Poetry

Graffiti on the Berlin Wall – Alexandra Mayer

Another day passes outside the window of a plane
I cross dusk with 170 strangers who hold each other’s hands or thighs when the clouds quiver.

And I can’t stop thinking about your fingers running through my hair

or the way your eyes knocked into me that July.

You made me feel like feeling itself was cracking from my chest

and hurtling across the universe,

becoming every iron, nitrogen, oxygen, n’ sulfur soul that lost the sunset to the sunrise

in thoughts of “I want you”

Because your lips burn cosmic explosions into my skin:

a creation story.

Now, heads drape over the mountains

like the twinkle lights you hung out on the patio for Christmas–

You tried to play Claire de Lune on your harmonica

and remember that you loved me.

But you left 8 months later

on a Tuesday.

7:53 p.m.

The pool lights stained your words teal

and smeared my eyeliner into a glimmering sort of heavy.

You said “late summer’s nostalgic,”

noticed the fireflies had all gone,

and I could hear crickets whimper to the sun,

“don’t go.”

And I never wanted another falling moon or set of sandpaper hands to hang onto.

You said I felt frail

like a dandelion you were keeping

from the wind.

And then you just let go.

That night, I woke up laughing,

as 1,000 tiny suns sprouted from my lips,

already dreaming of drifting.

Crossing through purple skies

like telephone wires

rushing to the seaside.

Paris stole my lipstick.

smeared it across cheeks

and hostel sheets and wine glasses, Merlot,

turned my teeth violet and my heart

a violent sort

of love you,

maddened by the beauty of it all.

Like I could chase train tracks

into the self I wanted

into Budapest, or Berlin.

A decrepit sort of art,

like you could tear

my heart into dusty fallen parts

and I’d just become more,

and faces and feet would flood through me, paint

bucket lists on my thighs and think of freedom.
I was never meant to be kept from the wind.

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Essay, Flash Fiction, Prose

A Simple Thought – Aksel Taylan

We spend a lot of time in our short lives thinking about the long term. What’s going to happen to me in ten years? Fifteen? Thirty, even? In severe cases, we let this presumptuous worries diversely affect our everyday actions and choices. This principle has a number of glaring flaws, but the main one to focus on is that the future hasn’t happened yet. You are writing your own novel; you are the only one with a pen. In other words, it is fully within your capabilities to control most of what happens in your life. However, we fail to understand that not all of it can be controlled. People get in car accidents. People get deathly ill. People are in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Why, then, should you let these worries take hold of how you express yourself if we don’t have absolute control? Sometimes, doing something wrong allows a person to grow, to become stronger, possibly even teach others the right way. The right way, which everyone hungrily seeks, cannot be found without failure. Take a left when you think you’re supposed to take a right, eat raw cookie dough, or even, if you’re feeling really adventurous, stay out an hour later! Fight the norm with all you’ve got, because succumbing to the proper choice makes for a dull, uninspired life. Need I remind you, you only get one of those. I think it’s in your best interest to make it count.

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Poetry

Her – Iman Messado

She didn’t move mountains–

she couldn’t swim rivers–
she didn’t know how to fly figure eights around the redwoods of California—
Her eyes weren’t romantic–
And the curve of her lips was rather sinister–
She wasn’t the least bit interesting–
the left pinky toe held more mystique than her entire head of thin brittle hair—
She walked like an old dog that knew no tricks–
Her voice was a high whine–
her hands were large, knotted and manly—
yet she was enough to drown me in the lakes of Venus—-
she was enough to singe my eyelashes in the heat of her gaze—–
she was enough to make me drink from all the moon’s glory——
her name was indistinguishable yet it is all I can mumble in my sleep——-
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Poetry

Regalities of Plainness, pt. II – Bryn Bluth

I gasped,

Over and over again I gasped.

Maybe he was in my lungs

And that’s why I had such a hard time breathing,

But he wasn’t there-

I know because I’ve always had bad lungs.

 

Perhaps that’s the reason I haven’t caught him,

My lungs gave out

When he took his leave.

Which I’m okay with- 

You can’t run very far without a spine.

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Poetry

Omnipresent – Karlee Sanders

with each sunrise,

with each sunset,
the mercies of God are made new.

all is forgiven,
anger is calmed,
grudges cease to exist.
there are no such things as worry,
doubt,
or fear.
everything for the glory of the Father.
everything is in His plan.
life on Earth is to life on Heaven as a flicker is to a flame.
we are to make disciples of all nations,
and show them the only way to secure their soul.
salvation needs to be brought,
through the grace of the Father,
the blood of the Savior,
and the presence of the Holy Spirit.
temptations will come,
sin will rise,
mistakes will be made.
but God will never leave.
He is here in His children.
forever and ever.
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Prosetry

addressed to you, not texas – Elena Barrera-Waters

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

i love the rain,

someone always says

“hey.

