paint By Sophie Tianfang Li


i am yellow when the first snow falls
it makes my teeth chatter and my breath go white

my tongue swallows blue words that feel like ice
there are slits in my throat
i gurgle blood sometimes

the dark is my forbidden love
i hold my breath after dinner
i clutch a knife when I sleep

i am yellow when i fall in love
i walk on eggshells and seashells and
you touch my face to capture the red that i feel

the dark is my forbidden love
and now the rising sun breaks my heart too
and there is an ache in my bones
a dread that buries itself in my bile

that bullet you carry
holds a target so yellow
i wonder if I should paint myself green

By Sophie Tianfang Li


(Sophie Tianfang Li was born in Hong Kong and raised in Beijing, China. She is currently a senior at Lafayette college. She loves poetry, music and tattoos.)

Immigrant Song By Amy Liu

Immigrant Song

Rehearsed in a Bowery flat and
performed for none is the immigrant song,
where Mother carefully traces english letters
into a red spiral notebook. The curl of the q
drains the last vestiges of gel ink from her pen;
with a flick of her pale wrist, the plastic husk finds
its forever home in a black bin. In Chinese, we craft
shallow curves with subtle strokes, she tells me, and I nod.
There is a wound in the thin paper from the ballpoint tip.
(Someday, a man will tell me about the shallow curves of the
and I will also nod, but I will bear the wound
on my body instead; I stitch it up
with finely-shredded staff paper.)

In this Bowery flat, we memorize the lyrics
of the immigrant song: Keep those papers on you
and How do we fill out this form
and Mama, can you see my eyes?

The stage upon which we sing the immigrant song
is in constant flux: it is Chinatown’s Canal Street
where Mandarin and English battle for dominance
in a produce market and slip underneath dirty
sidewalks and fog up the air; it is the kindergarten
classroom where my teacher orders me to stop speaking
mother tongue; it is the city bus where someone spits at my father’s feet
and screams slurs he does not understand; it is the dining table, where
we swallow stale white bread and call it delicious, hao chi; it is the waning crescent moon
that wills this city to sleep and trains its cold gaze on us
through the dusty windows.

In this Bowery flat, we replay the
nativist song like a cassette tape
until it loses meaning: Go back to where you came from
and Speak english
and We do not want your kind here.

At school, someone asks me if I love living in America
and I say yes, the first word I learned. Inside,
I think of submissive rage, which claws at my chest
and leaves bleeding cuts; I think of loss, which draws breath from my body
and pulls my shoulders towards the ground; I think of bittersweet, crimson,
unrequited love and Lady Liberty’s disdainful gaze puncturing my childlike heart.
When we stand to say the Pledge of Allegiance,
the immigrant song swells to a thunderous roar within me
and the stars and stripes glimmer with the tears of newly-minted Americans.

By Amy Liu


Amy Liu is a high school student and an aspiring writer. She has been awarded National Gold and Silver medals for poetry in the Scholastic Art and Writing Awards, and serves as the news, science, and arts and entertainment editor of the Kaleidoscope newspaper.

35 Weeks By Sarah Esmi

35 Weeks

last night
the wisdom of women long dead
entered my body

an ancestral amethyst
tore through my heart
and fell into the amphitheater of my abdomen

this morning it clangs about
as I take my morning walk
it tolls, like a jagged bell, ringing,

It’s time. It’s time. It’s time.

By Sarah Esmi


Sarah Esmi is an artist of Iranian descent focusing primarily on experimental and absurdist theatre, collage, movement, and poetry. Sarah began her career as an experimentalist during a Fulbright fellowship in Spain. She has been published in Calyx and the Dime Show Review. She is also the co-founder of counterclaim, a Brooklyn-based production company. By day, Sarah is a practicing attorney, representing the underrepresented in New York courtrooms., @sarah_______e

NEW PASTORAL By Ginger Harris



we sit at the bar at the American Legion
next to a sign protesting protesting
and another sign instructing
that we always remember September 11th

and above the door, a shotgun in a dusty case,
a hand-drawn sign of a flag
with “Desert Storm” in red marker

locals laboring
over countertops
finding home where the walls honor
their trauma, pain stuck

in their limbic systems
with nowhere
to go
but through


a sweet old man, unabashedly toothless
introduces himself, insists

on buying us champagne
which they serve in large shot glasses—

cheers he says, while the others
grudgingly chime in

forgive for a time our city accents
our differences

sticking heavy
like a mask


there is a local elderly couple
eloping soon, like us—
but only for the social security money

so that now, when he goes
she’ll finally have enough to live on

and he’ll rest easy
knowing he took care of someone
in this life. she doesn’t have
long left

but what she has
she will get to keep

until the end, a win-win
if there ever was one


we pass old farms
sprouting nothing
but trash as if from cataclysm

I think home
things multiplying—
newspapers, broken tools, car parts
bills paid and unpaid
plastic toys caked in mud

a crop of excess, if anything else grew
you couldn’t tell—
no flock no herd no rich soil

so much space

it’s become a heavy burden
crushing under
such weight

like an invasive species
telling in time the whole story

By Ginger Harris


Ginger Harris is an emerging writer who lives in Denver. She has a bachelor’s degree in English Literature from the University of Wisconsin, Madison, where she also studied creative writing.

lotus shoes By Christina Peng

lotus shoes

Nainai tied
her feet
in sheepskin

the iron
in her blood

to dance
the carols
of slaves;

each step
a lotus

in gauze, fitting
His palm;

her virgin sole:
emblem of beauty
guised in pain

to survive;

her whispers
brush my ear

lotus shoes
slip off
her ankles

misshapen toes
on birch sand

‘fēi ba’
be chained

By Christina Peng


Christina is a seventeen-year-old writer from California. A mother of two books—Pimples of Promise and Wing and Minna—she went door-to-door in a green elf costume to sell her book, raising $1000 for the Million Book Project. Her writing has received a National Silver Medal and three Gold Keys from the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards.

