passed with stale coffee, And weekends wasted and withered Like perished plants Whose crumpled petals float Above dirty water. Show me what is, What could have been, And what was; A farse: Dolls dangling by dainty strings pulled By puppeteers with deft fingers and fidgeting thumbs, Dancing darlings twirling through nights With twitching thighs and rusted throats. I dove through darkness And I touched a cloud Only for it to collapse And free the fog. Wave to the bedlam beneath your bed With her thick tongue that spits sweet venom. It’s almost gone. Katie Carter ‘20 35

Why? Why? Why? Why? I’m told to question everything, but then get yelled at for doing so. Why? Why? Why? I’m told to speak up and speak my mind but when I do I’m scolded. Why? Why? Why? I’m told that in America everyone is free, yet my people have to fight for equality. Why? Why? Why? I’m told that people care about me, but then they forget what’s actually wrong. Why? Why? Why? I’m told people are good, but then they turn around and do terrible things. Every. Time. Why? Why? Why? I’m told that what I choose doesn’t define me, but am shunned when I choose “wrong.” Why? Why? Why? I’m told we’re fighting for the same thing, but people are deemed not valid. Why? Why? Why? I’m told to deal with it, but when I do I’m told not to take it. Why? Why? Why? I’m told it’ll be fine, but nothing gets better. Why? Why? Why? I’m told you support me, then you say hurtful things and don’t care. Why? Why? Why? I’m told we’re treated equally. What a lie. Why? Why? Why? I’m told this is the greatest nation on Earth. Funny joke. I have a why for you myself now. If we are the greatest nation on Earth, why are people oppressed? Why don’t people like me have the same rights as others? Why did we elect a president whose righthand man would rather have suicidal kids and dead kids than have kids like me? Why did we elect him in the first place when his beliefs are cruel, biased, and unfair? Why? Why? Why? Why would you do this to the people of this country? Why… Why… Why… Why are you lying to us? Why... Why... Why… I’m told to stay silent, but no… no longer. Kaden Roy ‘23


It’s Coming for Us All It’s growing from the smell of murder Rancid, putrid aroma from the corpse of the American Dream, it rises The death of young dreams and aspirations Shot down by the AK-47 of college debts and the unemployment rate Believing in the American way It’s coming for us all It’s growing from the soil The ground hardened by melted plastic and oil, it thrives Plucked flowers by little hands traded for Hands burning plastic and crushing soda cans Wearing masks like the days are Halloween But instead, the days have given up the fight against the smog they breathe Believing in the American way It’s coming for us all It’s growing out of their lips The mouths speak venomous words that feed it Thick layers of lipstick Scarlet red like the blood on their hands From the war against disorder And the history of the U.S.A. “Make America Great Again,” it hisses Believing in the American way It’s coming for us all It’s watching us all Praying and thinking of us As we fall to our knees Begging for forgiveness It watches and laughs At our pure desperation To wash away our actions But it’s too late now For it’s already arrived It’s here for us all It finally caught us And now we face the truth Of our handcrafted future From believing in the American way. Anonymous 37

Dusk and Dawn As the sun sets on the frothy tide, The dandelions’ death, the wishes tried; The clouds of castles, of mice and men, The American Dream dreamt of time and again. Those dreamt of rockets and fairy queens, Of silver stars behind the screens; The scuttling turtles, the dreary eye, The apple orchard, the Catcher’s Rye. The sweet pickle grass, the bitter-sweet lemonade, The Willow’s weeping, blistering heat all afade; The goodnight kisses gently blow through the air, The starry-eyed slumber for which we prepare. But as the sun sets on our land, The rise in others is close at hand; The sun is gone, the warmth as well, The stars are like a midnight spell. The dragon flies warble, the crickets serenade, The mariposas waltz, the bedbugs parade. The fireflies shed intense limelight, But are harder to catch than a wile sprite; The moon propels the impervious tide, Unyielding to move for its proportionate pride. But it rises and falls, extends and retracts; Without this dull motion the world would collapse. Although we miss the dusk or dawn, Before we know it, the other’s gone. Duality keeps our demise at bay, Two sides of a coin that can never affray. Georgia Roache ‘21


