Poetry

Yearning for Youth      

 

I removed my glasses while looking out the moving car window,

In hopes of seeing the world again through the innocent eyes of a child.

                                                    Kelsey Weaver

The Birdhouse

From the corner of my eye

I see her swoop down

land softly on the perch

she detects my gaze

offers her smile

then trails off

in warbles.

 

After a few blinks

I hobble over to adjust

greeting her notes

with deeper bellows

until we both are

dancing in

the same key.

 

Pecks and long swallows

captivate our beaks

while the beat flutters

between the floorboards

rustling like fallen leaves

as autumn blesses us

with fiery sunsets.

 

Our silhouettes move 

with every passing flame

humming the melody

of a forgotten tune

reaching new notes

we couldn't sing

before.

 

Cradling both wings

as I shield her fears

like a mighty bulwark

echoes are cast off

night grows calm

our hearts lie safe

in the birdhouse.

Timothy Burt

Safe Passage

They were turned away upon arrival

Deemed unworthy of inalienable rights

Between the borders of tyranny

And freedom was a river

That carved through the landscape

Oblivious to the martial decree.

 

Searching for places of refuge

Running from absolute fear

Behind them was horror

Disgrace and bloodshed

Few options remained

Ahead of them.

 

Out of step with humanity

Those in power harbored

Denials of brotherhood

To neighbors in need

Severing many ports

Of safe passage.

Timothy Burt

The Virus                   

it was anything but tactile,

divisive and seething.

inches away from contact,

pursuing the next victim

inside their servers.

 

daring to be seen,

it was so out of scope.

slithering through veins,

distorting the landscape

while arguing for honesty.

 

it devoured every titan

of art and literature,

like a thief lacking remorse.

crashing parties of influence

on its path to blackout.

Timothy Burt          

Sonder

 

A fleeting dream we all share

Felt through our hypnosis 

Which glazes our eyes so as to lose ourselves in the garden of man.

Yet this dream for us is a constant nightmare

For we yearn to know if we are all alone.

                                                                                                     A fleeting dream all my own

                                                                                felt through my own induced hypnosis.

                            It glazes my sight with happiness from my own shred of the garden.

                                                                                    Yet my dream is a constant nightmare

                                                                           Because I don’t even know if I'm all alone.

 

Are we really all alone?

Or

Is that just what we tell ourselves?

Benjamin Geisler

PLUTO

Verse 1: I wonder how it feels to feel everything happening around you

So suddenly you’re drifting 

Verse 2: How does one feel

How does one make it a good thing

Happen so fast

Gone in a whisper going ’round town

Gifting everyone with your presence

But I don't want you to know

I don't want you to know 

Chorus: I wonder how it feels

The way you drift away and feel nothing at all

Nothing at all

It seems the world's a mess and you gotta move

To a place unknown

Like Pluto 

Verse 3: I will fall and stand tall

I will wail and drag

And you will be right there

In the back of my mind

Making me stop in my tracks

And I think about what I’ve done

But I don’t know what I’ve done

I wonder how it feels OH 

Chorus: I wonder how it feels

The way you drift away and feel nothing at all

Nothing at all

It seems the worlds a mess and you gotta move

To a place unknown

Like Pluto

COMEBACK 

 

Verse 1: The times they flew by

And there's a new look in your eye

I’m not sure how, but you’re gone

I’m not sure why

But it keeps me up at dawn 


Verse 2: Seeing you with new friends I should be happy but I feel a pain that’s hard to describe

It’s one that leaves you wanting to cry 


Chorus: Come back to my arms

So I can be seen again In the sway of your song

But I don’t know

Come back to my arms so I can be seen again

In the sway of your song In the sway of your Song 


Verse 3: I want to be heard I want you to see that I can’t stand the way that you look

When you look at me 


Verse 4: And It’s hard to be okay

When your thoughts invade your brain

“Let it escape”

But it’s not that easy 


Chorus: Come back to my arms

So I can be seen again

In the sway of your song

But I don’t know

Come back to my arms so I can be seen again

In the sway of your song

In the sway of your Song 


Verse 4: How can I be happy

When you single me out wanting to play

But it's not fun and games

When I'm the one getting hurt

You think it’s just okay to be that way

But it’s wearing me down

Kinda want to go home 
 

Selah Daigneault

Ode to the Girl in the Pink Pajamas 

As a child, I fantasized about what kind of death I would die— 

Never the life just beyond my ever reaching fingertips. Escape replaced pleasure

when the figures surrounding me crawled through me like trap doors into

themselves.

