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Pillars of Salt

Spring 2018


Editors Bella Tuffias-Mora Dominique White Staff Anna Allgeyer Omari Benjamin Jayla Brown Natalie Goldstein Josie Gordon Julia Hallin-Russo Uma Halsted Lena Jones Katherine Mackay

Faculty Advisor James Russo


Pillars of Salt Literary Magazine The Archer School for Girls Spring 2018


Table of Contents Grenoble, France by Lola Wolf (’19)................................................................cover Summer Solstice by the Pillars of Salt Staff.....................................................6 Red by Bella Tuffias-Mora (’18) ........................................................................7 Harmony in Red by Gemma Brand-Wolf (’18) .............................................8 Untitled by Miayunique South (’19) ...............................................................9 Title: But You by Cat Oriel (‘18) ......................................................................10 Fleeting Aromas by Anna Brodsky (‘20) ..........................................................11 Unaltered Water Lily by Zoey Court (‘20).....................................................12 Up, Up and Away by Josie Gordon (‘20).........................................................13 Celestial Being by Omari Benjamin (‘18) .......................................................15 Untitled by Miayunique South (‘19) ...............................................................16 Fading Gold (Excerpt) by Gillian Varnum (‘20) ...........................................17 Ballroom Dancing by Gemma Brand-Wolf (‘18) ..........................................19 Saint-Pierre-d’Allevard, France by Lola Wolf (‘19) ...................................20 47 Gyphix-Ac by Lena Jones (‘20).....................................................................21 I am a rock, I am drowning by Uma S. Halsted (‘18) ...................................23 Untitled by Lola Wolf (‘19) ...............................................................................24 Our Universe by Jayla Brown (‘18) ..................................................................25 The Farm by Anna Allgeyer (‘18) .....................................................................26 On the Slopes of Mauna Kea by Zoey Court (‘20)...................................27 Sunburns by Gemma Brand-Wolf (‘18) ..........................................................28 The Long-Lost Princess by Omari Benjamin (‘18) .......................................29 Untitled by Miayunique South (‘19) ...............................................................31 E by Zoe Applebaum-Schwartz (‘19) ..............................................................32


The Valley is Burning by Livia Blum (‘19) ......................................................33 Untitled by Julia Hallin-Russo (‘18) ................................................................34 Power Trip by Zoe Applebaum-Schwartz (‘19) ............................................35 Numb by Elizabeth Haltrecht (‘19) .................................................................37 Untitled by Miayunique South (‘19) ...............................................................38 you were my sun by Emma London (‘21) .......................................................39 Ripples by Dominique White (‘18) .................................................................40 Untitled by Miayunique South (‘19) ...............................................................42 Not White by Isabella Silvers (‘20) ..................................................................43 Mammoth by Kat Mackay (‘20) .......................................................................46 Untitled by Hannah Kim (‘20) .........................................................................47 Messy Tears by Uma S. Halsted (‘18) ..............................................................48 Wintering Flowers by Livia Blum (‘19) ..........................................................49 Technicolor by Lola Wolf (‘19) .........................................................................51 Lucy on Playing Dark by Natalie Goldstein (‘18) .........................................52 Yum. by Julia Hallin-Russo (‘18) ......................................................................53 Dining Room Table by Omari Benjamin (‘18) .............................................54 Alika by Zoey Court (‘20) .................................................................................55 Grocery List by Gemma Brand-Wolf (‘18) .....................................................56 Bluffing by Natalie Goldstein (‘18) ..................................................................58 Island Love by Zoey Court (‘20) ......................................................................59 Martyr by Julia Hallin-Russo (‘18) ...................................................................60 If Only... by Dominique White (‘18) ..............................................................61 Untitled by Hannah Kim (‘20) .........................................................................62

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Summer Solstice Senior season Down the drain Drip, drip, drip Peaches and cream Georgia crust Summer stone 6 black birds Our sweet dream