Lamb Boy of 1981 Green is the garden of a love never tried, the velvet kiss of a friendship lost, A candle still burns where you held me In the window of the old, rickety white house I can still hear the whispers of your laughs That haunt my dreams every night. You were not the first, nor will you be the last. But why can you not? You will not allow me to forget you But they will not allow me to remember you A prisoner to my own love, Trapped in the dew on the blades of grass. The light is dim, a flicker beneath the doorframe The sun is near, but I’ve shut it out Allowing the darkness a few more minutes to spare They tell me heaven is a place of angels, So won’t you be there with me when all is said and done? Or perhaps you’ll sway with the geese And croon over their feathers While I cry over the things that never were And ruin the things that could be. Asha Hoffman ‘20


Currents Of Time Ripples of the past glide by, Flooding in the past. Waves of emotion pushing forward, Only for the tides to pull them back. Winds of color swarm around, Wave pools suffocating the light. Thunderstorms of lust, Rain clouds of regret, A sea of emotions, The currents of time.

today’s tide

Ashley Collo ‘21

you are the tide. one touch, and then you wash away, causing me to think you were never even there until you come crashing back just to disappear once more with your only trace being wet sand and beautiful shells that i fear to step on and crush. sadly, you don’t think the same of me. you are the entire ocean, and i am the sand that you forget you rely on. Haley Stanks ‘20

Dónde? Dónde estoy yo Yo no sé, no comprendo Calle de vida Elijah Cochran ‘21 40

Still Beautiful Adriana Palmer Staff 41

Stoked Luke Gallagher ‘21 42

Home Cole Perfetti ‘21

Sunflower Erin Hanlon ‘21 43


I Was in a Dream or Was I? Adriana Palmer Staff 45

Take a Seat Erin Hanlon ‘21

Exhale Lorna Connell ‘21 46

DARE Nadia Longfellow ‘20


Watch Your Back Kailani D’antuono ‘21 48

Whose Culture is This and Does Anybody Know? Nadia Longfellow ‘20


Rebirth of Ra Madison Rocap ‘20


Prayer Julia Quintin ‘22


While My Guitar Gently Weeps Paul Matusz Staff 52

Captive Robin Altman ‘20


Through the Eyes of Others Robin Altman ‘20


Introspection Nadia Longfellow ‘20 55

Hidden Within the Void Lex Larcher ‘21


Frigid Robin Altman ‘20


Abandoned Isabella Johnson ‘20

Shell Cole Perfetti ‘21


Good Boy Riley Fisher ‘21 59

Brown Eyed Women and Red Grenadine Nadia Longfellow ‘20


The Celestial Unbecoming Celestial stars shine forever Refulgent glows from you are never better Stars above look down below And watch the gods admire you so The ocean surges in a screaming choir And waves engulf your envious desire While in the veil of night the angels sleep And your selfish soul weeps And still, I lay and wait awhile Expecting the unholiest angel to change, But you are fixed in your way. As Medusa's muse your heart becomes stone As a beautiful flower you wither ungrown You fall to Hell and never return, And nobody hears a single word. Lilly Teofanova ‘22

Medusa The smell of old paper still lingers. As does the smell of iron, though if it’s the metal of the weapons or her blood that rusts on them, no one can remember. Her snake coils of curls were more beautiful than honey blond locks. Her piercing eyes could be described more vividly since no man could see them. Emma Rodriguez ‘20 61

I Can Still Hope Verse One: The way you laugh is music to my ears Like angels singing in the distance The way you smile is a masterpiece You’re gonna put the sun out of business Pre-chorus One: But I’m the moon, and the angels weep Cause you’re not mine to keep Cause I’m the moon, and the angels cry Cause I’m the dullest damn thing in the sky Chorus: But I can still hope for a day When the sun meets the moon And I can still wish upon a star For that day to come soon Verse Two: I stick out like a sore thumb A rock among a bunch of shining lights And you shine brightest of them all No one can see, but you light up my nights Pre-chorus Two: But they can see my inconsistency I’m a plain girl who lets everyone walk over me Chorus: But I can still hope for a day When the sun meets the moon And I can still wish upon a star For that day to come soon Bridge: A rose by any other name would still smell as sweet But me by any other name is still a goddamn weed And if every rose has a thorn of its own Me, I’d be a thorn in your side as you grow and grow and grow Chorus: But I can still hope for a day When the sun meets the moon And I can still wish upon a star For you to want that, too Maeve Stanford ‘23