Trapped in the silence between sentences, freedom

looks like fewer apologies to unconquered guilt and

liberation reeks of sulfur. And joy, oh joy, of the sweet

scent of self returning.

I’ll build my body from these ruins again, soak my feet in salt

water to make them invincible, Surround my skin in sage to

cleanse it of its death. I’ll pull stone after stone off the

shoreline of my body and pull myself out from under the

coral beds of my thoughts. 

Lies began to taste like the backhand slap of a father’s twisted love poem, and the truth ached

like the severed beginnings without endings my mother started each day. People can’t decide

if I have my mother’s eyes or my father’s. Either way, they see the pain.

Maybe I just have my own eyes. My own grape eyes, always

trying to make wine, pouring out of plants I’ve grown in them,

filling narcissistic glasses.

I remember my first funeral — I burned my pink pajamas, laid down in the dirt, begged the sky

to fall on my chest, tuck me into the soil, and kiss me goodnight. 

I washed my own mouth out with soap and salt water, to cleanse my prayers and numb the

arteries of my thoughts. 

Was I courageous for loving myself as an infant, unknowingly? Is it only when

you know the consequence of your action that you become brave? 

“Fragile” rings in my ears like when someone is talking about you. Talking about you.

Never to you.

And for your information, I am not fragile like a flower, I am fragile like a

bomb. I can explode, opposed to continuously imploding back into myself

like falling buildings.

I can desecrate lands that came before me and boil the core of the earth I stand upon.

And yet I do not. And yet I do not ache. And yet I am at home in my mind now, soon to be

home in my skin. And yet it does not ache within me. I seek not to destroy those who have

destroyed me. I long to be evergrowing like the fragile flower that saunters up each coming

lifetime to meet spring. I long to be like a fragile flower that pollinates the world with its

exuberance, feeding its many children. I long to be the fragile flower that peeks from the

burial grounds it's been laid to rest in six, seven, eight, nine times over. 

I will soak my coiled body in milk baths each night, and curl into myself to find

refuge. I will tangle within ache from limb to limb and heal — pain no longer

punishes me. 

I’ll wreak havoc on my doubt, rip open the seams of my fear. I’ll

ignite flames in the belly of my indecision. I’ll burn churches of my

anger, destroy the institutions of my guilt.

I will forgive my hips for cracking open to fit the guilt of someone else’s lost

childhood. I will forgive my womb for shedding its anger for months after. I will

forgive my arms for being willing to bleed the things I could not swallow. I will

forgive my mother’s praying eyes, and my father’s lying gaze. 

I am not apologies wrapped in skin. I am not a victim. I am a survivor. I do not forgive the

torment of my childhood, but I forgive the little girl who resides in the pit of my stomach.

She is at peace now.

Something within me died in between bleeding pleads and silent anger.

But death makes room for life. Death makes room for peace.

Mikayla Foster

Her World Is What I Crave 

In her world

The sunflowers could never grow too tall.

In her world

Yellows could never be too bright.

In her world

Her body is the canvas

To the most beautiful art,

Permanent and temporary.

In her world

Elephants couldn’t be more precious.

In her world 

Jim and Pam are goals.

In her world

Is where I saw my desired future,

Where my fears disappeared,

My worries were forgotten,

Where my smile was genuine.

Her world isn’t perfect,

But it was perfect to me.

In her world

I found all my favorite things.

Her favorite things

Quickly became mine.

In what was once our world,

I discovered love.

