confession By Rooney Kim


Christ I will come out and admit that
I want to be one of those girls that
adults have warned me never to be, I

Love their emaciated look and the clever ways they
hide their loathing of the world with fresh lipstick
and fervent clouds of cigarette smoke and I can

Hear them laughing collectively, a beautiful chorus of
careless mirth when some old person asks them shouldn’t
you be in school and they smile red lips short shorts and

Stopping cars on highways to see if
they can get a ride and sell some of their beauty
for a little fun you see they had no choice you

See their lives may have been predestined for this &
I used to view those girls who seduced old men for
money in contempt but now I see that when you have

Some beauty the world pretends to be a little kinder &
I realize I’m no better than them worse I want to
be like them, I want to wring out every reward my face &

Body brings me like a sodden sponge, I want to feel the
hungry stares of men and be a manic pixie dream girl for
bored housewives sick of the sexless years of their marriages &

I want this all because I feel now that I’m like a doll
created to be porcelain and sleek haired and expensive on the
shelf but even those perfect dolls are bought & worn down

& destroyed eventually.

By Rooney Kim


Rooney Kim (she/her) is a high school senior based in New York City. Her writing mainly focuses on themes of mental illness, queer identity, and love. She has attended the Iowa Young Writers Studio and the Common Young Writers Workshop, among others. She only writes at 3am with music and a cup of coffee. Please send help. She is chaotic.

first rave, Williamsburg, Brooklyn 2002 By Tanya Tuzeo

first rave, Williamsburg, Brooklyn 2002

my father didn’t know i went past 50th street
all the way up
to where low red brick warehouses
stored wild things—
they came
the people who wanted to party
fairy folk who cracked glow sticks,
forklifts and pallets
made merry in the blacklight

drums and bass
electronic shamans, our industrial gods
in their shelter
gathered at equipment’s foot—
we witnessed our births
which we never get to do

i’ve not been so liquid like that time
when fusible mineral stuff
shook from walls,
once geologic caves
wet with sweat
a hundred illegal bodies
pounding walls to polish, badlands
not forgotten
but a ruse for real estate

sometimes i can see the strobe lights
flash through the panes of a luxury condo
and a girl covered in glitter
lying to her father

By Tanya Tuzeo


Tanya Tuzeo is a librarian and new mother whose work offers heartbreaking yet merciless observations about our most treasured relationships—family and love. Living by the sea, the natural world of grit and liquid imbues her writing with elemental textures and serves as a paradoxical backdrop of beauty as she moves through the uncomfortable, and at times bleak, experiences of motherhood, aging, and human connection.

Cat’s Cradle By Noriko Nakada

Cat’s Cradle

Fingers tug loops of yarn
middle fingers graze palms
starting this Cat’s Cradle
dance inside twine pulled tight
between dry space of hands.

Two partners play this game
for children, one not yet
resurrected like the
origami box, the
fortune teller, card games.

I imagine you and
my young son sitting next
to one another, hands
bound together in play.
Do these strings reach across

generations? Does thread
pull and stretch, connecting
my son’s new words to the
words you are forgetting?
As intermittent pulls

into my boy’s brain, does
it loosen like mud from
yours? Fingers pinch across
diamonds, circle muscle.
Should I wish my son mute

and keep your stories tied
safely inside you for
a few more day, months, years?
Can my son’s words wait? When
pinkies finally cross

and the bridge of hands turn
upside down, pulling strings
tight, to circle and leap
cuffing our hands, leaving
behind this mess of worry.

