Volume 38 ~ 2015

 

                  

After Adrienne Rich's 

"Diving Into the Wreck"

 

"And Now, I Forget"

Alivia RaeAnna Wasenius

 

 

I wanted to erase your name

from the back of my brain, where

our past blazed bright.

 

It was 11:11, and I wished

to forget the fire
in your blue eyes.

 

But the wheels took sharp turns,

and metal screeched. With one blow

my head cleared.

 

White walls

and stinging shots.

And now, I forget.

 

 

 

 

 

"I am she; I am he" 

Anna Stenka

 

She knew how to hold me

because she was used

to holding herself together.

She bound herself,

not from head to toe, but

from her flat stomach

to her nervous armpit.

Never quite comfortable

in her own skin,

but I was comfortable

against it.

 

I never knew what

name to call her.

So I called her

lover.

My lover would

rest with me.

Whispers filled the air

like clouds.

Our words were

puffy and white.

Others spoke

acid tongued storm clouds.

 

Now that she is gone

I still don’t know what

name to call her. Him.

His name

rolls off my tongue

as hers had.

Still bittersweet

and rough, still

my unstable rock.

 

Rocks crumble and learn

that the rain washes them away.

Rain learns that falling on,

or for, rocks

bruises the heart

and breaks the ribs.

Yet still, the rain comes and

my heart ruptures and

my chest aches of cracks. Still

I long for him.

For her.  For us.

 

 

 

 

 

 

"The Evidence of Damage"

Alora Clipp

 

The crumbs of a place

we once knew, are scattered

across streets that we’d walk on

at night; whistling show tunes

under our breaths.

 

The buildings have become

faceless; what we used to pass

by every day have been blown

away by the strong winds of

storms that come and go.

 

Weeds push their way

through the melted cement

and yellow curbs; the

engines of cars are silent

at abandoned intersections.

 

Trees spread spider-like branches

through windows while vines wrap

themselves around street signs and

dead stop lights; they died

when the humans did.

 

Year after year, the evidence

of us fades; like we never

existed. The tall, wild grass binds itself

to the jaws of a yellowed human skull;

she is evidence of the damage.

 

 

 

 

 

"Carrying a Knife, a Camera"

Monica Bell

 

The darkness seeps

like drunken sleep

on a canvas too old to fold.

 

A green sea time tale,

like a poisoned spell,

spills time in space below.

 

Blue wounded,

War pinned-

Time caught us like knives.

 

I am, I ache, I am.

I am, I fake, I am,

wishing to swim free.

 

But I am stolen below

the waves so old,

lost in the timeless wreck.

 

No photograph

could ever capture

my deep blue guilt.

 

Never the same,

I feel shame.

It is framed on every wall

 

the world looks at.  

 

 

 

 

 

 

"The Ribs of Disaster"

Liv O'Clair

 

No one knows why.

We all have seen it.

 

It begins in the brain,

plants doubts, gardening them

until they flower and destroy.

 

Disaster begins

in the brain, in unstoppable thoughts.

It travels to the neck, the necklace

 

of all broken things.

It winds tighter and tighter;

rarely letting go.

 

Afterward comes

the hunched shoulders

of hard work--never

 

a light load--always burning

in the sun, always pushing

to that last burst of effort.

 

Next come the broken,

mangled arms

carrying the heaviest load.

 

Eager to abandon it

onto another’s already

angry, painful life.

 

Then disaster moves to

the dry, swollen hands.

Fingers that always

 

point to doubt and failure.

Wrists bound together,

bleeding and convulsing.

 

Forcing them and

their own gnarled, dirty hands

onto the ones they love.

Alongside them,

are the ribs of disaster.

 

The bones that

protect the scrawny heart

and the shallow lungs.

 

Feeding the disasters themselves.

They are the ones that cover

the true heart, lungs, and soul.

 

The ribs lie secretly.

Waiting for someone to find

the things worth living for.

 

They hide beneath the dry skin,

ready to capture all inside

a cage fit for Hell.

 

Closely behind,

the stomach devours

pure people, never

 

to let them go,

always taking them.

It eats away at itself,

 

never able to curb the hunger.

Instead spreading it from

person to person;

 

all wanting more of something.

 

Soon after are the hips.

They lure the married

to the bittersweet affairs,

 

and turn the young

towards infidelity.

They teach the children

 

how to dance but

with a vulgarity

that offends the true.

 

When it is the legs’ turn,

they will wreak havoc.

They will inspire

 

the shaking of knees.

They will teach all to play dirty,

kicking their friends, turning them into foe.

 

They will kick up the dirt,

blinding all to the truth

of what is happening around them.

 

Trailing behind everything,

are the rotting feet,

They track in the dirt,

 

uncovering trivial lies

that split families

because of broken trust.

