elementia issue 14


m.A.A.d. City Man

By Annie Barry

This summer I took some chances while listening to Chance the Rapper because I liked the beat
But listened to Kendrick when I wanted some street poetry
Some urban poetry
From poets who grew up in suburban towns with an urban state of mind


By Olivia Dugan

There once was a girl named Sarah
But no one knew her name.
“Loser!” the prissy, perfect girls screeched.
The word sang in her ears.

Isolated Symmetry

By Natalie Prauser

i'll carry my fault to the sea and salt 
and i know it's dragging me along 
i wish i was more than a hollow frame 
riding through time on a tidal wave 
and i know i won't be here long 

Deviled Eggs

By Anonymous

They hold the spirit of Christmas, the Thanksgiving meal, the laughter, the family cheer, and the lost ones that we held near.  Every single Christmas, Thanksgiving, and family get together, my grandmother concocted the most delicious deviled eggs.


By Emma Olinger

“People just choose to be pink, everyone is born blue.” “People with pink marks are going straight to hell.”

“There are places to go to get your pink mark made blue again, so why not go?” “These millennials with their pink marks.”

“Blue marks are the superior marks.” “Hello.”

The Mark of Love

By Kaylie MacLaughlin

Aria pointed at the little flower on her ankle with a short, chubby finger and asked her mother in her unpracticed, fragmented English about what it was. “Pretty,” she said, her ‘r’ little too rounded and her voice broken up by her childish laughter.

My Diaspora Poem (Remix), or All I Know is This

By Aroog Khaliq

I hate diaspora poetry
as much as the next
fed-up immigrant

All that bullshit
about “lives stained
with honey and turmeric”
and “the colonizer
cutting my tongue with
aluminum shears”
is utterly boring


By Aroog Khaliq

The night before my first day of sixth grade, I studied the piece of fabric laid out on my bed with uncharacteristic placidity. It was no work of art; plain cotton fabric, dyed black, with a single strip of black lace for adornment.

A Letter to My Mother, Who I Love Very Much and Who I Hope Doesn’t Read This

By Elizabeth Joseph

When I needed a white sheet for Toga day at school, my father immediately gave me his own white cloth. The weave was loose and rough, with a smooth strip of gold running down one side, so large I thought it was a sari.

Flowers Exist on the Moon

By Maggie Golshani

Fidgeting my leg against a familiar school desk, the dreadful anticipation always washes over me while listening to roll call on the first day of school.


By Anonymous

Someone’s skin tells a more powerful story than that person can, more often than not. Marbled skin stretched flawlessly over tight muscles and thin bones, rough skin piled over fleshy arms and tree trunk-like skeletons.

Just Like My Dad Said it Would

By MJ Ferguson

Once I was through the door, I dashed down the stairs to my room, flinging myself onto my bed, sobbing. I felt so stupid, so clutzy, so worthless. Questions flooded my mind. Who am I? Am I really Amy? Or am I someone else? I didn’t know anymore.



By Katherine Ellis

I sit on the roof of the building, my legs dangling off the edge. It would be so easy to just lean forward a bit. To finally be free from my life. I consider the idea for a moment, and almost decide to do it and take my freedom, when I hear footsteps behind me. 

By Any Other Name

By Breeaunna Dowdy

Names. Titles given to us at birth by someone with no idea of who we are or what we'll become, they are iron-clad chains bound to our lifetimes by those who want us to be something great. We do not all fit our names and we do not all fit in those boxes; a name is always just a name.  


By Abigail Cottingham

His taste in music was mayonnaise: bland and unappreciated by most of the population. I guess you could say I love mayonnaise. We attended the same school, but a year separated us so we didn’t have any classes together.

At the End of the Wire...

By Mahnoor Cheema

There are occasions where I zone out, and during this period of deep thought, I find myself staring at a girl. I’ve seen this girl multiple times before.


By Emma Nicholson

Day and night become irrelevant 
Time is no longer marked by the movement of the sun
But rather the hours passed in front of a screen

Iconic Narcotic

By Anton Caruso

iconic narcotic, cut it with a straight edge, that’s ironic, feelings are chronic, brought without logic, she broke in with a lock pick, to purify the toxic, joint sockets, fill his deep pockets, talk to him, but change the topic

Cruelty is My God

By Anonymous

The day Reason was guillotined
in the kingdom known as my mind,
his head flung into the murky sea of oblivion, 
Cruelty became my god.

Half A Person

By Lauren Yoksh

lace up your sneakers and roll up your jeans: your jeans 
are blue and worn in the knees because they’re your favorite
and the laces on your sneakers used to be white but now 
they are tinted brown from the dirt of the earth you walk through.


By Anonymous

To my vocal chords ring
That you could be me
You fall for me like Autumn leaves
I am pollen in the Spring
You love me, but I am your allergy


By Chris Wernimont

Last week I found my friend’s fake ID’s
One form Towson, Maryland, where she is 23
One form an address in Scottsdale, Arizona
Each card different, each with a new persona


By Magda Werkmeister

oh my gosh what song is this
oh my god is it that song
that song i first heard
god it must have been the summer before middle school
listen to those horns
it must have been npr’s all songs considered

The Basics

By Cathy Wang

My brain likes to run amuck.    
Some days it gets stuck on the same thought:
You are in love with someone and they do not love you.
You ate too much today and are now chubby, too chubby in fact to be loved by anybody.

Midnight Walk

By Tommy Tietjen

The streets,
full of people rushing to and fro.
Stepping on the paved concrete,
wearing it out slowly,
like nothing.
Night spreads through,
covering everything,
like a blanket.
The wind breezes past
the buildings,


By Elie Simon

50% Polish, 50% Russian 
I thought.
It all changed in Rehovot.
I flipped through the book.
The dining table crowded with voices.
“Tracing our roots” He said
Turning the page.
The faces of those like me 
gazed up from the page.


By Saadia Siddiqua

Pakistan and America 
Eastern and western
but they feel like the north and south poles
I’m immersed in the red silk dresses embroidered by hand and I’m in love with the ability to roam alone across this land

Four Words to Describe Yourself?

By Ana Schulte

About the question, or the world?
Unsure whether to answer truthfully, or to fabricate a more intriguing narrative.
Unsure what the question implies: Fears,
(Spiders, bad grades, falling out of love)
or physicalities, 

Bounty Brand Paper Towels

By Abbey Roschak

Bounty brand paper towels; you know it by name
“The quick picker upper”, thirst pockets
Outnumbering the leading brands not only in price
But in absorbency
Who would have thought that a simple household object
Could be comparable to humanly functions?


By Cole Roatch

I am the center of the universe
My problems are complex
My thoughts are intricate, my experiences unique
Surely no one else can live this way?
What a cruel realization it is
Such a curious paradox of existence
In the monumental movie that is my life,