Writing Submissions

The Zoo

Zoe Hoffmann Kamrat

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

Two pairs of eyes, locked. One bright, one dull. Four hands that will never touch. A clear divider between them, so invisible yet so solid. Two foggy disturbances on the glass where breath was collecting. Two separate hearts, one pulsating rhythm.

Amidst the chatter and footsteps, a small moment of silence in which the two synched, until a hand firmly grasped the boy’s shoulder, pulling him away from the enclosure and into a crowd, “Tommy, we’ll miss the feeding, let’s go!”

Tommy glanced back towards the glass as his father hustled him away to a another glass enclosure, engraved with the words Number Thirteen. But, the longing eyes he saw before were covered by a group of eager and excited children who were pointing and laughing. He turned away and followed his father.

They joined the crowd of people fighting to get closer to Number Thirteen. Tommy, being small, easily walked through the blur of white clothing and white skin, standing right up against the glass, pressing his nose against it so that he could feel the slight vibrations as the enclosure door was opened and a white man with white hair walked out. He climbed onto a white pedestal in his white clothing. He glanced at the white watch on his white wrist, and tapped it twice, then began to speak, his voice crescendoing until it rose above the happy chatter of the visitors and over the ticking that was the massive white clock mounted on the white wall.

“Welcome visitors,” his voice echoed and bounced off the clock and the walls and the windows of the enclosures, “I hope you have enjoyed your visit with us here at The Zoo so far. My name is Ben, and I am one of today’s feeders. As you know, we only exhibit public feedings twice a day. Photography is permitted. Thank you.”

With that, he slipped on his white gloves and white mask. Each enclosure was fitted with airtight windows and doors to prevent the toxic air from escaping.

Ben’s face disappeared inside the dark doorway, but reappeared on the other side of the glass. He dragged a white bucket behind him, which contained the food. His lips formed an ‘o,’ but the viewers couldn’t hear the whistle he produced in the soundproof enclosure. A thousand lights flashed and flickered as a thousand cameras captured the creature that was emerging from the dim light of the enclosure.

“The creature looked like Ben,” thought Tommy, “only it had very dark brown skin and very dark hair that curled like waves in contrast to Ben’s straight blond shock of hair.”

The creature walked to the bucket and knelt down. Its wrists were tied, and it dragged a large ball on a chain behind it, which made it limp across the enclosure floor. Ben picked up a long white stick, and, holding it out at a distance, poked the creature until it bent forward, sticking its whole head into the bucket.

Tommy reached his hand up and tapped on the window three times, but his gestures went unnoticed as the crowd suddenly shouted and pointed. The dark hallway on their left was illuminated, revealing an endless line of enclosures, each with a feeder like Ben, and a creature leaning over a white bucket with wrists tied, dragging a ball.

The viewers scattered down the hallway, their shouts and flashes bouncing off the glass. Tommy glanced towards the enclosure next to Ben’s, which was marked Number One, and saw a creature that looked very much like its feeder, only its hair was dark and wavy, and on top of its head sat a small blue cap, and Tommy could see a black string of numbers on its wrist. “Oh boy, a real life Jew,” a small boy shouted, looking into the enclosure, fascinated.

Tommy turned from Number Thirteen to follow the other visitors down the hallway. He passed Number Eight, who looked up at him from the white bucket. Its hair was also dark, and very fine. Tommy’s eyes met its almond shaped eyes only briefly before the feeder pierced its naked back with the white stick. It fell to the floor, shutting its eyes as it winced in pain. A father lifted up his son to see the creature, reading the word Asian off of a small white card.

Number Fourteen was two creatures tied together in an embrace, their wrists intertwined. When they bent into the bucket to eat, they stumbled over onto the floor, and were promptly beaten with the white stick. Their naked bodies trembled, and as they writhed on the floor, Tommy noticed a word carved into their pale skin, “Faggot.”

“Two of them. I wonder if the air is twice as toxic,” a man said to no one in particular, “I don’t know how these feeders do it every day.” A swarm of children passed by, their voices screeching in excitement.