Practice Problems The weights of others is what I must carry, pile them on my shoulders, my friends. Don’t ever worry — I will not tarry, I can take them through the bends. No matter what the subject I can take the heat, their burning won’t touch my skin, when you have my back I can’t be beat, they can’t make me hurt or din. If I schlepp these burdens for as long as I have to — if my spine doesn’t buckle in — I’ll have what I need to do. Maybe I’ll find it and even grin. Because if I help the others with their trouble, maybe the end of mine will be visible. Christopher Katity ‘23

your perfection why must you carry the weight of entire galaxies upon your shoulders? why can you never accept praise or the fact that you are better than “enough?” you are better than a letter, a number, or any other meaningless labels that people use to put a value on your efforts. you deserve the world and more because you have earned it. hopefully one day you will see that and stop chasing a version of you that you will never be. because how can you top what is already your own version of perfection? Haley Stanks ‘20 63

tu me manques “tu me manques,” translates indirectly to “i miss you.” however, in french it literally means, “you are missing from me,” and that’s beautiful because in english, it’s odd to say “i miss you” to someone who never left or isn’t planning on leaving anytime soon. “you are missing from me,” on the other hand, can be said in a moment, with the person missing is right in front of you. it’s a sensation—the feeling of missing someone. it’s longing, it’s desire, it’s true love. it’s the all-consuming love that you can’t pinpoint. it’s the love that isn’t quite there yet, but maybe it will be, someday. it’s the love that left and you want it to return. it’s the love that every song or poem is about. it’s the love that tears you apart only to stitch you whole again. it’s your once-in-a-lifetime go-for-it-with-all-you’ve-got kind of love. when you truly love someone, you feel as though they are missing from you always when in reality, they make the world whole. tu me manques. Haley Stanks ‘20

She Feigns her Sadness She feigns her sadness with a smile She hides her guilt with a grin She says she’s better for a while But only god knows her sins Katie Sprouse ‘22


What If I Can’t Forget You? Today marks the day you flatlined all those years ago. I still remember the way you looked that day: so vibrant, so beautiful, and most of all, so young. If only I kept my eyes on the road. If only I kept my bloody anger controlled. If only I hadn’t started that stupid argument in the first place. If only each “if only” could do something to bring you back to me. Right now, if you had survived the accident, you’d comfort me with your sweet strawberry-tasting lips. You’d force me to play some stupid game you created to get me to smile. Somehow you were a master in distracting me from losing myself in the abyss of my mind. I tried to pin my anger on you — at how you closed your eyes after I desperately begged you not to and how you died after all our plans. You died and you left all these painful pieces, these reminders for me to pick up. I have to live my pathetic excuse of a life knowing that your death was my fault. They tell me that you’d want me to move on, but they don’t know how I feel. No matter what they say, they will never be able to understand what I feel. They don’t know how it feels to look into your unseeing eyes of emeralds and know that you were long gone. They can’t even fantasize about what it feels like to be responsible for the death of their loved one and knowing it. When you died, I lost everything I ever was and everything I ever had. Suddenly my heart was torn mercilessly to smithereens before my eyes, then I had to piece myself back together. Half of me must have been buried with you because I can’t recognize my reflection anymore. They may have lost a daughter or a friend, but I lost a soulmate. I lost my only reason for living. So they can say that they understand, but they never will. They’ll never have this weight in their chest that inhibits them from feeling anything but emptiness. You were, and still are, my everything. I’d kill to hear your melodious laugh again. But I can’t, because you’re gone. You’ve been gone since your head slammed into the dashboard. You’re gone and it’s my fault. Kariana Mora-Lloyd ‘23


When We Met There was this little stairwell at the hotel, embellished with mahogany railings lining the empty space between each set of steps. Adorned with elegant crystal chandeliers, it rang with the twinkling of the illuminated quartz and gave the illusion that walking upwards through the stairwell was a luxury. She didn’t hold much disdain for anything but elevators tended to make her feel an overwhelming anxiety for the claustrophobia it culled. That and the cold. Those two things were what she detested. She regarded the details carved into the wooden artwork lining the walls as little greetings to those who dared to face the prolonged journey to their rooms. She held this solidarity for gratefulness fondly, and preserved it as she neared the eighth floor. Stepping softly, carefully on the carpeted wooden platforms, her raw extension and the way the canary luminescence collided with her skin drew up a fondness. Irresistibility in the warm hue. Her reserve was present in her walk, an intellectual expression of quiet concentration on her face as she made her way down the hall to her room. Her gaze was attracted by the paleness of his shirt as he exited his room down the hall. He shut the door behind him carefully, cautiously, as if he didn’t want to disturb the neighboring suites. The man peeked down the hall and noticed the woman standing there, staring blankly at him. His hair was a long tangle that fell in sweeping tufts around his face. He wore a modest alabaster blouse and charcoal-dyed corduroys that clung against his legs loosley, bunched around his joints. His pocket was bulging with a full wallet and he carried little besides his unrequited nerve. His stance was collected as his head tilted up to meet her behold. Familiarity danced across his brow, as if he’d surely known her before, yet he remained reticent. Aloof. He couldn’t help but stare back, admiring her ochre skin that illuminated against the warm light flooding the ambience surrounding her. She held her hands close together to where her ribs would end and her lengthy, frail body tilted back in an over-posterized stance. She wore a maroon mallory cowl slip, a velvet-satin color, that clung against her figure like medical gloves. Her coat, although extravagant, was a caramel faux leather trench with a faux fur trim; a glam silhouette accented the curvature of her waist. Compared to the rest of her figure which remained somewhat awkward and boxy, it pulled the shape of her frame into a vogue-esque desire. Essentially, the regalia was the only aspect of her that upholded the elegant nature she preserved. Her hair was a jumble of coils reaching just below her shoulders that wildly danced across her forehead with every expression. She smiled slightly at him, merely tugging at the corners of her mouth, and offered a small wave. His eyes were wide but his face held some composure as he man66