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Red The fire spreading out of her eyes and through her heart paints the summer sunset scarlet. Shadows and sunlight dance and intertwine, the room awash in shades of crimson. The cold tiles at her feet look aglow with heat. The looks of shock and distress on their faces fuel this boiling feeling inside her. She feels simply… Red. The fuse has been lit and she is ready to ignite. Ready to blow this whole household down with her, this whole goddamned miserable town down with her. She lets the fire of the scorching summer day spur her, as she turns to smugly marches down the sidewalk to start anew. That’s when the screams begin. They fill her with bubbling ecstasy as everything she had come to know is suffocated by glowing magma. She breathes the sweet smell of the smoke as she strides forward, brushing hands off her shoulders and readying to run into the beauty of the burning confines of her final summer before the beginning. She is free. She is bathed in fire, kissed by flames, cleansed by smoke, freed by flare. She is the embodiment of immortality, for she is youthful and empowered. Let them all burn with her. Let the world burn in synchrony, for no one is anything more or less than she. Let everyone be equivalently scorched like all will inevitably be in the end. Let them all know that no matter how many material possessions or so called followers they may have, all bleed the same color… Red. Bella Tuffias-Mora ‘18

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Harmony in Red I cut my foot at the museum So I walked around afraid I was trailing blood I looked at the wall between Two paintings One: a panoramic landscape, Windswept and smudged Two: a blind sketch, Unformed idea turned masterpiece I looked at my foot, Thought of all the paint I could save If I just used my blood instead Gemma Brand-Wolf ‘18

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Miayunique South ‘19 Pillars of Salt 9


Title: but you i thought my black heart was permanent i felt broken beyond repair i believed the damage was irreversible i thought that nobody would care. but you, you painted the colors back in my sky planted flowers in my soul in the garden where i never thought the sun would reach again. ~ (your smile actually is a ray of light) Cat Oriel ‘18

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Fleeting Aromas I wear the world on my wrist Dangling charms, fraying threads, sparkling beads All mementos from friends, or family From Thailand, Cambodia, Africa, El Salvador: places I can only imagine. I wonder, sometimes What it would be like To visit the bazaars, the crowded shops, With scents of incense and spices Or freshly prepared food, alien to my own tongue Some linger on the bands on my arm Tempting me with aromas of the unknown. But others have faded with time and use Restricting even my access To the memory of the bracelets’ exotic origins Perhaps, someday, I’ll visit the places Where the circlets were crafted and sold Follow the threads around my wrists, Follow the paths of my friends and family So that I, too, can inhale, absorbing those Fleeting Aromas Anna Brodsky ‘20

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Unaltered Water Lily Zoey Court ‘20

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Up, Up and Away “Dare me to go up that tree?” Lila jumped around the base of red oak tree. The ground was painted crimson brown as the leaves left the tree and floated through the air like snow. “If you want,” Mia dismissed, fully invested in the book she was reading. Music was playing softly from her iPod, a weak attempt to block out the noise of their parents fighting inside. “Yeah!” Lila nodded enthusiastically, Mia’s non-reaction close enough to permission to climb the tree that her mother wouldn’t have given her. Her foot found a chink in the base of the tree and she grappled with the scratchy bark, finding another dent and pulling herself a little higher, continuing the pattern until she got to the long, outstretched branches at the top. Lila finally rested herself down on a branch, her feet swinging over the world. Her raw hands firmly grasped the branch supporting her. “Hello down there!” Lila’s voice floated from the tree with the leaves, causing Mia to disengage from her book and look up at Lila. “Lila! What are you doing up there?” Mia snapped. Lila knew fully well that they weren’t allowed to climb that tree; it was too tall and if they fell they’d get hurt. “You said I could,” Lila responded as innocently as possible, her legs cutting through the breeze. “Get down here!” “I can’t,” Lila whispered, her eyes looking down in shame. “What?” “I can’t!” Coming up was simple enough, and sitting on the branch felt nice, but the idea of traversing back down the rough vertical surface filled Lila’s stomach with a sense of dread. Meanwhile, Mia was coming up with a plan herself. Of course, her baby sister had gotten stuck in the tree they weren’t supposed to play on. “Would it help if I came up with you?” Mia asked, shouting so her voice

