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Archive for April, 2016

Synchronicity, by Rebecca Lennon

Synchronicity, by Rebecca Lennon

Synchronicity, by Rebecca Lennon


Acceptance Into Mother Earth, by Jose DeHoyos

Acceptance Into Mother Earth, by Jose DeHoyos

Acceptance Into Mother Earth, by Jose DeHoyos


Cut, by Delaney Trezise

For 20 minutes, Jess had sat and stared at her reflection in the mirror. She could pay no mind to the mounds of hair clumped and scattered in the sink’s basin. “I did it,” she uttered shakily to herself. “I finally did it.”

Upon first glance, it seemed like any other Tuesday. Jess rolled out from under her weathered bedspread and got dressed for school. She inhaled her cereal, keeping a close eye on the time on her phone. She offered a quick “so-long” to her father who smiled and nodded, reclining contentedly on the family’s beloved chesterfield while sipping his coffee before his morning commute. She attended her classes and was pleased that she hadn’t been called on by the teacher, as she allowed her mind to drift from the grey chalk dust and outdated world maps adorning the classroom walls. Her pulse lulled into a steady synch with the gradual tick of the clock in the back of the room. Things were quiet. Things were normal. Things were fine.

But today was different. Cora looked at her. Today, Cora looked at her.

It was just a brief passing glance in the hallway. Jess had finished up early in Study Hall and had a few moments to spare before making her way to Geology, and so decided to take the slightly longer route. She enjoyed taking the scenic passage when she could, passing by the windows to catch a glimpse of the stubby shrubs garnishing the front parking lot. Spring had settled into their roots after months of lying cloaked in snow, as the small buds at the ends of the branches had sprouted into splendid, crimson red blossoms. She appreciated the silence in the hallway which, on any other day, would be empty. But today was different. As Jess reached the staircase at the end of the hall, Cora descended the steps.

Cora was easily the most brilliant and defiant student in the senior class. Her expressions of genius in her classes as well as her regular demonstrations of civil disobedience had garnered the attention of many in the school, Jess included. Though, for Jess, that wasn’t all that drew her to the rebellious teen. As if her blazing passion for knowledge and justice wasn’t enough, Cora was absolutely immaculate. She had hips that could shake a mountain and a gaze that could pierce diamond. She dressed in tight sweater dresses that complimented her ample curves, and had an owl pendant that rested comfortably on her bosom. Her hair color changed from week to week. She was never the same, but she was always perfect. Someone like her couldn’t possibly exist. But she did, and that Tuesday, she looked at Jess.

In that brief glance, Cora’s emerald green eyes pierced Jess’ soul. She felt everything all at once. It was an eruption of emotions and raging hormones, lashing at her gut to break out of years of her cultivated sexual restraint. Years of questions immediately pointed her to the same answer, in the form of this 18-year old nonconforming goddess with beauty radiating even against the dingy staircase. Cora smiled politely, shaking Jess down to her very core. As Cora continued down the hallway, Jess looked back. In that moment, she knew that she couldn’t hold back any longer. No boy could ever rock her entire being the way Cora did. She finally knew what she had to do.

Jess tugged gently at the ends of the strands, lingering slightly as she considered if some kind of remorse over the loss of her gorgeous golden mane was in order. She quickly pushed those thoughts aside. They wouldn’t be necessary anymore. Not to her, anyway. “Maybe a little too short, but I’ll make it work.”

Always second-guessing herself, she never told her secret to anyone. There was no turning back from a decision like this. For the longest time she had convinced herself that she was just having some momentary lapses in judgment. Consistently, she reaffirmed herself that teenage hormones were constantly running wild in high school. She couldn’t possibly know who she really was through all of the cluttered feelings and emotions.

After the incident in the hallway earlier that afternoon, however, Jess knew exactly who she was. For three years she had known, to be honest. She had grown accustomed to hiding her vibrantly blushing face in the girls’ locker room upon catching Cora undress, assuming it was just a phase. She had turned clearing out her search history on the computer into a sport, deleting her searches faster and faster each time in attempts to hide the burning questions she’d asked on countless Internet forums. But she knew now that this wasn’t just a phase. She knew who she was, and she couldn’t hold back anymore. Jess sought freedom, and her key came in the form of a pair of kitchen shears and an afternoon in front of the bathroom mirror.