aged to conceal the infatuation he held for the spirit before him. Her aura was wild and passionate, resonating an energy that resembled champaign being poured on the roots of a tree in order to encourage its growth. He made his way over to her, not exactly feeling his physicality forcing them closer, and eventually the gap between the two became nearly nonexistent. The woman studied the sway in his step and calculated whether or not to be concerned that he was approaching her. Her gaze was culled to the heavens to meet his and their locked eyes filled the silence until one of them gathered some courage to speak. “Could I get your name?” He pursed, smirking at the suggestion. Her lips pressed together into a sly expression as she squinted her eyes, tossing the question around in her conscious, before uttering a quiet, “You need to earn that sort of thing.” “Fair enough,” He shrugged, “You’re dressed very elegantly. Have I earned the privilege of knowing where you’re coming from? Seems like a good time.” “I’m sure you’re looking for one.” Her vermillion eyes studied his as she continued, “You’re American?” “You’re not?” He replied cheekily. It drew a smile out of her, the confidence dripping off of his lip like honey. She bit hers in response, trying to tug her smile back to a smug expression. She averted her gaze as she did so, chuckling to herself, “There’s a speakeasy called Candelaria. I don’t pretend to assume you’d have trouble getting in, sir?” He felt his chest begin to fill with heat as her passion fell out of her hands onto his shoes and it took every fiber of his being not to get on all fours to collect it like dust. “Could I get something? A number? A particle of identity?” She shrugged, slipping her key card out of her sleeve. “I’ve got a hot date with the tiny shampoos in my shower but you have fun, you know, looking for fun.” She slipped between the door and the door frame like a moth scurrying between tree bark and closed the door behind her with a soft click. He remained in the hallway, dumbfoundedly standing in the wake of their meeting. He yearned for a name, an interest, anything to grasp onto. Anything to tell him that the sudden attraction he had was justifiable. He knew nothing, though, and the desire augmented and flayed itself before him. He autonomized it, dissected it, and abandoned it in the aggrandizing carpet lining the floor below his passion-soaked shoes. Eventually, through perseverance, he achieved that much. There was this long stairwell in the hospital, stark and indifferent embellished with little but a railing for those who needed a twinge of support from its structure. The fluorescence reached only the landings between each flight and stretched netherward until it could rendezvous with 67

