Poetry, Prosetry

iambic pentameter & my fingers – Iman Messado

i have dirty fingernails,
you noticed. what can i do but assume
that you love me? and if you say you don’t
then you’re a liar. because who takes care
to look so hard at the nail beds of hands
they don’t love?

Heat Wave – Iman Messado

the heavy days of summer are over
the pregnant rain
and the ripening leaves
and the lazy breeze
embrace your still sleeping form
lying in the emerald grass
the heavy days of summer are over
sticky globs of strawberry jam
on thick cut meaty bread
gallons and gallons of too sweet iced tea
bumps and mounds on children’s legs
young blood running freely from cuts and scrapes
the heavy days of summer are over
sleepy eyes – inky, deepest black, almost celestial
i wonder
if i stare long enough
can i reach in
and pull the universe out?
i want this heavy, heavy summer to last for an eternity
and i see it in your eyes
Poetry, Prosetry

Floral Denizens – Richa Gupta

With angles jagged, bits of ceramic protrusionsstarkly contrasting with the linoleum floor,

its remnants scattered confusedly about,

mingled with shards of shining glass

that reflect the sunlight as it glares

down, its golden force enough

to unsettle an immovable 

object, for isn’t the sun

an irresistible force?

Having settled on

the mantelpiece,

for years on end,

housing the flowers

that had woefully keeled

due to the harsh sun that refused

to reduce the passion with which it burned,

due to the sorry paucity of sustenance, of respite

from stifling days whose ardor never cooled, due to an 

unfathomable weakness that had never existed before, did

the flowers drop from the pride of an incomparable beauty, to

the misery of loneliness, whose only comfort was the lone ceramic

vase whose cracks widened with each elapsing hour, courtesy of the

overwhelming heat, whose ardor never deigned to cool, whose rays

forced grace to stoop to inelegance, which compelled the formerly

vibrant stalks to yellow and crumble, also obliging the once purple

petals to wither, to droop sadly to the side, upsetting the precious, 

the delicate balance of the plants, letting the vase tip one day, 

precariously, to the right, sending it hurtling, streaking to the

linoleum floor, ending in a deafening shatter of ceramic

against the unyielding, beige flooring, then creating

absolute chaos from tranquility, unsightliness

from past beauty, violent pink fragments

from a united piece of ceramic craft,

whose denizens lay dispersed

amid the wreck of skill,

which was provoked

by the glowing sun


The Evening News – Alexandra Mayer

Black bodies seep through our T.V. screens and into the living room.We don’t notice at first. 

We’re outside, watching the heat from the Barbeque quiver.


But the gunfire from the screen drifts to the patio,

over the Azalea’s—a fleshy pink like my sister’s cheeks after too much Sangria—

and lingers by my mother.
“Turn that crap off.”

Then nothing.

But the clink of Pellegrino and polite laughter.


“How many acts of genocide does it take to make genocide?”

We don’t think about it.

But there is a man who does.


He’s a father,

the kind who feels like rusty button downs and lose jowls—maybe a couple smile lines—

But he leaves his son,

and he leaves his wife,

and he leaves his Barbeque


to aid the forgotten ones

to save bodies nobody cares about –

disposable and black, like the clip on earrings Grandma wore to Grandpa’s funeral twelve years ago.


And he wraps a string around his heart

and seeps it in their pain

drinks atrocity like tea

and fills up on rage.





He’s seen crimson swallow streets

and war swallow bodies

and machetes take ladies for lovers.


He’s a doctor,

the kind who reeks of impartial and feigned condolences—maybe a stern handshake—

But when he saw designs carved into her body and cum slathered on her face

He felt something,

Perhaps despair, but not so deep he could crumble.

He never once lowered his chin,

but had to repeat, let the phrase squirm under his skin:

“I’m a human.

I’m a human.

I’m a human”


So he convinces himself he can turn rage into productivity

so he rages into the next mission and speaks out on the T.V. screen

the camera zooms close to his face,


But we don’t see him,

despite his ivory skin,

and we’re not listening.
There’s nothing but the clink of Pellegrino and polite laughter.


