Connemara, Ireland

by Kylie Marden

_Connemara, Ireland_ by Kylie Marden

Glass

by Nikhil Krishnamurthy

Glass. That’s what the man felt like. He carried a pot on his back. The world around him was solid; a barren expanse of grass. He walked with his burden across the land, towards a city in the distance. He did not seem to be getting any closer. He looked to his right and saw a small cottage with a chimney shaft spewing smoke. He made his way to it. By the time he arrived, his burden was too great and would have collapsed, if not for a robed person who caught him. The man looked into the robed person’s face. He did not see a face, as it was covered by a mask. He was brought inside to a small yet warm setting. A fire blazed in a fireplace. In front of it sat a couch. The robed person sat the man down on the couch, taking the pot off of his back. The man took the pot in his arms as he sat, clutching it with both arms like a mother would clutch her child. The robed person brought a chair in front of the couch, facing the man. “What is in the pot?” The robed person asked. The man said nothing. The robed person asked, “Why do you carry it?” The man responded, “It is a part of me. I can not let go of it.” The robed person asked him to open it, and the man obliged cautiously. He lifted the cap off and inside were tiny floating flames of different colors. “Let me help you carry these fires,” the robed person said. “It will be easier with my help.” The man said, “I can not ask you to do that. It would be selfish of me.” The robed person reached into the pot and took out half of the fires, looking into them. “Let me keep these for it will lessen your burden.” The man said nothing, but stood and strapped the pot to his back. It felt lighter. The robed person sat watching him. The man left the cottage and continued his trek alone.

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Photograph by David Tsitrin

_Untitled_ (Kraken) by Yuying Fan

The Kraken

by Joshua Pak

They call me every synonym of malicious.

In truth, I only want to make friends.

Yet my success has been anything but auspicious,

Indeed I have been slain in every way:

Medusa’s head, a pegacorn’s grace, some pirate’s lead.

I’ve always extended a hug in camaraderie,

However receive blows and hurt instead.

When I squeeze back in small retribution,

They say they are the ones that bled.

Look at everyone else around me.

It’s not like I’m similar to the Wyrm,

Who doesn’t take his allergy meds.

Or the beautiful Gumiho,

That rips gentle hearts to shreds.

I’m actually nice to those at sea.

Pushing them to their destinations,

And even giving them much needed lee.

I guess I’ll always be misunderstood.

People fear me too much to stop and listen,

Even if I try to do good.

 

Sky Lines

by Kylie Marden


The World Is Theirs

by Elizabeth Atherton

 

The world is theirs

They feel it now

As the city obeys tradition.

Traffic moves.

Lights change.

The movement of people,

Each so insignificant

 

They feel the sun on their face,

And the weight of gravity pulling

Down

 

But high,

High above the monotony

Their hands clutch a mug,

A heavy jumper reassures them,

Holds tight in a warm embrace

As they see the sky lighten

 

They cannot yet understand the rules

Separate the clarity of melody in the starting day

From the contrasting harmony,

The deep thrum of the daily rhythm.

 

But as the night ends,

They know

 

The world is theirs for the taking

 

Rio Grande, Puerto Rico

by Sara Dean

Rio Grande, Puerto Rico by Sara Dean


Open Doors

by Annie Qian

 

The front door to your home.

You’ve never really thought about it, have you? It’s just a door. You turn the knob and open it. Once you go through the doorway, you turn the knob again and close it. Maybe you turn the lock, too, or you put a key in to turn the lock the other way. Sometimes you decorate it for a holiday. But it’s never seemed like anything special, right? It’s just there. Just a door.

But is it really just a door? It certainly looks like one. It’s a tall wooden rectangle painted green or brown or blue, with a shiny metal knob and lock dulled by the touch of countless hands. Each of those hands belonged to a person who probably passed through the door at some point. Guests have been welcomed on either side of that wooden divider, and farewells have been said. How many times has a “hi” and a “bye” been said under the door’s simple frame? How many times has it been slammed in a fit of anger so hard that the force makes it tremble? What kind of news has passed under this door? A spontaneous party at a neighbor’s house? The death of a relative? Festivities for a holiday?

Up until I was about nine or ten years old, that worn green door was the portal to fun and imagination. At that time, I didn’t have much homework to do, and neither did my neighbors, so we would play together almost every afternoon. I’d hear a ding-dong from the doorbell and rush to the sound, opening the door to see my friends’ grinning faces. Then they would say that simple line.

“Do you want to play?”

Sometimes we’d play in their yard, sometimes in my yard. But most of the time, the game began and finished with the opening of the front door. The parent would call, and that would be the end of it. That door saw the last goodbye from me to my friends in the summer between second and third grade, before I left that door behind and moved on to a new one.

The new door is not used to me, nor I to it. It has seen visitors come and go, and it has opened the way to fun and imagination — but not for me. Now it is my brother’s turn to dash to the door at the sound of the doorbell, to open it to find his friends waiting. My relationship with the door is like two workers in a factory. When it signals that someone is here, I go and open it. When the guests have stepped inside, I close it. When the path to it is buried by snow in winter, I go dig it out. We work with each other, but we are not friends any longer. It is just there. Just a door.