NUCLEAR WINTER By Sophia Anderson

NUCLEAR WINTER

we were raised by the desperate sound
of the dead singing songs to the lonely.
running around snow covered streets
all aglow.
take what’s left of your youth
set it on fire.

the fractured unbelief of a hollow body
lying to the world beneath a sky that has shattered itself whole.
in this world that is tired of drowning alone
all monsters are innocent ruins.
so take your burning body
throw it off the balcony.

cinematic empathy playing devil’s advocate to the masses
while my little sister shivers on the fire escape
and weeps for all we won’t become.
so my darling, my winter starved wolf
take a knife to your longing
swallow it whole.

By Sophia Anderson

Biography:

Sophia Anderson is a high school poet living on the west coast of Canada. She is 16 years old, an avid reader and in love with the sea and the stars. She draws inspiration from personal experience, dreams and her surroundings. She can be found at jailsongs.tumblr.com where she posts the majority of her written works.

To the Introverts By Cosette Luella

To the Introverts

We inscribe discorded heart beats
to a mis-stepping metronome,
tongues; a foreign obscurity.

Intimate moments are shared with the ground,
eyes tracing pavement cracks
to find an exit on the lined map.

Nails hidden in clutching hands
cloaking the war-like bitten scene,
a conflict unwelcome to constant observers.
Our jumpers camouflage us;
a colour palette picked to fit the background.

Armed with phones we prepare to hide,
defense methods against idle chatter.
Screens replacing the urban terrain
like nocturnal beasts we smother the shadows.

We step cautiously to avoid
the land mines of familiar faces,
walking a silent path we avoid whispers;
murmurs which sew the seeds of fear.

We remain drunk on pessimism
and see their lips usher our names,
strangers, assassins with a single stare.
Our lips are plastered in an emotionless disguise.

Never to draw attention from the endless jury.
Never to trespass on extrovert land.

By Cosette Luella

Biography:

My pen name is Cosette Luella and I have a blog here: xluellax.tumblr.com
As well as writing short fiction stories and poetry, I enjoy activities such as designing and editing, drawing and photography. I also enjoy collecting notebooks and paintings which act as decoration for my workspace, providing visual inspiration.

Your Personal Mythology By Bela Sánchez

Your Personal Mythology

when i was eight, i bet my older sister twelve dollars
(otherwise known, at that moment in my existence,
as my entire life savings)
that god was a woman.

any member of an abrahamic religion
will know the way this story ends.
that was the day i lost my entire life savings.

and thank god,
for god the father
and for god the son
and for god the holy spirit.
honestly, thank god for all three of ‘em.
and it’s not like i’m trying to start a theological debate.

but like, my god
is the prettiest lady you’ve ever seen.
she’s got the kind of skin that’s seen things.
it’s weathered and brown and crinkles around the eyes.
and it’s soft to the touch.

i mean, my god
has the longest hair,
thick and silvery and always tied into a braid.
she weaves wildflowers at the crown of her head,
the kind that don’t have names.

my god
cried when her son was born of flesh,
and screamed when he was hung on that cross.
she thought her heart was going to explode
straight out of her chest.

my god
is the kind of mom
who bakes chocolate chip cookies
for everyone in the class
and knows each kid’s allergy
without even asking.

my god
is an artist
and a doctor
and an environmentalist
and she saves the day, everyday.

my god
has the prettiest hands.
has the warmest eyes.
gives the greatest hugs.
loves each and everyone of us.

so i still go to church.
but i’m not praying to any fathers.
that’s god the mother up there,
and i’m reciting the our mother
every damn sunday.
she’ll forgive us our trespasses
and invite us back for thanksgiving.

there’s plenty to spare.

By Bela Sánchez

Biography:

bela is a sixteen-year-old girl who feels passionately about tenderness and softening her edges. she attends a high school where talented and gifted students cheat on their homework and set things on fire, and has recently taught herself how to be a sunflower. she lives in dallas, texas with two dogs, a large family, and as many friends as she can dream up. she is always eating too much arroz con leche.

From The Mouths Of The Bees By Emma Bleker

From The Mouths Of The Bees

She has honeycomb body, like
sweetness and
effort gone into making her whole.
The bees live there
in the rustle beneath her skin
but
they do not want to die
and she does not want to destroy
all their hard work
so neither falls:
nectar is harvested, a trophy of
time looks
sweet to taste,
looks like “see how long i have survived?”

Their potential to sting
does not scare her, anymore.

They are no longer afraid
of her great, open mouth
or the way she cries when she
is alone; like the tree is falling.
Like the ground has opened up
only she is the ground
and everything is split in half.

