Change

Written by Nikita Sethi

 Photograph by  Andrei Lazarev

Photograph by Andrei Lazarev

 

I watched.

As the darkness seeped down into the innocent,

I watched.

As you screamed out that danger was imminent,

I watched.

“Keep me sane – keep me away from imprisonment,”

I watched.

 

I watched the once soaring, fall.

I watched as your screams painted walls,

Walls that once held your dreams, but now it seems,

No one was listening to your call.

 

I watched when I should have acted.

My soul seeks forgiveness, for my heart was distracted.

In a time when I needed to be proactive,

I chose the wrong play to be reenacted.

 

So let me put down Hamlet, let’s turn our page,

This one’s for you, my soaring angel – time to take our place on stage.

Identity

Written by Natalie Cabo

 Photograph by   Kevin Jesus Horacio

Photograph by Kevin Jesus Horacio

Don’t know who I am

People don’t understand

 

I am hurting

I am searching

 

Can you tell me who I’m supposed to be?

Are you willing to fix me?

 

Ruining my life

Surrounded by constant strife

 

I don’t want control

Do I even have a soul?

Stand

Written by Vincent Zulawski

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A white, foaming, gargantuan monster of old

Leaping! Its mouth frothing sending legions of cold

Icicles, piercing, battering in liquid form

A gale! A tempest! A sea-storm!

 

Summoned out of will against the worlds complacent tranquility,

Roused the heavens themselves in its plea for unquenchable fury

Your wildest dreams, fears of creatures and krakens emerging from the deep dark depths, larger than islands and fuming

Outstripped, outmatched by the mountainous waves,

The whole world, rising, falling, does not behave

Passion flames cannot hope to catch

As lighting strikes its background match.

 

She has been with thee for a long time

And now, now you see her at last!

All this new splendor and size!

How unconquerable!

No roman army with deafening cries

Can stand or march into those ghastly eyes

It’s imponderable!

 

And him, like Jonah, prays for the strength of his mast

Like a penny twirling up and down he is cast

Rolling alongside her wet, white, foaming knuckles.
Wrathful god power, to her an endless chuckle.

 

The crash and blast and creak of timbers

The frenzy of life itself wiping away his notions

The freeze in his bones hotter than the great orb,

 

A man stands alone against the ocean.

Untitled

Written by Shannon Hughes 

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I'm a fighter, I'm a survivor, I'm a winner, I'm no looser. I don't walk with my head hanging low. I hope you know what you reap you will sow. I walk with my head towards the sky. I have no limits, there is nothing I can not achieve. I believe I am a miracle, I've been through the fire I've been locked out in the rain. I've been lost in the valley desert of pain, But I wont complain. I'm a fighter, I'm a survivor, I'm winner, I'm no looser. I don't walk with my head hanging low. I hope you know what you reap you will sow. I walk with my head high towards the sky. I have no limits there is nothing I can not achieve. I believe I am a miracle. I'm shooting for the stars focusing on my dreams. I'm going to fight with all my might for the spotlight. I wont loose my chance I'm a make a stance I'm a fighter, I'm a survivor, I'm a winner, I'm no looser. I don't walk with my head hanging low. I hope you know what you reap you will sow. I hold my head high towards the sky I have no limits there's nothing I can not achieve. I believe I am a miracle. I am a divine purpose. I am a leader. I am a believer. I'm no follower! You can't take anything away from me. I know who I am! I have meaning I'm a part of the puzzle without my piece the world would be incomplete I believe in my self what about you? You are a divine purpose you have meaning.  We're all apart of the puzzle we are the plan, so take your rightful place on this land. Take a bow and make a stand. I'm a fighter you're a fighter too. I'm a winner. You're a winner too. We are no losers. We don't walk with our heads hanging low we know what we  reap we will sow. We walk with our heads high towards the sky we have no limits we know there's nothing we can not achieve. We believe we are  miracles. 

Smoking Baby

Written by Samantha Verheyen

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I will smoke in front of the baby,

But I won’t listen to the coughs she gives in return.

An unfortunate moment of necessity;

Leaving my lungs with a gust of wind.

 

My shallow breaths do not haunt me,

 not as much as those my baby gives.

 

My windows up, the car is running.

Roads past fast on the high.

Cigarette in my hand as I inhale.

Clouds of smoke land on her face.

 

I will smoke in front of the baby,

What other way will I get it done?

My house is cold without electricity,

And I dare not open my windows to the chill.

A cigarette is cradled safely in my hand,

Ash in my lungs warming my body.

Her clothes smell of nicotine,

 

Her breath is shallow just like mine.

Because I will smoke in front of the baby.

What other way will I get it done.

Eternal Peace

Written by Natalie Cabo

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Erase the pain for a day, a few hours, a minute, a few seconds.

 

Yet the pain lives on while you suffocate into nothing.

 

To be nothing is to become everything. When everything has always been nothing.

 

To feel pain is to feel life. Because a life without pain is merely breath.

 

Breath without a reason is death.

 

Death is the greatest miracle life has to offer.

My Person

Written by Natalie Cabo

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You’re an idea, an obsession, a part of me I’m so familiar with.

I read into your movements like you’re my favorite children’s story.

You’re fiction. You’re flawless. You’re fake.

 

I listen to you're conversations like they’re the lyrics to a song I can’t get out of my head.

You’re the key. You’re complete. You’re upbeat.

 

I can’t exist without being aware of you.

You’re different. You get me. You want me.

 

You don’t exist.