Tommy ran down the endless hallway.

Number Nineteen looked up from its bucket. He noticed that its body was quite a different shape from the others, and the large crowd full of flashing lights read the label on the glass out loud, whispering and muttering the foreign word to themselves and their sons, “woman.”

Tommy kept running.

He ran so fast the numbers blurred together until all he saw were eyes.

Eyes searching.

Eyes longing.

Eyes pleading.


Suddenly he was thrown onto the ground and realized he had run into the cold wall.

The end of the hallway.

He took a few moments to catch his breath as the eyes spun around him. When he finally stood, he was facing one final sheet of glass, neatly labeled Number Nine. Tommy waited for the eyes in the glass to appear, but as he looked inside he realized this enclosure was different from the rest.

There were no eyes.

There was no creature.

It was… empty.

The door was slightly ajar, and there was a thin stream of fluorescent light that pierced the dark end of the hallway. Tommy felt himself move towards it. He opened the door and the light spilled out into the darkness, drowning it. Tommy stood, now fully inside the enclosure, staring out. The glass was so clear he wondered whether it actually existed. Looking down, he placed his small hands on the glass, feeling its cold strong solidness. When he finally looked up, his stare was met with another.


Two pairs of eyes, locked. One bright, one dull. Four hands that will never touch. A clear divider between them, so invisible yet so solid. A small boy, his mouth forming the silent word “dad.” He was met with a blinding flash of white light as the man on the other side snapped a picture with eyes that showed no recognition. The man stood, looking and pointing at the creature behind the glass. Number Nine: The Sympathizer.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that certain men are endowed by their Creator with  unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

______________________________________________________________________________You and Me to XYZ

Kiana Robinson

A is for April when you first kissed my cheek

B is for bedroom, you came in, and made the bed creek

is for car, how you would visit every week

is for delight, how I felt going to that boutique

is for energetic, excited to speak

Fearless, flawless stunning, I love your physique

G is for greatness you have shown me the best

H is for happiness you make me feel blessed

love you, I love you, I love you, I might be obsessed

Jamel you are my world

Kiana, me, your girl

is for life, you give mine a swirl

M is for mocking you hate the cowgirls

N is for nobody, that can take me away

O is for only, only you everyday

P is for patience we have time to wait

Q is for qualities, I love all your traits

R is for regrets, but with you I celebrate

S is for savior, you are enough

Tough times make tough people and

give me it all

is for vehicles, we’ll have plenty in the future

W is for wellness, to the pain you’re a reducer

X-cited and ready we’ll have a big future

Young till we’re oldZero time without cha


Picture This…

Zoe Hoffmann Kamrat


The Boy Who Never Smiles 

 Hesham Raza

The young child never smiles

Why? You wonder

He is hated by his father

Just by him being born

Why? You wonder

He killed his mother

Just by him being born

That is why he is hated

He killed his mother

   Even though it wasn’t his fault

That is why he is hated

He even hates himself

Even though it wasn’t his fault

He is hated by his father

He even hates himself

The young child never smiles



Danielle Wray 

She moves when she sleeps

Heavy in tension not sound

Callous feet echo bound

Traveling from her soles to ground

All is silent when she moves



Jasmine Smith

I wish

You remembered

All memories we made

But illness engulfed your body

Like a

Tsunami submerges a town.

Why must dementia

Ruin lives of my

Loved ones


All the Queen’s Horses

Sofia Zavatone-Veth

I walk a path of storm and dust,

untraceable by way of insignificance,

a fugue state of the unfulfilled

That shall the burning wood devour…

A million days before I will someday die,

I rescued the shell of a rotting sea urchin

from the brutal rocks of the shore,

and left it in a tomato can

(rimmed with oxidation and stinking of unfinished steel)

to dry

My treasure was destroyed for wont of a less ignoble trapping,

and ebbed from my thoughts

as dust is dispersed by the winds and the waves

…the fire enfold

But now, a decade later,

my mind lingers on the shattered shell

that held only air and the promise of what might have been; You see:

