Poetry

Poetry Archives

  • Poetry,  Published Submissions

    Dust

    my mouth is filled with dust and i want to reclaim the new— i     plead to be heard by the soot, by the particles that have nestled in   the crevice between my lips, the nook beside my throat, the walls    of my lungs— i wish to reside in the aura illuminating from me,    but only from me, to plunge my being into the soil of a new world,    and flourish side by side with the cherry blossoms. to reach for the   stars and watch them prance along the scarred flesh of my    forearms, inhaling and inhaling and exhaling and breathing the dust    of who i used to be, who i refuse to be anymore.   a breaking light filters through my broken, shattered ribs      and casts shadows down my middle, shadows across my    bones— the shimmer catches the eye of a raven, sleek    and black, and pure but black as she pecks at my liver,    the vulnerability.   plucking feathers from her own hide and placing them upon the fleshy yellow spots, the gashes and the gnaws.    a memorial to my ashes of the past.   and i build from the ashes, a molehill to a mountain range,    a wary way is sure and silent but pays off in great rewards    and the dust that weighs like shackles on my wrists,    staking me to the ground, round in baked blood, will build    me an army in time. my mouth is filled with dust and i   will reclaim the new— – break my insides open and spill them on the sand –…

  • Poetry,  Published Submissions

    The Water

    There’s a sense of comfort in the water.  My body glides through as if it remembers me,  as if I belong.  It’s funny because I never want to get in the water,  but once I find myself within…  I can never pull myself back out.    This isn’t about the water.  – Zoë Graber Zoë Graber is a 16-year-old from Richmond, Virginia. She owns a Depop business where she sells clothes and handmade jewelry. She enjoys thrifting, journaling/scrapbooking, music, poetry and so much more. Z is a huge advocate for human rights and a proud member of the (l)gbtq+ community.  More by this artist

  • Poetry,  Published Submissions

    An Ode to my Bloody Fingers

    I’ve never been afraid to bleed. My fingers coated over with dried blood, Yellow crust. Pieces of skin poking out at every angle. But I’ve never been afraid to bleed. My young fingers mutilated with ease. I’ll tear myself apart, Layer by layer. I’ve never been afraid to bleed, Never wishing for fear. Until it comes to that dry blood that covers my fingers. I’ve never been afraid to bleed, Maybe that’s what I’m afraid of. — Zoë Graber Zoë Graber is a 16-year-old from Richmond, Virginia. She owns a Depop business where she sells clothes and handmade jewelry. She enjoys thrifting, journaling/scrapbooking, music, poetry and so much more. Z is a huge advocate for human rights and a proud member of the (l)gbtq+ community.

  • Poetry,  Published Submissions

    My Tides Have Receded

    Sometimes when I look into the vast beauty of the ocean, her powerful unforgiving waves, and her deep blue color, I swear I can almost taste the salt on my tongue. I wonder if that ever happens when you look at me.  — Madison Stewart

  • Poetry,  Published Submissions

    If there’s a good way to die, it’s from you

    When the world ends, I hope you invite me to dinner. I hope we sit under the yellow fluorescent lighting, and you tell me all the things you became, and I’ll tell you all the books I’ve read and things I’ve learned and people I’ve loved. I hope that for just this small passage of time that our souls intertwine once more, you don’t tell me you regret anything. I hope you say that it hurt to do it, but it had to be done because look at who we became and what we did with our lives. I hope you tell me I was right, that I always knew you’d be great, and you knew I’d to be too but maybe not together in that small chapter of our lives spent in the back of your dad’s car dreaming of running away. I hope you tell me you love me, and mean it, not in a “we’re going to die so I love you” way but in an “I’m happy despite my body being inevitably forgotten by civilization after this and there’s no other person I want to experience the end of the world with and I love you’” way. I hope your sister got that degree and your mom finally got away from your dad and your dog lived a long, happy life and now she’s digging up sticks in God’s backyard. I hope you listen when I tell you not to blame yourself and that if it was meant to be, it would have despite how hard we tried to rewrite fate’s song. I hope when the world caves in, you hold my hand and make some stupid joke about dying before you get to cliff jump because if there’s a proper way to go,…