In her world,

I found true happiness.

Now I must find it in mine.

But her world,

Her world is what I crave.

Ronnie Miller Jr.

The Play

 

From north to south

We both queue up to be seen
By a light that floods the stage.

Your silhouette
In this perdition where we hang our hats
Resembles wildfire.

 

The audience is struck with awe

I can accompany their admiration

The embers usher in the sunset.

Your warmth grows powerful

The distant beauty of a collapsing star.

Before I reside to ash
I steal the spotlight.

The sunrise feels like home.

Dillon Duke

Self Aware

 

Each day,

I watch the water 

Drip from the petals—

I watch the sun 

Beat down on the garden.

 

I wonder why

Won’t you grow?

I have given you water—

I have given light—

What more do you yearn for?

 

How much do I need to give?

I cannot unbury your roots,

I cannot fix them.

 

I know they are there, 

Although I cannot see them,

I wish you would grow.

 

I will continue to water you,

Give you light,

Maybe one day—

You will expand.

Kelly Berry

Where I'm From

 

I am from my dark and cozy, tiny house

behind the garage and dirt in my sandbox.

From clothespins and cracked windows,

from sunburns and exhaust fumes.

 

I am from my pink barbie jeep on a

gravel driveway.

 

I am from cheesy nachos, french fries, and

creamed corn, from SpongeBob SquarePants

and Sesame Street.

 

I’m from the Locust tree, whose

long limbs hold me up while I read.

From the floatie that sunk me,

to the book that stumped me.

 

I am who I am to be.

Down to earth with resilience.

Regina Fish 

Suffer/age

 

The light is waning in this dream. I live in the farmhouse 

I grew up in, the one erased by fire decades ago, only 

it’s a sleeper cabin rattling by on tracks where 

my horse used to run. I am not alone. Susan B. hovers, 

all restless energy, fussing at Elizabeth Stanton, hurrying 

the writer who is preoccupied with the page, the page 

and the words upon the page, the importance 

of the words, they are the snorting horses 

in her heart, they pound the dirt, 

they must be heard—

 

Oh yes, Susan interrupts, oh yes, and that is why

the suffering horses that carry us through this dust

are galloping, galloping, soon 

they will rush off without us, if 

only we could ride, right now, these 

horses, ride them into every village, let 

the people see their gleaming 

sweat, the stench and glory 

that they are, then they would

change their minds, get off 

the tracks that keep us going always 

in the old direction.

 

Susan steals the pages, glances at them, smiles,

and, staring for a moment through the window

at the land, the land and people, the young men

 

and old men, the men with strong backs and fingers

clasping the reins on their women, saddling their women,

thrusting the bit into their teeth and whipping,

 

ever so gently, quietly, into the wind where one hears them.

She thrusts the speech into the splintered sill,

a letter to the future, and I awaken.

Kathleen McCoy

MOLLY

 

In cool grey Dublin air, I stopped
when I saw her grey eyes, grey sweatshirt

under dappled skies as a magpie dove
onto the pedestrian mall—the flash

before a storm pours down. In a magic
circle of her making, neat chalk-word

messages in yellow, pink, green—Hello,
I’m Molly, ready to work, please, please

 

help me, God bless you, please help—she at last

looked up to see me trying to see past

her cross-legged slump, blond, messy bun,
lines in her face etched too deeply for one

so young. Whatever pain I thought I knew
melted on the pavement at Molly's feet.

On this broad avenue of posh stores, where
trash is whisked away, where most hurry past,

our eyes met. I don’t understand what they saw.
I bent to give a couple coins but not my coat, not

lunch, not real conversation. I swear the stones

whispered prayers that she be safe, be seen.

 

Not belonging there in the first place, still
I’ll return this winter hoping to find


on that clean-swept spot no young lady, no
one buried there under sightless glances.