I hold my breath sometimes

My tongue twists to form the caress of air that is the word goodbye

but my lips stay sealed and I walk on as I always have,

Giving in to one last step, which becomes another,

which becomes infinity

I tell myself that nothing lasts,

that leaves always die after the season runs its course

and cities crumble and rust into sandy bones

and the last of the spells that might have saved me

was burnt a thousand years ago,

because no one tells stories anymore

I walk a path of storm and dust,

where stillness reigns

*Note: the italicized lines are taken from JRR Tolkien’s translation of Beowulf (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt).



Sofia Zavatone-Veth

large hadron collider, that is, the a so very flat

your brain seems to believe

that the upper-class bourgeoisie son of an English accountant

has crept inside your skull and spoken the words,

even though

your tour guide is

an Italian grad student.

kilometers and kilometers of metal pipe

circling, circling

the heavenly spheres of the Enlightenment

laid out in a ring of steel beneath the

dark cold alpine bedrock you’re standing on.

in the brochures, it looks so grand,

cooling mechanisms and complex structures

forming a vast machine

taller than ten men in diameter.

but the pipe, the speedway, the concentric world

through which hapless hydrogen atoms are sped on an involuntary journey

is tiny, delusions of grandeur unfounded.

can you envision that trip?

the world so heated by friction that

it feels cold.

circling, circling until

two atoms collide, on the off chance

that the reaction will shape

a riot of firework colors in an esoteric computer model,

and the scientists will laugh because

they’ve fit some form of reality

into human boxes.

i’ve found the model for life,

stacked among a thousand other metaphors

in a corner, like broken umbrellas:

i am the hydrogen atom that never collides.



Sofia Zavatone-Veth

tomorrow stands up.

the old chair with the charred burn from the fire

that a lightning strike started half a century ago creaks.

light streams in through the crack in the roof like winter rain

but the floor is bone dry, and the color of the dust that falls onto it

as bird droppings decay.

tomorrow stares at the sky, whispering words you couldn’t hope to hear,

shaking its head at the prospect of renewing itself as the day runs down.

tomorrow paces,

and the splintering boards groan and squeak

as if they could imitate the mice they shelter.

and the nails rust

and the roof caves, centimeter by centimeter falling in as the years stretch on,

the tiny crack laughing as it takes down a giant.

for after the roof falls, the walls will follow.


vernal eierzopf

Sofia Zavatone-Veth

the scent of charcoal makes me sick,

even though I love the color of the smoke

that billows out like a blue and gray elegy across the sky,

twice-burnt wood serving as its own funeral pyre.

the smoke rises up to the sun

as I watch from a window, kneading bread,

which is almost like praying:

an action so repetitively habitual that it

becomes essentially meaningless,

but you keep on doing it anyway.

flour clings to the creases of my hands

like a lonely child who won’t let you leave

as the smells of charcoal and yeast

linger in the air like the harmony

of the world’s strangest song.


a crisis of normality

Sofia Zavatone-Veth

Does it ever occur to the historian

that poe is so in poetry

a telltale heart hidden

between creaking floorboards of verse

Every so often, a poet’s heart dies

and a hundred years later, doctors

will diagnose depression, or autism,

or scoliosis or paranoia or asexuality,

retroactively denying

that truth can’t be told in prescriptions

I wish I could tell you

how to hold on to beautiful things,

but I lost my soul on a Monday morning,

and no one’s answered my wanted posters,

and its lingering pulse has yet

to drive me insane

I wrote a few words one day before dawn

and called myself a poet

but some things never change

A raven screams in the woods

and we all go on, turning

a blind eye to murder

The king is dead

Long live the king



Sabrina Fierlit

I looked in the mirror and see a tear.
I take my hands and wipe them all away.
My body starts trembling in pain and fear.
I stare at a girl who can’t live today.
She trembles and looks at her small wrists.
Looking at marks she wants to fade.
Her head falls in shame, her wrists slowly twists.
Marks look back wishing to never be made.
Her world is crumbling and she is a deer.
Standing in the headlights begging for death,
No one is left to beg for me or cheer.
No one cares if I’m dying of unhealth.
I’ve been feeling this way for a while,
Yet I look again and see a forced smile.


