“The Sky Above” by Meera Joseph; “Jewel” by Anne Fu

fishfortsacoyanus

In yesterday’s light he touched me like

I had been made by God when all I wanted was

to turn my back; the stars sung our romance to

dead-eyed poets and hung themselves in constellations for

voyeurs; I am not a voyeur. I did not want love. My

mother unintentionally taught me when she

showed me the roadkill between her thighs: stories

are for those who do not have; love is a net

we wrap around our hearts like fish farmers casting

around unwilling tuna; us trawling paper doll limbs

safely towards death. She and I explore deep sea instead,

away from fake light, empty-sky-love. He wore a

cross around his neck every day and said God

breathed the stars like last night’s salmon. My

fingers felt the tapestry he wove fabricating fact

and fancy like it was okay to be ensnared.  Does religion

also feel like the open ocean? Shakespeare must have

lied when he tried to write love: it doesn’t die in

death; it dies in wanting.

“Water” by Tessali Hogan; “Moana” by Nala Wu

moana-by-nala-wu

nothing like having so much to share

and not being able to share it with you

the stories

laughs

deep contemplations

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 dirt

the everything not worth drinking in

or absorbing

is left

 

i could never find this one drop in an ocean

but maybe it will reach you

on its own time

as the cycle continues

“Birds”by Srija Nagireddy; “10/12/16” by Daisy Yin

10-12-16-by-daisy-yin

Birds.

Kings of the sky

Created to soar

Above common existence.

Then why,

Are their deceased not laid to rest,

In brilliant blue.

Why is there no place for them among the clouds?

No stellar grave.

Wings rugged with use,

Broken.

They plummet.

A burial of

Asphalt,

Dirt,

Grass.

 

Why is it that Death,

Blind with milky eyes,

Groping in the dark.

Death who takes,

The first to receive his leaden touch.

Why is it that he does not look,

How far you have flown,

How many stars you have touched?

 

Birds.

Airborne creatures trapped

By illusions of escape.

“The Underground Man” by Hannah K With Artwork by Julie C

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.