Kathleen McCoy

To My Younger Self 

 

Take, for instance, the first and last memory 

of your mom’s slim mother, the measure 

of her dark dress, her sweet, crooked smile, 

 

graying auburn curls tacked into a bun

that sprouted tendrils like ivy shoots,

her playful wish to know us nearly as deep 

 

as her desire to lie down and rest at last,

a rest free of demands or judgment,

pain or cost, burning hunger or gnawing 

 

disappointment. We made a tight, imperfect

circle, three women, twin sister, and you,

attempting a cross between the can-can

 

and the circle game of Ring Around the Rosey recalled

from days of plague and famine, Irish blood hoisting

our legs into a prance and taking our bodies with it, 

 

we youngest propelling the circle ever faster, dragging it

into the future, feet flying until our whirling spun

past cancer’s replication, past the addition of height

 

to bones, past subtraction from bones, past

distance and questions, past divisions

of years, past rising and subsiding hemlines,

 

worries, men, wars, and agonies of loss— 

one low, raw, spiraling, lyrical prayer.

The Older You will wonder whether our ancestors

 

were right there despite the ruckus 

in the hushed forests of our hearts, peeling 

the math like spuds, clapping as we wagged.

Kathleen McCoy

Carry Me

carry me from this hell

i'm tired of burning burning 

     burning

my ventricles ignite each time

i picture myself living 

a better life

                perhaps now

is the time to plead

 

carry me away from this cage

     i have built

i don't remember if i swallowed

the key or melted it down 

to a pointless

            figurine 

you might have to hire a 

                                         locksmith

but they may quit before 

                                even trying

 

i'm so sorry for the shambles

        you see

i'm so sorry for how hard

 these bars are

i must have used iron and steel

and everything 

                       in between

and i wouldn't blame you

for leaving me here

to collect more dust and pump

     more rust

through this forsaken heart

 

i am so tired

 of waiting

so tired of saying

                                     someday

and i'll understand if today

isn't that someday

 and if you

aren't that someone

but i'd be a fool not to at least

                    try

so i'll ask you once more

please carry me

carry me to safety

to an eden 

          a haven

a place better than here

 

carry me 

                save me

from myself

because i am suffocating 

 on my own breath

carry me

 

you cannot carry me

                      i am too heavy 

in all the ways

every sense of the phrase

i am

              too heavy

to expect someone 

  to take on

all of this

 

                           everything

i have spent so long 

accumulating and 

trying to lose

        but baggage

is all i've ever had

                                      you see

so i hold on to it

like it's the only thing

  in my life

that               means something

and i know you

could      mean something too

 

so you could try to

                             carry me

if you truly want to

but i will not lash out in anger

when you find i am

      too much

and i will not blame you

for walking

      away

because i would too

i wish i could walk away from me

                                            too

all i ask

if you choose to carry me

      and find your trying is worth naught

promise me one thing

 

set me down     

                       gently

Casey Garner

Gotham

I'm not a stranger to unknowing,

unlearning,

unloving.

Trying to force Memory's hand 

and place a burlap sack over your head.

Drive you to the pier

and push your toes to the edge —

but wait...not this way.

Craft a dungeon of brick and mortar.

Iron bars locked with a skeleton key

hung out of your reach.

I turn and leave, your screams

echoing, my ears burning

and buzzing and ringing until

quiet.

 

For a time I am content.

I forget the screams, how dry

your throat must be.

Forget the iron bars and skeleton key.

Forget the pier and sack

and how I abducted you from her.

 

Then she came screeching back.

Demanding your freedom 

from the dark place I cast you

so she could hold you again. 

 

You see, Memory has a way

of getting what she wants. 

I tried to reason with her —

to warn her we were better off

leaving you there until nothing was left

but an empty locked cell.

 

She didn't listen

because she wanted to know

and learn and love. 

And she tried her hardest

to know who you are and learn

what you wanted and be

someone you could love.

She tried

until the only thing left to do was

unknow,

unlearn,

and unlove

all over again.

 

I have a feeling she'll listen this time

and we'll leave it all at the pier.

Casey Garner

Forest to Shore

The forest tangled in my rib cage

aches with a jitter of a frantic never.