Cold Hearted

Jasmine Smith

The lies

Were repeating

And the love I once had

So long ago dwindled down to




Madelyn Mathews 

I lured you in with the ocean using green eyes

My homemade seaweed wrapped around you trying to pull back to shore

Sinking to the bottom of the ocean I faintly hear your cries

You have tentacles around your legs belonging to a beast of lore

A siren song plays in your ears as you look longingly at the beast

Knowing exactly what it was still swarm to it

You still call out for help longing to be released

Believing that I will not quit

You are acting like a drowning victim even though I know you can swim

I never prepare myself to be submerged in water

But when you are away from  me you feel like a phantom limb

So I jump in, a lamb for slaughter

Sometimes I wish you would allow me to rescue you

But you cannot find your way out of the deep blue



Madelyn Mathews 

From the moment I met you I knew you were trouble

I could tell that you had the heart

Of lion like me, I was only 13

When we met. We were all lost

At this time.  Searching for security

We lost each other in the mirrors and smoke

Around this time you started to smoke

I think it was your attempt at staying out of trouble

You were simply seeking security

You have a dangerous heart

I worry that all that was pure in you is now lost

But years have gone by at least 6

We have been drifting apart and swimming back together for 4

Of these years I only see you now blowing smoke

Out your nose from across the room at parties this has never lost

It’s effect on me, the ground is frozen now like your heart

When you smile it disarms me and takes away my security

I begged for security

From you and you refused it 3

Times and my heart

Broke each time so I clouded it with smoke

My lungs were in trouble

And I felt myself get lost

I so desperately want to tell you to get lost

To give myself security

And to stay out of the trouble

That you bring with you 24/7

But I can’t get past the smoke

And mirrors to see you are holding my heart

You broke my heart

You gave me broken love and lost

My trust and blew smoke

In my weeping eyes that longed for the security

Of arms you once lent to me willingly 2

Arms that kept me safe kept me alive, lifted me out of trouble

I sometimes feel that I could still offer you security

That at 18

I could make a home in my heart once more for trouble



Hesham Raza 

The start of the day…

I wake up in the morning.

I sleep in the night.

I take a nap in the evening.

It all starts at dawn.

So should the end not be dusk?

It is 12 now… was it not just dusk?

It is so easy to forget the time of day…

By now it must be dawn.

I guess that means it is morning.

Better get my things started before evening

Comes around and soon after… the night.

Well now it is night.

But I still cannot sleep since I woke up at dusk

From my nap in the evening.

Well… it cannot really be called a nap I was asleep the whole day.

Whatever, I will worry about it in the morning.

Which starts at dawn?

So it has come… for sure, it must be dawn.

Now it cannot be night.

It must be morning.

For what has just passed was not dusk

I think I am correct this time of the day

Yes, I must be right so soon it will be evening.

What has just begun is evening.

Meaning it must has past. Dawn,

That is, as it was the beginning of the day…

Soon it will be night.

As what will soon come to be will be dusk.

Another 12 hours I think and it will be morning.

Did I ever tell you I love the morning?

I also adore the evening.

Though let us not forget about dusk

Or even dawn,

But what about the night?

I guess I love all times of the day.

I think it is now dawn.

What has just passed must have been night.

I hear, “Welcome back Chronos you have been asleep for many a day.”



Emily Parra

I feel it all and then nothing at all

Quick glances and small gestures

All my emotions.

Your little comments keep me awake at night

Sweet and simple but also confusing and frustrating

I feel it all and then nothing at all.

Our conversations filled with laughter

My heart racing with excitement, is yours?

These are all my emotions.