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would carry over the wind. She could barely see Lila nod. Mia placed her foot on the same place on the tree Lila had earlier, using mainly her arms to try and pull herself up. She slipped back down the tree, but tried again. She placed her foot in the dent, lifted her arms above her head, pulling up, again and again and again until she reached the branch that Lila sat on. “Scoot,” she told Lila, needing a break before going back down. The sun had started to set, pinks and purples painting the sky. The ground below, the grass and cheap garden chairs seemed miles away. Nothing mattered up in the sky. “I think I’d like to fly,” Mia decided, gazing at the scene in front of her. “I’m not so sure. Being up high is- I don’t think I like it.” While it had been fun at first, the knot of climbing down had grown and all she wanted was to feel the hard ground under her feet. Getting there, though, that was a bigger problem than just sitting on the branch. The two sisters sat in silence, the sun setting behind them. “We should go down before it’s too dark,” suggested Mia. Mia explained that she would go first, so if Lila fell Mia could catch her. Mia carefully placed her foot against the tree and held tightly with her arms, lowering slowly, slowly, slowly. Soon after, Lila started down as well. One foot at a time, the sisters made their way down the red oak. The moon was shining bright above their heads by the time Lila placed her foot on the ground, letting out a little yelp of happiness. Josie Gordon ‘20

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Celestial Being The body is not enveloped in the darkness. The body is the darkness, Consumes the darkness, For me, for you. The face, so exquisitely imperfect, The lines that hint, but never point at— A bona-fide constellation Made whole by the spaces between. And then the eyes— The source of all the light in the universe Curving, caressing, cradling Carrying each endless luminescent soul That resides within their immortal ageless ambiguous beauty. Upon this being’s arrival, Life explodes. Piercing through the darkest of black holes, The inkiest of shadows and veils, No corner is left untouched By warmth and brilliance. For what do stars do, but shine? Omari Benjamin ‘18

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Miayunique South ‘19

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Fading Gold (Excerpt) Inspired by a quote from All Quiet on the Western Front: “Often relatives sit by the beds and weep or talk softly and awkwardly. One old woman will not go away, but she cannot stay there the whole night through. The next morning she comes very early, but not early enough; for when she goes up to the bed, someone else is in it already. She has to go to the mortuary. The apples that she has brought with her she gives to us” (258). The nun moves to the front counter and leafs through a notebook. I told her the name of my son and asked to see him, but she has not taken me anywhere yet. We still stand on the bottom floor of the hospital. Three floors full with rows of injured boys, destroyed by the war. The ceiling is low and the lighting is dark; the rain pours relentlessly outside and I try to lose myself in its melody. I want to see my son desperately. She takes me up to his room and motions me inside, with an unsure look on her face. The room seems more suffocating than ever, but it is too dark for me to see clearly inside. I step into the darkness. I can make out a figure on the bed, but just barely. “Ben?” I barely whisper his name, but I know the figure on the bed is not my son. My voice is light and weak, my breathing is fitful. This isn’t my son, where is my son? My feet stick to the ground; Ben should be here. I have apples, for Ben. I’m here, Ben. Where is my son? I don’t want to talk to the nurse; I don’t want to hear what she has to say. The silence is painfully loud, forcing its presence upon me. I don’t move. I’m smothered in the cold, hard darkness and I don’t want to leave. That’s my son’s bed, that’s where I lay with him, only yesterday. I told myself tomorrow, tomorrow. She pulls my arm and leads me out of the room into the stale hallway. There’s not enough air in this building. I’m afraid. The nurse pulls over a man in a black suit and he takes the lead, turning away so that I cannot see his eyes, as if he’s ashamed. I need to see my son, take me to my son! I keep my head down and follow his feet in the dim light. He opens a door at the end of the hallway, and a putrid smell hurries out. This room is