 

After all has passed,

the after effects of disaster come in.

The families split, the houses flood,

 

the people don’t converse,

no one helps the hopeless.

Everything they had is gone.

 

Nothing remains.

 

 

 

 

 

"Down"

Mariah Watson

 

We remain at the bottom,

insects down the ladder.

 

No power, we climb

our way up the infinite

 

rungs. The Superior reign

and devour us whole.

 

We speak our minds,

but our thoughts are denied.

 

We never win, we are

insects on the broken ladder.  

 

 

 

 

 

"By Cowardice or Courage"

Abby Waldo

 

     I despised the lake.

 

     It was massive, putrid, and green. Just looking at it made me nauseous. It was filled with slimy fish and snapping turtles. Bugs surrounded it, an almost invisible barrier. They attacked the humans that entered like tiny soldiers, protecting their home. Any brave human who made it through also had to fight the sharp stones and stickers; the lake seemed like nothing more than an endless battle to me.

More than anything, I hated the rope swing attached to the giant oak tree. The tree sat on a cliff above the water. It was a rite of passage to swing off that rope into the rancid green pool; every freshman entering high school had to do it. I vowed I would find a way out of it. Yet, there I was, standing on the edge of the cliff, staring down at the water below me.

 

     My knuckles turned white as I clutched the rope. The rough woven strings scratched my palms, and my legs shook.

 

     “C’mon, just go already!” My fearless friend Kayla yelled up at me from the lake below. I looked behind me for someone, anyone, to be on my side. They just groaned and tapped their feet. “Let’s go, we don’t have all day,” they said. I prayed someone would tell me that I didn’t have to do it, or tell me I would be fine. But this was something I had to do on my own.

 

     I clenched my eyes shut, and without thinking, I pushed off the cliff, wrapping my legs around the rope. As the ground disappeared from underneath me, I regretted my decision. The whoops and hollers around me disappeared, and I was swinging in slow motion. I felt a confidence within me that told me to let go; yet I also felt a fear inside of me that told me if I didn’t let go now, I never would. By cowardice or courage, I let go of the rope.

 

     I didn’t feel as if I was falling. I felt as if I was flying - soaring through the air, a beautiful bird. My wings were spread, and the sun blinded me. For the first time, I didn’t worry about the cold lake rapidly approaching underneath me. I never wanted this feeling to end.

 

     My feet hit the freezing water, and it moved over my body until I was completely covered. I had a panicked feeling as if I was drowning, but I rose toward the surface, toward the sun; I knew I wasn’t drowning, I was coming up for air.

 

     After I gasped in a breath of foul-smelling lake air, I laughed. Looking up at the cliff I had just jumped from, I felt relief rush over me like the water just had. It was over. But something else stirred inside of me- something that I had never felt before. As I bobbed up and down in the beautiful emerald lake, I saw Kayla swimming toward me. “How’d you like it?” she asked.

 

     I grinned. “Let’s do it again.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

"We Are, I Am, You Are"

Emily Wiese

 

The rain poured,

pattering softly on the cement.

 

We walked outside

and began to dance.

 

We danced in the rain,

letting the nature’s music guide us.

 

Our arms waved above our heads

like waves in the ocean.

 

And our legs leaped,

every step a splash of water.

 

Hair dripped around our faces;

being wet meant nothing to us.

 

We laughed and we sang,

the moonlight dancing in the darkness.

 

 

 

 

"I Came to Explore the Wreck"

Jade Gonzalez

 

The giant handmade dollhouse stood alone, proud

and tall, in a room no longer filled with children’s

possessions. Vibrant scarlet rugs left rolled up

leave a pristine patch of foot space against the floors

still sticky with spilled Kool-Aid.

 

Stiff fingers chilled as I caressed the cool dead walls,

almost seeing my lonely breath against the still air.

The fireplace hasn’t made shadow puppets for weeks.

The dark, intimidating closet that once threatened to eat me.

Now sits yearning for its stomach to be full again

with Christmas ornaments scented with pine.

 

The jungle of a yard was no better. Stray kittens roamed

like lions in search of their meal; the one I used to give them.

A sagging tree overflowing with fruit, never identified, leans

against the fence begging the neighbors for attention

since we no longer presented our presence.

 

The octagonal walls of my bedroom bare their yellow

fluorescent against the uncovered carpet.The window

still cracked from a dance routine gone wrong.

Trash bags crinkled in the corner filled with the fragmented

memories of things that couldn’t fit in limited boxes.

 

Elmer's glue and strawberries once wafted through the air,

now I sneeze from particles glittering in streams of sunlight

and the ghosts of berries move among the dust. I came to explore

the wreck. Instead I found a glorified past wilted from time

preparing and transitioning waiting for its new beginning.