By Noriko Nakada


Noriko Nakada is a multi-racial Asian American who creates fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and art to capture the stories she has been told not to talk about. She is the author of the Through Eyes Like Mine memoir series. Excerpts, essays, and poetry have been published in The Rising Phoenix Review, Hippocampus, Catapult, Linden Ave, and elsewhere.

the girls By Rooney Kim

the girls

The girls are weeping in their rooms again
and they’re posting pictures of themselves with wet
mascara running over their childish cheeks
next to a journal covered in writing and under the
picture are twenty comments from strangers
“thats so me” “thats me” “thats definitely me” “lmao”

The girls are pinching their thighs again
watching cellulite rise and their chests tighten
Can you burn calories if you cry hard enough?
Oh manifest those chopstick legs darling, listen
to subliminals on youtube, until you’re able to
look in the mirror without having a panic attack

The girls are skipping their meals again
because hunger means hard won beauty,
you’re following Bella Hadid’s diet, cup
of water in the morning, and half an almond
should tide you over for the day. Cry
into a tub of Halo Top if you must, but
be sure to throw it back up.

The girls are hating themselves again
every inch of skin is not smooth enough,
nothing they say is smart or witty enough,
want to ball yourself up like a miserable
mistake of a poem and hurl yourself into
the trash can, oh but darling you are only
a first draft, but most never make it to

By Rooney Kim


Rooney Kim (she/her) is a high school senior based in New York City. Her writing mainly focuses on themes of mental illness, queer identity, and love. She has attended the Iowa Young Writers Studio and the Common Young Writers Workshop, among others. She only writes at 3am with music and a cup of coffee. Please send help. She is chaotic.

Still Mine By Desiree Nestor

Still Mine

Settled under your arm, summer’s
glittering eye, and her songs— sirens,
laughter, shrieks, and silence.

I found myself a home.

No, not like what Amber finds
in Brown, or the Sun in the Sea—
I did not lose myself in you, or
to the City’s spells.

More like when a wrinkle finds a smile,
makes a valley,
and calls it home.

Don’t ask me when.
Which is to say time
is always a rope, ledge, or arrow
of which I am at the end of.

Just brace with me
in this gargoyles shadow.

As the lamppost strikes
unforgiving glows
against The golden
green leaves tucked
into the nighting blue.

what’s sin for me,
isn’t sin for you.

By Desiree Nestor


Desiree Nestor currently lives in her hometown of Brooklyn, New York, and currently works as a literacy/writing tutor with middle school and high school students. She loves soccer, listening to music, and learning French.

10/15/21: for the bell that told me to rise By Melissa Ferrer (&)

10/15/21: for the bell that told me to rise

Grief is sometimes not the sea
not the muck and mire
not viscous and lubricating.
Sometimes grief is the anchor
the log, the rock, the mountain.

grief is a meaty hand
pressing upon the doors of your chest
not knocking to be let in,
just seeking attention,
and acknowledgement.

Sometimes it isn’t
seeking to be understood. Sometimes it is
a weight you carry that is not yours
and none of your business, but who are you
to just cast off something asking to be seen
even if it remains silent?

Grief drags itself through your front door
after a night of fever dreams,
a night of to sleep or not to sleep,
a night that you’ve slept well.
It comes with asking. How
embrace are you really? How
ready are you to catch what may come? How
forgiving can you be of this nature
who rages her way to your doorstep,
thrusts dust and leaves into your eyes–
a windy lament that knocks off your hat
and brings you to your knees?

Can you accept this, too? A stone
rolled before the opening of your cavern–
calling your heart a grave. Can you hold this dark–
this stagnant mystic? And believe
in Lazarus
in Elijah

in a mother’s faith
in jesus in the blossom
after a long winter
in morning’s first light
after an unlit night? Can you hear
the refrain of continual beginnings?

Even when no one is around
to remind you how it sounds?