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even worse; now I know what lies, silently, past the doorway. My legs don’t move and my throat becomes sore and tense. I search/gasp for air but everything I breathe in chokes me. The room stretches on for miles and lengthens, taking up all the space in the world. I can see the white sheets on the tables, rows and rows, an endless graveyard, and I know underneath one of them is my son. My eyes stare blankly ahead; my hands are uselessly still. I can’t. Gillian Varnum ‘20

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Ballroom Dancing

What do you see when you’re drunk like that? Do you see a more beautiful world Painted beneath your eyelids? Do you see yourself clearer With blurred vision? Do you imagine a different ending? Dancing until we die Scuffing abstract echoes into the floor Smiling to hear your voice reflected Thinking maybe you’re not alone sometimes I think all you want is the relief all you want is the swaying, dancing of the world that comes with the honey and poison you pour down your throat but we can’t dance forever we will burn in iron shoes and turn to dust in ballroom bars and the stars that twinkle on your eyelids will blink out and all we’ll see is the bottom of the glass and the darkness of a cold, empty night Gemma Brand-Wolf ‘18

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Saint-Pierre-d’Allevard, France Lola Wolf ‘19

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47 Gyphix-Ac “Dr. Ophelia!” Loose rocks beneath Ophelia’s soles tripped her up. Surf swallowed the young woman for a moment before her bun of braided hair broke the water’s surface. It tasted like liquid salt and squid ink, and its murky gray color complemented the flavor. Her disruptive intern stifled a giggle. “Mr. Chase, I’d prefer it if you addressed me as Dr. Johnson,” Ophelia said for the third time since this mission had been assigned to the pair at base camp. The doctor stooped down to dip a glass vial into the strange water and collected her last sample of the day. The setting Sun dressed her brown skin with a scarlet veil as she stuffed the vial into her satchel. “I came to tell you the last of the marine flora variants have been collected, photographed, and prepped for our lab,” Victor Chase reported, grinning proudly. Dr. Ophelia Johnson, in all her years of documenting interstellar biology and traveling to foreign worlds with the most loathsome of people, had never, ever needed to explain why professionalism is required on the job. No college intern had ever been as persistent about breaking protocol as this Victor fellow–and yet no intern had ever been as efficient collecting her samples before. Ophelia waded through the water in her squeaky wetsuit and held out a hand for his plant specimens. In his haste to give her the airtight package of plants, their plastic casing slipped through Victor’s fingers. Had he not referred to her as “Doctor Ophelia” mere moments prior, she would have dismissed his clumsiness with mild irritation. Unfortunately for him, she was more than a bit agitated. “You idiotic…” Ophelia muttered insults into the wind and stomped through lapping waves to find the lost parcel. Victor went to work behind her, clearing away water in complete focus. Neither of the two noticed when the surf receded, nor did they acknowledge the crescendo of roaring water. The sudden blanket of shade turned both pairs of eyes

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upward. A great wave towered over Victor and Ophelia, allowing but a small gasp to escape the doctor’s mouth before engulfing the two entirely. Ophelia rolled underwater. Her bare face scrapped rough stones which had been swept up with her, and currents tugged her in all manner of directions. Gray water invaded her lungs. Every so often, her head would resurface and she’d glimpse Victor’s flailing body caught in the same riptide before being submerged once more. When she finally came to rest on a black seashore, the woman could do nothing but hack up fluid. The doctor looked up after a while and saw Victor’s back to her. Past the young man, an arched cave entrance occupied the center of whatever uncharted island they’d been tossed onto. A faint yellow glimmer winked from within… “Mr. Chase,” gasped Ophelia. Her intern spun around, eyes wide with excitement. “Do you still have your camera?” Lena Jones ‘20