Peach dust dances in my hair,

and you can smell the wild cherry

from my last shot of whiskey.

I take a picture of you in my mind

because I know I don't have enough

to keep your ship from sailing on.

And I'll bleed. And I'll feel the crushing blow.

Delirious girl always craving boys

full of storms whispering shadows.

But summer has a way of urging risk.

It has me thinking that,

just maybe, I could sail with you.

Maybe I could weather your waves,

and perhaps I'd be willing to risk it all

on your sea.

 

To my surprise, you named me gorgeous girl,

and I see you are no boy, but a man.

And all at once I want to worship you

like the tides worship the shore.

Casey Garner

Soul Sister

You are silver lace, and I am goldenrod.

If I am the red fox, you are the sea otter.

We are quick in our own ways,

Sly in water, and on land.

 

You are Iris, while I am Aphrodite.

You are a cool breeze -

While I am  hot summer sand.

We would live by the ocean, if we could.

 

If I am cinnamon then you are black pepper,

Our spices potent, burning. 

You are the scented wax, while I am the flame,

The fire that breaks down notes of Gardenia, Lily, Vanilla.

 

I am the song, and you are the dance,

Or would it be the opposite?

You are living on Poplar Street,

While I’m still on Love with Morrison.

 

You are caught in the twinkle of my eye,

I live in the apple of yours.

Here we are time after time.

As the same person, on different lifelines, at the same time.

Alexandrea Scarchilli

The Year I Disappeared

I stand at the edge

of a very high cliff

My feet bare and bruised

Like the rest of me

My demon always behind me

With one hand on my back

He inks my skin

With those hands of his

In secret places 

I wish I protected

That ink spreads all over

And stains my white dress

He pulls behind my ear

My short hair I hate

And whispers devil words

In my ears

And I stay here

For that kiss that takes my soul away

Yet looking at this ink

All over me

And these bruises

All over me

I feel my heart bleeding

Begging for peace

Begging for love

But my demon loves me

Doesn't he?

That's what his whispers say

But would love

Put me on this cliff?

But would love

Give me these bruises?

But would love

Be this violent?

Looking down at the bottom

Of this very high cliff

I know my demon

Wants me to go

But I'll surely die

And I want to live

Begone, my dear demon

Take your eyes of golden brown with you

They won't fool me anymore

Take your sweet lips with you

I won't be poisoned by them again

I'll purify you down to every last bit

I'll grow out this hair of mine that I love

Until it flows all around me

And let the cherry blossoms above me

Paint my stained dress pink

And heal this lovely skin of mine

I won't need you to love me

So long as I love me

Samantha Khemili-Volungus

Editor

Trigger Warning

 

They say I should get ‘trigger warning’ tattooed on my forehead.

 

They say I’ve gotten a little too comfortable in telling my rape story,

That I should stop being so outspoken.

That I’ll trigger someone.

 

They say I should get ‘trigger warning’ tattooed on my forehead.

 

They say I should stop saying his name out loud,

As if I’m ruining his life more than he has ruined mine.

As if I’m not warning the people around me.

 

They say I should get ‘trigger warning’ tattooed on my forehead.

 

They say I should have just left when I realized something was wrong,

That I shouldn’t have been so weak back then.

That me choosing to wait, for my own safety, is my own damn fault.

 

They say I should get ‘trigger warning’ tattooed on my forehead.

 

They say that I should have taken him to court,

Even though my entire hometown was enamored with him.

That I should have been stronger back then.

 

They say I should get ‘trigger warning’ tattooed on my forehead.

 

They say that instead of publishing my poetry about him,

I should have just kept my mouth shut.

That I was going to just cause more “false accusations”.

 

They say I should get ‘trigger warning’ tattooed on my forehead.

 

They look at us and define us not as victims,

But as trigger warnings.

Because our outspoken words cause them discomfort.

 

They say I should get ‘trigger warning’ tattooed on my forehead.

In bold red letters,

As if I am the real threat in this small hometown!

