For You

Written by Revika Sangamita
Art by Denny Bitte


Let’s peek through the unknown into the known
And sing the blues of yellow dreams scrounging
That wired soul for the good deed you always did
Like a saint in their enlightening stage, blooming, leaving, sewing the patches of happiness and brewing the truth of sadness
You lie awake in the starry night so much
That stars whispers their secrets to you
And you heal from the forgotten scars and dive deep
Into their words, into the endless breath of being, into the madness of dreamy beams.
Follow up your heart and reach for the gauntness
Of the shattered days and broken time,
Don’t worry dear, pebbles won’t change
their paths or leave your journey
You’ll make your own bricks
You’ll carve your own world
And most of all, you’ll live not only survive.

A Glass Eye in Society

Written by Revika Sangamita
Art by Irving Penn


A vitric eye in this social setting
Will always result with cracks of hurt—
Bleeding through glass chains
Breathing through a vicious unempathetic fort.

This glossy eye shines a lot each day
But has no tears or veins
Triggers the wrath of dying flames
And burns those who touch the frivolous fame.

A wreath of daisies sits on the muddy island
Where the awry eye belonged to once
Now royals in armure covered the shrine
And birthed the broken and crystal kind.

This glass eye screams every waning night
Oh with withered poverty and leprosy’s crime,
It blesses the souls of all material goodies
Of the world that asks diamonds from the poor.

Prayer

Written by Allison Riechman-Bennett
Art by Allison Riechman-Bennett


Do not waste tears on others, but cry for yourself; hold yourself.
Rest with the knowledge that those who meant you harm are numbed and away-
not permanently, but distanced enough to give you time to reframe their known slights and vices.
Breathe in now and exhale into covers, hold them tight against your chest so you can feel the force you hold, both inside and out.
They did not know you or they would have managed love at least.

The Violet Drum Girl

Written by Callie Cheng
Art by Ravi Kant


Play that dark synth,
Little violet drum girl!
Make my heart beat,
Or if you’d wish, make her swirl.

Indigo hues—
Oh Night hums your tone,
And strumming that moon,
May he dance not alone.

Wash me in harmony,
To grass-whispered chords,
Sip such a love to me,
If to you I’ve been poured.

Mandarin Gold

Written by Callie Cheng
Art by Pixabay


She giggles, golden, cheeky, tart,
And nips my tongue in sugar sweet,
My fingers dig in citrus heart,
And tear inside to taste her meat.

I bite inside that newborn sun,
Leaking zest and zinged delight,
Of spring she dribbles, and summer runs,
Tongue on tang; oh what a fright!

Surprises, nuggets, the future—sploosh!
Tickles wrapped in fragile skin!
Peel away to sip that juice,
And shovel up that treasure’s grin.

New year’s like an orange round,
So peel that fruit ’till Happy’s found.

Thrill Seek

Written by Rigby Celeste
Art by Kássia Melo


I fill the void with more work. Add an extra class and keep my normal shifts at the restaurant. Solder metal, then bind a book, then run some prints through the press. I find myself speaking so ecstatically I think I see my words dance along the perimeter of the loft. I think I can catch my running thoughts. For 30 minutes straight, I monologue about my “soul aching for solitude” to my best friend. Afterward, we both agreed I am becoming very enlightened and doing great work. Great walk! Spend more time processing feelings in bed. I am doing it all on my own! But at the same time, I find myself drawn to the loft at any sign someone else is home. 

Again, I exist in paradox. All my emotional freshening-up clashes with my cacophonous daily schedule. Though I speak the words, my body is not restful. I check the box on my taxes, but I am not independent. I am back in regular chaos, the place where I feel most control. I am back to skipped heartbeats and stress headaches. I am back to where I first was, where I belong.

When I last got my heart broken, I went to therapy and healed the parts of me that wanted to be neglected. Up until now, I’ve chased; I’ve thrill-seeked. I wanted what I couldn’t have, and I became especially attached to anyone who wanted me back. With enough rounds of CBT I began to probe at these bad habits, asking myself why I did them and how to stop them. I tackled my issues–meditated habitually, challenged my negative perception, and asked for help when I just wanted to scream. Reflecting, I feel like I’ve done everything right. But in all my self-improvement, the quality of my life faded into a boring lull, not unlike the periodic drip of a faucet. 

I don’t know what to do with myself anymore. I did work to curb my greed for attention, and quit thinking about love. But when I stopped falling in love, my life became painfully boring. On nights when I’m extra-emotional, I choose to lay down with this bored feeling instead of running off to the closest destructive habit. When I am reminded of the past, I avoid spraying text after text to anyone who will listen. Instead, I ground myself in the present with mantras like “I am here now”. And when I succeed, I still feel unnerved. With all this grounding, I have no momentum from moment to moment. Truly, this feeling is the stupidest struggle in the world. I want to be bad, I want to be the villain again. But for the first time in my life, my body refuses–because I know the pain I’ve felt. I still struggle. When I can’t get myself worked up about this boy I love, I think about what my ex might be doing. Even though his social media is public, my hands refuse to type his username in the search. What is time for if not to yearn? What am I if not bad?

my heart, for you

Written by Jessica Liu
Art by Kayleigh Gallagher


My heart isn’t mine anymore
Here, you can keep it

I cut it out of my chest last night with a sword
it didn’t even hurt, I swear to the Lord

Don’t mind all the cuts and the scrapes
from the last time I gave it away

I saw it two months later in a lost and found
that was a half an hour drive away from my town

It was still in the gift box I wrapped it in
with my beautiful burgundy violin

But it was alright
I took it home that night
put it back in with a little ice

I didn’t even cry for God’s sake,
it was nothing compared to the heartbreak

Please ignore the unsightly stretch marks
that run down the sides like gills on a carp

Those stripes formed when my love wore thin
my patience tested by my own kin

Tried about a million creams
spent too much on skin care regimes

I know it’s not perfect
but neither am I

Hope you’ll accept it
you know I’m shy

It’s looking for a forever home
to feel like more than just a temporary loan

So put it on a table, stack it on a shelf
don’t worry about me, it won’t affect my health

Just look at it once in a while
it would be happy if you could spare a smile

It doesn’t need sunlight or a watering schedule
if it’s with you I know I don’t need to worry

I know you’ll make it feel real special.