Her palms stick with the dew
of candied labors,
with the early morning sunlight
caught between her fingers,

and she is warned.

Sometimes, the bees tell her,
things that are sweet like this
attract the worst kind of hungry.

Sometimes, our fingers get stuck
when we do not mean
for them to

By Emma Bleker

Biography:

Emma Bleker is a 20 year old writer working for her English degree while attempting to live a true and convincing life. She has been published, or is forthcoming, in Electric Cereal, Cahoodaloodaling, Persephone’s Daughters, Skylark Review, and Yellow Chair Review. Additionally, she released her first collection of poetry, Here’s Hoping You Never See This, in November of 2015.

I heard you came home today By Tanya Azari

i heard you came home today

when your mind’s suburbia becomes urban again
& kids start drowning in your town’s water towers
& your fists marry the mirror in the
Unitarian Universalist church down the street,

& when the static in your head starts to speak
& when every hair on your body stands up
like thousands of dark brown antennae
& when a tree falls in the forest &
you’re the only one that can hear it,

& when they marry you to the building
rename you 51/50 &
take all sharp things as dowry
& when the universe collapses down
to the size of a hospital bed,

& when visitors say your love filled the room
like an anthem
& when visitors say the only thing they see
is you seeing them,

& when they finally hand you a plastic bag
with everything sharp and unbroken
& you go home,

one day they will offer you free cigarettes to
play yourself in the biopic
& you’ll say you’d rather relive high school.

& anyways, you’ve stopped smoking.

By Tanya Azari

Biography:

Tanya Azari is a 21 year old genderqueer poet in California’s Bay Area working towards becoming a high school English teacher. They have self-published three chapbooks and are currently working on a fourth. More work can be found at http://heretherebesomething.tumblr.com/

 

What I Could Never Confess Without Some Bravado By Emily Palermo

 What I Could Never Confess Without Some Bravado

for every heart aching
like an open door

for every god peering
through the window

for every journey ending
with the same hobbled crawl

home, with the voice
in the back of the head
like the mother, wailing.

for every animal confession
splitting the throat wide open—

I CLAWED MY WAY OUT OF THE WOMB
LIKE A MONSTER

I WANTED TO BE LOVED SO DESPERATELY
THAT MY FINGERS SHOOK WITH IT

I AM NOT BEAUTIFUL
BUT I COULD BE

I AM VOLATILE
VIOLATED
MY BODY WAS NOT
ALWAYS MY OWN

I ONLY LOOK INTO THE MIRROR
TO SEE THE WHITES OF MY EYES

By Emily Palermo

Biography:

Emily Palermo is nineteen-year-old literature student and aspiring writer from Louisiana. At any given time, she’s probably thinking about all the dogs that she’s seen that day. You can always find her in a coffeeshop, pretending she can afford her caffeine habit. Read more at starredsoul.tumblr.com

Hive/Hope By Hannah T. Rosenthal

HIVE / HOPE

I want to tell a story without the word fear.
Something that sounds more like spring;
early-morning dew & pastel skies,
the smell of lemons & sugar.

But maybe I can’t say hope without panic.
There is something sacred in this tragedy.

Watching the bees build their hives,
a whole swarm of them, but only one queen.
They can’t live without her
(& somehow I understand.

This is a logic much older than I am:
there can be no bees without a queen
& just like that,
there can be no me without being afraid).

However, this story isn’t over yet.
Who knows, maybe I’ll be queen,
one day. Maybe I can learn to control
this fear & the buzzing in my head

will finally stop; I’m still hoping, but
my hands are shaking all the same.

By Hannah T. Rosenthal

Biography:

Hannah T. Rosenthal is a nineteen-year-old aspiring writer currently living in Germany. She is interested in literature of all kinds and language, as well as various mythologies, philosophy and the human nature. More of her writing can be found at ourfragilestars.tumblr.com.

this century is cruel to deities By Sophia Anderson

this century is cruel to deities

ares hits up in bars
incites riots, fist fights
even murders

apollo hides from the sun
dark subway stations
golden hair dyed brown

artemis watches hunters
bullets tearing through flesh
nothing graceful about a modern day hunt

aphrodite in front of a computer
naked to the waist
the cost of beauty is low these days

poseidon in a grimy raincoat
watches fishing boats return laden down with catch
knows the day will soon come that they return empty-handed

athena buried in paperwork
courtroom battles somehow not the same
as the battlefields of ancient greece

dionysus stumbling home at three
he always loved a drink (or ten)
but it’s not wine anymore

zeus at the controls of an airplane
commercial flight #AAL1634
San Fransisco to London direct

hades in a dark suit
hair slicked back
head of the biggest drugs network in europe

demeter watches in anger
as miles and miles of farmland
get turned into cities, or worse left to wither

persephone locked in a mental hospital
diagnosed with multiple personality disorder
but the pills don’t work

hermes lives on the streets
fired from the post office because
“you’re just not what we’re looking for”

hera, the haughty socialite
clings to a time when her word was law
pretends not to hear the cruel whispers

hestia dressed in rags
holds her hands too long over the fire
welcomes the burn

in another time they were worshipped
in another time they were honored
all this time can offer is cruelty
disbelief
hatred but oh so many ways to forget yourself

