WESLEYANâ€™S STUDENT OF COLOR PUBLICATION
Staff : Adrianna Brown Aili Francis Campbell Silverstein Hailey Broughton-Jones Jed Munson Jordan White Kazumi Fish Olivia Najera Paul McLaren Simone Roberts-Payne Sung Joon Kim Rebekah Song Chaltu Rashid Jiyoon Park Samantha Rizon Ricardo Vega Akanksha Kalasabail Lena Mitchell
Front Cover: Xhonia Robinson Back Cover: Campbell Silverstein This edition was sustainably printed with support from:
EXAMS GOT ME IN MY BAG Princeton Carter
Understanding false intentions of premonitions couldn’t get any hollower, Shallow feeds riddled deceit, even Jesus had followers, Tryna get my head above water so I don’t drown in the struggle, Dog eat dog world and I’m defined by my muzzle, Life’s a puzzle and the pieces keeping changing a soon as you think you got it, Got it? See it’s an obsession for possession of something knowledge is base in, How can I move up if my mindsets the basement, Face it. That all way can do. I have to do me and that’s our path to the truth.
Left: Aili Francis
WHEN THE DEVIL CAME KNOCKING Irmina Benson
It was mid-July. He whispered sweet things that make your hands warm, your eyes sparkle. He tells you. “You are my caramel cremes” You believe him. He leaves you for the blonde one. The one who’s smile looks like mid-July. Whose ocean eyes sweep him up to leave you both behind “Am I speaking about your father or your husband? “ He says to you, “You are the dirt beneath my feet.” “You will never be like her. “ He breaks your flesh with his bare hands and bruises your eyes With his palm. He lays you down at night to remind you that your body, your dirty body, does not belong to you. It belongs to the knocking at the door. It belongs to the whispers and hushes of the night. To the shadows of the dark. Your body belongs to the king of so below . He whispers, “There will be mountains you won’t move” You tell him. “I’ll still be there for you.” You will never leave him. He is the man who bathes you, who has loved you. He sweats under the Mississippi sun and you breathe your love into him because of that. He is the man who strips you of your flower. He beats the beauty from under your cocoa skin. He will never love you the way he loved her. You’re stuck behind the fence. The Devil wants in. Right: Nadine Ng
9 / 2 1 B E C A U S E M Y B E L LY T E L L S M E S O Mya Valentin
I did not have a warning this is how I knew something was wrong no swelling of the breasts no pain declaring the existence of my left ovary small mountains have formed on my skin where the land should be clear Guabancex stirs in my belly this was the calm before the storm Maria, making herself known by taking away what I know of myself Do you have family on the island? No. I don’t know. there must be, right? a distant aunt, a cousin everyone is família la raza survives in spite of geography and borders even if everyone I know is either dead or in Florida somewhere somehow blood still calls out to blood Juracán performs and leaves, as men do when I hurt I know that I hurt for somebody someplace today I hold a whole island in my womb even if I don’t know their names, I know they are there because my belly tells me so. 10
W H AT C H R O M E K N O W S Jed Munson
ㅑ 므 좀ㅅ ㅑ 므 ㅕㅜㅇㄷ굳ㅁ소 좀ㅅ ㅑ 채ㅕㅣㅇ ㅜㄷㅍㄷ ㄱ ㄴ묘 [ I am what I am underneath what I could never say ] 뭉 ㅠㄷㅅㅈ뚜 솓 ㅎ개쟈ㅜㅎ ㅎ멘 ㅠㄷㅅㅈ뚜 ㅡㅛ ㅅㄸ소 [ and between the growing gaps between my teeth ] ㅠㅕㅅ ㅈㄷ 애ㅜ’ㅅ ㄷㅍㄷㄱ ㅅ미ㅏ 뮤ㅐㅕㅅ 좀ㅅ [ but we don’t ever talk about what ] ㅐㅟㅛ 초개ㅡㄷ ㅏㅜㅐㅈㄴ [ only Chrome knows ]
ㅑㄹ ㅛㅐㅕ ㅠ디ㅑㄷㅍㄷ ㅐㅟㅛ ㅛㅐㅕ 채ㅡㅡ뭉 넴ㅊㄷ [ if you believe only you Command Space]
UNTITLED Rachel Godfrey
when he looks you in your eyes only to see another image of himself as his hand gets ready for his next intellectual masturbation session before he delves into his pity pocket and asks you to clean another self-made mess slit his throat. watch the blood seep out. put your mouth to the wound. drink. drink until your belly is full until his body lays lifeless on the floor until you are glowing until you are satisfied in his final breaths heâ€™ll finally catch a glimpse of what you know he might just learn about what itâ€™s like to watch yourself die before your own eyes
AN EIGHTH GRADE DANCE Akanksha Kalasabail
you cupping my ass, a secondhand serenade. feed me more liquor. your dadâ€™s photograph glaring at my ignorance; oversized high heels, glittery love bites. blanched cherries and unlit wicks, teenage rebellion.