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I am a rock, I am drowning I am static I don’t want to be But, i’m a great rock Trapped beneath sand dunes

When I used to swim in the ocean I’d cling to these rocks for safety they don’t move They’re like my grandpa But without movement Without change That rock, like me, is left alone Now i’m learning I watched the sunrise this morning From the rusting window next to my pillow It was filled with starburst flavors It went away in 5 minutes I guess all things must pass at some point I want to change with these things Move as curveballs are fired at me But then I must forget and move on Begin to dig the quick sand away Free my feet Reach up for air Only to let new water rush past and throw me into the sand once again. Uma S. Halsted ‘18 Pillars of Salt 23


Lola Wolf ‘19

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Our Universe Isn’t it funny how you used to think that Saturn’s rings were solid; one slick street of ice, or rather, one long continuous track, that you could skate on with a lover, around and around, swirling in circles for eternity, infinity and all that time in between, forever scratching its surface. Until one day you learned in school that the rings were not as you dreamed, not as they seemed. Particles apart rather than together. Isn’t it funny how you Used to think that our Universe, our very own Milky Way, was named After the chocolate bar, and not the other way around. We were so Neatly wrapped, square, Tight in silver. Perfectly Perire. Until that day Everything

when

E x p a n d e d. Jayla Brown ‘18

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The Farm Reclined in the missouri tub, ladybugs buzz lazy circles overhead, land in the glorified puddle a milky white mineral pool turned to ladybug’s watery grave – I must be appealing, then, as ten more land upon my breast. There is something cruel in this revolting beauty – something evil floats south. Towards my feet, towards the drain. Sticking to my legs when I stand up and brushed off easy, a flick of my fingers. Anna Allgeyer ‘18

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On the Slopes of Mauna Kea Zoey Court ‘20

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Sunburns I have forgotten what it means to live in the summer The sun visited the city – I went to the beach I felt gentle in my thin dress and sandals Like the fruit gathered on the kitchen counter Rotting happily in the warm sun I slept ten hours that night I was in the sun too long And my body reeled with so much energy Resistant to the fading light of a day ended I wonder if I will be new when my skin peels Gemma Brand-Wolf ‘18

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The Long-Lost Princess They said she was Clever and curious, Sensible and sweet, Beautiful and beloved, But we’ll never know. Her legacy came to fruition on her 16th birthday (As these tales usually go). Falling under that timeless spell, She realized she was not like the others of the tales; She had to change. As the others all waited for love, So too would she wait. We watched in dismay As she walked through the doorway Of the tallest tower in all the lands. She waved her life away, “Fear not, it is written.” What to do in a tower of your own creation? She slept and swept. Packed away her childhood dreams of freedom Polished the glossy image of True Love. She waited so long for love And, slowly, forgot The ecstasy of the sun’s rays in the morning,

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The sweet caress of the written word, The gentle touch of her mother’s hand on her cheek (A budding flower? A whisper?). For the sake of The right story, She said goodbye To herself. Omari Benjamin ‘18

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Miayunique South ‘19

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E I wished you were a bad dream when I saw your animated corpse dancing wildly under a polluted sky I pulled up between trees in your mid-size hatchback, car radio crackling and hissing NPR sound bites (punk sanity) like A-bombs detonating in the ceaseless night It was some quixotic fantasyyour skin twirling around fractured bones, spirit leaking into an invisible radiation crawling up between the Day-glo streetlights I suppose I was scared that night, But my intuition was busy collecting dust mites and fingerprints in the corners of your bedroom You were a sprawling [murder mystery] of flesh and of consciousness And I, your practical consumer. Zoe Applebaum-Schwartz ‘19