a fresh bunch of light. The unyielding light strained the eye, gazes averted to watch each step plow through the strenuous pull of the tenth floor. The walls turned their backs on each passenger, coarsely disrespecting the mourning wake of each formaldehyde scented tear that graced the linoleum. A chemical stench stained the paint coating the walls and coddled a festering need for something natural. Something alive. He cascaded up the flights, inheriting the habit of following the woman through countless stairwells to appease her longing for companionship on these vestibule journeys. Her room was lined with life budding with glorious sympathy and roses. Helium filled pity floated wearily beside her, held down by bags filled with the ocean’s wethered dust, and pulled her gaze away from the pain-stricken stares of her grandchildren. Glassy observance, unsure and subjugated. Her hands were established beside her wrapped in conduits of morphine and her head fell limply against her shoulder, lolling slightly. The raspy breath allocated from the life support and with each curdled hiss she fell deeper and deeper into the comatose. Her daughter ushered the children too young to watch life escape from something abroad and stood weeping softly in the corner, arms pressed vulnerably to her chest to let the agony falter against the bare skin. He shuffled across the room once the throng had vacated the berth and planted himself beside her leg where the side rail had been removed for him to sit. His wizened hand, pigmented with blotches of purpura, quiveringly wrapped around hers tenderly. Her eyes were hooded with sagging skin and sunk deeply into her consciousness while her cheeks bled into the folds of her neck. Her shoulders and chest were exposed to the crisp atmosphere and the man pulled the sheet across it to hinder the cold from flooding her body. She always disliked the cold. He was still furiously infatuated with her even as her skin sagged, as her body crumbled in on itself and she held that same reserve. Her mane still clustered around the frame of her face in wild coils but held a matted and brittle texture now that she was older. The pigment stripped itself from the bundle of tresses and he ran his fingers through it lovingly as if it were the garden of eden. He tended to the flowers, those without budding sympathy, and drank the sap of the trees and the nectar flowing through its reviens. He enjoyed that garden for sixty five years through her and through the braids he wove in his daughters’ scalps and their daughters’ after them. Generations of woven gardens. Her coat, tethered and worn, slumped tiredly over the chair in the corner, no longer retaining its caramel laurels but instead retired to a tawny grey. Like her skin which had retired to a cedar discoloration, waxy and bruised from the I.V.s it collected every round of chemo. She was soggy from it now, weighed back into her hospital bed slowly like a sinking ship. Dipping deeper into the stormy cosmos, resting against the tumultuous 68

waves. His visibility was veiled by the haze blanketing the glass of his bifocals as tears welled in the waterline of the tired globes resting behind pale eyelashes. He was wearing the suit she liked. He was playing the music she wanted. He was holding her hand and stroking her hair and loving her so intensely she could feel it. She felt it as she slipped away into the deep cosmos of the unknown, the catastrophic sleep that embraced her with experienced affection. The affliction he felt as he watched her trickle between his fingers like sand. Like time. Time he recounted, loving every second spent with her and regretting every trip to the bar or his mothers when he’d disagree with her. Recounting the birth of their daughters in that exact hospital. Fate had a pretty messed up sense of humor. He kissed her soft cheek, silk textured romance and passion that slipped away to meet the earth once more. “I love you.” Seaira Manning ‘20

On Closing the Door We close doors for two reasons To keep what’s on the outside out Or what’s on the inside in My father spent his time keeping what was outside Out While my mother spent hers keeping what was inside In My father locks his office door while my mom locks her feelings They each separate their emotions from their priorities From their view, My mother chose my siblings over marriage and my father chose work over my mother And here I am the door where the lock resides Anonymous 69

it’s 2am, it feels like summer Thank you for holding the water in Your hand the dam, my throat a canal of water Once you removed your fingers I began to vomit The life I held inside me Water, spilling, spilling, spilling, And it never stopped I spilled the water That’s what they all say So it must be true, right? Lana drove the car after that Her melody a thread pulling me forward My crystalline eyes showing a clear image Of a blurry world And I’m in a daze And at night I dream of her sweet voice Holding me like a lullaby Afraid to let go And I can feel it again, Holding the water in Holding the water in Thank you for holding the water in Say thank you Say thank you Because it’s your fault They all know it And so do you They are not here, And neither are you. You rarely ever are. Just a dancing corpse, Ready to spill again Holding your own neck Squeezing everything inside And you’re there again Back against the wall Eyes about to turn Water spilled by your feet 70

The noise, a snap stuck in your mind You’re holding the water in Thank you for holding the water in. I never asked for you to do that But surely I had to have Next time I’ll ask another to do it And hopefully, I’ll drown instead. Asha Hoffman ‘20

And If I Am A Field Of Flowers if I am a field of flowers and the sky is roughness and rage must it engulf me? will masculinity always surround me like a humidity pressing down upon me? muscles and five o’clock shadows drown my golden brown soul how dare I try to be god. but in golden waterfalls my heart has always laid its weary head in lily-plugged guns and girls like lilac and lavender in flowers called Alina I live but rocks and aqua have frozen over and I am trapped in a cave that looks like the inside of my father’s brain wolves are tamed and turned to long hair and dresses the sun cowers from the moon because it believes it isn’t bright enough for it but love is gold love is glitter love is opposition and harmony love is staring in the mirror at the image of blue and love has always been easier when it was just like me. Eva McKnight ‘23 71

