Poetry,  Published Submissions

Emilia, by Juliette Hagobian

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 / skin to skin / like an anemone / grazing against the deep water. / I’ve always wanted a girl / by my side / knowing / that we might not be / just / friends. /

Juliette Hagobian

Juliette Hagobian (she/her) is an eighteen-year-old poet and writer from Los Angeles, California. She has been published in Filter Coffee Zine, h-pem, and her school’s creative literary magazine, Aril. She is her school’s Poetry Club President and works as a poetry/prose editor for an online literary magazine, Kalopsia Literary. She is currently a senior attending Holy Martyrs Ferrahian High School. Find her on Twitter as @jjules_h.