You look at me lovingly while calling me a friend

We’re joined at the hip but yet I feel so distant

Sadly I feel it all and then nothing at all.

I yearn to be next to you

You say it hurts when i’m not there

I wonder if these are only my emotions.

I doubt myself constantly over you

Beat myself up for loving you

I feel it all and then nothing at all

All my emotions.


An Editorial of the Spoon 

Jack Carini 

We have an unchristian need

for privacy. Down the street is a Thai restaurant,

the best I know, very good according to the New York Times, which won’t ever admit to love.

A car ran straight through their front door

without reservations, on a Monday night when the owners, without reservation, were out for


They took every Monday night off to eat elsewhere,

and the owner liked us enough to say so,

and his children, his children, never used forks.

We were connected in a way

where we both wanted something, both got it,

but something else too.

When the car crashed through it was like

nothing, not God, not even his glass doors

believed a man should give his wife’s secret

recipe on a dinner plate.

She may have had another secret recipe,

or someone else’s wife did. He put

cameras, allegedly, in the bathroom stalls

and all we ask for is a little privacy.

It’s awful, of course it’s awful, but really

why are we so scared of cameras?

Is it the young soft eyes and high cheeks of the man who stands,

allegedly, behind it? Or his children?

Or his wife’s Tom Yum Soup that brought me

to tears as a child? Or is it the fear

that we are never alone?


Driving for fun, Dancing for money, Killing for gold

Jack Carini

Metallic chrome holds on metallic chrome holds, holding people

holding lovers holding

their friends holding

semen, coffee, soup and booze,

holding an old man.

I heard the note before the crash.

It sounded like all the girls I’d never touch

the ones I’d never touch again.

It’s all just objects and mirrors,

getting closer, getting closer.

Glass shatters

over the vase of the tulip I stole for her.

I was ready to deny it all,

Every single second I was ready to deny,

I would demand instantaneous  lobotomy, if given a say.

It was

Unusual. Like

I could have predicted it.

I don’t think I’ve ever been in love before

But kissing the girl on New Haven streets

Broken glassed; benzedrine dazed

is pretty damn close.

I placed my palm on her collarbone,

and wished to fall asleep deep in her marrow.

Muffled music over the sound of white noise

hallowing ear drums,

The cars were modern modern and deformed.

I waled to the gallery,

started endlessly at the paintings they call magic and saw nothing.

It’s all just objects and mirrors getting closer.



Sonia Epstein 

she is a genius

she is beautiful

they admire her ideas and listen when she speaks

they envy her clear skin and flawless hair

it all comes easy to her

she doesn’t even have to ry

she doesn’t realize

if only she knew

walking up so early to fix hair and makeup

staying up so late to the study and proofread

every hair must be perfect

every word must be perfect

boys don’t ever catcall her in the halls

boys don’t ask her for homework assignments

of give her money to show them her chest

or give her money to cheat off her test

sometimes, beauty is pain

sometimes, intellect is a curse

she’s got it good

it must be nice

i wish i were her

i wish i were her



Americo Salvi


Which is needed

To protect those who weep

We, the norse gods give this to you…



Regarding the Illinois UFO sighting 

Americo Salvi 

Bright Lights

Which illuminate the night sky

With colors impalpable


Strange Light _________________________________________________________________________________________________

The Poor Man’s Pain 

Americo Salvi 


Of working men

Digging away iron

And forging steel at the workshop.


Turn the barrel

Mold triggers, shape the wheels

It takes many to make a gun…

One gun.

A gun kills men before its done.

Men in the mines which dig

Men at the mills


These men, they died for what?

A watch, a shoe, a gun,

Which make bosses


Yet with the gun,

You kill plenty of men

Before you are done, so why not?

One more… _________________________________________________________________________________________________

Eve in the Garden 

Americo Salvi 


To seek the tree

And taste forbidden fruit.