If we did slip away from the patio to turn on our eyes,

our lips would quiver like the heat from the Barbeque

and wonder,

“What could drive a mad man to reality?”













What could drive a madman to reality?

Poetry, Prosetry

Random Musings – Brooke Safferman

Why is there a cotton ball in the Advil jar?

Did you tell him a secret that he couldn’t keep?

Did you tell him that you would always love him, before you threw him away?

And why, oh why, would you think that it would be any different this time?

I hope there’s peanut butter still left in the jar in the pantry

I can’t remember what happened last night but I do know that peanut butter was involved

So involved, why do we do this to ourselves?

Humans, trembling and vulnerable, yet we bring this cruelty into our own lives by our very own doings

Telling each other lies because the truth is awfully boring to bear and

Why do my fingers keep typing when all my mind wants to do is SCREAM!

This is not right, this is not right!

And let these words ring out, free and unadulterated (much unlike you and I)

And let them echo out into the vortex that is the nighttime

When you are alone and isolated

And a teenager.

Flash Fiction, Poetry, Prose, Prosetry

Isn’t It Funny? – Poppy Lam

Isn’t it funny how fire destroys everything that allows it’s soaring embers thrive?
The things that keep it alive?
kinda like us.
You suck the life out of me so you can glow even brighter,
 leaving me to cough up the ashes,
 Your crippling flames leave my fingertips blistered and burnt from the mere thought of you,
 but soon I will no longer be a source of fuel,
I was just a Serendipity as you were racing through the silhouettes of land.
Flash Fiction, Prose, Prosetry

Classical Challenge – Karlee Sanders

when’s the last time you listened to classical music?

the last time you appreciated the instrumental expression of emotion composed and compiled of notes on a page?
can you remember?
so many of us have become accustomed to the droning sounds of pop/rap music that we’ve declared classical music “boring” and “stupid”.
the mind numbing sounds of songs proclaiming the greatness of sex and drugs and living for yourself because no one else matters.
how long has it been since you’ve let the sound of a piano or violin take you to somewhere inspirational and calm?
it’s amazing the power that music itself carries, and I challenge you all to take a second, turn on some Beethoven or whoever you prefer, and let the music whisk you away.

Air – Harika Kottakota

I am captured in limbo
This air, a cotton-ball touch,
Dabs my arid skin
This peculiar air fights back
And strums my ego
Like a decrepit bass
Whisps of voices ricochet,
Hollow my veins,
Until I am left gnawing
On icicles for warmth,
An incurable insomniac
Clutching a snuffed candle
As I dig for phoenix feathers
Amid Winter’s roars
As this clement air
Ignites me in white flames

addressed to you, not texas – Elena Barrera-Waters

every. single. time. that i talk about how much

i love the rain,

someone always says


did you ever think that maybe it’s because you live here,

where sun and heat is all you see

and mosquitos tickle at your skin every time you go out?”

and every time someone asks me that same question

i say no, because,

maybe i love something just because i do.

and then they follow up,


do you ever think that if you moved to somewhere

that rained all the time

you would get sick of it

just like you did here?”

and i said no because, sorry texas,

i’ve never been particularly in love with

sunshine or swimming holes or the perfect sno-cone.

some things, you just love.

some things, you just don’t.

i think i understand love.

and happiness, too.

there’s few things that bring me the same comfort

as the pitter-patter of rain against a window

or the perfect smell of rain boots

or the puddles left for us to stomp in.

one of those is you.

and maybe you’re a little bit texas,

but i like you a whole lot better than

sunshine or swimming holes or the perfect sno-cone.

some things, i just love.

and one of them is you.

Prose, Prosetry

beliefs – Karlee Sanders


perfection of the finest sorts.
never-ending purity and compassion,
ever flowing—yes—overflowing
with mercy and grace.
set apart,
holy, bold, and strong.
the King of all Kings.
Savior and honorary Lord of all.
miracle worker,
omnipresent, omnipotent, omniscient.
this—this is what I believe in.