Wordless

Written by Atticus Payne
Art by Leah Prodigalidad


Would it surprise you that most days I now know not what to say? This roving, writhing, writing mind that reaches to engulf every sensation, touch, rush, impulse in words of ringing rightness…is left limp and still at the scrape of your presence. 

You have that strange effect.

And I may regret if I say not what my chest bursts, rattling, ribcage cracking, lungs groan to speak of this falling safety you’ve found for me. For if I hold my breath and let this pass, let it expand and then push out yet again, what if this careful carded castle simply came and went and fell to dust? If it were not immortalised, would I remember the exact shade of your light as it warmed my tingling skin, pricking the hairs of my neck in delicious excitement for something so new and true and altogether quite frightening?

Yet here I am, and as I try, my mind scatters these fragments of memories to reflect in muddled imagery that could never properly capture the calm rock-ing hold of your hand against my leg, my head against your neck, your words in seven languages stumbling to keep this sacred calm in human empirical sense. Indescribable, we decide. Deity must have brought this lovely flame alive. Those words, once twisted on your tongue, now slipping freely into air—

Do I have that strange effect?

Closer now, and still, so foreign to the real form of things. How, how, can I show them what you’ve given me? See, I should not have even tried. But now I have started and so must see it through; you see, don’t you? 

Should I cast these words to rest, then, my heart, my dear shaking heart? These lines, that I ever promised I’d write my first real love poem about, then nearly never saw through for having waited too long. Is this where they deserve to lie? 

Perhaps I will be stingy with this sacred secret of mine. Who above Him could know how long this whim will keep for? So I’ll lock those words away, leaving only the imprint of this wisp I promised to put down someday. 

How fortunate am I, that someone loves me enough to be made light and whole simply by my presence. 

And how I love you, my darling love. And how I wish to rush far ahead past constraints and know the true extent of love. But that is not the will of the wise, and to them, we yet answer; though not the same person, for now of yet the same mind. 

So I will breathe, and I will wait, and stand on the edge all the same, obstinately wordless to my description of you, of I, of us. For that, I must beg your forgiveness, and too, hope that you will never forgive me. This most grievous wrong, that you allow. 

And so do I. I am sorry.

Butterfly Bushes

Written by Niamh Kelly
Art by uello


The bright cones of emerging flowers
along the arching stems of summer lilac,
drape over the derelict ruins of old buildings.
The blossoms sway and waver in the air
like a kite trembling on a string,
visible from afar, contrasting purple petals against grey stone.
Roots searching deep into wall fissures
to maintain a hold on the vertical environment.
Laden with nectar, rich with sweetness,
A fragrant beacon promising ambrosia.
Each amethyst flower bejewelled
with the topaz of painted lady butterflies.

10 things I want to tell my younger self

Written by Jessica Liu
Art by Pixabay


10. Sunscreen. Three finger lengths. Every day. Rain or shine.

9. The easiest and tastiest sandwich recipe you’ll ever need: 2 slices of whole wheat bread, fig jam on the bottom, mayo on the top, turkey, brie, arugula, top with salt and pepper and enjoy. 

8. Don’t be afraid of being alone. In middle school and high school you are going to be spending a lot of time in the library during brunch and lunch. That’s okay. You’ll find your people eventually, and don’t let them go. Good friends are rare, and friendships can fade so easily. Put in the time and reach out to people you want to hang out with. Ask them to go on a walk, a picnic, grab boba and lunch, go thrifting, anything.

7. Prioritize academics, but don’t push yourself too hard. It’s not worth it to take 6 classes and burn out 5 weeks into the semester. Focus on learning the course material, not just passing, and don’t make school your entire personality, because that’s just pretentious and really annoying.

6. Phoebe’s a shitty friend and you need to stop letting her treat you like a doormat. 

5. Be kind to your body. Please. It’s your only forever home, so take care of it. It labors every day to help you run, walk, move, dance, laugh. Stop punishing it for not looking like something it was never meant to look like. It’s beautiful, so beautiful, and deserves more than Coke Zeros and midnights hunched over toilet bowls.

4. He hurt you, and you’re allowed to take all the time you need to let go. Healing should never be rushed, and honestly, I think it’s beautiful that you are able to care so deeply for another person, to open up wholly and vulnerably, choosing to trust them with your heart even if it means the possibility of them shattering it into ten thousand pieces.

3. Your parents aren’t perfect. They’re just people, and really, really flawed people at that. They love you, but sometimes don’t know how to. Forgive, but don’t forget. Love them, but never blindly.

2. I’m sorry. I’m so, so sorry. No one in the world has hurt you like I have, and you didn’t deserve any of it. I wish I could take back my words, hurled at you in school bathroom mirrors. All those 2am’s you spent, falling asleep with muted sobs, and I kept silent through it all. 

1. I love you.