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


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,


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.


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!


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


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


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?


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.


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.


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.


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


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, 


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?


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,


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


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.


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


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