elementia identity


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.


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.

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.

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.

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


By Annie Barry

Embers in my hair, black dust getting to my lungs. Red, yellow, purple, blue fire in front of me, behind me, beside me. Above and below me. Within me.


By Hiba Faruqi

From the moment a screaming woman thrusts us into the world,
Soft, bloody heads first.
We begin to deteriorate.
For some, that occurs at a faster pace than others.

Your Baby

By Saadia Siddiqua

who cares about that umbilical cord when it doesn’t stop you from hurting me
you say I’m part of you but I feel you don’t love every part of me
let’s go through my childhood book of memories
earliest one my neck falling backwards

Behind the Glass

By Olivia Danner

It’s 10 pm on a cold-for-California winter night, and there’s nothing I want to do more than to leave the ice cream shop. I drag the mop along the floor behind me, letting its weight act as an excuse for my lack of movement.

Goosebumps and Gummy Bears

By Gillian Knaebel

I am from hard worn leather beneath my feet.
Watching my second home from my favorite place,
4 feet above the ground.
From sounds of gymnastics filling my ears
to a layer of chalk and sweat that coats everything from my
legs to the inside of my throat

Plight of the Introvert

By Kayla Doubrava

Typing the conclusion of my English essay,
in a loud, dimly lit coffee shop,
I peer over my laptop screen
and see the type of girl you only see
in pictures.

Being Cosmic Dancers: because what else would we be?

By Jaden Gragg

We live on our floating planet,
this hunk, this rock,
we are so small. 


By Margie Delich

When you look into a window
What do you see?

A face staring back at you,
As happy as can be

You ask the face a question
Why do you smile so much?

The face laughs, Ha! Ha!
I locked you out of the house.

Fitting In

By Lucas Throckmorton

I wanted to be like everyone else,
Smart, funny, cool.
But when do things cross the line,
From funny to mean,
Or even me to them?

But recently,
It grew harder not to cross the line.
 Harder to fit in.

From Dusk Till Dawn

By Brooke Shippee

From dusk till dawn 
I search,

I look
From town to town,

This person I am told can give
A smile for every frown.

Up and down
These hills I look
I never seem to find

That person I am looking for,
Who is loving and so kind.


By Morgan Shaffer

Look into my face and my eyes will
 More than that I’ll make you
I’ll slash and I’ll
and cut another hole in your mask.
And go around and make you scream.
Then I’ll make you jump.
And then you’ll trip over a bump.
Then you’ll turn around.


By Morgan Shaffer

She uncovers her eyes
She’s dying inside.
She’s starving from anticipation.
So much food wasted.
She paces the floor and drinks another glass of water.
She’s hardcore.
Her skin is tight.
She’s starting to show,

Bitter is Perfect

By Brooke Shippee

Bitter is the sound of hearing rejection
two weeks before the Prom,
of hearing you’ll expire within months,
of hearing the sickening squeal of tires beneath the floorboards
in your car.

Still Stand–Stand Still

By Brittany Frazier

What happens when you’re at a stand still in life?
high school seemed to go by fast –
and now you’re left with memories.
Whether you were the individualist, the beautiful
person, the jock, the punk rocker, or the nerd,
in the end you’re not concerned

If I Were a Star

By Kelly Morillo

If I were a star
I would
touch the
evening sky.
If I were a star I would be brighter than the others.

If I were the moon
I would say good night to you when
you go to sleep at night.
If I were the moon I would shine brighter than the sun.

I Wonder...

By Shawna Morris

I wonder if there is going to be another war
I wonder why people like me
I wonder how my uncle died

I wonder what I am going to look like when I’m older
I wonder why people are mean
I wonder if I will ever have kids

Delightful Lies

By Shawna Morris

I wish I were not so perfect!
I am so perfect;
when the wind is blowing 100 miles an hour,
not one hair raises.
My clothes do not have one wrinkle throughout the day.
(my clothes are as smooth as silk)

Luck of the Draw

By Zoë Christianson

Stand up if you have a religion
Keep standing if your parents gave it you
Keep standing if you would never consider another
Because you were born and raised this way


By JDC Resident

I wonder...
I sit in my cell and
where will I be when
this is all over?
will there be something
waiting for me on the
other side of the door?
Will the world have
Or will it all be the


By Josiah Jackson

Condemned by them
Controlled by them
Freedom lost
Twice the cost

I am on probation

Scarlet Hall

By Jaden Gragg

Hearing the phantom calls of the organ,
And the soft murmur of the church choir,
Awakened from sleep with a feeling she couldn’t describe,
She got out of bed and followed it outside.
A careful mist lay over her small town, a light shield of protection.

Never a Child

By Zoë Christianson

A class clown attempted murder today.
A mother’s little boy,
a child’s best friend,
a teacher’s beloved terror,
stood over the monster who raised his freckly faced son
like the animal he’d become,
clutching a knife.


By Delaney Herman

I’m torn between two worlds
One where I’m accepted from what I’ve become
And another where I’m hated for who I’ve been.
Each day I walk the line between the worlds
Trying to keep each other apart
But I know one day I will fail

See Through Glass Bowl

By Keegan Conrad

 All the things inside of me, swimming in my soul,
Show on the outside, like a see through glass bowl,
 My clothes are colorful with a comfy fit,
 Showing my humor, style, and wit,
 My athleticism is shown also by my clothes,
 Basketball shorts and all,

Inside Out

By Rachel Pedichio

Sometimes things are not the way they seem
Say an M&M for instance, its candy coated on the outside
But chocolate in the inside.
Some say they are lonely in the inside
But so busy out there.
Some look in the mirror and see a whole new person