EARLY


the sky smells pink and hard
when i walk through it in the mornings
the sulfuric dusts the dawn
a fruit-bowl
full rosy belly bent backwards
that loud gray groan inside the skin
pierced and peeling like a salty apple
swollen hot choleric
elderly clouds left over damp winds
scraggle across dimly like some
stale leftover scraps of canvas
just enough to swab up the strokes
i can hear the first few fistfuls of light
faint and wavering like timid bells
then with a clap, the sun heaves up
a heavy head
–Olivia Weaver

Stargazing

We grab the black binoculars
With the thick black strap
And the book about constellations
And a beach towel
We get into the car
Sit in the leather seats,
And you drive as I gaze out the window
At the city lights
And up at the starless purple sky,
That reflects the city lights back.
You drive until the concrete road
Turns to dusty dirt
and the city fades into the purple horizon
You drive to the open countryside
The grass grows knee high
The crickets chirp
The land seems to spread out around us
For miles, and miles
And there is one tall oak tree
We put the beach towel
On the grass, under the oak tree
And you slip the thick black strap
Around my neck
You point with your figure where I should look
And you read from the book
About Orion, Camelopardalis,
Cancer, Aries, Pegasus, and Pyxis
But I don’t see the outline of great gods
Or crabs or horses
I see little white dots
I see the lights of cities on distant planets

-by Josephine Weidner

The Passing

Pellucid winters show the raw brush,
Raw proof of an earlier time.
You wait, you wait. The chalky dust is cold.
There is no snow to take the edge
Off the dry log. You sit. The well-water
Is black, the rope is clasped
By what flowed through its fibers.
The water is black. It will not
Show you your face. It will only show
Winter, and not even snow to cover how
Dull is the ice: Reflection is the proof.
Somewhere beyond the hill where it is quiet
Is a grey ocean into which snow falls.
–Abigail Schott-Rosenfield

Big Brother Necklace


You could’ve left me in the drawer
weighed down with wooden wolves and carved peace
signs
you could’ve let me lay by the bedside
my strings frayed
untying myself because I don’t know better
but you cut off my edges
tied a slipnot
and threaded your head through me
cause you feel naked now
without a noose round your neck
without me bumping against your collarbone like a
hammer on a rusty nail
You don’t take me off
except to shower and sleep
the 2 times when you’re not being a big brother
when you’re not drawn tight like piano wire
ready to hop on a bus at a phone call
with words made of thistledown
or fists made of wood
your teeth loaded
with buckshot or cottonballs
and you a shot or two or five cause you’ve got me round
your neck
cause you want a time where you aren’t worried
cause you want to be able to get a teary-eyed phone call
without seeing Katie’s grave in Technicolor
or hearing Ronnie
choking on anti-depressants
and for a few hours
you can’t answer your phone
you can’t run out the door and onto the 38
you can’t even be the life-sized teddy bear they need
and it’s bliss
that no-worries tunnel vision
but then you wake up with a hangover sitting on the
coffee table
and you run to the bathroom
and puke 7 times
you can still feel me tight on your neck
keeping time with your ragged heavy-eye breath
and you check your phone
for any missed calls


–Jules Cunningha
m

Slept with a Snake

SLEPT WITH A SNAKE
A snake under my covers
ate and didn’t clean—
crumbs left for me to find
one bright cold saturday—
I find her sheddings scattered
tucked inside the sheets—
sheets that are quite yellowed
from hazy grainy dreams—
she used her tongue to find me
hissing as she rose—
and when the sun fell downward
she snapped me with her jaws—
I cannot shake the feeling
of scales swift up my spine—
and soon the world is melting
in whirring wintertime—
the snow is finally coming
she cannot bask again—
no beaming sun to warm her
no bed to hold her in—
–Molly Bond

If We’re Playing Battleship, You’re Sunk

by Sophia Kumin (’13)

I know it scares you
to think about
my hands touching
the places on my body
that you’ve condemned
I’ll map out a smile
from belly button to breasts.

you say you can bench 120
so I should lose ten pounds
but if weight were measured
in words without meaning
you’d be sinking to the bottom
of your ocean of discrepancies.

I don’t answer to you or
your 3 AM phone calls
“baby, I want you back”
baby, you want my back
arched in your bed

and saying
“I love you”
but you can’t tell the difference
between my birthmarks and anyone else’s
it’s not me you want it’s
everything you couldn’t have
when you had me.

I
harbor hate in my hips
the same ones you squeezed
like a stress ball
don’t use me
with the same hands you use
to touch yourself
over pictures of people
with perceived perfection.

I want you to know
you don’t hurt me
when you look at
my arms and my waist and my legs
and snarl
because they’re stronger
than anything you could say.

I know it scares you to think about
me loving the places on my body
that you marked with x’s in your eyes
why don’t you follow my fingers
forming a
fuck you.

You feel like
evaporation
never solid, you still want to be noticed
and the less we pay attention
the more you disappear
clinging to the cement
kisses
we blow from
cracked lips,
broken skin from all the
salty words we spit at you
when you said we’d
never be enough

but you can’t push me over
when you’re too busy
concentrating on the little things
instead of the sum of my parts
the part of me
that could easily
swing my fist back like a gavel
on your twisted expression

Ladies and gentlemen of the jury
this man is guilty as charged of
woman-hood-slaughter
of your mother and your daughter
and the people in between,
knock-kneed and shivering
in front of him.

I’m done with
“you’re-not-as-good-as-her”
I’m not as good as
I could be without you
and we both know
you can’t deal with
how it was
you
that never lived up
to any expectations
you
that looks in the mirror and wants to see
someone better than what you turned out to be.

Read more poetry.

Household Spirits

by Justus Honda

This house has spirits living in mouse-holes,
The kinds you come across
Spinning through a gray-green daydream;
Spirits that live off the disembodied hum
From a refrigerator in the dark,
Spirits that swoop and catch dust motes
In copper waves of lamplight.

This house has disinterested spirits,
All-too-ancient things snoring
In cobweb rocking chairs,
Creatures that fold themselves clothing
From worm-eaten yellow book-leather.

This house has miniscule spirits,
Swimming in the window-dew;
Multitudes of tiny spirits,
Turning the gears of the grandfather clock.

This house has spirits living in mouse-holes,
Laughing in bent lamplight,
Drunk on music.

Read more poetry.