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Loneliness: by Amiri S.
God Weeps: by Dylan W.


By Amiri S.

Loneliness loves me like you used to

She likes to hold me like you used to

Likes to listen, to brush the tears off my cheeks

Though I guess she’s always been that way

It used to be just me and her

It makes me wonder when you took over 

When loneliness relinquished me to you

She loved me but she understood it was time to let me go

I’m welcoming her back

I’d rather be lonely than numb

Seems as if even as my heart grows cold

She will always want me

Even as I find ways to get rid of her, she will always hold me

Even as you tear my heart in two

She’ll find a way to stitch it back together 

Loyal until my smile banishes her

Somehow she takes over for you

Content to have me even when you no longer want me

I may never be in your arms again but I will always belong in hers 

Loneliness may as well be yet another relationship of mine

Because I belong to her and she belongs to me 

And eventually she will lose me, she always does

But I know I will always go back to her 

And she knows it too

You used to be the same way 

You loved me

And loneliness does, too

But she stayed and you didn’t 

So maybe I should have said you used to love me like loneliness always has 

God Weeps

By Dylan W.

God weeps. 

He weeps for the innocence of his children

Ripped away at the hands of his servants

He weeps for the souls of the innocent

Stripped of their purity and thrown to the gutter

Told to keep quiet and no one will know

He knows

He knows these servants use him as an excuse to preach hatred and bigotry 

To abuse and mistreat his children for their gain

Behind the locked doors of confession where none can see

The tortured souls cry out for salvation

And reach their writhing hands to the sky 

But feel nothing but the cold breeze of a careless earth

Yes he weeps

And his tears burn as acid rain

Acrid and sulfurous as they fall

And none are spared

Living Torment

By Krishna P.

I have sailed across storm waves,

And left truths unsaid.

I am desperately searching for a place

Where I can put these cold thoughts to bed.

I have tried to set them on fire before,

Hoping to see them crumble away to ash.

Little did I know those thoughts are fireproof;

All they did was fight back.


I have battled through thunder clouds,

Tangled in the threads of distortions cast loose.

This overactive imagination will not let me sleep;

I lay awake every night, alone and confused.

There are red lights at every corner.

I am a prisoner of my mind.

What even is real in this twisted world?

I am captured in deception's confines.


I have been clashing against lightning.

Unfamiliarity is flashing before my eyes.

My hope is tied to sinking weights,

So comfort has not yet arrived.

The ticking clock is just an illusion, 

Tomorrow or yesterday do not exist.

The vertiginous darkness is nauseating,

Leave the thoughts be, I'll put myself to bed instead.

To the Past Me

By Arin P.

I know this message will never reach you

but I wanted to write it anyways

I wanted to tell you

that boy, Ryan, doesn't love you

he's tricking you

don't be afraid to say no to him

it will save you a lot of time wasted

and will make the trauma a lighter load to carry in the future

Pay attention to two people by the names of Vincent and Ian

for they are the best thing that will ever happen to you

In a few years you will have some of the worst years of your life thus far 

it'll be agony but you'll get through 

otherwise I wouldn't be writing this, would I?

Though you will try to die once

you won't get very far

because that Vincent will cross your mind and save you 

he used to be called Kelly, if that gives you any hint to who he might be 

You'll be going through life with very few people

few people, but the best people

And hey, your journey isn't over yet

we've still got a far ways to go

I love you so much, okay?

I'm rooting for you.

We're all rooting for you.

To the Past Me: by Arin P.
Living Torment: by Krishna P.

This Idea of You

By Nhi H.

just for tonight

i’ll let you whisk yourself alive

i’ll let you fox trot me slowly across

the bedroom floor

into the universe of our maybes

i’ll let you kiss me on the forehead

the grassy meadow

where i’ll always find you

waiting just for me

i’ll let you tell me you love me

the breezy bright night

where your eyes shine like a thousand diamonds

my midnight fever dream

i tried my best to let you go

but just for tonight

i’ll hold on tight

- this idea of you

Happy Birthday: by Andre E.

