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.


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

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

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

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

Eyes Shut Wide

By Yasi Farahmandnia

Barricading our creativity and emotion

they stand

As tall as our dreams

And as vague as our goals

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

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

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.

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