Kelsie Burnard

IMG_8513.JPG.jpg

To Love The Broken 

I’ve diminished myself into the smallest fragment I know.

Contaminated by reckless decisions.

These bones don’t work anymore.

Am I just crestfallen cries echoing through thin walls?

Walls in which I am, in whole, contained?

My expansive vocabulary,

Now amounted to derogatory terminology,

I can hide behind these words, right?

 

Downcasting is normalized.

This body is idealized,

Yet I tear at in from the inside out,

And pull the corset tighter.

“I’m not doing this for me.”

Ignore the growls of grievance,

Hearts still beat here.

There’s no need to over dramatize the situation.

“On a scale from one to ten?”

Pain demands to be felt,

Everything’s on the inside,

There’s no scars to amount for the suffering.

“Zero, I’m fine.”

 

I was handed confirmation,

In a small yellow envelope.

I just lied through yellow stained teeth.

“Eligible to go back to work.”

“Included work restrictions below.”

“Lost 25 pounds.”

Bolded, yet glossed over blindly.

I can safely secure my position this year,

As one of the gravestones in Carousel Plaza,

Since I won’t be seeing the end of September.

 

No, instead I’ll be watching the scale,

A line strictly set on one hundred and ten,

In hopes of making a steadying incline.

This skin is gripping onto something, right?!

“On a scale of one to ten?”

“Ten.”

“Doc, I think I’m dying. . .”

Kelsie Burnard

It Came In The Form Of A Glass

Succulent,

Seduced

With each sip.

Just

         one

                     more

And

         another

 

       and

another.

A  downward

 

S

P

I

R

A

L

 

Belligerent eyes

And a heavy heart

What is the purpose?

Of

This

Liquid Poison?  

Judgment is what you lose first,

They say,

But it was I

Who

Kept

Losing.

Angelina Loubrielle

            Editor

My Story Isn’t Over

 

Ode to my brain

With memories,

Life experiences,

Repressed

         Or

Forgotten,

Cherished

And

Loved:

Show to the surface

Of the vast life

I have lived.

The good,

The bad,

The ugly,

The laughs,

The tears,

The pain.

                     All

Deserve a chapter

Of

Their

Own.

Let my brain remind me

And

Pen guide me

For every forgotten detail

Should not be forgotten

At

         All.

Angelina Loubrielle

           Editor

The Smallest Thing

A gentle eyelash

Brushing shadows over cheeks

Fluttering under the mass of tears

Or rain 

Or snow

Blinking closed for bright sunrise

Or the sweet song of sleep

Or laughter

Flicking purposefully at a mascara wand

Or a thought

Or a lover

Falling loose

And getting caught 

At the arch of a cheek

Gently, preciously, gathered on a fingertip

And asked to carry the weight

Of a wish

Emily Rose Hein

                     Editor 

Liar

You held me close and helped me stand.

You sang my name and bandaged my hands.

You were my dearest friend. 

I loved you.

I told you many secrets, whispered against your skin.

You were too busy playing with my hair to hear.

You lied. 

And I hate that I held you so close,

But you thought we were only shaking hands.

(And delighted in my cherishing you.) 

 

Your mom still sends me letters.

I know her secret family recipes. 

She tells me that she only hears from you on holidays.

She tells me she wants to see me again this summer.

I may never even speak with you again,

But I’ll be damned if your brothers aren’t some of my best friends.

(And I’ll be damned if you get to keep breaking what isn’t yours.)

 

They talk about me at Christmas,

The scarf I knew she'd love,

Those cookies I made in September,

The pictures and postcards from Italy.

Have fun honey.

Have fun remembering the best of me. 

(Because all I remember of you,

Is that you

Lied.)

Emily Rose Hein

                     Editor

 

Daughter

Every time she is introduced,

Your name comes first,

And then the easy version of hers follows.

These strangers know nothing about her but you.

It’s not surprising,

That after so many years of her-but-you,

You have no idea who she is.

What she wants.

You never had much of an idea to begin with.

