Day 9

Insomnia Villanelle
by Mandy Berry

It’s 3am, the noise is gone.
The apartment is all mine, and yet
there is no room for a silent song.

All there is to hear is a drone
Of a heart awake in a sagging bed
at 3am. The noise has gone

to sleep with people who see what’s wrong
about my existence in every moment
and still say, “You have time to find your song.”

It lies dormant with a school where static is strong
enough to make one beg for that
sweet release where all sound is gone

and it never feels like you’ve been alone too long
until you have to speak – You always forget
that there’s no room for your silent song.

A clock strikes a new hour, passes the window, rolls on,
like every day, feeling the same, and yet not…
It’s now 4am. The noise is gone
and I’m left with what’s left of a silent song.



Riding Skyrush
by S.A. Bowden

In fond memory of many a Hershey Park trip

I actually don’t like “extreme” roller coasters much
I remember this every time I pull down the blue laprest
Extra snug
And buckle the belt
So why do I ride?
Emily sits beside me in the winged seat for the bolder
I grip the handles and close my eyes as the car shoots up the
200-foot hill
(This is the worst part)
“Sarah!  You can see where they’re building a new ride!”
I open my eyes at the peak but can’t see it
The scream bursts from my throat on its own
Still terrified no matter how many times I tear down this hill
And then–
I’m soaring!
Down the yellow track
The wind whipping past
Weightless– yes, that’s how I feel
Flying over hills and twists
Now shrieking in excitement and joy
No matter how many times I fly
And still no word describes
The feeling coursing through my veins like a roller coaster
That dissipates when the car slows with a jolt
Purring into the loading dock
Well worth the wait and the 200-foot hill
I stumble off the car and back into concrete reality


The Blue
by Rachel Pontious

There’s nothing quite like
Walking, or stumbling, or scrambling back to the blue.
The blue, with the small black accident on the wall.
White door shut
With a towering shelf full of books I’ll never read again
And piles of paper I’ll never touch
Drawers full of clothes I’ll never wear again
But never throw away.
Broken things, and
Intact, yet entirely useless items,
The blue is my reservoir
My base camp
My embrace.
Occasionally invaded, but altogether secure,
How many colors have I worn in this room?
How many retired flags, forgotten, lie here?
Do you want to know me?
The answers are all here.
Come in,
Inhale the scent of it,
That which has washed over me far too many times to count.
Close your eyes, as I have done, far too many times to count.
And sink into the sheets

But don’t forget to turn the light out when you leave.


by Sam Yoseph

Wide in curiosity,
You ask me a simple question.
Hey, what’s it like to be a teen?Mind
My instant answer,
For you are only just six.
Do I tell you the truth?Do I tell you
Of all the good things
That make me want to live for a purpose?
Or of all the bad things
That make me desire to take my own worth?

I’ll tell you the truth.

It’s a good life, buddy.
I like it, despite my struggles.
Despite constant stress or
Staying up at night to ridicule myself,

I have people that love me,
And tell me I matter ,
And that I will become someone so great
That I will see my name in lights.

Everything comes with a price.
Nothing is easy.

But because I care about you,
I’ll tell you the truth.

Life sucks,
But you’ll grow to love it.

And you’ll love it so much,
That you’ll be scared of letting go.


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