CANVAS By Daniella DiPasquale


When too much is cut
look in the mirror

The mirror knows how to give back
what has been stolen

I am a thief, my skin in the teeth
of my knife

It finds a way to peel back
my layers

Blood pools in corners
a harsh coaxing in my ear

to continue
What has been done

will scar-
the newest addition

You see, I’m an artist
no better plain and dull canvas

than my body
Museums were not always filled

with stories

By Daniella DiPasquale


My name is Daniella DiPasquale. I am a young Autistic poet from Jacksonville, Florida. I currently study at The University of North Florida and am striving towards a bachelors in English. When I’m not studying, you can find me managing my poetry page on Instagram (Ellaspoetrygarden) or crocheting. I’m also a cat mom to two rambunctious kitties, Flynn and Kingston.

Two Poems By Anna Kiesewetter

harrison street

all the wildflowers are gone.
usually they meet their end
softly, gently—wither and
fade into the crinkled
drought of summer. but today
the men from harrison street came
and tore up the tangled wreaths of
lupine and blackberry and clover.
the hills are bald. shorn.
spots of dirt peek through.
what once was a
cacophony of color and light
has become dead straw
on the side of the road.
i suppose that’s suburban perfection—
the harrison kind, at least.
we relinquish mossy roofs for
geometric shingles, lush meadows
for sculpted lawns. we give up
wilderness for order, sell away
inborn beauty to be
upper class, and yet wonder
where our freedom has gone.

model minority

if the prize for bitten tongues and swallowed words
is a crimson-splattered chasm in the back of our necks
then we must all forfeit. what sense is there in
clinging to whiteness like religion only to be
rendered fatally silent? what pride is there in
wearily pursuing their bloody rules only to be
robbed regardless? no—we speak on our own terms,
feel the rusty words ascend our throats.
we play no longer.
we stalemate no longer.

By Anna Kiesewetter


Anna Kiesewetter is an incoming freshman at Stanford University from Issaquah, Washington. She was a 2020 American Voices Medal nominee for the Scholastic Writing Awards, and her work is published or forthcoming in Polyphony Lit, Prometheus Dreaming, Blue Marble Review, Trouvaille Review, and elsewhere. A firm believer in the psychological nature of literature, she writes to explore human experience and perception.

eight By Amy Liu


for breakfast, peach flesh
slick and yellow —
spoken over,
butterknife dreams
love-bites across

plump curves
never said no.
eight peaches, lucky.

pits torn up,
gone out, rolling

heads and tails;
probability, ever
for breakfast,
and prayers —

peaches, ate
and drained. eight
in the can,
drowning in syrup brine.
eight accounted
for, eyelids smoothed closed,
shrouded in last light.
no more appetite
for the news. call it a
bad day.
and prayers, sticky
pulp            oozing
from holes
in hearts.
he used:
the canned
peaches left behind to expire,
the girls in the back,
the glock,
the gild.

By Amy Liu


Amy Liu is a high school student and an aspiring writer. She has been awarded National Gold and Silver medals for poetry in the Scholastic Art and Writing Awards, and serves as the news, science, and arts and entertainment editor of the Kaleidoscope newspaper.

Constellation of the Ovarian Cysts By Sophie Tianfang Li

Constellation of the Ovarian Cysts

A body of sixteen years,
Two ovaries.
A dream of children
Running through the house.

An abundance of acne.
An inferno of stomach cramps
When the menstrual periods came back.

The transducer waltzes across the gel,
Creating a painting of unusual static.
“10 in your left ovary, 12 in your right.”

The diameter of the cysts
Become poking and prodding of needles
And solutions of little pink pills.

of infertility.

A dream for children
Will come from another body.

By Sophie Tianfang Li


Sophie Tianfang Li was born in Hong Kong and raised in Beijing, China. She is currently a senior at Lafayette college. She loves poetry, music and tattoos.

Rising Tide By Tamiko Dooley

Rising Tide

I met a man from Hokkaido
At the beach one day who said:

“Call a workman from another city
When you dismantle a magpie nest.

They take their revenge if
They know where you live:
Shit stream down windows,
Wing mirrors outpecked.

The last thing you want
Is your very own Tippi Hedren moment,
Flapping around as the music crescendos
Except there won’t be a “Cut!”
Only the sound of your screams and
Streaks of blue and black clawing
In an otherwise grey sky.”

Behind me, the waves that lapped King Canute’s feet
Roared and reared against the shore:
Earth in her glory, crying out for retribution
Surveying her devastation in despair.

By Tamiko Dooley


Tamiko is a half-Japanese mother of two born and raised in England. When there’s no pandemic, she’s hired as a wedding pianist from time to time.