  • Poetry,  Published Submissions

    Emilia

    The stuffed animals / scattered / on this bed / search for a spot / on the ceiling to focus on. I lay / as soft as them / against an unopened eye / only to sink into my own / anonymity. / I remember / last night: this room / pouring with girls / spilling their clothes and hands over the carpet / forgetting about each other’s silhouettes. My candlewax legs dangling / off the bed / afraid of / dripping into someone’s fingertips. / Deep breaths are taut on the bed like a mother’s tights on a Sunday / and the stuffed animals still haven’t moved their eyes / once. / Plastic melts over / my wrists / and I follow the outline of the wound as a distraction. / A girl wearing nothing but a necklace / kisses me on the cheek / and I fizz into a million stars. / Dizzy / and / dizzy. / My tongue: a crow’s wing / lifting bones / from forbidden streets / to show a smile. / I eat my shoelaces in the hallway / so my ankles don’t betray me / in front of her. / I was a girl—false girl—knowing that I will never study her fingerprints / until my pupils mimic their swirls. / Knowing that she aimed for my cheek, and it will forever stay that way. / Knowing that her kiss was a sign of sisterhood. Knowing that I’m a drop of gardenia perfume staining the bathroom countertop.  / The cold air / is spreading / into the negative space / and settles the concrete like an ice pack on a child’s forehead. We slosh around into watercolor / and fall through each other’s fingers / until we’re stained purple. / The outline of her eye is a yellow ray / cascading onto her body / like a drop of honey. Dreaming / of the sweetness / stinging my tongue / with the door closed. / Our thighs touch…

  • Poetry,  Published Submissions

    Poster Child

    Don’t tell me that nothing is perfect, and don’t tell me that                   everything is okay. I collapse myself into the carpet with my hands                                buckled  against the brailing skin. Watch me cry into the wheatgrass as your daughter. As a baby.                   I wonder if my mother is yelling because she thinks my feathers  are the wrong color, or if she                                 misses hers. Please help me.  My father is sitting in his chair like a king with a severed head. I have blood on my fingers.              I told my best friend that I was scared. Scared of red-flamed walls crumbling  into my mother’s eyes. He says,                     Watch the moon. The window. The dust. What if I’m not strong enough?            It’s easier to just sink in my bathtub and watch the ceiling burble.  When I blow out candles, it’s another eyelash on my cheek. It’s another friend against                                      the wall.                                                            Why can’t I be molded into a better person?  I open my mouth and there is a broken tooth. Cavity. Black. Night. I can’t speak. Lockjaw.                   Somebody, please kill me.  I want to be quiet against my bed. Pillowed. Stable. Hold my own hand and…

  • Poetry,  Published Submissions

    The Heat of The Evening

    Who barred the limestone door? And will he never come again? And won’t it ever be again? Is it rue for you, or for me too? Umbrellas in the road, the rain Comes hard this April on Main Street. All smells of Rubber and I remember The ants crawling on your legs. Those ants lodged in the crevice Of calves, lapping up orange juice As gently you carved the fruit. Have you carried them with you? A thousand crawling impatiences? Or have you let them wash away As the dirt and the Day washes away From my bare arms in this heat of Rain. The doors of this city won’t open. I walk into walls of pure sheet. Water is a body and a body crossed, Unmoving. The cars drive through Walls of flood. Horns sound through The gurgles of time Like the deft wailing of your mouth That became four walls of black, Slick and sticky and full of rage. I ran out of it into the city, Street Filling and emptying with Endless, meaningless feet. Ah, the fear The fear, Trembling. Against the stone And nothing shifts to let me in And nothing shifts to be let go And out here I grow still and cold. — Olivia Cantadori

  • Poetry,  Published Submissions

    The Distance

    My daydreams like streams Collect where blue jeans ripple on bare feet. It’s an unbroken image, A black bird obstructing the sun. My nights are of rodeos, beat magic, Samba Rock and waiting tables. Seats are filled with grueling eyes, mixing tears, making wine. I take empty plates in a loop, Watch bare legs in summertime. Always the footage hisses like Eden snakes Throwing the old fables in my eyes, Riding waves of film and dancing so high that even Rawhide! Cowboys took the time to build graves, kiss, and die. I once shot at the western front, watched it slip away through the screen. What a dream and what a ghost is the west, the south too! No Brazil, no cowboys, just red dust. Sinatra interrupts In a diner with mugs of bacon and oil-cracked teeth. My sister winces and smiles at The maturity of failure, the stagnation of change. I blink myself unbodied in slivers of running tape, Racing on tearing horses in cities where streets empty out Into the dim bazaar of dreams. — Olivia Cantadori