Blue I’ve been so giving They wanted to be nurtured So I gave them life I gave them what they needed to become strong and grow But they wanted more They wanted to go So I gave them adventure I gave them freedom and liberty and an expanse to explore But they wanted more They wanted to profit So I gave them valuables I gave them things so beautiful and precious they could hardly fathom it But they wanted more They wanted power And I would not give So they took They took what nurtured me They took my freedom They took my valuables They took my life And I am dying But I have a secret When I die So will they They will miss the river valleys that raised them They will miss the salt spray that coaxed them They will miss the pearls that adorned them They will miss the Ocean that sustained them Emma Rodriguez ‘20


Untitled Oh, Sun-lit Fae boy, With crown of twigs and berries, Write me a poem. Tell me about the shy boy Who could bring the world to its knees With only a single word. Tell me how the world will hurt me, Tell me how it will crush my dreams. Give me a smile full of mischief Grab my hand and drag me into your chaos, Pull me to the edge and force me to fly. Oh, Moon-lit Fae boy, With crown hollow and dripping blood, Why did your poem end? The shy boy no longer speaks, His words have left with you. The only sound heard through the falling snow Is a pained cry of your name. Oh, Shadow-lit Fae boy, The world is dull without you, But you live on in all those with Destinies bigger than life itself.

-My Midsummer Night’s Dream will never be the same

Ferguson Kurilko ‘23


Hope In Sun

Head in the Sky

Glistening beams reflect. Diamonds for clouds, And gold for sun. Silver for rain, And emerald for grass. Glass divides, A wall of the other side. Foggy rays descend. Failure for clouds, And hate for grass. Shame in rain, And hope in sun.

Moon eyes Wider than the sun, Touched by none, Yet they still cry. With a style Like the stars; And a smile That reaches Mars. Mind of stone, Heart of their own. Breath like the wind, Words untouched with sin.

Ashley Collo ‘21

Daniella DiCicco ‘22 First Love I can’t remember the exact day it happened, I think it was more of a gradual thing. I guess one day I just got tired of hating her. I mean, if she was always going to be around, I might as well try to like her, at least a little bit. I hated looking at her. Her eyes bore into my soul. She saw every piece of me, and despised it, just as I despised her. Her judgemental glare reflected mine; could she tell what I was thinking? Did she know that I saw all of her flaws, just as she seemed to see mine? She was an interminable pest and I wished to be rid of her, but it doesn’t work like that. It didn’t matter how much we despised each other, we were tethered; a mirror image of the same soul. But we couldn’t be at war forever, it was exhausting. So, we started off with a truce. For my own sake, I stopped hating her for who she was. In fact, I gradually found myself liking her and I saw it in her eyes that she was doing the same. We grew together and I could finally see how wrong I was about her. She was so whole; so fully and unapologetically herself. Our budding friendship quickly turned into something more, something completely and utterly intertwined. She wasn’t dead weight tethered to me, she was light and beauty and everything that I had craved for so long. She was me. Juliana Carmean ‘20 74

A Love Letter The Light of My Life, My love, your beauty is beyond compare, with flames and fire. So vast and expansive, your light creates something within people; your beauty and your simple presence create life. From that life, people are inspired to create works of art that compare to you. Only I know of your true beauty. Only I have seen you at such specific length. Only I have felt your warmth when otherwise surrounded by such vast cold. Only I have seen your soul in ways others could never. Some get close, but you and I are on this plane for a reason. We’re intertwined. Not a day goes by where I don’t feel our energetic cosmic pull. Whether you feel it too, or whether it’s tangible is unknown and unimportant. It exists within my reality. How I long to only get closer to you, feel your warmth from more than a distance once again. But we continue on. Our purpose isn’t for one another, but when we are together, we create an even brighter presence than before. I have light. I know I am loved by some, maybe even the exact same amount as you; maybe I just shine a little less. Sometimes I feel I only shine because of you. Is it possible you and I could cross paths again? When we have in the past, it was always such a fiery display, a theatrical dance between our lights, our shadows, and our passion. We displayed our passions, performing this act for one another, on a bare proscenium, to an empty orchestra. Whenever we cross paths, we burn a light twice as bright, together the two of us immensely greater than the sum of our parts! But the candle that burns twice as bright burns half as long. So I’ll still love you. Ever from a distance. Never forgetting you. I’ll wait, and I’ll hope for the day that our eternal bodies can meet again without overshadowing one another, in such a dramatic way. In such a way. Thus, you could stay with me forever (in my mind). Until that day. Yours Always, The Moon Conrad Schmidt ‘20