By Melissa Ferrer (&)


Melissa Ferrer (&) (she/ they/ the artist formerly known as prince symbol) is a poet/writer, performer, musician, educator, motivational speaker, organizer and philarchist living in Kansas City, MO. They live in expansion and contraction. Their work can be found in Zin Daily, Fahmidan Journal, and Food for Thought Anthology– among other places. Their debut chapbook “Birthing Pains” was published by Turnsol Editions in 2020. And they are a Poetry MFA Candidate at Randolph College. Find out more about them at

ghazal for asian americans By Karina Fantillo

ghazal for asian americans

laid transcontinental railways crouched as denied americans
skin reeks of manure from stables where resided americans

raised to bow or pagmamano our elders not knock
them down like mahjong from behind in america

disease helixes fevered globe gagging gasps
a virus isn’t chinese asian or mine america

no yellow bellies we stand bruised indigo to stop
hiss on spider silk hair as slanted eyes blind america

i was a dear little girl white woman clutched her child’s
hand when in my brown face she couldn’t find america

By Karina Fantillo


Karina immigrated with her family at the age of 9 to San Francisco, where she learned about Philippine and American culture through folk dancing. Karina writes poems in lower case and minimizes punctuation as a stand against the infrastructures that deprived her of learning her native language and history in an American colony.

Karina’s poems have appeared or is forthcoming in the San Francisco Public Library, The Racket, Eunoia Review, Night Music, where she was the featured writer for the issue. She was a poetry fellow before graduating with an MFA in Writing from the University of San Francisco.

Mending By Jane Elizabeth Yarnell


I am sewing up a pair of old blue jeans.
The silver flash of the needle is like a fish,
swimming through riffles of worn white thread.
It swims back and forth across the sea-cave of the small tear:
Through, across, up. Through, across, up.
the 1-2-3, 1-2-3 rhythm of a silent waltz.

a thought comes to mind.

I am here to mend small things.

I am here to feed the bees that land on the windowsill occasionally.
to mix tap water and plain sugar
into a whitish syrup that allows them to continue their journey.
I am here to open the window, when they are ready to fly again.

I am here to smile at babies in grocery stores,
and here to smile at parents with full arms and tired children.
I am here to stand, sometimes, in the woods and hear the silence.

I have a body to lift and to carry what is needed to wherever it is needed.
I have a mind that can see what needs to be done.
Sometimes, I think I can see the truth that this is
more than enough.  

By Jane Elizabeth Yarnell


Jane Yarnell is in her third year of a degree studying Sustainability and Biology at the University of St. Andrews in Scotland. She has previously been published in Acumen, the Eunoia Review, and a few other places around the internet.

Kitchen Love By Jane Elizabeth Yarnell

Kitchen Love

I wish you a kitchen kind of love.
I wish you love that lingers, just a moment more —
love that makes another cup of tea as cover for five more minutes of chat.

I wish you love that sits on counters, dangles feet
and talks about everything and nothing while the room fills
with carmel sugar.

I wish you the warmth of the oven while
rain lashes the windows.
I wish you the kind of love
that feeds you.

I wish you a love deep enough for creation.

By Jane Elizabeth Yarnell


Jane Yarnell is in her third year of a degree studying Sustainability and Biology at the University of St. Andrews in Scotland. She has previously been published in Acumen, the Eunoia Review, and a few other places around the internet.

What the lemon tree taught me By Rima Alsayed

What the lemon tree taught me

In the spring,
when southern humid air
sticks to the window and skin.
her garden,
when eyes wide follow the flight of honey bees.
No need for sickle,
Patient grandmother shakes
And the branches don’t know the difference
Between her arms and heavy winds

A factory line of lemons
and it was in my best interest
to warn little brother
Don’t let them fall, don’t let them bruise

Grandmother’s calm nature
Do not be afraid of the soil
you were created from clay

I close my eyes
to file this lesson away-
to teach my own child one day, that-
Fingers may twitch,
Feed them into the earth,
Return to your Creator.

Even in the roughest of times,

– Alhamdulillah

By Rima Alsayed


Rima Alsayed is a first-generation Lebanese American poet and artist based in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Her current anthology of work focuses on assimilation between Eastern and Western identities. She currently holds a publication, blacksmith, under the House of Theodora. Alsayed attended the University of Houston, gaining her Masters in Clinical Social Work, and currently works in addiction/substance use recovery as a primary therapist.