Elementia issue 17



By Jillian Otero

Dear 34B, I thought that this was going to be a normal flight. I got to the airport two hours early. Exactly on schedule. I took my seat in 34A. By the window. I went through all the motions. Cell phone turned off. You were late.

Connection at First Sight

By Annie Barry

I read about you in my horoscopes and in a relatable tweet last week as soon as I saw you, I knew those were written about you

All Things Terribly Lovely

By Hannah Holliday

When you asked me who I thought you were and I didn’t have an answer, I was worried. Why does my brain not instantly generate poetry when I think about how beautiful you are? Now that I have an answer I am terrified.

Remember Summer?

By Anonymous

He’s got you stuck in his teeth. Remember, summer?           Well, tell me: Why’d you leave him and I alone in the blue tiled bathroom? Remember, summer? The one with the blood stained floors that we sat on for hours.           Well, tell me: Why’d you trap us outside the screen door? Remember, s

In Orchards of Lemon Trees

By Kate Rose

in orchards of lemon trees we tiptoe, under the hanging yellow fruit in blue moonlight, we will stay until orange light leads us inside

in orchards of lemon trees we giggle at your pinched sour face as you taste the bitterness from the tip of your tongue trailing back to your throat


By Samiya Rasheed

My mother mourns leaving her own country so deeply it runs through her veins into mine. Bangladesh is what she knows and what she loves. She spends her time showing me her culture: spinning through dances, running through poetry, and wading through history.

Dream State Slip-Gown

By Isabelle Shachtman

The sound of the train past midnight And a clear sort of light seek my room and cheeks Leaving the layers of darkness, moon, and house light stale and stark As if the lighter colored sheaths of air in the dark are unbreathable As if I’m lying to myself about what I really see through the night

Baba’s Garden

By Clara Rabbani

Egg-yolks blooming in serenity baba’s palms turn upwards black dirt falling on the sun. The fruit of baba’s hands covered in spines twisted but not the wicked way that punctures skin. Serpentine limbs extend in search of hands to hold fingers to suffocate. Pungent soil moistens fingertips incande

poem for my killer

By Yasi Farahmandnia

sometime before the clock hit eleven, i thought of you. i imagined the threat your caressing fingers possess as they trace targets on the side of my belly.

i look to see you in mirrors and through windowpane reflections, but i am disappointed and relieved every time.

The Stories They Tell

By Clara Rabbani

I envy the stories They tell. Of the East And the West.

Of bare feet, Guava trees, Roasted fava beans.

Of tin water pails That held curly-haired children To keep the dust off their feet.


By Olivia J. Williams

I will never call a Latino “papi” sino héroe, soldado, sobreviviente Brother in bondage, sibling in survival The chains of the Hispanic clink with those of his Black cellmate We languish under the same white gall Asian men rattle wire fences in 1930s internment camps White supremacists l


By Sofia Calavitta

Too long we have forgotten The story of breath in our lungs

Depending on who you ask We started from clay, dust, Half of a ribcage, the salt of the Earth, the water of the sea; The old gods.


By Sydney Fessenden

I like to stare at the Ikea light fixture in the living room, letting the middle bulb sink into my shallow eyes. I look until it starts to hurt, my ripped fingernails gripping the worn suede of the couch as pupils get lost in the dangerous yellow.

Still Life

By Haley Renee Born

I’m sitting in the middle of nowhere, on a hill looking toward the horizon. No tripod, just crossed legs and my elbows resting on my knees, holding an old camera filled with darkroom film.

Museum of Broken Street Signs

By Meghana Lakkireddy

I miss running down the street with you at half past 3 When your dad dropped you off after softball practice on Sunday afternoons. And there was never anything more than grass stains on white pants and empty soda cans that my mom told me to throw away two hours ago. The boys that surrounded us we


By Anna Schmeer

i never met her but i always knew she was there my dad talked about her so fondly “we used to drive for hours listening to old cassette tapes singing along not knowing where we were going but not caring” sometimes one of the songs they used to sing would come on the radio my dad would turn it up

Forgotten Memory

By Ada Heller

I can’t remember why pink ice cream smells of lakes and trips to grandma’s house I have no memory of cherry chocolate chunk ice cream melting in my mouth But sometimes I lick my fingers just to make sure I’ve gotten the last drops 


By Clara Rabbani

The West, To me, Is Capoeira.

Boundless And filled with Saudade.

It is The macaws Of the Amazon. And the macaques Of the tamarind trees.

In the West, I string words together like beads.


By Isabelle Shachtman

You ask me If I know the way back home from here. I sing the words, “yes, dear” back to you like I’m someone else. You say “alright” because you’ve got nothing else to say right now; I respect that. I keep my eyes on the road. I’m not quite sure where you’re looking at this point


By James Fitzgerald

Montana and Wyoming The sprawling landscape of Yellowstone Against towering mountains Form a place that I’d never seen before The animals and people you meet at pull offs Are what make the experience an experience Waiting for Old Faithful to burst After a long enough time it does The height of th

A Walk

By Rachel Stander

Yesterday, I took a walk. I went through the park, I passed by one empty cup, two used napkins, three cigarette butts. I jaywalked across the street, past the hardware store and into the coffee shop. I ordered a small latte, handed the pretty barista a five-dollar bill and stuffed the change in m

she took my poems

By Annie Barry

why do i allow myself to participate in something as dangerously stupid as Love? allow myself to participate i say as if i don’t put myself up to bat in a room full of automatic pitch machines

Life Slow Mo

By Ada Heller

Wet hair clings to my cheeks salty from the rain Drops like tears slide down my nose as the gray of the sky peers down upon me Barefoot in the grass for a few moments I forget about the life I am crushing below With my eyes closed I block out the rushing of the highway in the distance and the sch

Coconut Kid

By Neha Sridhar

Giggling, Aditi grabs my hand and twirls me along as her ghagra’s elaborate mirror embroidery catches in colorful lighting.

Secrets Scrawled on the Astragal

By Brett Seaton

It’s strung together through the fibers on the back of the lost Dreams that leave you sweat-stained and hopeful How dare we doubt ourselves? In the midst of our mist and making, we think to miss? The power lines crackling with your work your thoughts your history you don’t get to be They lie ther

To Mom: Inspired by Ocean Vuong’s Poem “A Letter to My Mother That She Will Never Read”

By Katie Stanos

But you need it, you said. I thought you wanted to be beautiful. I slammed my hands on the wheel of your Land Rover and pulled over to the side of the road near the big houses with green lawns and trampolines, Norfolk Way.

Maybe it was the Wind

By James Knoflicek

Maybe it was the wind that blew her to the ground. Maybe a subtle hollow she hadn’t noticed brought her down. Either way, she ends up in the dirt. Earth covers the soft pink fabric draped over her Like paint splattered on a porcelain canvas. She looks to the graying skies, through a pair of unkno

Shadows Need Light

By Hiba Faruqi

A ransacked village in India is where my lineage began Women. Women, I will And Can never, ever know. Tribulations my western brain Cannot comprehend. They made me. I have the blood of Hundreds Of Maharanis, princesses, and queens of India. The iron will of thousands of brave Pakistani women burn

Peanut Butter Sandwiches

By Elizabeth Yost

Even when she was young, Sonya had never been afraid of the supernatural.

Where I’m From

By Emme Mackenzie

I am from the expressions of my people flattened nose and slits for eyes leathery skin and cricks in my back each feature of mine a reflection of my family heritage