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The Valley is Burning ash is crawling along the streets. I can feel fire burning at the corners of my eyes. The valley is burning And the sun is orange. I am cracking Turning inside out. Ash turns at the sides of my eyelashes Whispering. Christmas on the horizon A stillness, coated in grey. A super moon lighting up our hallways like hospital lights. The Santa Ana winds twist up my soul Like ribbon. Claws growing underneath my fingernails. My knees bending, crouching to watch as a lion does. The Santa Ana winds spin the fire into red flowers at my footsteps. Burning. No time. We are screaming at ourselves. I have done nothing I have been obligated to do. Memory leaves my eyes like night seeps out of starlight. The ash is falling like makeshift snow. A Christmas, dressed in black. The valley is burning I can still see the moon. Livia Blum ‘19

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Julia Hallin-Russo ‘18

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Power Trip I was standing on the corner of Peach and Sepulveda, the remnants of a summer breeze twisting my hair into knots. It was a week day, and I had successfully convinced my mother that I was too sick to attend school. Thus, I had the distinct privilege of joining her on her weekly Costco run. As far as I was concerned, I was a criminal mastermind. I eagerly climbed into the shopping cart we rolled through the colossal entrance, gripping the metal rails in earnest anticipation. As we neared the first aisle, my heart stopped. On godly display- amidst rows of dog toys and weight loss supplementswas the most fantastic dress I’d ever seen. It drew closer and closer as I quietly lapsed into an unresponsive power trance, lost in the divine intersection of velvet, glitter and tulle. I had to wear it. But I couldn’t escape the cart. I resentfully stared at my poor, unassuming mother as she picked out a 12-pack of razors. “You did this to me,” I whispered. My pulse grew louder and louder in my ears as the cart began to turn the corner into another aisle. I felt something swelling inside of me. As I watched my celestial object escape behind boxes of meaningless stuff, that feeling hit critical mass. I stumbled out of the cart, landing face-first on the tile floor and scrambling towards the dress, effectively clearing a path by screaming as loudly as I could. I snatched the magical thing off of its mannequin and zipped myself into it.

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I stood there, waiting to wield the unparalleled power that the dress had promised me. I waited for an eternity, but it did nothing. In fact, the dress was three sizes too big, and it sort of itched. I heard my mom’s footsteps travel up the aisle. She ripped the dress off my shoulders. Thus, my reign of power came to an end, and I learned to live as a mortal again. Zoe Applebaum-Schwartz ‘19

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Numb When will this stop? When will we realize what is happening? 20,30,40,50... All dead, 80 injured, Thousands emotionally distraught Traumatized One person made a decision to ruin lives To spread fear and insecurity One person... That is all it takes That is all it has taken Spreading fear Perpetuating violence We are numb to their logic No longer surprised when we are notified of the newest shooting We shake our heads And walk on What does that say about us as a unified country? It says we have lost each other far beyond reach. It says that this has been normalized. That is not okay That should not be okay We are not okay Elizabeth Haltrecht ‘19

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Miayunique South ‘19

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you were my sun violet laced sensations danced off your tongue rhyme after rhyme you became my sun little did I know what I needed was the moon your solar flares were too bright walking away was a brilliant monsoon Emma London ‘21

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Ripples Sun kissed, Dancing under the trees with you. Heart flutters, Faster than the wings of a hummingbird. Stillness, The peace I find in nature, Similar to that in which I looked for in you. Wishing that I too could jump From lily pad to lily pad Unattached and free Like the frog that rib-bits in the middle of the night. Exhaling, I feel your spirit surrounding me Like how leaves engulf their trees. Soaring high, I too wish I could fly Like the butterflies you used to adore. Inhaling I take it all in, Wishing every piece of beauty in nature Didn’t remind me of the way you smiled Or the sweet musky smell of your cologne Or the sparkle in your eyes.

