elementia issue 16


8. You Break by Renee Born
10. when the shower grows cold by Mia Clark
40. Like cloves and fire by Isabelle Schachtman
45. Thank You Potholes: A Slam Poem by Rachel Stander


By Elizabeth Joseph

our fingers fly across black and white keys like
sparrows / rhythms of muscle memory echoing
across the table tops // inside, you are wells of blue
deeper than the Mariana Trench / clouded over
with gray brushstrokes where smears of lavender


By Hayley Allison

Society’s noose fed the rope around my neck
Teaching me to hate the things I used to love about myself
Whispering that maybe I deserve to be strung up and forgotten


By Mia Sisul

I see the pieces on the ground,
So broken, scattered, torn.
The pieces long forgotten,
Continents and oceans overworn.

Nepal, Hawaii, St. Lucia
In a long, congested heap.
The passed families stay afloat,
Souls torn by the Reap. 


By Samiya Rasheed

prometheus — light crammed between his jaws
licking up the insides of his teeth
scratching enamels in their
his climb — ran triumphant
meek made resplendent tossing
the ember from his mouth and
great golden blooms sprouted into the loam

You, Myself, and I

By Alexander Krauss

I self-reflect
And I gaze deep
To try to forget the secrets that I keep

I bind myself
And hide my chest
All day long until I rest

I stay at home
And lay in bed
Trying to drown out what you said

fortune cookies

By Amanda Pendley

Sometimes I go through days where I will buy a whole bag of fortune cookies from the Panda Express drive-thru 
and eat them all in one sitting, just so that someone can tell me something good. 


By Elizabeth Joseph

If I were to pluck my feathers,
I wouldn’t be able to fly.

But I want to feel the grass underneath my feet

I hop like a robin on the sidewalk
(away from flight, towards dandelions
sprouting in cracked concrete)

The Sculpture

By Renee Born

“Laura, what are you doing?”


“You’ve gotta work.” 

“Doesn’t matter, it’s almost over,” she said.

trials of the female

By Ashley Honey

The moment I was conceived
And my egg was fertilized to have xx chromosomes
Instead of xy
My body was taken away from me
And placed in the hands of men
The hands of men that control dress codes
The fingers that will slap my ass as I walk down the street

a yard sale

By Isobel Li

        there’s the set of highlighters
funny how a set of highlighters have burrowed their way
into the section of her brain
labeled “relevant”
yet here are the highlighters
pink orange green
and everything in between

I was in love with that girl

By Anonymous

I remember the guilt I had as
A nine year old girl
When I kissed another girl
Just for fun.
I wouldn’t have
If she didn’t lead me on
Blue eyes
Red-brown hair.
After the first time she kissed me
My heart hurt

Eyes Shut Wide

By Yasi Farahmandnia

Barricading our creativity and emotion
they stand
As tall as our dreams
And as vague as our goals

Amplifying the feeble ground
they stand
Constructing our world
Limiting our thought
Cubing our flexibility
Opposing our expansion

Aloe Vera

By Katherine Westbrook

The rain is immediate, and collects in every pore like blood clots. 
For this moment, coiled small, a child’s figure shaking sleep —
I move. Pulsing water smudges the dented car hood
three blocks down, and there is a caution to both of our actions.

Sticky Rice

By Kylie Volavongsa

She’s not sure what to make of herself
stranger at home 
unfamiliar face in a sea of faces that
should be everything she’s looking for

Hot and Sour Love

By Alice Wu

I fell in love with the first taste of that awakening flavor. The clouds of egg drops melted on my tongue and were followed by the dark earthiness of wood ear mushrooms. I thought I was drinking liquid amber, bright with acidity and warm with the red kiss of chilies.

Sideways Eight

By Hayley Allison

Our love was born out of infinity,
Full of promises and late-night murmurings.
We chased each other around and around the loops of our symbol,
Never ceasing to catch our breath,
Never stopping to let our minds catch up with our words.


By Kayla Doubrava

If loving yourself is a drug, then I am slowly becoming an addict
A habit like this isn’t hard to fall into,
I didn’t even have to try
It just felt so good,
I didn’t want to stop
High on pure admiration
Drunk on the strongest adoration

Paper Bird

By Angela Lombardino

This is the story of why I became a pilot. I wasn’t ever really fascinated with planes or their mechanics, nor did I ever buy one of those build-your-own model airplanes when I was little. I was fascinated with the flying part, flying out in the big open sky for miles on end. 

Cars On Roads Like Blood In Veins

By Willow Vaughn

This wouldn’t work. We both knew it, but it was still so easy to get attached. Even though we hardly had any time at all. We used every second we had, milked it for all it was worth.

Let Me Speak

By Madeline Bell

Therapy. What an odd word. A word that entails problems that you can’t solve yourself. A word that only applies to people with enough money to get other people to solve their problems for them. Therapy is such a bitch.

Muscle Memory

By Amanda Pendley

There is absent space in my chest where pain used to be 
And the muscle memory has not yet learned to let go

Let That Girl Go

By Emme Mackenzie

I weakly smile as she makes a joke. I forgot her name, but she doesn’t need to know that. Instead, I take a fake sip of whatever is in my cup; I don’t trust it. My dad taught me that trick. “See you,” she drawls, her hair brushing my face as she turns around.

Love Everlasting

By Annie Barry

Love everlasting
Love is only lasting
When you put yourself last
Kinder a love within lantern light flames and
Let the wax drip to seal the cracks of your previously broken heart
Redeem your wrinkled hands and

Stained Glass

By Oli Ray

I feel like a shattered stained glass window.

Immesurable Distances

By Leah Mensch

The summers of my childhood meant dirty feet from playing ball without shoes, calloused hands from one too many rounds of the monkey bars, and racing to eat popsicles before the humidity melted their contents away. I was a good kid, but also a curious one. 

Making Maps

By Natalie Rovello

On November 8th, 2016
(“a date which will live in infamy”)
I sat like a child on my bed
I had always thought myself an artist,
So I took a pen and drew a map — 
Every line
Of every state
I drew my home
And my family’s home.

Assault and Go

By Saadia Siddiqua

Oh, how I loved “the talk” in eighth grade. The smell of Axe filled the room and I heard my peers giggling. A boy dressed in bright yellow Nike said, “I heard they tell us about popping cherries” 

 “Yeah I heard there’s blood everywhere!”

how to write a poem

By Miah Clark

snap the barrel of a boy fully loaded with good intentions 
and shoot yourself.

break your own heart,
into jigsaw puzzle pieces 
so you can practice the art of putting yourself back together.

The S Word

By Olivia Humphrey

A word so keen and so sharp,
Thrown at me but never to me
To be muttered under the breaths of the boys who I’ve denied
And whispered from the girls with whom I have never exchanged a word.
It drips from the lips of people who do not know me,

Virgo, Virginis

By Samiya Rasheed

Start small
the changes we swore to in
resplendent troths, without vision because
I burst forth from childhood
flat chested frail wristed pinions
not yet grown: all down
and yielding. So told do not fly