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Jasper Huegerich


burning eyes from all directions

imprint ice where no one can see

the sting of frozen conversation

is not a comfort

but it is familiar


anecdotes halted

gaze falling to the floor

numbing shame and

numbing hatred

they won’t like that

they don’t like that


but the eyes

they keep staring

their desires clear

their fury unbroken

they do not move

and they are challenged

they cannot stop it when

they shiver, shriveling

disgusted and

burned out


the truth is a soft fire

crackling and spitting sparks

stories and empathy

are the gauze wrapped around burns

and warm water run over frostbite

listening is the first aid

long desired by pained speakers

and coveted by everyone

still putting themselves back together.

To Know What It Is

Taylor Piotrowski

To know what it is I have to be still

Aware and quiet

Solitude will be mine

and I will be one

Whole, ready, me


Feeling everywhere hurts

when I touch the hidden parts of my mind

My body is aching but I’m not harming her

Listening, I learn

and discover anew


Perhaps it’s me I need most

My soul will thank me

Burning, trembling

I am changing

in overwhelmingly slow tides


Who have I brought to life

I’ve never seen nor known

She is power, grace, and peace

Rawness takes its toll

But within I’ve found my own love


Mahala Heniadis


Big brown eyes

An endless abyss

Both everything and nothing

Everyone else seemed to miss


Your face familiar

But this feeling something new

It wasn’t hard to realize

I was infatuated with you


High on cloud nine

I thank my fear of heights

For keeping me from rushing

And thinking through my frights


But no matter how long I searched

There was no happy end

I locked my feelings in a box

And kept you as a friend


I will always wish for more

But I’ll take what I can get

Because none of you is a pain

I fear I’d never forget


Emily Moore



Swarmed with humanity

Dry summer day interrupted

By sirens



Everybody rushing to the rest of their lives

Faces blurred among the crowd.


Hidden in the blur

She stood.




Fingernails dug deep into her forearms

Mouth open in a soundless screen

Brain full of TV static.


For hours she stayed

Until time stood still

And humanity turned to stone.


Leaving panic in her wake

She walked

Until concrete turned to grass

And skyscrapers morphed to trees.


The forest rose around her,

hid her and guided her

deeper and deeper into the quiet.

Away from the blur she began to notice

the patterns along the tree bark,

and the sun dappled along the forest floor.

She breathed clean air and absorbed the silence,

cleansing herself of the smog and sirens.


She sat in the calm,


until stems wrapped around her

and sprouted flowers from her eyes.

Self Love

Anonymous submission - Delivered by Edgar Allan Crow


When you look in the mirror,

what is it that you see?

Does this image make you happy,

or does it upset you?


But why care for what they think.

You make yourself happy,

you don’t want to change

because of their thoughts.


You love your image.

It makes you unique.

So why have to change?


Anonymous submission - Delivered by Edgar Allan Crow

Perfect skin, perfect hair,

Perfect eyes, nose, and body.

Many people search and search to achieve these goals.

While they gain, they also lose.

While they impress others with their looks,

They lose the ones that matters the most.


However, some people believe beauty is only skin deep.

Instead of making one look good on the outside,

They make themselves good on the inside.

Instead of “perfect” skin,

They create an open heart.

Instead of a “perfect” body,

They create a warm soul.


People tend to see only one type of beauty.

Whether it be looks,

Or the kind that is deeper than skin.

With each, both create a new person.

Whether it be the one that looks for beauty on the outside,

Or the kind that looks beyond the make-up and hair gel.

Either way, both can change the world.


Anonymous submission - Delivered by Edgar Allan Crow


The water remains still

As I stare into the depths

Wishing to step in

Wishing I could let the water consume me

Wishing to feel a calmness

I cannot seem to find


As I wish, a garden is catches my eye

through the mirrored surface

Fresh grass with infant flowers

Growing up the side of the peak that towers above

I wish I could lay in the bed of grass

And grow as the flowers do


I feel a chill as I turn to the horizon

Seeing the clouds in the heavens

They bring life to the dull canvas of of the sky

If only they could bring life to me

If only they could take me away

If only I could rest.

Unfamiliarly Familiar

Halie Barber

I felt the anticipation running through my bloodstream

And beads of sweat dripping down my forehead

It was nothing short of a dream


I was not used to the climate there,

Especially in the beginning of June when it gets warm

I was not used to the frizziness of my hair


I sat on the couch with my back facing

our door with my laptop in hand, trying to stay calm

I was trying to stop myself from anxiously pacing

Thoughts of finally seeing you for the first time

Were starting to form in my head

As that day I was finally able to see what is mine

Before you opened the door I was growing

Anxious that you were only a character in my head

I was terrified at the thought of you not showing

But there you were and there I was

Standing face to face in that rented apartment

And I came to realize there truly was an “us”

On top of it, my sweat beads were now uncontrollable

Shaking in my legs and in my arms

My reaction was laughable

After waiting for what seemed like years

I was finally in your arms

It was then that I truly had no fears

The world could have been flipped upside down

Torn in half and burned to its core and

I wouldn't have known

You made everything okay, more than okay

And it felt that way even when you had to go

Because I knew you were mine  and you would always stay

It was then that I realized, home is not a place

It is not somewhere you sleep, eat, or bathe

Anywhere could be home if that were the case

Home is a feeling of belonging, of safety, of love

It is a feeling you get with someone or something

They make you feel home wherever you go

Home is with you, I am sure of it

Because wherever we go together, I feel like I belong

Even if we aren’t familiar with it

Thank you for letting me come home

Thank you for making me feel not so alone

The Fawn

Isaiah Holland

As dusk approaches in the bright blue sky

The evening fawn wandered about in the greenish bush

The young one did suddenly approach a path of some sort



The little one pursued coplike

Viciously working

The little one brushed through the reeds, nettles, and tall grass before his side

