a box for a body

By Isobel Li

and so the ideal takes form
shaped by what we think,
by the way we allow ourselves to think

All-American Adolescence

By Riley Strait

Tomorrow, I will worry about the future.
But today, I wallow in the past.

Tomorrow, I will be 16 and trying to remember
if the derivative of arcsin is one over
or square-root-of-u-squared-minus-one.

an uncomfortable comfort

By Leandra Ho

for so long, i’ve crossed the same streets
i’ve smiled and waved to the same people in the hallways
i’ve thought the same thoughts
i’ve loved the same love
but i’ve outgrown my attachment to comfort and my warmth for the familiar sidewalks

A Second Home

By Arielle Li

My most vivid recollections of China are filled with fond memories and blissful experiences. The smell of smoke and frying foods wafts through the air, and at night the streets are a disorienting mess of flashing billboards and street lights.

A Wistful Storm

By Lillian Flood

In all her many years, the woman did not think she ever witnessed anything as ugly as rain. It wasn’t just the way it stuck to the ground, leaving muddy piles all over the city, littering the sidewalks with grime and built-up trash.


By Barbara Matijevic

At first, time flies.
Every moment is enshrined
          Ignorant of its fate –
Unaware that one day,
Its presence will be felt.
Time and time again.
            Overanalyzed –
The past to which the future

Black and White

By Farah Fehmi

I had a dream last night . . .
I had a dream last night . . .
You died!

I studied it for myself
Looked it up even
But couldn’t wrap my head around it
Couldn’t wrap my mind –

No worries 
Meet me in my eyes
What beautiful eyes
Black and white


By Supriya Bolla

It always starts as a clear spring day.
Serene curtains, murmuring crowds, warbling musicians.
“House closes in five.”
Here, time gets to stand still.

bucketfuls of butterflies

By Grace Toscano

real art is dipping myself in paint and throwing myself against the pavement
wow look at that stain
all the feelings away
until you darken the page and there’s nothing left to say.

Closet Doors

By Hannah Wyatt Vaughn

Today I am taking down my closet doors.
With my Dad’s old screwdriver, a little elbow grease,
And the sweat that will drip from my pores,
I will welcome the old me to the new one.


By Barbara Matijevic

The air is heavy, dreary, and bleak.
When burdens overwhelm blessings
The exit beckons to me
But I am bound to stay.

Let me take a pill
Obliterate my past.
For a peaceful departure
From this world, I don’t belong
My time is up, I want to go.

Copy. Paste. Delete. Repeat.

By Ava Shropshire

taught me how to hide my curls
in a cloak of shame.
told me I should cry every time my eyes
landed on the details carved into my brown face.
constantly reminded me I wasn’t in close enough proximity.


By Riley Strait

My favorite button
on the keyboard
is Ctrl.

Daisy Blumes

By Barbara Matijevic

Bittersweetness prevails
As you set off your sails
Where a tumulus sea
once prevailed

Yet, here we are
With merely a scar.

Your breath is lighter
The world – brighter –
Days fly by . . .
You no longer wish to cry.

El Niño & La Niña

By Wyatt Vaughn

El Niño

Indescribable, Unfathomable


Simple and mindless.

Basking in the leisure of


Carried, effortlessly, by the 
breezing winds

You exist

only in

My absence.

From the Beginning

By Riley Strait

Pause, and capture me how I am now:
wrap me up in the minute we just lived:

make me your mosquito in amber –
ephemeral in life, eternal in death.

Freeze and pin me to your little brother’s trifold –
turn me into grade-school, spelling-test vocab:

heat stroke

By Anna Schmeer

wet grass
we are living on borrowed time
the green of spring will soon fade to browns
struggling to breathe and blaming it on allergies
blood is pulsing through my veins and my fingertips
this isn’t my bathroom floor this is real life
there is no second chance


By Sasha Watson

sister I am trapped, my body weighted 
by morning, when I woke
birds were calling till my heart stammered 
this time gives meaning to suspended


By Barbara Matijevic

All is good, good is all
All is good, good is all

Is it?
Yes, it is
At least . . .
I need want to believe it is
It’s my hope,
For my sanity

All is good, good is all
All is good, good is all

If We Should Need a God

By Sasha Watson

the first thing is to wait for the rain
to soften
our skin so that
might easily peel the surface
and still the blood stays
clinging in our veins
like the fly to
a horse
pulsing and swaying
to stay the rippling body
the blood inside preserved


By Caroline Stickney

and then maybe i can stop breathing in counts of fours,
as the matter in black holes is reduced to nothing but fragments of time, and
impossibly cold remnants of stellar light implode like spiders in the sky.
how is light reduced to remnants?


By Richard George

spectra of light shine in and out of
view a rainbow of emotions envelope the
mind as the music pumps harder and louder and faster
computer static is in my ears like bugs
piercing my eardrum drums faster and harder and louder as tears

Life in the Shape of Loops

By Elise Gimpert

—Begin again,
With an unconscious adoration
For perpetual repetition.
Life in the shape of loops;
Generation after regeneration.
Comfort in conclusion,
Because it is also conception.
Sacred symmetry, familiarity,
Time’s curated conventions.

Lilith’s Vengeance

By Grace Toscano

Lilith used to bite her tongue when men talked to her, because her responses would end up hurting her more than the bit of blood.

Lilith wore layers of clothes as armor, wrapping yards of cloth around her body, but even the plainest garments wouldn’t stop the attention.

loop pedal

By Ava Shropshire

reverbs of rhythm surround me, and
the aftermath of melodies float – circling my existence.
my thoughts are still, as my fingers
gently pluck the strings of my fender strat.

Love like stardust

By Erinn Fent

You waltz by
Zipping through my stratosphere
Leaving almost tangible trails
Streams of fog and particles of water
Falling slowly down to my earth
You come in and out of orbit
Following a reckless collision course
Sometimes I could reach out and touch you

Mother and Daughter: A Collection of Phrases

By Christina Bencin

Mother and Daughter: A Collection of Phrases

I hate you.

I’m so sorry, Mommy.

I love you.

Stop jumping all over me, baby! You’re like sticky rice.


By Hanna Cochran

What if the tides bent out from the shore;
Waves broke from themselves, curling out
and up, scraping the sky,
rolling back.
They would collide into each other in the middle of the sea
and then fall, plunge
into some slit of darkness, of magma

New Hymns

By Caroline Stickney

we sink
& choke on our own want
& decide it’s enough
& pull down our own quiet
& swim in swallowed songs
& follow our own wounds home
& peel back our skin
& look at the mess we’ve made
& love all things but not at the same time

No Longer Under Atmospheric Pressure

By Julia Truitt

Leaves look up to the rising sun
A bird sings its song, letting anyone hear
Dewy grass drips with sweet sugar water

My eyes gift me this
The clouds know I don’t deserve it
My body was put here and for what?