by Anne Fu
Lost Light Found
by Kirtana Krishnakumar
They say it’s time to fight,
I back away.
They say there is more light,
I will not stay.
“Work hard, you’ll get it right.”
I work too much,
and get it wrong.
Stones atop one another,
pulling down with weight,
I struggle to get back up,
Lying there flat,
these words on my face.
I slowly sit up.
Getting up, brushing off,
sluicing away the worded residue.
I’m not golden, but bronze.
Bronzed with dirt, glowing bronze.
it is far more than enough.
Running far, not working so hard.
Why? It wasn’t necessary.
they say it’s time to fight,
I stand and fight.
They say there is more light.
I will stay.
Its fire never left me.
Look Back At Me
by Diana Willand
What Are We
by Tiffany Chan
Like little ants marching in straight lines across my vision,
For function, for organization, for discovery.
A little click with each black speck,
Each holding something,
They can carry the light weight of a puff of snow,
Or the hammer blow of falling hail.
They carry anguish and heavy emotions
And the lifting, lilting laughter.
Like little Oreos stacked on a white countertop,
They contain sweetness within darkness.
Each is organized, stacked one on top of the other,
Waiting to be dunked in milk and eaten.
They are like little clicks from a metronome,
Each one is coordinated,
Falling at a specific time,
Yet can be manipulated into varying tempos.
Like little hammers hitting the strings within a piano,
The next note rarely copies its forerunner.
Each note burgeoning into multiple meanings,
Echoing and repeating again, and again, and again,
Being heard differently each again, anew, afresh.
Little ants divided by spaces in straight small sentences,
Carrying such a large varied load across so many turns,
Each being different, but sometimes seeming the same.
It depends on the receiver.
You used to skip across fields of clover
as the summer sun twinkled down on
your smiling face
and mynah birds chirped all around
You used to lay on beds of
intertwining blades of grass
that glistened with dewdrops
and look up at the sky
Blue reflected in your sparkling eyes
which fluttered closed
as the milky white clouds formed a down blanket upon you
But soon the grass started to wither
Your woven beds started to unravel
replaced with stiff threads of hospital beds
The clouds began to suffocate you
and smother the sun
as the blue turned to gray
The trees burned as they shed their leaves
as Mother Nature drained them of life
and slowly began to eat away at you too
Time went by
and your grass bed became no more than bits of straw lying here and there
Gray turned to black
The clouds became angry
The trees lost their leaves for good
The sun almost disappeared
holding on for dear life
trying to shine between the clouds
You had nearly slipped away
But when the blessed spring came
the blue started to reappear
The trees were reborn
The sun returned
The clouds softened their temper
but cried tears of sorrow
tears of rage
anger at what they had done in the winter
And as a new grass bed began to weave itself once again
the rains washed away all signs of your old one
unable to hold itself together any longer
They washed away every last sign of you too
But just like the sun returns each year
and resurrects the trees and the sky
I see your smiling eyes in the rays of light shining through the clouds
And every summer
I hear your laugh in the mynah’s song
nothing like having so much to share
and not being able to share it with you
that flow through me
slip through my fingers
until the glass half full
becomes half empty
and slowly evaporates—
until nothing but the minerals
the everything not worth drinking in
i could never find this one drop in an ocean
but maybe it will reach you
on its own time
as the cycle continues
He hides between cold stares
and nonchalant contortions of face
Pretends if you plunged your best kitchen knife
into his flesh
he wouldn’t feel the skin tear
He convinces himself
his heartbeat doesn’t crash against his eardrums
He doesn’t feel the spark
swirling up his spine
when his fingers touch hers
He used to declare his emotions to the world
until this thing called growing up
hit him like a tsunami
and he could feel the crushed villages and broken houses
inside of him
The suffering consumed him like fire burns ash
And he never liked the smell of smoke
So he decided to camp out in the underground
of his soul
beneath first memories and pigments of a dusty heart
Tucked joy and sorrow into his polished briefcase
and closed it shut
He fell asleep between muscles and nerves
and tried to never wake up
Pretended he didn’t feel the forces of the world
As if there were no gravity
But all actions have gravitation
and as much as he calls himself
The Underground Man
He can never forget how to feel.