elementia issue 12



By Tori Gardner

overland park
milky way

am i supposed to call this home?
i live here
but it isn’t home.


By Hannah Warren

constantly muttering to yourself
a constant hum in the back of your head.
carrying conversations with the walls around you
this is normal mom,
leave me alone mom,
I want to eat in my room tonight mom,
I can’t talk right now mom.
buzz-buzz, buzz-buzz

Growing Old

By Anne Goebel

Born into the place I despise.
Growing in the green,
not seeing what could be.
Suffocating siblings,
pets galore,
always wanting more.


By Marilyn Stickler

A little spot in the heartland,
A little spot in your heart.
Where families are created,
And legacies carry on.
Where meals are around a table,
And the front of a fridge is your trophy case.
Where names are recycled,
And recipes stay secret.


By Taj’Zhere Dillard

Warm evenings -
a slight breeze with the scent of smoked ham
and cornbread for dinner.
BROWN BODIES come out when the streetlights do
dancing and singing to Motown.
Turning bodies into wine
too sweet to taste.

Where the Heart Beats

By Betsy Cha

Perhaps the first

Was the open sky

Infecting above the carpeted ground.

Books astray in an old wicker basket,

Just enough room for a girl to climb in.

Crayons drawing, thoughts wild; just

imagine at your fingertips

The World.


To Build a Home

By Amani Raheel

My ma says

She pushed my stroller

around the bumpy streets of

Queens, Jamaica, Long Island,

even Manhattan,

Through rain and snow, all



Finding no help from the

passengers, all ignoring her

silent plea

Long Way From Home

By Claire Burrow

It’s a long way home,

miles of pavement and sky.

As we drive,

the sun chases us,

and the clock turns.


Radio changes,

melodies blur together,

making one endless song,

duets and duets of notes.


Heat hugs your skin,

The Climbing Tree

By Ann E. Mclean

The Ponderosa Pines hunched ponderously,
Their convoluted gestures frozen
With dry, rasping limbs in stages of vexation
And narrow forearms lifted high
In savored moments of exalted epiphany.
My brother and I climbed the questions
They grew,

Perfect Wave Pools

By Jack Lapin

So many people crowded into one wave pool.

All together in one container,

Yet in separate groups, hardly mingling with others.

The designers did their best to replicate nature,

But only to an extent.

Waves for five minutes, rest for five minutes,


By Laurel Foderberg

For months, I’ve been waiting for this day. Not only is it the first day of

summer, but it’s also the day I will get to see some of my favorite bands. I

imagined May thirty-first a million different ways, and hoped most for a nice,

Endless Calm

By Claire Burrow

Winter seems like an endless calm.

When the cold surrounds us,

and the darkness makes the streets disappear,

the world’s turning seems to slow down.

You can see footprints start and footprints


leading somewhere,

going nowhere.


By Lily Sykora

I sit there, in my own little world.

The fountain flows like a babbling brook as I inhale deeply.

 I’m alone with my thoughts, and nothing else.

Just me, I sit on a smooth rock in the middle of the lake.

The soft murmur of kids

The Neverending Adventure

By Tyler Joseph

At the sparkling lake,

from the early morning sunrise.

With boats at high speed ,

with skiers behind them.

From the bright early mornings,

to the beautiful horizon of the evening.

The lake is an emotion

that sparks smiles all around.

Glass Half Full

By Helen Peng

The appeal of the beach is different

For everyone who visits.

Some venture deep into the water,

Their heads bobbing above and below the surface

Of the bittersweet saltwater.

Perhaps they crave adventure,

Letting the waves envelope their bodies,

Civil Rights

By Connor Phillips

I am a minor

I have the same rights of

A Black man 200 years ago

A Woman 100 years ago

They say we are not smart enough

They say we are not good enough

They say we are not old enough

I say I am

When will I have rights?


By Emily Steinmetz

Walking step by step to a place unknown,

people look past me like I’m a monster,

part of the disowned.

My heart is lost and I’m brought to a shadow of blue,

cheeks stained with tears,

a feeling that is far from new.

By the time the night is over,

Gymnastics vs School

By Audrey Manivong

I’m from chalky hair,

Here, pretty hair and curls,

I’m from leotards and spandex,

Here, pretty tops and jean shorts,

Where I’m from, new skills

Here, 9 x 24

I’m from, rug burns and big bruises,

Here, paper cuts

Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs

By Eunice Lee

i am your (empty
dead-eyed cashier, mechanically
ringing up your nachos and popcorn;
have a great day!

weekend plans and giggling friends,
i am Maslow’s slave
face blur past, i ring up your purchase
come back soon!

Never Been

By Raneem Issawi

Although I have never been,

I can smell the condensed aroma

of fresh bread in the bakery,

occupying its place in the noses of bypassers.


Although I have never been,

I can distinguish between the flavor

of black and green olives,

Just a Driveway

By Jillian Dunlay

Laughter chirps through my ears

A forever perfect


In this imperfect world


Sunshine frames the chalk lines

Every colorful streak

A reflection of my friends

A reflection of myself


Thriving in our child-like ways

A Different Room

By Arron Weber

Moving boxes carefully across the street,

Looking both ways

before pushing a small cart of toys across the street.

Today we were moving,

But it was not a long drive to our new house,

It was a simple walk across the street.



By Sarah Woods

Care-taker, life-giver,
nurturer, chef, doormat.
Raised to believe my gender put
me on the bottom.
I am to please, not to be pleased.
I am the inferior, the weak, the
soft, the submissive.
Already born with joy, told to

The Plight of T he G2

By Aroog Khaliq

sing in me, O Muse, the plight of the second generation american;

she is a girl with brown eyes and skin and hair,

with $300 Beats that match her silk headscarf affair.

she brings “exotic” food to school,

and cringes when lentils get on her skirt of tulle.


The Workstation

By Steven McPherson


Mental Silence

Physical Noise

“Click Clack Clickity Clackity Click Click Clack”

The Blue Switch Thermaltake Poseidon Z Mechanical Keyboard speaks a special language to me

A language that is only understood by a certain herd of people

Unsocial Media

By Ben Weigel

Headphones cradling my ears

I enter a world

Where electronic pictures and sounds

Are ever present

I take a seat

At the Twitter home page

Where people project themselves to me

Competing for my attention

I don’t want to be left out

Me & the Music

By Ella Graham

The curtain rises,
anxiety and nervousness,
but the nerves vanish.
The lights hit me,
a warm and incomparable sensation.
Lines once memorized,
Few moments of panic are gone,
it’s just me and the music.

Warm Enclosures

By Ashley McLaughlin

I hastily picked my feet up out of the snow to uncover a pair of warm brown boots that had been hidden under layers of white fluff just moments ago. The cold wind pierces my bare cheeks as I charge forward, breathing heavily to reveal a cloud of warm carbon dioxide.


By Saadia Siddiqua

home can be anywhere with a song
a constant melody
an extravagant sound

warmth without sun
cold without ice
feel anyway you’d like

The Graveyard

By Jessa Boutte

she walks
head bent against the cold
and the weight of grief
shoving her down

her black hair blows
in the wind around her head
i call out and she turns
her green eyes searching
for the dead that she can’t see