By Sophia Anderson

Biography:

Sophia Anderson is a high school poet living on the west coast of Canada. She is 16 years old, an avid reader and in love with the sea and the stars. She draws inspiration from personal experience, dreams and her surroundings. She can be found at jailsongs.tumblr.com where she posts the majority of her written works.

Love Your Neighbor By Sadie Leigh

Love Your Neighbor

Sunday
“Love your neighbor,” cries the pastor.
You nod and smile.

After service, you walk past the homeless man outside
Without a second glance; “He’ll just use it to buy drugs,”
You mutter –As if that makes him any less worthy of help.

Monday
Assemble the picket signs.
Pass out leaflets filled with the images of dead babies;
Tell the women filtering through the doors of Planned Parenthood
That hell is where they belong instead.

Tuesday
Vote on tax breaks for the rich and wealthy.
“I pulled myself up by my bootstraps,” you claim.
(Somehow you forget about all the times you wanted
To hang yourself by them instead.)

Wednesday
Broadcast on Facebook.
Remind your closest friends and family
What a good Christian you are
By sharing memes.

Thursday
Be a  social activist.
“All lives matter,” you yell.

Don’t open up the newspaper today,
So you don’t have to read about the unarmed
Black man shot dead in the middle of the street,
And the black woman murdered for speaking her mind.

Friday
Volunteer.
Lock the door to your mansion.
Hop in your brand new BMW.
Drive downtown and serve food
At the soup kitchen for an hour.
Leave self-satisfied.

Saturday
Attend community functions.
“We cannot allow this to happen in our schools,” you yell in protest.
You are not referring to the gay child bullied to suicide by classmates,
Or the transgender girl murdered on her way home.
You fight for the exclusion of gender-neutral bathrooms.

Sunday
“Love your neighbor,” the pastor commands.
You smile and nod.

By Sadie Leigh

Biography:

Sadie Leigh is a new and emerging poet who has never published their work on-line or in print before. They hail from a cold and snowy state and they are perpetually cold even in warm climates. They enjoy warm cups of coffee on rainy mornings, the smell of new books, and almost all small animals.

 

 

#ZaynLeft1DForISIS By M.J. Pearl

#ZaynLeft1DForISIS

It’s like this:
a boy with brown skin becomes famous
and people accuse him of terrorism.
his white girlfriend wears a bindi
and nobody bats an eye.

It’s like this:
when I was young, my mother said:
“don’t touch your lips; you’ll look like a camel
if they get too big.”
(fast forward ten years: Kylie Jenner says
“lip liner changed my life.”)

It’s like this:
I cannot name you more than one celebrity
who looks like me, like my brother, who has
my country’s blood running in his veins.
but I can name you ten white girls
who wear bindis as a fashion accessory;
who think mehndi is a cool trend;
who imagine my vibrant, beautiful country
as just another third-world wreck.

It’s like this:
I have ripped and burned and lightened my skin
in order to look more like you.
I have watched women who look like my sisters,
who are my sisters, lose their lives for wearing hijabs.
I have watched my brother abandon every word of Urdu
that he has ever known, because he is American.

and American means white.

It’s like this:
I was named for the Prophet’s daughter
and my full name is eight syllables long
but you can’t even pronounce the first two correctly.
you can’t even pronounce Pakistan correctly.

It’s like this:
my country was ravaged and savaged
by people who look just like you.
my grandparents were alive for our Independence Day.
and you say: “the past is the past, forgive and forget.”
and you say: “9/11: never forget.”

It’s like this:
your biggest problem is being called racist
because it’s an ugly word for an ugly person.

It’s like this:
my biggest problem is being called terrorist.
because a boy can’t leave a band
without being that hated.
because an interviewer once asked him:
“is it true you brought a gun to school?”
and he said: “it wasn’t mine, it was a toy gun,
it wasn’t real, I’M NOT A TERRORIST I’M NOT –

By M.J. Pearl

Biography:

M.J. Pearl is an aspiring writer, currently in her third year of college in California. She’s been writing poetry for three years and short stories for even longer.