E T TA
Kai Williams there’s a rapist in my house group chat and i won’t ever open the door when he says he dropped his key. it’s my birthright, when the crane maiden instructed the farmer not to look she recognized consequence imminent on the horizon but on these flights back to the beginning she considers the end, like blam! or those euthanasia capsules that dutch doctor invented or maybe he was french because she knows she will be the one to carry the consequence, the bulk of it weighing down against the blanket of her wing (you know, because she’s made to cover) after the farmer looks, like any of them ever instructed not to look he will merely yearn, just barely longing for her, he knows nothing of desire beyond the legs, the grip, knows nothing about your whole architecture every choice in your design vying for new life, shielding shine, leaning forwards the strain, connective tissue snapping underneath your armpit, that pain like nothing that ever stretched itself so far as to have a change, a chance, just a shot at it a different kind of living. we just balk at girls who have the assurance to decree “and I will never ever ever choose not to leave behind a person who made meat out of who i am and what i gave and ate and ate until i lived on a bed inside their stomach where there is no shine and no new air just because I love them” again. and mean it. cause under something is my mother and she is praying, walk cause under something are our mothers and they are screaming, walk
Left: Christopher Desanges
“ FA C E S O F T H E A B S E N T ” Ricardo Vega
I saw you the other day, Or...at least I thought it was you It was that girl from my lecture class who sits twenty rows behind me She kind of has your hair I saw you again walking down the street I almost went up to say hi But it was just the guy I see around school who wears his headphones and hoodie His eyes are the same color as yours You’re a thousand miles away from me Yet I feel like you’re just a few feet away I am surrounded by a million strangers But I always manage to find your face in the crowd ...Oh, it was just another stranger I guess I’m just imagining the familiar amongst the unfamiliar Feeling the presence of someone who is absent Yet, I sometimes wonder if you also see me around And manage to break a smile for a brief second before you realize It’s just the guy that sits behind you in class
M A R I N AT E Caridad Cruz
I the beckoning motion of fingers that have plucked away at instruments private lessons and classical training reaching maybe they can take my heart reach so deeply shove away my organs and dig at my cavity withdraw it from me maybe my heart will be gold when it is in their hands II The salt of my sweat is imported. The sugar of my lips is picked cane. My muscles used to clean houses. Mi piel pica. III This is not a conquering This is just a mistake IV Do you see? Do you see? Do you see? Do you see? Do you see?
CAR RIDES Mina Khan
i was in the backseat and he rushrush rushhhhed . begging for a stop, i show him red; lungs, sliced horizontal. reveal triptych. i would like to repaint this picture, remove backdrop. clench my heart in my palm. feel it throb. squeeze it to a still. once tamed; i remove. no need to be careful; will be painted over. toss it over the edge of the highway, into the water. i watch it zoom distance, screaming in falsetto â€ƒpapa, when i grow up, i pray to meet the river. to bob it for apples. i never learned to swim, but i did learn to be drowned and stay afloat.
i remain annoyed. turn off his radio. speakers buzz along the walls. surround sound is expensive. he hits my hand away, turns the dial up.
the seatbelt clicks in loops.
ah ah ah ah ah ah aie i can hear my heart making waves like moonlight. must repaint repaint my insides before they dry.
tie arms back. show canines: fear:: aggression:: joy and dip. ravenous. .
must bob for apples. dip into the s s sh shallows sss / mack face against glass / against water salivate jaw gaping teeth gnawing for anything with the right bite
slave to gravity i pray to be a slave to gravity to flow; seamlessly to be pushed and fall and sink and remain repaint clash red against apples bob + repaint +repaint rep ain t
to bob for apples is to inhale aimlessly. red; only blue.