Day 8

Weeping Roses
by Mandy Berry

I know how I seem with wet cheeks,
freaking out,
leaving class,
shrill screams in the bathroom
where everyone can hear me.
I know what they see –
a hot mess,
far from pretty.

But those are moments when I don’t care
about high school hatred.

There’s a lot that comes before:
a colored concrete rose
pruned for a paler world,
going to school,
being a nerd
with a head in the clouds
a head being
until she lands in
a closed-off world
with wide hallways
and further insolation.
And yet,
she cannot forget who
what she is
what she’s always been
what she needs to be
to be given a chance
in a bleached society
scrubbed of the average,
scrubbed of the nappy
(especially nappy women),
with no room for dreamers,
but still
less dangerous than the outside world
where her presence will be vilified
and personality won’t hold sway
but things will be better
with straight As
and graduating cum laude;
only then can people see
the rose.

So excuse me for crying over a B,
leaving class over a bad test.
I’m really
over America’s image of me.


April 8, 12AM
by S.A. Bowden

Special acknowledgement: to Emily
Started at 12:00 AM, April 8

Where the heck is my sister?
Will she be back from her concert soon?
I got a long day tomorrow
Admitted Students Day at Washington
I should be asleep.
But no.
I’m waiting for my sister to come back from a concert
By some band I don’t know.
She needs someone to let her in.
She forgot her key.
It’s 12:03.  Let me text her: How’s it going?  
Recalling when she texted me at 7:56 with her predicament
Don’t tell mom and dad please, they’ll kill me, she said
I thought that was an overstatement— not her first.
She asked me to leave a key outside
Of course I wasn’t doing that
So I said I’d stay up and wait for her.
Just the reasonable thing to do for my sister.
She sent me an all-caps THANK YOU and three heart emojis
Which surprised me a little.
She doesn’t send me hearts a lot.  Or ever.
Cause although I’m annoyed she forgot her key
I love her.
And I’d stay up all day and all night for her
If it did any good.
Wait— she just replied:
Good. The band is on stage
Mom is waiting up for me
What?  Why am I up, then?
I thought Mom wasn’t supposed to know.
Oh, she knows?  
No she just wants to make sure i Come home
Me, a little put out:
So why’d you need a key?
She didn’t think Mom was staying up.
But no.
Mom stayed up for her too.
Does that mean my vigil wasn’t worth anything after all?
No, I realize, this was not in vain.  I carry no regrets.
12:06, from me:
Well, I’m going to bed then.  Goodnight.  Enjoy the show!  Love ya!
I tell her I love her as often as I can these days.


by Sam Yoseph

Houston, we have a problem.
It seems they won’t let go.
The things they start tell me
Takes the glimmer in my soul.

“You’re a dreamer, a dreamer,
You’ll never see reality.”

And yet it seems to me
That there is no certain guarantee.

Stand up, rise up,
Power to the people.
We still don’t understand
The act of being peaceful.

“I want to travel the world,”
I say as I sleep.
The stress I must control,
And the secrets I will keep.

An education costing lives,
And yet I try my best.
Taking time from my rhymes,
Giving no time for success.

In the near future,
I dream of sinking galaxies,
And hope to myself
That I’ll be an influence to see.

I am who I am,
There is no going back.
I continue to struggle
Against the things that I lack.

I am a dreamer, a dreamer,
I cannot see reality.
Because your reality is
Something I don’t wish to be.


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