Rose

Written by Alison Howard

 Photograph by   VASANTH

Photograph by VASANTH

A gift to thee my dusty rose
A batter'd thing withered, never grows
Tho to you it would be not so
If only yea you could bestow
Affirmed tho wilting my rose be,
The petals fall only for thee.

Flight

Written by Alison Howard

 Photograph by   Dominik Schröder

Photograph by Dominik Schröder

Bright star so out of reach
I would my heart to you receive
And dance with me in the sky
So that we two can fly
In these cosmic vapid whiffs of air
Soaring, singing, without care
O how i wish to be your dove
To sing for you and feel your love
But cosmic stars do not descend
To Earth and never reprehend
For my love is downward bound
And my will too weak to leave the ground.

Untitled III

Written by Asa McCoy

 Photograph by   KT

Photograph by KT

Aren't the fireflies lovely tonight?

Does my dancing bring you fright?

 

The dark surrounds us and the trees,

but can you hear the moonlight?

 

My feet tend to move against my own will.

Do they act on impulse? Think they might.

 

I am pressed to talk with other people.

Have they asked for a performance or fight?

 

You've come to me looking for a healing.

Though, I can't even help my toes, let alone your plight.

Untitled II

Written by Asa McCoy

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There was a dream I once heard said

about a time with you and I in bed.

We talked, we laughed, we loved, 

bathed in light from above.

 

The sheets our lust won't cover.

Above my loins your hands do hover.

Our clothes are forfeit, 

our pretenses done with.

Within each we have found a new lover.

Held

Written by Natalie Cabo

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Your hands

 

The fed me.

They put a shelter over my head.

They provided for my every need.

 

They hurt me.

They put a bag over my head.

They destroyed my every hope.

 

My memory of you, split between the two functions of what those hands can do.

Winter Waltz

Written by Mick Cohen-Carroll

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She waltzes to the 3 by 4 time of her heart
Swaying in the abandoned forest
Tip by tip by tip

Galoshes flooding with melted snow
Lonely time missing one extra beat
Tip by tip by tip

Violin pantomimed through thick breath
She thinks of her mother’s death
Used to play, suddenly halts
Woefully ends her winter waltz

Cold Winter

Written by Samantha Verheyen

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I sit in front of a new horizon

                  The gas of light blinding my vision

As I stretch my hand to find

                  The path that was leading me.

 

Walls of broken cellophane

                  Melted by the flames of the sun

That beams into my spacious anxiety

                  Leaving  puffs of darken clouds that reach for the skies

With broken finger tips in the freeze.

 

It’s been a cold winter

I seek for the walk way of my future

                  But all I find is a field of mud

The top soil grasping onto my feet

                  I walk purposely

My back is slouched with complete agony

                  A spasm of leg muscle grounding me

Earth warms dancing on my warm flesh

 

It’s all so close in front of me

                  Disappointment is easiest to find

It latches to my brain

                  Seeping from my ears

I cry

 

I sit in front of a new horizon

                  The gas of light falling past the trees

I stretch my hand to find

Nothing sits in front of me

My eyes adjust to the darkened skies

                  My fingers break to the freeze.

                                                     

                                                      It’s been a cold winter

 

Untitled

Written by Allison Howard

 Photograph by   Olenka Kotyk

Photograph by Olenka Kotyk

Jagged lines embedded
In my face reflect
The shadows of unspoken doubt
And discomfort unannounced
To placate the mass
Even though I wish
I could be free
To have a voice.

Don't Touch My Hair

Written by Allison Howard 

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Another one gone, gone, faded
No wonder I see life as jaded
When I send lovers off on whims
Beg beg them to come back again
Once the bridge has turned to flames
I only have myself to blame
Not pills or my psychosomatic ways
Or the darkness in self-isolating days
Wishing for sunshine and company
What could a man possibly want of me?
"And why does that matter?" my inner beast roars
Dark wisdom woven frantic in her pores
Wanting a self-fulfilled life, she points at me
And in a way, I guess it's meant to be
That in seeking justice and equality
To play the opposite, a man for idolatry,
Is what my childish spirit seeks
But the older female, woman, defeats.

I guess maybe this story is sad
Since in the end I see "isolated" as bad
Though of course I bring it on irrationally
Because I don't want to know what society expects of me
Since it's never good or fair
And I've had enough of assholes pulling my hair.

The Lotus

Written by Nikita Sethi 

pexels-photo-515631.jpeg

 

For now, we gently pause,

For now we take a breath.

For now, we ponder the cause,

For now we ponder this civil death.

 

Come hold my hand, my sunshine,

Come march in my parade of love.

Soon this dream will be yours, and mine,

Soon, this intolerance, we shall be rid of.

Bittersweet

Written by Melissa Booey

 Photograph by   X. K.

Photograph by X. K.

One day your flowers may die

probably soon

I will be sad.

Someone else may bring me flowers

that might be nice,

they would be beautiful…

It will mean nothing.

PRE-TEEN GIRLS ARE TERRIFYING (and we really never grow out of it)

Written by Melissa Booey

 Photograph by   Jason Blackeye

Photograph by Jason Blackeye

Takes a telescope to see my curves -

a morphine drip to calm my nerves, but

for a close-up look at open wounds, you can see my hollows from

Saturn’s moons.

You can check it out eight days a week.

Nightly showings down at shit-show creek, and

If you’d believe it, it’s all for free!

Since all I really want is company…

All I really want is company.

All I really need is the company.

“If you leave me now you’ll rue the day!” As you’ve slammed the door,

I finally say. But it’s too late now, which is such the theme.

I add, “Well… I’ll be fine,” quickly losing steam.

My guardian angel looks on prayerfully, “Please Lord, do

let the poor girl dream.”