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,

“hey,

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.

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Short Story

Existential Angst (Act II) – Esteban Mayorga

3 months later…

Act 2: A Whole New World

Well, hello there. It’s been awhile hasn’t it? A great deal of shenanigans has been going down, and I haven’t really had time to tell stories.

But, the final push is planned for tomorrow, and there’s a break in the fighting as both sides prepare; so I guess i’ll just have to take this time to tell you what’s happened so far.

I went back to Valentina and told her about my change of heart, and she lit up like a christmas tree. She actually hugged me. I’m not saying it wasn’t nice, but it was just such a sudden shift from her usual stony demeanor, it caught me off guard.

She really believed what she was doing was right. With all her heart, you could see it in her eyes. She gained my respect right then. She started talking about her plans to free the rest of us, and what she would do after we won, and she said it all with a smile on her face. Admittedly, the smile was a little disconcerting when she went into details about how to best massacre government forces, but the sentiment was still there.

So I asked her, “what now”? Her response? “You have no idea what you’re in for”. And she was right.

Every day, instead of going to our lonely apartments after school, we met somewhere on the city. It was usually either an abandoned building, set to be torn down soon, or at some of the larger apartments owned by members of our little army. We trained, and we planned, and we gathered equipment in secret, preparing for war. There were only about 20 of us in all, and most of us were college aged or seniors in highschool , but there were only about 200 government officials all in all, and the majority of them weren’t powered.

Training was hard at first, and I wasn’t exactly trusted by the rest of the group. After all, would you listen if some supposedly crazy powerful kid showed up and you had to treat him as a leader? Of course not, people have to be shown their leader’s capabilities. Well, after our first raid, they never questioned my ability again.

We had been preparing for our first operation for about 2 weeks; a small raid on a supplies warehouse. If all went well, it would look like some Private Military Company or Research Corporation had ransacked the place, and the government would have no idea they had a revolution on their hands yet.

Unfortunately, things did not go well.

A security guard went for a bathroom break at exactly the wrong time; he found davey and I climbing in through the ceiling vent. I knocked him unconscious in less than half a second, but the government are clever bastards, as it turns out. They had these implants put into all the guards, and if any of them experienced excessive physical trauma or unconsciousness, an alarm would be set off.

So the alarm went off, and the stealth operation turned into a war zone. Everything was on fire, then it was all frozen, then electricity flowed through the ice and metal support beams like a raging river. We used our powers without control, causing maximum damage to everything around us. I didn’t kill anyone, but i’m one of the few that can say that. The whole world was chaos after we got rid of all the guards, and we knew there were more coming, but half of us couldn’t even walk. My legs were fine, so I had to carry each person individually back to one of our hideouts, and then run back for another. In the end I carried all 19 other members a mile back to base, and then I threw up and fell over.

When I came to, Valentina gave me a rundown of what happened after I passed out.  We won, but all of us were injured in some way, and our excessive display of force caught the eye of the government. They didn’t know exactly who we were, but they knew someone was planning to take them down.

“But hey,” she said, “at least no one is going to give you crap about being a kid anymore”. And she was right. Finally, they accepted me as one of them. It was pretty wonderful. The only short jokes I heard were affectionate, and I felt like I finally had a family.

So we carried on. We refused to give up, instead, we declared full scale war on the government that oppressed us. We got sympathisers to set put up posters advertising the movement when no one was watching, we took territory on the edge of the city for ourselves and stopped going to school altogether. The government tried to label us as terrorists, but it wasn’t working. We were winning the hearts of the people over, and our numbers were growing. The total student population was only about 2000, and the members of our little club swelled from 20 to 30 to 60 to 100 quickly. That doesn’t mean we weren’t without our losses. Davey got killed early on, and Valentina only has her left arm still attached now. There have been others, but I don’t want to go through their names. It still hurts.

We’ve taken more than half the city now, and the only thing left of any importance is the high school. About a quarter of the student body sided with the government. A couple people who hold their convictions high and believe they’re doing right. A whole lot of psychos that just love killing and see the government as their best possible employer. And a few that just don’t know anything else in their life or how they could get on without big brother watching over them. Those are the ones I really feel for. But nothing is going to stop us now. We’ve come too far, and I still haven’t taken a single life.

I’ve never wanted to kill, or even hurt others. I hold it as one of my highest moral achievements that I haven’t killed anyone in this bloody war.

But tomorrow, if anyone gets in my way, if anyone gets in the way of the freedom my family has died for, that my family has sacrificed life and limb for, I will put them in the ground.

And I won’t lose any sleep over it.

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