Happy Birthday

By Andre E. 

When the clock strikes midnight, 

The children gather at the bar where 

The horned Bartender sits, 

Waiting as he licks his blood-stained teeth. 


The Bartender slides all the drinks down the bar, 

Some of them without names, some of them with names. 

The children catch the drinks with glee and 

Yell “Cheers!” as they gulp the acid down their rare throats. 


The Bartender’s hands are always busy, 

The children’s tongues growing thirstier by the minute. 

So when the floor becomes fuzzy and judgement fades, 

The Bartender sings to them Happy Birthday with 

Everyone joining in with cacophonic harmony. 


The Gates are now open, 

The tips of the grilles flaming and burning. 

Voices of agony cry from inside 

But the children climb on in anyways. 

Laughing and chortling and singing and playing and… 


The Gates shut. 

The bar is quiet once more, 


And the horned Bartender is beaming all too brightly. 

This Idea of You: by Nhi H.
What Love Is: by Anna C.
What Only the Moon and I See: by Julia K.
The Real World: by Alishia M.
History: by Lucia H.
Who Was I -- First Grade: by AM


By Lucia H.

ancestral stars sang lilting tunes

and the flames burned gold last night.

tomorrows and tomorrows; forevermore

turned to fantasies in hindsight.

shortest breath, ephemeral glory,

victories abandoned too soon,

triumphant battles turned upside down

spilled droplets of maroon.


nameless faces remain unnamed

and their ashes lie untouched.

with deathly grip and vast desire,

onto promised life they clutched. 

did they think we’d be here now,

that we’d ever make it this far?

illustrious figures stand unforgotten

still present in every star.


there are many sunsets yet to come

in the shadows of yesterday;

history rolls in a mindless wheel

it repeats itself anyway.

too brief a time to blunder and gaze

before centuries have gone by.

we were not born to last forever,

but namelessly, we die.


they’ll lose you, somehow, obliviously

from the passing days they stole.

our lives do twist in their separate knots,

but our corpses rot as a whole.

remember those golden afternoons

on the Mediterranean Sea,

when the cannons rang in 1812,

when the waters were soaked in tea.


fools of mankind, once full of doubt

of fantasies playing in their heads

they prayed in vain for lovers who

lay breathless in their beds.

addled eyes of doll-like children

in pristine dresses and angels’ wings

pretended they were still alive

like only the exalted kings. 


arise, I beg, from your lasting dream

and look upon tomorrow’s dawn.

how temporary, mortal, human we are;

you and I will soon be gone.

and the fires burn so fiercely tonight

while the stars still sing their song;

they’ve been here since the start of time,

and we’ve been like this all along.

