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POETRY

The Anatomy of

a Childhood Home

Lucky 

 

I find a beetle the same cavernous color as the road

where I sit down to spill my lunch once a week 

snorting cocaine underneath the kitchen sink 

 

there is soft lip biting

tongues move like blood ribbons 

underneath waning gibbous lighting 

 

stars shove us up the ladder 

a fizzy dizzy dance

my hips have no more padding 

 

the attic is filled with frogs 

croaking and creaking 

I come down to familiar family songs

 

spitting up flies at night 

quiet hiding, picking too loud fighting 

boiling meat until my clothes shrink 


 

winding down past motherhood 

nicotine sour teeth, nipples blistered pink

my head has cracked open the black hole sink 

Ordinary

Oviya Santiago

The lily and the peony

in the vase atop our formica table 

whose drooping heads are petted, 

sniffed for their fragrance

amidst the stagnant air.

I feel sorry for their loneliness, 

surely they must miss

the clovers and dandelions

who laugh in bunches 

unbothered by the bees

smelling the sweet spring air.

 

Only when I began

to walk alone on

many a cold winter morning

could I learn to see

the beauty in the cool clods of earth 

crumbling between my fingers

the patch of mottled moss

and petrichor ambiance.

 

Did I find love hidden in the

knotted lanes and overgrown creeks 

running the veins of -

not the oak nor the maple

but the unnamed lance.

Only then could I stand to glance 

at the echo that fell on

fouled mirrors

running rivers.

Throughout the past year, our society as a collective has been going through changes, rough ones especially.

There has been a gradient of good and bad; from quick bursts of happiness to heartbroken moments that leave our souls torn.

In this issue, we wanted to explore those shades of emotion and showcase that even in times such as these, you can still find the beauty in the gradience of it all.

Hyacinth and Apollo

Hyacinth is what they call me, a beautiful young prince of Sparta, the beloved of Apollo, whose entire life was reduced to 

three moments. 

One, 

the luminescence of youth spent basking in the attention 

of my paramour. 

Two, 

-a throw meant to scatter the clouds- finding its target in my skull. 

Three, 

my body limp and clutched tightly against my lover’s chest. 

In your radiance I am reborn.

I sprout from the blood 

spilled by your hand 

that has soaked the earth. 

My long stem grows 

blindly toward your light. 

Eternally I am reaching for you

-absorbing your rays- but I 

am shackled to the earth, 

so as I bloom my purple petals openly bare themselves to you 

stained in drops of yellow 

inscribing your guilt ridden despair, and relaying our story to the sky.

Uninvited Guests

Evelyn Isakson

Everything’s ok now, Everything’s forgotten,

as the days go by, I don’t put much thought in.

Mundane as I seem, sometimes I want to scream.

Sometimes I want to cry a little, it might help me by a little.

Why do those sick thoughts taunt me everyday?

Though I push them to go, they all want to stay-

all of them uninvited guests in my brain

all of them going by different names

all of their sole purposes the same-

every one, condemning me to shame.

And the worst is, they all know my name.

It was my fault, greeting them at the door,

Remorse, Lament, and there’s just a few more:

Anguish and Pain are the next in line,

okay, I think I can deal with them and be fine.

Here comes Regret and his brother, Resent,

although they look the same, they are very different.

More of them come to round the group out

but I can’t keep them all in check, in fact I’ve lost count.

Doe-Eyed

Katherine Harris

 

Loving you is like pulling deer teeth

—nobody would think to but me, 

certifiable me, who weeps over hermit 

crabs and spilled mango. Bughouse 

me, who can’t tell the difference 

between tiger balm and fiberglass. 

Moonstruck me, who thinks

with a bedsheet I can fly. 

Women

Jessica Graber

 

Used as house windows, men think them 

easily replaceable but when changed

are always missed as

the original fit best.

Like sea glass,

jagged edges of beer bottles 

smashed in a rage are

smoothed over by the

calm affection of waves.

Seen as glass cases

perched in a museum, people

come to awe and wonder over

what they claim a

fragile exterior

while they view her inside worth 

less than dirt,

even as she holds

gold plated ideas and

bejeweled accomplishments

for all to see.

They are stained glass windows 

adorned high

in the cathedrals.

Pictures are painted and polished 

into her melted sand fragments, 

though only there to embellish 

men’s own glory.

Yet,

when the sun shines through

her forcefully broken

shards, a rainbow is cast in

her wake,

tinting a room that

believes her inferior

with the strength of

her perseverance.

Roadtrip

Laura Evans

We bore down on the highway,

in a Ford adorned 

with bumper-sticker-reminders

of trips we’d taken Before. 

Silent hours evaporated 

between your father and I.

The air inside was a wet towel,

soaked with the newness

of our triad.

 

We drove through the Illinois 

countryside in a cornfield trance:

a man with new worry lines, 

shuffling through playlists

for his old favorite songs,

a baggy-eyed woman, scrolling

through other people’s reviews:

the Top Things To Do in the City, 

(with kids),

and you, our mystical cherub 

cum carnivorous houseplant, 

sleeping newborn sleep, 

stinking up the back seat. 

 

The weather went rainy

two hours outside Chicago.

We didn’t think much of it,

until the sky turned violent green.

The car began to rock 

in the wind.

Instantly we were strangers,

trapped in an elevator, 

hurtling downwards, 

too fast.

The tempest was endless.

Your atheist father implored

thunder gods,

his fingers gripped the wheel

against the force of gray torrents.  

I could see the outline

of his forearm muscles;

I  choked on 

my own screams.

 

And then you started to howl.

I climbed towards you,

was thrown as we swerved.  

I don’t remember doing it, 

but I made a bottle.

Somehow measured formula,

mixed it.

I swear I saw a twister touch

down across the fields. 

 

You latched onto the fake nipple,

like a nun holds a rosary.

That milk was gravity,

and with every covetous suckle, 

you demanded survival.

You made the car so heavy, with it,

you kept us from spiraling 

into the eye of the storm.

Poetry is nearer to vital truth than history.  ~Plato

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