She has always been Useless Daughter,

Until you no longer had Brilliant Son.

Then, all she was and all she is, 

Lonely girl of windswept fields

Happy girl running with hounds

Singing wildness and half-untamed,

Became an empty doll.

Your anger-failure-pressure-requirement-debt-owed-ownership

Hollowed out everything about her. 

And filled her with nothing but razor edges.

 

Someday you will decide you need her, 

And you will try to call me by the name of a sad little girl,

Who never knew what she did wrong,

But did know you didn’t want her

For anything more than a display.

That little girl isn’t yours anymore. 

I’ve wrapped her up inside myself,

She’s mine to love and teach and cherish.

So when you call that name,

And are not answered by a child,

But by a terrible beautiful fable monster,

You will lose every idea of entitlement,

Because your china-doll child 

Has been made into a broken glass and bloody thorn

Me.

Emily Rose Hein

                     Editor

 

 

Too Much and Not Enough

I have always been too much and not enough.

Too much for my mother to hate, not enough for her to love.

Too much for my father to leave, not enough for him to stay.

Too much story, not enough substance.

Too much dreaming, not enough doing.

Too many ideas, not enough initiative.

Too much hope, not enough honesty.

And to think, I’m thinking and writing and feeling this,

and it’s not even ten o’clock at night, on a saturday, that was never going to be fantastic, 

but should have been fine.

But today is the day that I sobbed in my car, driving the same path I always do.

Too much drama, not enough brains.

Too much emotion, not enough sense.

Because I started thinking about how I love my mom, but I can’t, because I don’t think she knows how to love me.

Too much silence, not enough meaning.

And I’m also thinking about how I’m terrified that I’m going to ruin my own life, and others’ because I don’t know if I can pass that class. 

Too much trying, not enough succeeding.

Or do taxes, or afford to fix my car, 

or take a road trip to the ocean I love so much, or save up enough money, or be happy in life. 

Too much talking, not enough walking.

Or fall out of love so that I can find it again somewhere. 

Too much love, not enough reason.

I don’t know how to tell my friend I believe in them even though I don’t actually know if they can succeed. 

Too much belief, not enough planning.

I don’t know how to help my friend who just lost her baby. 

Too much grief, not enough healing.

I don’t know how to tell the people who have kept me alive and who help me breathe, that they’re more of my family than anyone else. 

Too much trouble, not enough reward.

I don’t know how to tell my grandmother that I really love her, but I hate her because she keeps ripping out pieces of me, while talking like she’s just scrubbing out a stain. 

Too much burned, not enough standing.

I don’t know if I can keep surviving my own life, and all that it entails.

Too much thinking, not enough breathing.

I don’t know how to tell my best friend that she’s really my sister, without making us both uncomfortable. Calling her my best friend was hard enough.

Too much implied, not enough easy.

And I’m thinking about that when I was twelve and I kept trying to carve my useless heart out of my chest, begging gods I pray to but don’t believe in to either help me or tell me what I was doing wrong. 

There are days when I miss those scars.

And somehow, I’ve known that I’m the problem. There’s something wrong with me, I am wrong. 

I can tell when my lungs strangle me themselves.

And when my fingers turn so cold they’re purple, in June.

And when my every second is full of punishing myself for being too much and not enough. Because I should be able to fucking get it right.

I should have known this already. 

I shouldn’t have spent so long, daydreaming like a child, that one day I’d wake up and everything would be better, that I’d understand, that none of it was real.

Too much reading, not enough living.

I can’t keep waiting for some impossible thing to happen, for such stupid wishes to come true. There’s no power in shooting stars, or dandelion seeds, or 11:11. There’s no fucking magic.

There’s meteor showers. And weeds. And a fucking clock.

And there’s a foolish little girl who’s just trying to cope with being too much and not enough, instead of opening her eyes and living in the real world.

Too much useless wishing, not enough earnest working.

But I still don’t know how it’s possible to fit so poorly in the world.

Too much, and not enough.

Emily Rose Hein

                     Editor