Who Was I -- First Grade


I lay in the uncomfortable hospital bed

Surrounded by beeps, hushed voices 

And the too clean smell of chemicals 


I’ve already been here this month

I hear my parents arguing in hushed voices outside the door

It was expensive for me to be here 

The doctors were trying to figure out what was wrong with me 

Which meant lots of tests

Lots of tests that health care doesn’t cover

Alice’s bills were already too much 

And now there were mine to add

I felt guilty as I rolled over in the bed 

It was hard and uncomfortable 

Like it was made of rock 

A nurse came to check on me 

Her southern accent was thick as molasses

And reminded me of too sweet pudding 

She takes my temperature again  


Better than it has been I guess

There are trying to figure out why my forehead is hot as Death Valley

Why my stomach churns and spits out food before I can digest it 

As if it is poison

Why my head throbs like thoughts knocking

Begging to come out

And why black dots spot my vision like spilt paint

The nurse says today is a stomach test 

I’ve had lots tests now

But they are much different than the ones at school

Today I’m having something called an Endoscopy

I don’t know what that is 

I take some pills from the nurse and my parents drop in 


To say hello

I never see them together anymore 

They are like similar ends of a magnet

Always pushing each other away 

I guess it’s my fault

Now they have not just one but two kids in the hospital 

But Alice is on the other side

Where Alice is the walls are yellow and the beds are soft 

In the cancer wing 

I’m not allowed to visit her today

The doctor said I could make her more sick 

So I guess it’s for the best 

Some people come in, students apparently

They observe me and takes notes as if I am a zoo animal

I wave at them and smile 

I wonder what animal I am to them

I hope I’m a flamingo or something cool like that

Only one waves back 

To them I’m just patient number 551

Not a human 

They stay and watch as someone puts something in my mouth to keep it open 

And then I fall asleep

Apparently they put a camera in my stomach 

I don’t remember it though

I was just really sleepy 

And it hurt my eyes to stay open 

A couple days later I got to visit Alice again

I told her all about what they did 

She was sleeping 

But I knew she was listening 

Because sometimes silence is the best response

The doctors told me I have something called Celiac Disease

Apparently that’s why I’m sick all the time

They said I can’t eat pretzels 

Or bread 

Or pasta

Or cake

Or bagels 

Or cookies

The question is what can I eat?

Vegetables I guess

I think this new diet will take some getting used too 

I’m not sure I’ll like it much 

But if I feel good I guess it’s worth it

Because my parents won’t have to  pay for more expensive tests

And I’m sick of throwing up 

My parents keep telling me it’s going to be okay

That it will be good for me 

I smile and nod, not saying anything 

Sometimes silence is the best answer

Because why complain about what you can’t change 

What Love Is

By Anna C.

When I was young, I thought for sure I knew what love was.  

It was to hold you in my arms.  

It was to put my lips on yours.  

It was long nights in my bed, parents unaware.  

It was a foolish, young kind of love.  

It was passionate and naive and short.  


One day, I realized that suddenly I wasn’t so young  


No longer was love silly and ephemeral.  

It was long nights talking.  

It was dinner and a movie at home.  

It was holding each other,  

completely comfortable and aware of each other.  

It was simple and easy and warm.  


I find myself holding your hand as we say our vows.  

It is deep and endless.  

It is a love between two people.  

It is a connection that overcame blood,  

when your parents said no.  

It is thinking of you always, without realizing it.  

This love is seemingly old, yet ageless.  

It is certain. It is ours.  


I never thought of love as anything more than what I had for you.  

It was always shared between us, ours only.  


My father died.  


It was then that I saw love as more than romance.  

It was family.  

It was my hair being brushed in the morning before school.  

It is a comforting hug.  

It was long nights talking to each other in the way that only family do.  

It is long car rides and silly fights and crying over the grave of someone  

who was supposed to be invincible.  


And then I am holding her in my arms.  

She is small and delicate and the most beautiful thing  

I have ever seen.  

Our love is reflected in her eyes, and suddenly I see love in the way  

she grabs my finger tightly. The way  

she giggles at seemingly nothing.  

Love is sitting in a park, one hand around her and one hand in yours.  

Love is doing anything for her. It is scary and complicated. 



It is unpredictable.  

It is a gnawing fear that clenches my stomach, because now I have something to protect.  

Now you are not the only one in my world.  

She is here too. 

And I am terrified. Because I now know  


that I don’t know at all what love is.  

the monster that loves me

By Kaitlyn R.

i am convinced that monsters exist.

they are what keep us up at night.

they stalk you and your strength, drain you until you are but a pretty face with crippled fingers, oh so delicate,

shape you into their own perfect possession.

they are what control how fast you age, not time.

each year of a life brings more chance of a monster,

each year brings new guilts, until you are handed to the butchers.


my years like to bring change and new people, dragging them along like ball and chain,

my years toss the change and people to me like a mass that grew spikes, eager to get them off their hands.

my years bring change into my throat,

blocking me like a plastic bag so heavily hung within my neck.

each year i feel it grow, with each nightmare and tear, my hiccups drag the expansion like wet paper,

sticky and thick, it cannot be peeled from my skin so easily.


