Elementia self-identity

Writing

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


The Parasite Lives and Grows

By Rachel Franklin

Once upon a time Goliath fell. They built buildings on his body and David walked away without looking back didn’t know his victory until he moved opened the door to have his pebble drop at his feet looked up and his apartment was the white pulp of a gigantic eye dripping blood.


Ode to the Oddball

By Eric Gunnarson

There’s a simple liberating joy In being different, Being obtuse, Having that little bit of self outside of normality, Askew People will either embrace it, Or reject it. Some will revel and thrive in their unlikeness, Others will shrink and wither at the stares of conformity, And some will teeter


Mirror

By Portia Miller

What does it tell you? Does it tell you what lies in your heart? It tells you what lies on the outside, That’s for certain. It tells you how other people perceive you. How they label you. You have feel the weight of those labels. They are a thousand bricks on your shoulders. You feel an obligatio


Tell Them

By Portia Miller

Okay, I’m going to tell them. It’s been weighing on me for awhile. Most of my friends know, And they should know too.

But I’m scared. So So Scared.


Darkness Inside

By Lauren McGrath

This darkness inside my heart Residing in my pitiless mind A fuel to a fire of ever-burning odium

That cutting sarcasm of such cruelty The cold cynical aura that never abates What is it that filled me with such hate?


Gymnastics vs School

By Audrey Manivong

I’m from chalky hair,

Here, pretty hair and curls,

I’m from leotards and spandex,

Here, pretty tops and jean shorts,

Where I’m from, new skills

Here, 9 x 24

I’m from, rug burns and big bruises,

Here, paper cuts


Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs

By Eunice Lee

i am your (empty dead-eyed cashier, mechanically ringing up your nachos and popcorn; have a great day! weekend plans and giggling friends, i am Maslow’s slave face blur past, i ring up your purchase come back soon! but i’ll be here right, i am your bus driver, your garbage man, your waiter, i a


Woman

By Sarah Woods

Woman. Care-taker, life-giver, nurturer, chef, doormat. Woman. Raised to believe my gender put me on the bottom. I am to please, not to be pleased. I am the inferior, the weak, the soft, the submissive. Already born with joy, told to mask the pain. Hand swatted with scorn when a fingertip probed


The Plight of T he G2

By Aroog Khaliq

sing in me, O Muse, the plight of the second generation american;

she is a girl with brown eyes and skin and hair,

with $300 Beats that match her silk headscarf affair.

she brings “exotic” food to school,

and cringes when lentils get on her skirt of tulle.


Everyone Thinks I'm Super Happy

By Ali Robinson

Everyone thinks I am super happy But I’m not... Everyone thinks I just don’t have any problems But I do... Everyone thinks I am just happy with myself But I’m not... Everyone thinks that I can just make everything in my life okay But I really just can’t... Everyone thinks I don’t care But I reall


Dream Behind the Glass

By Anika Rasheed

There’s a girl that I see sometimes. She pops up from time to time. Day to day.

She’s a lot of things. God, she’s beautiful. And, isn’t she just so funny?

When she fixes her eyes on you. They sparkle, don’t they? Vibrant, bright, lovely. So big. Full of life, yeah?


Hidden

By Anonymous

I grow from a place where emerald rain pounds against the land, painting the hills bright green. I paint, too, hoping to leave my mark on the world.

I live with a fear of failure, hurt, or embarrassment, like a pale yellow dandelion that hides when the sun rises.


My Diaspora Poem (Remix), or All I Know is This

By Aroog Khaliq

I hate diaspora poetry as much as the next fed-up immigrant

All that bullshit about “lives stained with honey and turmeric” and “the colonizer cutting my tongue with aluminum shears” is utterly boring


Towelhead

By Aroog Khaliq

The night before my first day of sixth grade, I studied the piece of fabric laid out on my bed with uncharacteristic placidity. It was no work of art; plain cotton fabric, dyed black, with a single strip of black lace for adornment.


Flowers Exist on the Moon

By Maggie Golshani

Fidgeting my leg against a familiar school desk, the dreadful anticipation always washes over me while listening to roll call on the first day of school.


By Any Other Name

By Breeaunna Dowdy

Names. Titles given to us at birth by someone with no idea of who we are or what we'll become, they are iron-clad chains bound to our lifetimes by those who want us to be something great. We do not all fit our names and we do not all fit in those boxes; a name is always just a name.  


At the End of the Wire...

By Mahnoor Cheema

There are occasions where I zone out, and during this period of deep thought, I find myself staring at a girl. I’ve seen this girl multiple times before.


Half A Person

By Lauren Yoksh

lace up your sneakers and roll up your jeans: your jeans  are blue and worn in the knees because they’re your favorite and the laces on your sneakers used to be white but now  they are tinted brown from the dirt of the earth you walk through. you step outside and take in the the scenery around yo


50/50

By Elie Simon

50% Polish, 50% Russian  I thought. It all changed in Rehovot. I flipped through the book. The dining table crowded with voices. “Tracing our roots” He said Turning the page. The faces of those like me  gazed up from the page. Aunts, uncles, cousins,  relatives I’ve never seen.   “We visited the


Tied

By Saadia Siddiqua

Pakistan and America  Eastern and western but they feel like the north and south poles I’m immersed in the red silk dresses embroidered by hand and I’m in love with the ability to roam alone across this land I’m submerged in the value of education before all but I’m also tangled in love and lust,


Four Words to Describe Yourself?

By Ana Schulte

Unsure. About the question, or the world? Unsure whether to answer truthfully, or to fabricate a more intriguing narrative. Unsure what the question implies: Fears, (Spiders, bad grades, falling out of love) or physicalities,  (Brown eyes, red cheeks, mutilated fingernails) or fa


Bounty Brand Paper Towels

By Abbey Roschak

Bounty brand paper towels; you know it by name “The quick picker upper”, thirst pockets Outnumbering the leading brands not only in price But in absorbency Who would have thought that a simple household object Could be comparable to humanly functions? You see, I am quite absorbent myself Believe


Sonder

By Cole Roatch

I am the center of the universe My problems are complex My thoughts are intricate, my experiences unique Surely no one else can live this way? What a cruel realization it is Such a curious paradox of existence In the monumental movie that is my life, Every passerby Every random person I see for a


What am I?

By Clara Rabbani

In Iran I am a rebel. I show my hair. In Brazil I am exotic. The nomads left me their yellow eyes to search the desert sand. Where I live, there is no sand. In America I am my age. Stuck in the in-between where nothing lasts. I am the enemy.


Identities Confied

By Emily Martin

The cheerleader who always holds a book And the agnostic with an avid church attendance Someone so silent and simultaneously outspoken And the fiery spirit which silence most benefits Her identity, though contradictory, belongs to her Her friends help her confidence shine And though she has her f


It Isn't Me

By Matthew Justis

I wake up Brush my teeth Then look into the mirror.

I see a kid Who looks confused About his true self. I don’t know who. But it isn’t me.

I see a painter Who lost his touch As years go by. He lost his art. But it isn’t me.


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

You said to me I’ll never be And thusly never will I be free


What's in a Name?

By Vic Kepner

Madeline. The first name I was ever given A symbol of my mother’s overbearing need to go her way or no way Her way had no meaning It was simply a name she thought was pretty And pretty was more important than memorializing my dad’s time in the Army It was always pretty insignificant to me Other k