O’ the fawn hears something…


The sound of a creek is there

Looking about

Jumpers were spotted,

Squirrels were squirming,

Water was flowing,

The leaves rustled above the big canopy

Wind blew

Sky was blue

The air was glittered with flowing cotton


The fawn creeks, across the wooden board

A steep drop not looking down

Across, appears a slope

Little feet make an effort up




Now at the top,

The fawn stepped on the oak bridge

Of honor

He looked about, saw the valley

Vividly, one he would never forget


Anna Poull

A coral polyp: a small creature of the sea

Forging a place for itself in the vast reef

Establishing itself as an individual among the masses



Creating a groundwork on the sandy floor

Adding new pretty pink parts each day

Building up its hardened shell

Preparing for the attacks from the world outside the reef



Throbbing as sections crumble under the strain of storms

Struggling to understand why the parrot fish that swam serenely through the coral’s boughs suddenly took a second piece from the coral itself



Understanding that doomsday dangers don’t come only from the outside

Accepting that the hardened shell built for the tiny polyp within has become protection from the ones within the reef's boundaries



Releasing the older sections

Watching as they fall to the saffron sand

Making room for new limbs to stretch out

Flourishing as each bough of salmon pink coral reaches towards the bright sunlight high above



Following the lives of the tiny tiger sharks who grow bigger and leave the reef

Watching as new polyps come and old corals go

Rebuilding after the attacks and the storms

Standing tall for thousands of years to come

A Day Without the Light of Kindness

Sydney Rychtik

A day without the light of kindness,

is like drowning in a sea of sorrow.

Everything around you seems lifeless,

as you wonder what comes tomorrow.

Hostility will consume each day like a devouring fire,

but the dark cloud will continue to pursue.

Your minuscule quantity of happiness begins to expire,

as it turns your mind blistering blue.

Avoiding the act of indecency,

will leave you in a state of delight.

Your life continues peacefully,

and your mind is not a gunfight.

For we know that you can choose your mindset,

but kindness should always be deadset.

Until Him

Emma Delie

Never was it full of warmth; only a simple flutter.

Never did I think I would feel the full emotion of love.


Until him.

His damages could break hearts, but I only saw his strength.

His soft green eyes guard his thoughts and constants, only I saw straight through them.

I admire his imperfections and insecurities, reminding me of the beauty within humanity.

He enlightens me with challenges which never fail my heart nor mind.

I have never craved anything more than to make this man beam.

And I have never felt more completed knowing both his demons and angels.

His phrases catch my mind and thoughts; admiring his complexity.

His scars tell me stories, memorable ones, but sad ones in moderation.

And his poetry paints his palette; defining his soul.

With everything in me, there is nothing I would change about him.


Anonymous submission - delivered by Edgar Allan Crow

I was water.

Smooth, gentle, but glass like.

He was fire.

Hot, destructive, and angry.

Together my gentle waves came crashing down

like the glass my heart,


and soul

is made of.

His fire died out just like the lives of the many beautiful full trees in autumn.


His spark,


and passion

burned faster than he did

until he was stripped away to the




person he truly is.

The only thing he wanted from me was a


He wanted to be in


for six months out of the year.

When he realized his six months was up

he moved on to his next woman who he

treated like a rose

that could be

thrown away because of her



As my hands turned


and my mind went


his lying,



words soon became the sentences that

rang in my head

at night.


after migraine

the singular words that I soon realized were


sunk into my brain

until they were unreachable

but still lingered in my ears.


He never loved me,

he loved my ability to pretend

that I didn’t know who he actually was,

what he actually was.

His hunger

dripped from the corners of his mouth,

looking at me like I’m

just another girl he can break,

break so easily.

Just by the look in his


I knew he could.








washed away

by the


that began to

crash uncontrollably

and beat down

till there was

nothing left to me.

I am the shell

of what I once was.

He changed me,

changed the way I





The deep love

I had for him was the

only thing on my mind

till there was nothing else to think,

besides the feeling of



and my

aching mind.


He made me feel

anything but whole.

I felt


and every day I felt

less and less

like myself.

His heart

was empty from the start,

I was too


to see it,

and too


to feel it.


As the days go by


your name still


in my head as a

negative connotation,

but at the same time it

rings with




love which leaves me



days upon end.


It must hurt

to know that I am your most






Anonymous submission - Delivered by Edgar Allan Crow 

I don’t like to speak his name but he knows mine all too well

He blinds me with his dark hands, my world no longer pastel

I can’t see him coming, he makes no sound, taste, or smell

He gets power out of my tears

He chokes back any sound I make

He’ll gladly cover my ears

When I try to talk it aches

I stutter and shake

He smiles from behind me

He makes sure I can feel it when people stare

Even if those people aren’t really there

I can no longer sleep



He’s always there and I’m never safe

He holds my wrist tightly

I try to creep away lightly

But he always sees me

I can no longer run

Will I still be followed at thirty?

He says it’s only just begun

My music is the only thing that helps

But it’s not forever

He’s clever

He brushes his hand down my neck

He knows I’m a wreck

His music plays in minor

His torture methods are designer

He speeds up my breathing

The panic starts to seep in

He scratches up and down my skin

God help me I feel him

And suddenly it stops, there’s no more pain

Apathy covers him up, my anxiety

But he will surely come again

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