last year we plucked our eyelashes and complained about their absence,

but that’s just the consequence of naivety, our youth taking too much pity on us to give us monsters yet.

this year we breathe fire and hide in our own skin because we feel the monsters breath.

we no longer complain,

we build.

build arguments and defenses with our fire breath, holding our arms like cage walls, useless defenses.

we huddle in corners, hand in hand,

because that way the daggers can’t find all of our plastic bags.


next year we will trail fingertips over rough skin we are too blocked by the bag in our necks to care for.

we will steadily lose our consciousness to the autopilot induced in us by the poison,

some of us will praise the emptiness of ourself, so pure and clean and pink within,

some of us will make red ribbons of our own body, attacking our already dead skin to do so just to prove that we, too, can feel,

some of us will pour our guts out to the butchers, carving careful pieces of our own body to try and fix ourselves, making our inner workings and thoughts into displays,

others will continue to breathe fire because their plastic bag melts quicker, their limbs stronger, and their youth more rich.


as we finish our years of blockage and shortage of breath, we will finally leak different stories from our ears and mouths, all from our same, shared world,

lifeless facts learned from lifeless mouths,

useless defenses against the monsters with sharp tongues and wire-tipped fingernails who always find a way.

we start to grow new bags,

bags under our eyes,

sprouted from the nightmares of the sharp tongues and wire fingernails that stick into our hair and mouth like sand, 

carved behind our eyelids and within our pupils.


the monsters like to play with our minds like clay, repeating our names, the way our titles roll of their tongues deliver shivers into our spines, white into our knuckles, and fire back into our breath.

the monsters like shaping each of our thoughts until we no longer feel them.

their wire fingernails cut into our safety,

their sharp tongues echo chants until they are engrained into us,

we are made into dolls, so perfectly trained,

we run off batteries given to us by the monsters, telling us what to do until the butchers steal our batteries and take them apart.

one by one we are studied until we are a shell, ready to be rebuilt.


after we have been lightened and we have been carved,

the seemingly endless lineups of butchers just dying to see how we think,

our plastic bags will have finally settled, air hitting our lungs with shock and life,

and we will be given rope, an unexpected new ball and chain disguised as gifts.

just another way to keep our necks ripe,

because after all,

the daggers will always find us,

and it’s best to keep ourselves ready for the inevitable.

the monsters who stick to us like sand,

who grow plastic bags made of our own fearful tears and dead skin,

who poison our hair and our guts,

giving the butchers just more reason to carve us open and see our roots, guts, and the sand that poisoned our thoughts.

you gave me violets and purple skin

By Kaitlyn R.

i want to eat my shame,

tuck it away,

because i did not ask for it.

the guilt,

the acidic memories slowly eating away at my head,

but you simply show me your chin and mark me as irrelevant.


you claim your circumstances gave you permission,

a gateway,

a reason as to why,

a justification,

all i had to do was sit still.


you pulled the chair from under me,

you sent storm clouds to my eyes, the water droplets slowly feeding the violets under my eyelashes.

violets, you say, are delicate, like me,

must be handled with care,

must be handled only by you because you are the only gardener in my life, you claim.


if you are the one who is allowed to handle my delicate self,

then why do i jump when i see your hands?

your green thumb, sharpened, ready to hold me down if i try to leave,

those hands that traced hieroglyphics under my skin,

carving images into my mind,

saying it was meaningful when i didn’t understand,

saying it was normal.


you poured gasoline into my ears,

put matches under my fingernails,

hoping that when i scratch my roughened skin it would ignite new beliefs in me.

you planted watermelons into my shins hoping it would weigh me down,

keep me next to you as your perfect possession.


your palms drooled when they saw me.

your fingertips clung like envelope adhesive,

except i was kept still,

kept prisoner by your encompassing sayings.

your grasps that refused to let me go,

your words that changed my reality,

just so you could mark me as your doll.