The excellence of the unknown and


Adam’s distress, and father’s wrath

Banished to face despair

And traverse the…

Wasteland _________________________________________________________________________________________________

Cinquains for the Owl 

Sarah Kuras 

Moon eyes,

White claws, pleated wings

An owl perches atop a tree

A limp figure hangs from its filed bill

Watching me

This owl

Unlike quite the rest

Snatches and shreds the eyes

He’s a predator of the night and so,

Am I

Upon flight

He hooks his talons

On the crippled and unwanted things

Devouring the flesh of the lost and needy

No mercy

But night

Is the everlasting cowl

That shields and loves my bird

With dripping arms of Nyx, Eris, and Alecto

An embrace

My owl

Of the preying wood

Hunt the evil entities for me

Seek the injustices that haunt me and thee

My champion



Emily Lancor 


Airy, fluffy

Moving, storming, falling

“That cloud looks like a bunny”



The Pen 

Sonia Epstein 

The pen

Hits the paper

Speaks my mind when I can’t

Lets me see the words in my head

In ink _________________________________________________________________________________________________


Sonia Epstein 

The snow

Not beautiful

Cold and isolating

“Seasonal depression,” she says

Please, spring _________________________________________________________________________________________________

The Pool 


In this pool where I dove

I found a man who stole

My heart made of pearls

Born of pure feathered mirth

Flowing blood like molten gold

He kissed my head

With a mouth full of lead

And I pushed him back

In this pool where I dove

But as he dissolves in the sea

He jeers and laughs at me

With my heart in his hands

This man who stole

The pool where I dove _________________________________________________________________________________________________

Playa de Long Beach

Jordan Yasgar

Playa de Long Beach

Playa de Long Beach, the place I felt free

Waves crashing on the shore, swaying palm trees

Sunny all year long, not a sight of snow

Laying out all day so my skin glows

Every day averaging eighty degrees

My dad’s apartment viewed the sea

A three minute walk away, he was lucky

Every morning I wake up to go

To Playa de Long Beach

In the warm sand, I lay on my knees

Peaceful, empty beach, I see nobody

The water was cool, the tide low

Chills run up my spine, as I dip my toes

But refreshing, as the sun shines on me

On Playa de Long Beach


In Pershan’s room

James Baldoni 

In Pershan’s room, the time flows

Papers are filed, students minds are aglow

Writer’s block gets chopped, students work with all their might

Silence is in the air, only to be filled with pens full of fight

In Pershan’s room

Oh time flies as they put on a show

47 minutes, oh how time flows

Wrongs are written and read, whether spelled wrong or right

In Pershan’s room

When you’re in the zone who know where

Your works will go

You can write whenever and wherever be it sun, rain, or snow.

Come on in and let your imagination take flight.

It can take you to new heights

and sure maybe you can’t write, no one else has to know

In Pershan’s room


The Seasons 

Madelyn Mathews 


Dark and isolating

Air with sharp breath

Night steals away the day

Sleep well


Has windy days

Comes with pastel breath

New life rises as old life

Now rests


An endless daze

Night air is warm

The sun now chases away

The dark


Changing of leaves

The air is crisp

The earth now turns a

Cold shoulder



Emily Lancor 

Looking in the mirror, I see a girl staring back at me.

A pale face surrounded by long brown hair, light hazel eyes with a blank stare, and

heart-shapped lips showing no emotion.

She’s unfamiliar, unrecognizable, lost.

The constant battles of self appreciation mask the happiness that she once had.

Her eyes wander to every inch of her body, picking out small flaws that appear big in her mind.

She is no longer satisfied with the way she looks or who she is becoming.

Yet, no matter how much pain builds up inside of her,  she keeps on a face.

To everyone around her, she is seen as any cheerful teenager who enjoys their life with their

friends and family.

She reminds herself to smile through the pain, for she is the only one who can know how she

truly feels,

Looking in the mirror, I see a girl staring back at me.

Wondering if she will ever be familiar again.