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… The breeze has gotten colder, And the sun’s kisses have become unbearable. The heart flutters have slowed, And my mind is speed racing again. The lily pads sink with every hop, And the shadows of the trees have become suffocating. I’m no longer your precious butterfly… Dominique White ‘18

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Miayunique South ‘19 42 Pillars of Salt


Not White I always thought my mom was “normal” Not colored. Not different. She’s white… Right? I mean at the airports they always check her bags Take her aside Pat down to her pants. Full pat down It takes lots of time But if she expects it Should I? To me she was the standard But that was in my eyes She never got called a racist slur That I heard. I always thought that I was white. I never thought otherwise. When forms would say to check off my race I would just check white It never left a trace. That’s what my dad told me to do Just check white, it’s easier. The standard, the basic, The normal.

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One day during PE A boy told someone to call the “persian mafia” On me. I didn’t understand what he meant And I still don’t. Is it offensive? It doesn’t make sense I’m not Persian. The day I realized I wasn’t white Talking to my friends at school Discussing race. My friend pointed to three Said these over here are white Looked at me for a second Then a second more Took a minute to think Said I wasn’t white. But what am I? I’m not Black, Hispanic, Native American I’m not Asian, European, Australian

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I’m from the Middle-East But I’m American. I don’t have an accent. Or speak other languages. In different lighting My skin changes. Medium Olive But is it a tan? I don’t deal with racism That often And I have white privilege Mostly. But my friend said I’m different. Not normal. Not standard. I always thought I was white. Isabella Silvers ‘20

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Mammoth Mountains rest, Clouds swirl in the cerulean sky, Grass sways in the wind. Gazing out the window the world Looks mobile. Exhausted houses sleep on The skirts of nowhere. Their windows vacant of life. Facades of antiqued paint. Children no longer run about the yard In fits of laughter. Swings are no longer petulant, But aged with corrosion. Lonely roads proceed us, Occasional white dashes. A sporadic Toyota. City signs, Mountains begin to appear snowy, The glass begins to fog. We shiver. Where is home? Kat Mackay ‘20

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Hannah Kim ‘20

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Messy Tears Find me a blue eraser I need to wipe my sorrows away Daisies have drifted for too long They soak up tears Resting on the plump fuzzy peach of my cheek Uma S. Halsted ‘18

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Wintering Flowers Yesterday I went walking in a field of wintering sunflowers. Their petals fell backwards in time And I thought of a sunset I remembered in a room I used to love that had little pieces of sunflowers hidden in the walls and on Wednesday afternoons the flowers used to grow through the plaster and it made cracks in the walls where sunflowers that were a little bit smaller than usual sunflowers grew. They stretched their leaves like they were stretching their arms towards something and It hurt me that They didn’t seem to find what they were looking for. I used to sit on the floor on my knees on those Wednesdays And watch them curl their way into the air and breathe softly And search. I never had enough time to stay And always was gone when they retreated back into the walls, leaving only small traces of Yellow Like paintbrush sunlight or Little outlines of butterflies. So I’ll never know I suppose Whether they ever found something to hold onto Maybe it was in the dark enclosures of twilight Maybe it was in the absence of me Watching, sliding in between moments That they were found.

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I think that sometimes when no one is watching, the ocean turns inside out and starts over. And it is in this way that we learn to hope again and it is in this way that I learned how to paint impossibility in the sunrise. Livia Blum ‘19

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Technicolor Lola Wolf ‘19

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Lucy on Playing Dark When you lie in bed, do you see it? I see it, too. It’s the negative space, the opposite, the inside out. It’s the outlines of memories floating in your head, projected on your eyelids in pinks and blues, purples and greens if you squeeze too hard. But me, I’ve made a sky of shapes where I fly with oil slick diamonds racing against the neon amoebas that cartwheel like throwing stars through the void. I gave up explaining pretty soon ‘cause I knew they’d never catch on, so now I’m here with you, playing dark for them. Natalie Goldstein ‘18

