A lot of things will break your heart if you let them
By Rachel Halpern
A lot of things will break your heart if you let them.
If you open the gate
the water rushes in
And suddenly you’re drowning in their fate
And you’re holding hands in the whirlpool as the current tugs you under
It happens so fast and you grab at the ledges
At the gape
and the shards pierce your fist
You just miss
As you sink down into the dredges
Into the depths as your vision blurs black at the edges
And your tears would fall save for the seawater burning them away
Your memory seems to fray
Who pulled who down?
Into the thick blue night
You tried to do right
now you’ll drown.
By Annabel Kermaier
Clouds cluster at the horizon, low
And dark against pale orange
Dim light, tinged with fading blue
Surrounds, like being underwater
Outside the window of my school bus
Whales swim overhead
So noble and solid and simply there
That I know they’re not merely mist
The bus turns a corner and I
Can’t see them anymore
Just cars, speeding blurs in bright colors
I picture flashing fish
My eyes close, head falls back, but
Whales follow in my wake
Immense bodies lifted from their world
And I, a girl on a school bus
By Nadav Lemberger
Abandoned our home — abandoned our legacy.
We left Earth
We left the Hell of Hells that we created
And we left people behind.
We’re far away now
The journey was terrible
Mutinies and rebellions abounded
But everyone was just trying to survive.
This planet is too small for everyone
The atmosphere is thin
The days are warm
Yet the nights are cold as death
The lucky ones live above
They have heat
And heat keeps them alive.
Everyone else goes below
Into the caverns heated by this second Hell’s core
Space is nonexistent
Air is sparse
Disease is everywhere
The strong survive
The strong kill to survive
The weak die for the strong to survive
Have we reached the last circle of the Inferno yet?
That circle is reserved for something worse
That circle is where we came from — a little blue circle in the vast peace of the universe
A circle that created Hell.
A circle that created Humanity.
By Talia Berg
everyone said she was a quiet girl.
her teachers loved her.
she was a model student—
quiet, sweet, straight A’s.
if only she would participate a little more.
everyone said she was just shy—
a listener, not an observer.
she was basking in her silence.
what if they were looking at it all wrong?
what if their perception was off?
they all saw the calm in the storm.
but she was the storm.
and there was no calm.
only the thunderous, storming thoughts
and nowhere for them to go.
she had been silenced.
not by any other person,
she allowed her fear to guide her.
it made her decisions.
it ruled her.
it kept her quiet.
the people were no help.
they were judging her—
she could tell.
their stares penetrated her,
that fear again.
she stayed quiet.
what if she was looking at it all wrong?
what if they were just trying to figure her out?
she never spoke up—
they couldn’t tell if she was friendly.
the fear was wrong.
she couldn’t control it.
the fear ruled her.
kept her quiet,
the blind led the blind.
she wanted to be loud.
she wished she could speak up,
wished it was easy to talk,
wished it wasn’t impossible to open her mouth.
too bad for her—
her perception was off.
By Mia Hahn
When shoulders slump and I’m still forced to have a straight back,
when they get the credit for carrying a brick while I carried the building,
left crumbled under its weight,
the heat inside stirs,
attempting to be released.
It refuses to be tamed like in times past
and it kicks and pants
and rants and raves
until I’m left struggling to destroy it,
and it grows to the size of its full potential
until it clandestinely
b u r s t s.
By Rochel Leah Itzkowitz
I willfully confess to my flaws, to my insecurities,
Hoping for some sort of sympathy from the room:
In the midst of disarray, I vanished
In the unsteady maze of reality,
And accused the dwindling figure in my reflection
That her blemishes were deplorable acts of transgression,
I convinced the confident yet fading voice furrowing inside me that
My shortcomings were nothing short of evil.
I willfully reveal more of my apprehension,
And I hear every sound inadvertently occurring but not
Voices explaining their empathy for me and my self-doubt,
My vulnerability is credible, yet blockaded by the minds of
Those I perceived to be my friends.
I willfully share more of my uncertain past,
Discussing the root of my inhibition and unexpectedly,
Even though my friends’ silence agitates me,
I am overjoyed by the self-assertive person I’ve become today
And that there was a strange element that I fostered on that occasion,
That battles against my multitude of insecurities, knocks out the opponent
And proceeds to the next endeavor:
Climbing a mountain of triumph without hiding behind others’ shadows.
Defying the Odds
By Miriam Boss
chills ran up her back
her palms drowned in sweat
her heart fluttered and
her fists tightened
those years of taunting
the teasing, the yelling
those years of fear,
of weakness, of fragility
those years are over
By Katie Goldberg
Where do we go from here —
the insincere confessions fill my lungs
with a bitter fluid.
The weeds that sprout from a barren
earth softly wrap around my bruised ankles
squeezing tighter and tighter
until I can see my thoughts and
taste my shortcomings. I am in agony and in love.
I long to walk again
but the weeds have spun to
and I've woken up
in the pantheon; frozen.
A stone, a statue, a tearful masterpiece.
As the sun sets on another day
and humanity moves on
I am forced to watch all that I know
a t o m i z e
and I am alone again.
Before I begin to Regret
By Rosie Fellig
I fear I will look back one day when my skin is permanently wrinkled,
Marked so that anyone who saw me would know of my wise existence,
And I fear that when I reach this point,
When life is quiet and mundane,
When I am forced to sit and watch the world run,
I will look back and say,
If only I was young again, and I had wasted those days.
The Power of Words
By Zehava Shatzkes
if every harmful word
left a scar on my body
and each bruise
marked a hateful remark
if every malicious criticism
about the way I dress
wear my hair
left a visible impact
if every cruel comment
if each became a scar
if that was the Power of Words.