All starts with… 

Asjha Jones 

His touch

The way he holds me

The way he loves me

The way his voice cracks when he comes near a sensitive subject

The way his hair tickles my face when he comes close

The sparkle in my stomach when I see him

The way I feel

The way I look

The way I move

The way I breathe

The way my heart beats

The way my blood flows

The way my soul has rhythm

The way how everything makes sense

All starts with the way he touched me…

Her smile

The way I wanna tell her how I feel

The way my mouth shuts before my emotions can spill out

The way I act when I love her but do not show her

The way I have yet to show her I appreciate her

The way I feel

The way I look

The way I move

The way I breathe

The way she makes my heart freeze

I wanna tell her but my pride is in the way

I love her but what do I say

All starts with the way she smiles at me…



Emily Para 

our eyes

silently meet in vain

our breaths held tight in anger

no words can describe the hatred between another

oh lover

you once meant so much and now nothing

strong words linger on my lips

held only for you

our failure


Him and Her

Jay Johnson 

I sat next to her.

He sat next to me.

I gave my best looking smile.

He gave me a really crappy smile

She looked away.

I looked away so

I didn’t giggle.

I got really embarrassed.

I’m so nervous.

She’s so cute.

He’s so cute.

But they don’t seem very interested.

I sat in the seat next

to his.

He wasn’t there…

The bell rung…

Class starts…

I give my best look

I rush in late and

look at her.


For the Moon

Gabby Morin

In perpetual monotony

A voice so sincere

Sang a soothing melody,

And made all clear.

My hopeless dysphoria

Shined in your eye.

I cried to the nebulas

And found care from the


If my life is only temporary,

An existence without


Allow this love to surpass


In our peaceful silence.

With you patience, and

lips of cotton,

Speak to me so I am not




Maya Ray

You are the star

That burns in the night sky

The one that lays peacefully

In this vast outer realm

The stars look so close together

At first glance

But in reality, they are so far apart

Worlds apart

Does anyone think of what is in the space between the stars?

I am the space

The smothering cold

The boiling hot

The unrelenting, unforgiving constriction

But I keep everything in the place it should be

I keep the stars at their distance

So that no other can get as close to you

As I am

And even if there are brighter stars

Even when the sun comes up

And you are outshined

Even if your life is not very long

You are the brightest star

In your own little space

You are outshining all

That are getting close

Your life is everlasting

In this space where time does not matter

And I

Will always be there

Even in the darkest time

Or the brightest

I go black and blue for you

But in the best ways

And you

Will always be the first star I see

In this everlasting




Isabella Mignosa

What is the opposite of crate?

Why that’d be water, my dear mate.

You’d laugh me off, but try to see

if you can store things in the sea.

All your belongings will get quite wet

and float away from you, I bet.

Go try to stack water on top of itself,

it’s as easy as putting water on a shelf.

And while water alone can be quite grand

it’s always in tandem with coarse, rough sand.

You’ll never see sand anywhere near a box

and sadly water doesn’t have any locks.

So don’t laugh at me, because what I say is true.

Water won’t ever match what a crate can do.


In the Spring… 

Maya Verghese

Upon the mountain’s cheek the sun does kiss

The harsh winds soon disappear with some time

And the river in the west sings with bliss

For the song bird’s tune contains a good rhyme

Icy branches melt into seas of green

The flowers peak and soon the berries bud

And creatures crawl out from corners unseen

Gentle showers drench, and fields turn to mud

Dreary days bring umbrellas and jackets

Dashes of splashes with rainbows mixed in

Denying your lonely tennis racket

Providing moments to share a sweet grin

Although, discussed in many poems and plays

No words can describe a lovely spring day


Summer Heat 

Piero Cifarelli

The summer heat

The summer heat is unbearable
With my hair I am charitable
Every chance I get, I shave shave shave.

When I start to perspire
Because the air’s hot as fire
This is a sign to shave shave shave

So I grab my blade
And start cutting un-delayed
Then I shave shave shave.

My head smooth as stone
And I like to be alone
When I shave shave shave.

I’m sweating to the core
So I must shave some more

I grab the glistening razor
And it stung like a taser
As I continued to shave shave shave.

