elementia issue 19



By Arden Pryor

like the exuberance of bangs cut too short and stacks of bracelets that never match. 
gold is for the good days only. 
most days are silver. they are plentiful and lacking variation. 
endless hours and constantly runny eyes. 

The Swirling Eddies of Eigengrau

By Joey Wu

You are trapped.

One day you awoke: a homunculus, immersed in a deep chasm of dark. You wander the confines in solitude, following the faint and ever-so-often beep that resonates through your lonely chamber.


By Madeleine Marder

“You want to join us?” She asks.

Before she knows me. Before she learns not to.

I shake my head. Tell her I’m happier inside with Caroline.

The Brain in Colour

By Natalie Nims

Isn’t it weird that we know the least about ourselves? As a species, we have conquered nations and created thousands of societies paired with complex languages. Yet, scientists still work to figure out the very thing that sits in all of our skulls. The brain. Where does every thought come from?

Bread is Forever

By Daria Volkova

The issue with a great deal of things in life is that they are impermanent. We’d like to think they last millennia, that wearing raccoon eyeliner won’t be a phase, Mom.

Letters 4-4 A.D.

By Bowie Bladee

Letters 4-4 A.D.

“Supersoaker, LG Smart Refrigerator,” par II

I hope you enjoyed my soliloquy. And I know you did--your mouth is practically open right now. Practically open... Yeah. I'm jotting that down.

A Girl with Insomnia and a Fast Car

By Ruby Cullen

Jessie’s nights have been difficult for as long as she can remember.

5 Foot Giant

By Elena Unger

The world is large, but so am I.
An ocean of confused compassion
rolls through my veins,
and I balance boulders 
on unmanicured fingertips. 


By Anonymous

What will you let yourself know?
And what will you put in boxes
And crush
Hoping it won’t spring up again

My attic is full of chests that I’ve battered in
Locked and guarded
That I’ve known I couldn’t see
Without ever looking inside

all the things that make it so

By Isobel Li

i was greeted by the moon herself in your driveway.
she left my palms damp with slobber in her wake
and i stood outside your front door,
feeling like a fraction, small but rightfully so
and across the street, adult chatter and laughter

All We Do Not Know

By Elena Unger

This morning I listened to an interview 
with poet Ada Limón. She spoke about 
epiphanies and didactic endings
and how sometimes a poet must surrender 
to the discomfort of unknowing.
How sometimes it is best to listen 
to the world’s echoing heartbeat 

Beach Day

By Clara Moss

i’m floating on my back with 
sunscreen spread along my nose and 
water lapping against my shoulders. 
i should be focusing on
how the sun is warming me from the outside — in or
how my friends are splashing water over our goosebumped flesh but 

Blank Pages

By Supriya Bolla

I wish I had trauma that I could spin into a story, 
a story that would grip your thoughts tighter than leather binding, 
Something I could rip to shreds, over-analyze in the margins, 
sew back together, and send off to the publisher before I tear myself apart.

Boy Scout Camping Trip on The Eve of The Apocalypse

By Andy Villar

The sun went missing today.
There were no rivers of blood or plagues of locusts,
first-born children did not fall ill, nor did frogs descend on the cities.
It was quiet. 
The black hole stood stagnant.
We could only watch and wait.


By Gaby Kill

I am melting butter
in AP Statistics
draped over the desk
warm dripping out of leaky sleeves
as I slide puddley down the hallway my mother screams,
 “Finally, some fat inside you!”
someone needs to pour out my sneakers
wash me out of my socks


By Sangitha Aiyer

As I pass through an unmarked apartment building,
I observe a woman’s relationship with a stray cat.

Obscured by the shadows of happy hour light,
the dirt that has accumulated on the floor’s grout still shines, 


By Sumlina Alam

The Sun is a greedy emperor, 
Shining its light across the Canyon, 
And evaporating drops of water. 
With the land so parched and no color than red, 
The beings must have knelt by now, right? 
No, there are a few that stand. 


By Ziyi Yan

Mmm, you are a distracted assent, you coat like cold sweat,
like contented sleep.

And then you are songless– muh like mundane, buzzing of the lampshade fibers,
from the lamplight flicker.


By Shaun Loh

The credits recover,
and suddenly like a k9 you snuffle the criminal boyhood out of my skin.
I always think myself circumspect in my cover-ups, but in seconds you know where my blindspot is.

on being called a gaslighter

By Stephania Kontopanos

PART I: AI is created
I think God made you and me out of binary code You call me an enigma,
But I do not speak your language. You would be the 1’s.
Standing tall
Always at the top
Perfect Aryan halo on your head I would be the 0’s.


By Savannah Voth

Ocean wanders in to contemplate me

drafts a verse about my ankles in

twisting foam, scrambles the lines

and forgets. A mirror in the slick

afterthought of water on sand

where my feet sink in soft parchment

clouds, beneath shells and kelp

pool float

By Kayla Brethauer

Floating through space feels like lounging on a pool float. True, your float is no pool float.
It’s a slab of discarded metal lost in the wasteland of the universe, and it’s pulling you with it, too.
In another time - a whole other life -

Prince Myshkin discovers the laws of physics

By Savannah Voth

(1) every puzzle has an empty space, and a piece that never seems to fit
on the train in november I found
a duality called us (antithesis as mirror) sorry it is colder here than I remembered
and I am tired
of being called a dreamer

Questions for the Departed

By Lexi Newsom

Is how still the air is, standing
Is how grey the sky is, weeping
Is how red the fallen leaf is, dying
Is how green the grass is, living
Living, living, living
A breath in, a breath out
Taken for granted—granted, it’s


By Sumlina Alam

Under my umbrella,
I watch the clear drops descend.

They hurl, abiding gravity,
As they run, far away,
From the hands of the sky.

It makes sense for the clouds to darken,
To yowl in pain,
And to jolt fear across the land.

Runs in The Family

By Gaby Kill

the vents in my grandmother's old car blow
cigarette smoke at my left knuckles
and right forearm.
there's something so cold about crawling back to the house and home
where Caroline kicked me out for borrowing her water bottle

Sestina of the Man at Eternity's Gate

By Esther Cheng

Are these the pangs of birth or the aftershocks of death?
What awaits me beyond this shore?
And even now when legs and feet have failed me
The sand shows trails, like serpents, of this fragility
I bleed: the gravel grinds my skin and flesh

Ode to My Grandma

By Austina Xu


This is my dad’s favorite poem.

And I have no idea what it means.

Places You’ve Seen in Your Dreams

By Anton

In the mid-to-late 19th century, the city of Paris was undergoing a change. The process was called Haussmannization, and it was a campaign for the modernization of Paris.

The Man who is Lost in the Snow

By James Pressdee

He sat quietly, as he always did, in the living room, upon his large grey sofa, his mug resting on the large grey table, and all of the furniture in that large grey room rested peacefully atop a large grey carpet that absorbed the gradual ageing of his living there.