Rhyming Couplets Rhyming couplets are lots of fun You rhyme until the poem’s done The words all bounce like puffs of air The pretty words are mine to share I can write of sunshine, love or life I can write of anything, except for strife This pretty mold is like a cage To bind my words of inner rage No. I won’t confine my soul to the cage of rhyme I won’t bend what I feel to make it fit inside a stanza A neat little package, tied with a ribbon that to break it is a crime My words are a song There is a melody in the letters, a harmony in each honest phrase that I set free just in time Before I am smothered by keeping them in for so long But there is safety in this form A fireplace, so safe and warm A coming home from lands unknown A path you must not walk alone


Because rhyming couplets come in a pair The burden’s there for both to share There is a time to break away To scream until the end of day Emma Rodriguez ‘20

Determinism Earth is quite a peculiar place, Each person trying to win the race, But some were born far behind, And others were born across the finish line. To try to catch up, The ones far behind, Must earn silver cup, And swallow their pride But transcending one’s position, Comes at a price. A decision made at one’s own volition, For others only to see one’s previous life. New money will never be worth as much as old, They had to fight for it, Though their hearts are of gold, Time and family have made them unfit. So weep for the misfits, And shed tears for the poor, For their stories were written before they were born. Sami Wagner ‘21


The Pastry Shoppe Lady Every weekday afternoon at approximately half past four, Eleanor Louise Moore enters Winthrop’s Pastry Shoppe. She had decided a while back to only come to the pastry shoppe (spelled “shoppe” as opposed to the common spelling of “shop” to showcase the small-town American values prevalent in Eleanor’s 1950’s childhood) on weekdays due to the fact that weekends are simply too crowded. She also decided that the sweet spot for arrival time was half past four for numerous reasons. To begin, there is only one table in the bakery, and prior to Eleanor’s arrival to this town, it was scarcely occupied after four o’clock in the afternoon. Eleanor has never been a woman to run in and out of somewhere without leaving her mark, so she feels a moral obligation to sit for a while each visit to soak in her surroundings. Also, being in her seventies has made her quite tired, so she likes to be able to catch her breath before walking the two blocks back home. In addition, she has concluded that the timeframe of half past four to the bakery’s six o’clock closing is the optimal timeframe to have conversations with the staff and the reasonable number of last minute customers. Truly, Eleanor comes to the pastry shoppe so frequently in order to have the people-to-people interactions that she frequently desires and rarely receives. Her husband dying a few years ago was the first time she had ever experienced overwhelming, suffocating loneliness. Prior to his death, she could never be seen not around people, and living in the city worked well with her eccentric Leo-rising personality. After her husband failed to wake up one morning, her daughter forced Eleanor to move to her small suburb in order for Eleanor to have family around. Eleanor, despite typically being stubborn, complied. Unsurprisingly, having family in close proximity does not necessarily mean Eleanor sees her children and grandchildren any more than she did when she lived over two hours away, hence her frequent trips to the bakery. She rarely even receives phone calls from them, but none of that matters once she is in Winthrop’s. As Eleanor enters the bakery this Wednesday afternoon, almost on cue, she ponders what to snack on today. She walks over to the coffee maker and chuckles, sharing a private joke with herself. Before she discovered Winthrop’s, Eleanor thought her “spot” in this dreary town would be the local coffee shop a few blocks over. However, she quickly became bored. None of the staff, save for one sweet barista, would hold a conversation with her for more than two minutes, and Eleanor found that to be simply boring. After three days of sitting in the coffee shop (note the common, 78

dull spelling of “shop”), she opted for a change of scenery and stumbled across Winthrop’s. She loved it so much that she could never imagine frequenting any other local establishment. In Winthrop’s, Eleanor found the sense of community that she believes others find in church, only with much tastier snacks. Once she pours her coffee, Eleanor walks over to the counter where she is greeted by one of the newer waitresses. She loved it three weeks ago when the young girl started. She was another new face and name to add to her collection. Eleanor is a self-proclaimed people collector, meaning she finds people to befriend and exchange stories with. Back when she worked as a seamstress in the city, she met all kinds of people worth collecting. She met anxious brides, terrified grooms, pageant girls, prom attendees, and overbearing mothers. Eleanor has believed since she was young that every person has a story worth telling, and she’s always made it her mission to hear those stories from the people she meets. Take this new waitress for instance: she is working this job to afford to study journalism at a university and chose to work here because her side hobby, other than writing, has been baking. Eleanor finds this respectable. She respects any woman with goals. After additional pondering, Eleanor selects a rainbow sprinkle donut to accompany her coffee and proceeds to walk to her usual table, which also happens to be the only table in the store. A few minutes of chatting with the waitress go by, and suddenly, the door to the bakery opens. None other than her friend from the nursing home, Sue, walks in. Sue is quite possibly Eleanor’s most favorite person in this dreadful town. She is nearly the exact opposite of Eleanor’s vibrant personality, so that is part of the reason why their friendship works so well. Sue is quiet and thoughtful whereas Eleanor is boisterous and rash. Neither one exactly understands the other, which always makes their times together interesting. The two facts they have in common are having husbands who are no longer living and children who forced them into nursing homes. They are not necessarily the cheeriest things to share, but they surely make for quick bonding. Perhaps the one good thing that Eleanor sees about being put in the nursing home was the fact that she met Sue. After Sue selects her cinnamon twist donut and decaf coffee, she joins Eleanor at the table, taking the second of the two chairs. She sits, enjoying Eleanor’s company as Eleanor chatters along about the latest movie she has seen and the most recent book she has read. Eleanor likes to show that despite being in the middle of nowhere, she maintains a great connection with the culture of the outside world. Throughout their time sitting and eating in Winthrop’s, they see Alfred, the owner of the local grocery store, with his granddaughter, a new police officer, and a woman picking up a birthday cake for her son. Elea79