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Yum. Your bones creak when you walk Did you know that? They pop, like twigs in a fire At first it pulled at my whiskers But now i am quite partial to it It reminds me of how soon you will pass And how delicious you will be. Julia Hallin-Russo ‘18

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Dining Room Table I am sitting at the table and he is walking in continuous circles around me. What’s the word? Stalking. He stalks back and forth and back and forth until he becomes a singularity, a certainty of our universe. The line he is creating is here and now. The line he is creating will always be here. Perhaps this line has always been here, but I don’t claim to know much about alternate realities and dimensions like that. I’m told I shouldn’t be overconfident, and anyway, I’m not even smart. His words come out rapid-fire. I’m trying not to hear them—ungrateful, ignorant, lucky, waste, son—I retain them anyway. Omari Benjamin ‘18

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Alika Zoey Court ‘20

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Grocery List The difference between sweat and tears Is the difference between rose and red Made up of the same stuff But tastes different on your tongue So I cry into my dinner because we ran out of salt Or I cry into that mason jar sitting over there on the shelf The shelf near the window so the light comes in at noon and The glass makes a rainbow on the kitchen wall When I was younger I would spend all my time in the school library Where a glass prism hung from the window sill Splashing rainbows across the books in pretty shadows Chasing the dust bunnies into corners Where the rain pooled and made coffee stains on the ceiling Like ink blot tests for amateurs That reminds me I once saw storm clouds collect on the ceiling of my room It reminded me of a little-known painting by a well-known artist Hanging on a grey wall in a lonely hallway A painting to be passed But I stopped and looked at the light shining through the soft white clouds I wondered how this was different than a window and why No one looked outside I wondered why the rain tastes different than the ocean Why the water ran through my goosebumps That one time we jumped into the lake The cold December air felt warm after that And all my cells quivered to be alive

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I wanted to live in that moment In each beat of my shocked heart and each Breath that hovered in the air Now I think a cloud of breath is not so different from An overlooked storm captured in a golden frame Or ink spilled across the ceiling by someone in a rush Someone who forgot about the rainbow hanging in the window And thought the mason jar on the shelf was full of seawater That reminds me We’re out of salt Gemma Brand-Wolf ‘18

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Bluffing I rest on the precipice, legs dangling over the long face that melts into a gaping black mouth. With my palm, I skim the edge; it used to be granite, but summer storms have weathered it to a toothed pumice. The leaden dust of quiet settled here long ago, before the fall of all but the bluff. A sober peace, but undisturbed. Still‌ Natalie Goldstein ‘18

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Island Love Zoey Court ‘20

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Martyr

It was supposed to be me Not her I was supposed to be the chosen one Supposed to be martyred in the vermillion fire Not her She wasn’t supposed to feel the flames crawling up her body, caressing her thighs, her calves Wasn’t supposed to arch her back and let out a sensual, curdling shriek I was But I didn’t They forced me to watch Forced us all to observe To gaze upon her tortured ecstasy To stand in silence and in chant To contain my anger and my pain To caress her and to and strike her To drag blades down her spine and around her breasts To watch sweet blood kiss her lips, run down her lithe form They forced me to wither And wail and weep within I will never forget I will never forgive I will no longer bow Deign to bow To those who strip me bare of my birthright They are no longer my lords He is no longer my master I will burn them all Julia Hallin-Russo ‘18

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If Only... If I saw spirits, Maybe I could help save you. Or maybe I could’ve saved myself. If I saw spirits, Maybe I could change the way People view others everyday. If I saw spirits, You wouldn’t fear the sounds in the night, Because I could guarantee they don’t bite. If I saw spirits, I could make the world smile, Without ever running a mile. If I saw spirits, Your tears would be worth gold, And maybe then you’d become bold. If I saw spirits, Would you see mine? Would you think it was divine? Dominique White ‘18

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Hannah Kim ‘20

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Profile for The Archer School for Girls

Pillars of Salt - Spring 2018  

Pillars of Salt - Spring 2018  

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