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(Trig)gered

By Gurshaan A.

A Triangle

Triangle, why must you 

always haunt me 

with your many angles and lines, 

vertices and properties, 

forever embedded in my mind

like a song with a catchy tune? 

 

I still happen to shudder when I recall

every test, 

every quiz,

every 

single 

question, 

having to scourge my mind to remember 

which distinct formula, 

which specific property to use, 

all to find the angle measure of ∠XYZ or to prove ∆ABC congruent to ∆DEF. 

 

You are the reason I dislike Geometry, 

you are the reason I still know that ½ base * height is your area, 

and strangely enough, 

you are why I don’t seem to enjoy pizza as much anymore. 

 

Now, I am out of geometry. Now in Algebra II I am meant to be free. 

Free from the pointed reaches of your sides, 

which follow me like a pack of angry dogs after a car. 

But like the scent of strong, spicy cooking, you cease to leave. 

You persistently remind me of your presence like a jealous ex, 

from street signs and cross-cut sandwiches, all the way down to a small Dorito. 

 

You have become an old enemy that I must embrace, 

as I venture into Trigonometry next year.

I guess you can’t be that bad - after all, 

It is you that gives a frame to a solid bike, and

it is you that is the foundation for lasting bridges. 

 

Hey triangle, 

maybe we can be friends after all.  

 
 

Stanza

By Jia S.

 

my front yard

was not always as it is

 

ink did not always blossom

out of my mind

like california poppies invading

and establishing their territory

on the miniature desert

that used to be my barren lawn

 

the orange petals open

every morning

when the sun rises

as if on cue

every evening

they close

as if to say goodbye to the brightness

that is when I open

the crevices of my brain

least touched by the light

 

like the poppies’ greetings and goodbyes

writing has evolved

into a fixed action pattern

I can never run away from verse

poetry places her calloused

fingers around my throat

they linger until

each stanza states its verdict that I

have sufficiently confessed

and that is when they let me go

 

so I give back

through ink spreading

black hieroglyphs reproducing

red smears like scars perpetuating

two years approaching

composing soundless melodies preserving

a history of me

 

so I give

not because I hold myself

at gunpoint to write

but I give

because I am not a slave to my art

 

because donating my own blood

may be the thing that saves me

 

and I give

for the garden in my mind

is meant to grow

my words are the seeds

my heart has sown

 

and only when they blossom

will I let myself go

 
 
 

tarnished UniformS

By Gurshaan A.

let’s take it back to the times that I miss

all those times upon which we still reminisce

no social battles back when we were kids

living life free, think of how great it’d been

fresh off the press, now we’re seeing more stories 

somebody got shot, cops are making scenes gory

saving our society has become mandatory

can't raise our generations in this purgatory

living as a people isn’t long gone and through

but there’s talks of unrest up on the avenues

black lives - they matter -  and the rest they do too

serve and protect was all the cops had to do

but they’re causing violence, danger in the streets

nothing is changing the cycle repeats

i’m tired of these horrors can we have some peace

racism and violence when will it all cease

what happened to people, what happened to fun

what happened to responsibly handling guns

bullets are causing losses of brothers and sons

defenders of the streets are now a threat to everyone

notice not once did I call them police

that word means somebody who protects the streets

not carelessly causing people to get beat

violating the rights that he loves to preach

that is somebody who protects his people

stranger to race as he sees all equals

defending rights making sure it's peaceful

instead these protectors are becoming lethal

--

they went from cracking down on new cases

to now cracking down on new colored faces

CLICK - CLACK  the gun cocks, aimed at certain races

 

slowly imbalancing society’s stasis

 

Sever

By Jia S.

here’s to the surgery

in my freshman year

a doctor and his team

sliced off

a benign tumor

from my upper lip

it had been there

for seven years

 

six hours later

I woke up

my mind drowsy

my tumor replaced

by black threads

perfectly

stitched

 

I woke up

my head heavy

with anesthesia

my conscience light

with confidence

 

here’s to the haircut

in my sophomore year

a stylist sat me down

an electric shaver in hand

worked her magic

 

I left

twenty minutes later

with unfamiliar

locks charred black

tickling my neck

 

I left

holding ten inches

of my hair

in my own hands

the remaining strands foreign

yet much lighter

simpler

than they had been before

 

here’s to the celebration

of the ease

with which I can sever

tangible

parts of myself

 

here’s to the moment

of realization

that giving away

the gifts I can touch

is effortless

by comparison

to those my hands cannot grasp

Smitten

By Jia S.

the idea

of her

is a cursed tennis ball:

even when there is no one

defending the other side of the court

it still comes bouncing

back to me

 

the idea

of her

is a boomerang

crafted by the devil himself:

it targets the speechless space

between my eyes

it returns

it flies

and the reality of who I am

hits me

 

the idea

of her

remains a constant thought:

a blurred face in my mind

six slippery syllables off my tongue

 

when I saw her

for the first time

it was as if she channeled

the spirit of the 10 a.m. sun

into her physical being

 

and the idea

of her

became a blinding spark

of fuchsia fireworks in the dark

outside the window of a hospital room

illuminating the silhouette

of a mother

holding her baby daughter

for the first time

 

and the idea

the afterimage

of her

has never faded since

Synesthesia

By Jasmine K.

the jagged edges of daffodils cut 
me as i pass 
and the thin line of blood that 
those f-sharp colored petals leave tastes 
like 
desperation 

sky blue songs pour from 
my fingertips 
lumpy like oatmeal 
and when i finish that bowl of brown-blue mush 
i begin another 
song 

i sip a cup of 
glass-shard coffee 
sweet as sin 
and rough against my fingertips 
not unlike 
Chopin's 
g-minor nocturne 

and at the end of the day 

am left with 
the indigo blue of 
seventy-eight 
and the faint smell of Saturday 
in the air 
to comfort me.

 

Currents

By Della F.

It’s strange, how characters divide up their lives into before and after.

They’re certainly different things, but neither are so very distinct.

The line is more a score that has not been quite rubbed out than any great wall.

There’s no real dichotomy to life.

 

I think there are events, and there are Events.

Strange, how the greatest one of all, for me, is not the one that qualifies for the latter.

It was much more subtle, more soft, than that.

It felt more that my eyesight changed than that I woke up from the dark.

 

Sometimes I skip stones across water and watch them splash.

Often my fingers and wrist don’t move quite right, and the objects sink instead of making ripples.

Sometimes they hit at the right angle and touch water many times, radiating out patterns that settle in minutes.

The change they make is only temporary, but it was there once.

The river knows it has stones beneath its moving currents.

 

I remember splashing as I fell into my own river,

And I both swim and am swept away.