you made me into a fragile porcelain,

with an empty head and purple face,

you poured yourself into my shell of a skull,

and ruined what youth i had left.

tales of monsters and candy

By Kaitlyn R.

if you have known a monster,

you regret ever meeting them. 

they feel like candy, something which you are addicted to at first, their company so open and obsessive,

but eventually they give you a stomachache. 

they use paint to cover their claws, 

braces to cover their teeth, 

and our nativity to cover their intentions. 

their innocent appearance looks so true, 

until you see what they are thinking. 


when the monster finally peels the layer of skin that defined who you once knew, 

you see a new version of them. 

their claws start to show, 

their teeth begin to sharpen,

and their intentions become more clear. 

but you are convinced it’s a simple matter of their own self discovery. 

so caught up in the feeling of being appreciated,

the clouds so far beneath you, the stars so far above you. 

you can’t hear people when they try to shout at you from the ground. 

you can’t hear the shrills for you to leave. 

you can’t hear the warnings of previous victims of the monsters. 

and you can’t hear your own thoughts. 


the monster begins to keep you to themself. 

they feed you words that jumble your brain,

they pour out your reality from your head like tea out of the pot, 

and use your brain to brew a new you. 

a new version of you that relies on candy. 

a version of you that the monsters can fill with whatever reality they want you to have. 


the monsters are not people. 

the monsters are not good. 

the monsters are what sold my youth like a drug, 

they got high off the abuse. 

the monsters are what you must run from. 

the monsters don’t see a person worth respect, 

the monsters see a person to empty out and refill with gasoline and they will light you on fire.

the monsters don’t see a person worth anything. 

the monsters only see their next possession. 

their next doll. 

they see the next character in their dream where they are God. 

they see someone to shape into their next victim.

the monsters seem to never stop hunting you down like predator and prey, because that’s exactly what you are to them. 

To My Dearest

By Jamila B.

Such a tiny soul inside me breeds pain

I quivered as it wants to be flourished

Every day I would feel such a drain

Bear the pain, the soul has to be nourished


At long last, you are out into this world

A world prolific of storm and hijack

I now knew, the pure soul has to be furled

To not have its pureness have a sole plaque


The time has arrived to leave your sweet home

To discover the real matters out there

My dearest was no more a gentle foam

You grew to be rigid as a bear


Yesterday feels like I just borne you

I wish you all the wonders as you grew

The Real World

By Alishia M. 

The reality of my mentality is that no one is there for me


You can't expect me to be the same girl you've dreamed of me becoming since I entered this universe

I thought this warning was universal

I was brought here with an absentee parent

So, excuse me while my mind discovers new ways to fill the hole

I've been trying to place a square piece into a circular hole, yet I don't understand why the object won't hold

The reality of my mentality, is that I'm falling off of a cliff that I don't remember climbing

I've been stalling to get to the next section of my life

Yet, I can't understand why the clock moves faster than my heart can beat

I just want to beat this level

So that I feel accomplished

The awards seem to open a door that I wish would open on it's own

The reality of my mentality is that I hope I won't have to do this on my own 

I want to talk to you, but when you cross my mind, I forget how to work a phone

So, when I tell you that my phone is out of service

 I want to tell you that my tongue slips to the back of my throat when I think of you

All I can see is blue

But I still miss you

The reality of my mentality is that you don't care for me

I blame my anxiety on you like your heart is a tree for the toxins in my mind

I turn a blind eye to you just so I won't have to see my fears manifest into reality 

See, I assume what your heart is thinking

Just to see my sinking

On the outside, I'm blinking

Honestly, I'm just thinking

Thinking about why you even think to say we're falling for each other just the same

If I can look up and see you crawling

I'm tired of your presence bombing my heart

While I'm left wondering, if I've even left a mark on yours

The reality of my mentality is that you're tired of my antics

I love to say that no one is there for me

Yet, when I fell I had so many drop their load to help me

The reality is that I don't want any of you to leave me

I want to invite you in, but the yard is messy, so you probably don't want to see inside

If I open the door for you, please listen to the reasons why the trash is a blessing

All I ask is that you remind me to be welcoming in my home

You have to remind me to clean my glasses so that I'm not  staring at the raindrops the entire time

So, I can understand that the world isn't crashing down

That I didn't sign my life away for constant torture with a seal on the envelope

I'll finally have a chance to live

In the real world

When I Look at You

By Sara W.