nor makes sure to acknowledge each and every one of them because she is a firm believer in everyone feeling important. She also spends time talking to the two waitresses at the counter. She loves every second of it. Before Eleanor can blink, she notices the clock reads quarter to six and realizes that she must be going in order for the waitresses to have ample time to clean up. She shares closing remarks with the waitresses and begins to depart the pastry shoppe with Sue. As she holds the door for her dear friend, she cannot help but longingly looking at the Winthrop’s Pastry Shoppe sign and sighing. This, she feels, is the only place where she matters. Here, she’s known by name and acknowledged as the wise and exuberant woman that she is. Once she is outside of here, especially in the nursing home, she is like anybody else. She loses her uniqueness. At least, today is only Wednesday. She has two more days this week to enjoy the company of the pastry shoppe before the lonely weekend settles in. She hopes her daughter calls. Haley Stanks ‘20

Garden Flowers With slick pink petals And wet green stems like to be held in Warm hands with smooth palms like they Are cheeks. Grass With thin blades stretching towards the sky And fragrant summer trims like to be touched by Warm hands with smooth palms like they Are hair. Trees With trunks thick and callous And innards marked by slim rings like to be held in Warm hands with smooth palms like they Are bodies. Katie Carter ‘20 80

Fructus Arborum Dancing petals and hanging vines Twist and tangle in confines. A yard, simple and waning, Riddled with stones and weed-staining. Filled fully with fruity charm, It shares resemblance to a farm. Then, upon the nine trees laid Plums, apples, peaches for marmalade. A girl, so very young and eager, Plucks the fruit, even meager. Another season come to an end, The trees will wilt and start again. Aria Lindberg ‘22

Pomegranate Haley Richards ‘23 81

Pasture Evan Leeds ’21

Gaze Kariana Mora-Lloyd ‘23

Gucci Sarah Burgos ‘21


Pastel Vanessa Karayiannis ‘21


Glow Isabelle Smith ‘22 84

Return to Sender Sophie Pailleret ‘21

Gravity Hannah Martin ‘21 85

Icarus Summer Raab ‘21

Runaway Emma Rodriguez ‘20


Elagabalus Gabriella Verducci ‘20 87

Reach Keely Calloway ‘23


Terminal Erin Hanlon ‘21

Ripple Paul Leiser ‘22 89

Logic Tyler Greene ‘21


Fracture Mya Shaw ‘21

View Sami Wagner ‘21 91

Sweet Dreams Soleil Yakita ‘20

Night and Day Michael Wagner ‘21


Declawed Gillian Reid ‘21 93

Long Division Juliana Giardina ‘20


Duality Michaela Belskis ‘23

Breakthrough Isabella Johnson ‘20 95

To Dust Again Isabella Johnson ‘20


Jailed Bat Zeph Zensen ‘21


Slow Burn It’s been a long night. It feels like I’ve been here forever On the tip of the tongue And the tip of the mind. A candle. Tip of the flame flicking, Wax licking smooth silk, Streams of smoke whispering selfish songs Into starry skies Marred by scrapes On sore feet. Can you see Venus? Katie Carter ‘20

Love Between the Lines Elizabeth Wilson ‘20 98

Profile for OCHS Speakeasy

Speakeasy 2020  

Ocean City High School's Literary Magazine

Speakeasy 2020  

Ocean City High School's Literary Magazine