I was thinking I’m not so thin
So what’s wrong with losing some skin as I shave shave shave.

I’ve practiced this before
On my family of four
So let us shave shave shave

My mirror so covered with roses
And my eyes so white
As I shave

Colorful is everything I see
Even my face starring back at me after I shaved shaved shaved.


What is Love?

Sonia Epstein

Is it someone to talk to, something to hold,
Someplace to go, like the beach or the kitchen?
Or is love a tiny creature, just floating in the air,
Grabbing jackets and eyelashes at will?
Maybe it is impossible to catch in a jar,
Because it is deep inside someone?

But that doesn’t make sense.

I love talking to you, holding your hand,
And playing with you on the beach and cooking with you in the kitchen.
But I can see it sometimes, just floating through the air,
Like the snowflake on your jacket and eyelashes.
And even then I can’t catch it in a jar,
Because it’s deep inside me, like a quickened pulse while with you.

So then, What is Love?

I know what love is.
Love is everything.
Love is nothing,
Most of all,

Love is You


Roses and Violets 

Audrey Vandergriff

Roses are red
Violets are blue
I wrote this cliché poem
For you…


Something, but not Everything  

Sonia Epstein

What if I’m just,

“Special, but not as special as her”

“Until something better comes along”

“Good, but not Good enough”

“Second choice, Plan B”

“Someone, but not The One”

“In love, but not loved”

“Something, but not Everything”


Bíword/Wyrd (word/fate)

Sofia Zavatone-Veth

I fell in love with words

The way that they are like trees, rooted in the past,

branches reaching for the

unattainable sky of what cannot be conveyed

When I was no longer a child, my skin turned to bark

and I grew in rings,

became kin to the letters on the page

Words let me through the looking-glass

They autopsied my soul

And explained its life to me



Sofia Zavatone-Veth

It’s just a child’s game

a cord with a loop at one end, fastened to the low branch of a dogwood–

for climbing, swinging, playing

a stepstool on the dappled grass beneath–

to lend the aid of height

There is no monster in

the closet but another thin-veiled shadow lurks

in this sunlit tableau

As in the game of guessing letters

we lynch a stick figure

As time marches on

the executioner that is our world

kicks the footstool of innocence from beneath our feet

and leaves our childhood swinging from the gallows


the scent of the rose whose petals were pressed a century ago

Sofia Zavatone-Veth

Blow the dust off of the timeworn album

Memories are the truest magic there is

A faded photograph ensnaring our souls

to plumb the depths of a long-decayed world

Whose colors, like a kaleidoscope, come into focus

a different way each time

Defying the laws that keep us grounded in eternity


fifty degrees in december

Sofia Zavatone-Veth

Seven o’clock in the morning, the world

gone dull under the dimmable bulb of first light

There’s a feverish ache in your bones,

mail-order-bride to the icy chill that

abandoned her at the altar

The bitter syrup of cough medicine

Your backpack is a turtle shell you can’t

crawl inside, sleep a drug:

you spend every waking moment yearning

for the next hit



Sofia Zavatone-Veth

lay out the newsprint, fallen with roses

over the frost-ridden stone of the tomb.

the crusader’s face looks so peaceful

as he sleeps the sleep of death;

all russet stains that seeped over sinew and bone

washed away by the mould of granite.

the cold airy dome of the cathedral arches above,

pillars of rock born in darkness stretch skyward

to pale light and flightless false angels.

earth aching to become one

with heaven,

dust is silent as it settles on the flagstones


Where I’m From  

Veeane Ayala 

i am from the dripping, leaking walls of urban descent.

i am the pauper turned princess in hamden.

i am from the sonic blares of loud voices and even louder thoughts.

i am from music, latin and dubstep and jazz

all the same.

simmering broth.

crackling spices in the saucepan.

i am from dry words and salty tears.

a wound that might never heal.

i am from a fatherless home and a motherful love.

smoldering passionate embers.

i am from faith.