When I look at you,

I see what I can’t have,

When I look at you, 

I see what I can’t even dream of,

When I look at you, 

A smile spreads cross my face,

Yet It’s just so hard to keep it there,

You’re so pure, 

You’re so kind,

It’s what I’ll never be, 

Your worries fly out the widow,

Banished by the angels, 

That now only seem like guards,

Blocking you from beyond,

But now I realize,

They only blocked out pain,

Now that they’re gone,

The pain stabs down hard,

They say not to spend your time trying to grow up,

But that’s near impossible,

We always flock to what destroys us,

In the end,

Now that I’m here,

The place where I always wanted to be,

I feel guilty of nothing,

But numb all the same,

So while I look at you,

And a smile masks my face,

I’m still only reminded,

Of what I missed,

And will never have again.

What Only the Moon and I See

By Julia K.

the moon is still glistening 

in its perch amongst the clouds,

when it illuminates my mother’s frail 

body like a harsh spotlight,

mocking the diminishing seconds 

before she must stir awake.

her movements are agonizingly slow,

strenuously silent, and painstakingly nimble,

for she is careful not to disturb 

my brother and me curled alongside her, 

our small frames pressed into her sides, 

vying for our mother’s body heat. 

when she turns to close the door,  

her face is shadowed by the wispy 

curtain of her greying hair and the evident 

exhaustion etched into her deep wrinkles.

her hands are trembling like autumn leaves 

shuddering on the skeletal branches of trees, 

before they fall to the ground 

withering, crumbling, decaying.

i creep downstairs to whisper a goodbye and 

see that she is already dashing out the door,

her stomach empty because she tells me

she is never hungry in the morning, but 

my ears do not deceive me.

there is a deafening symphony roaring 

and gnawing inside her, 

a hunger that cannot alone be 

satisfied with even the heartiest of 

breakfasts, but can only be tamed 

by assurance that her children will not 

suffer the same fate as she did as a child,

tossing and turning from hunger while 

looking dishearteningly towards her parents,

who reek of alcohol tainted with the stench 

of idleness and negligence.  

in the morning sky that is still 

painted an impenetrable soulless black,

the only thing that is undeniably visible

is the strong resolve of my mother to give 

her children the chance for a life as bright 

as the glistening moon that is still 

gazing down upon her in its unreachable 

throne in the infinite heavens.


By Kirstin P.

A canvas can come in many forms

Varying from artist to artist

It has different material and meaning 

For each person who uses it


Fine arts require a canvas to paint on

Sturdy and tight

With the right amount of texture

Different sizes for unqiue individuals


Stylists need customers

To prove their skills 

On hair and nail

Or on a face to transform


Writers, poets, musicians

Need paper

To write, to compose, to plan

To express to the world how they feel


Everyone needs a canvas

One built for them

It may take time to find the right one

But every soul has one waiting for them.

the monster that loves me: by Kaitlyn R.
you gave me violets and purple skin: by Kaitlyn R.
tales of monsters and candy: by Kaitlyn R.
To my Dearest: by Jamila B.
When I Look at You: by Sara W.
Canvas: by Kirstin P.

Teenage Crush

By Kate L.

The adoration that felt too soon

she gives herself false hope

It was only one day that her feelings came out of the blue

That one time he spoke a beautiful anecdote


She admires the talents he’s been given

the simple being he portrays

Not to mention the charm that is driven

That makes her feel in many different ways

Teenage Crush: by Kate L.
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