A knock at the door, however, shattered her newfound confidence into pieces. Jess froze, mortified, suddenly realizing that facing society would mean starting with her family. “Jess, you doing okay in there?” Her father called out. “It’s been a while. We haven’t heard from you.”

“Just a minute!” Jess replied, scrambling to clean up the mess and trying her best to hide the tremble in her voice. It clearly didn’t work. Her father was always good at picking up on when something was wrongShe stuffed whatever strands of hair she could fit into her trembling fists, as she considered all at once the people in her life that she would have to face. She wasn’t ready. In seeking freedom, she had trapped herself between a dirty mirror and the bathroom door.

Can you please just open up? If there’s a spider that’s freaking you out in there, I can get rid of it for you. It’s just a bug, kiddo.”

Jess stopped her desperate gathering of hair strands and took a deep breath. There was no hiding any of this, no turning back. They would find out regardless of when she stepped outside the stuffy bathroom. Glancing at her reflection one last time, she accepted her fate. She reached weakly out to the vanity and gripped the scissors, hoping they would dispense some sort of security to her. Slowly, she grasped the door handle and pushed her way through.

The normally-pleasant disposition on her father’s face faded into confusion as he gazed upon his daughter’s newly-cut locks. The corners of his mouth gradually dissolved into a frown. He looked Jess up and down, and focused in on the pair of kitchen shears grasped tightly in her fist. He returned to his daughter’s eyes. “Jess?” he beckoned softly. “What did you do?”

The life immediately drained from Jess’ attempt at a reassuring smile, and she began to shake as all of her fears washed over her. She saw not only her father’s face, but the face of every friend, relative, teacher and peer, gawping at her in bewilderment. “I-I’m sorry Dad, I j-just…” she stuttered incoherently, the tears forcing their way through her façade in a constant stream down her cheeks. She paused and took a long, quivering breath. She peered down, her eyes focusing on what she had only moments ago viewed as the key to her freedom. Now the scissors felt heavy in her hand. “I didn’t have much of a choice,” she whispered.

“What are you talking about Jess, why are you sorry?” her father asked, the slight edge of his tone making her flinch. Noticing the weight of his words, he hesitated briefly before proceeding. This time, he spoke with more caution. “I just don’t understand. What’s going on?”

“I’m done pretending to be someone I’ll never be,” she uttered quietly. She took a deep breath and spoke the truth for the first time in three years.

“Dad, I’m gay.”


The Lights on the Hill, by Delaney Trezise

The sky felt pitch black

Against the light of the stars

Glimmering out from our torches.

Father in the lead, we ran through the fields

Anxious enough to explore the night.

 

That grassy bouquet would fill our noses

As the tufts brushed against

Our barren skin.

Shining our stars in every direction

Praying for safety on our trek up the hill.

 

Grandma’s house could just barely be seen

Atop the slope, in the blackness of night.

“Shut off the flashlights,” my father requested.

“I’m sure that the sky

Will lend us its light.”

 

A leap of faith and a dousing of torches

A moment of dark, a tremor inside.

But extinguishing what light we had

Helped the universe

Shine brighter above.

 

It was there that I learned not to fear the dark

And to not cling to my flashlight so tight.

For though you may not know it,

But in the dark on the hill

Is where the world hides its most glorious light.

 

 

 

 

 


Black Girl in the Burbs, by Mary-Alice Wise

 

My hair has never been naturally straight.

Blond and down my back like most of my classmates.

I had curves by the time I was in 5th grade.

I was pleasing to look at but none of the boys ever asked me to play.

I just wasn’t good enough that way.

Most definitely took a toll on my self-esteem growing up.

Let’s be real every little girl wants to be liked back by their crush.

Experience puppy love and be asked to the winter dance.

All eyes were only on me when reading a small chapter in history books about Martin Luther King and Harriet Tubman.

Like I must have known them personally.

Or maybe they were related to me?

The only thing I learned in school about black history was slavery.

And on the 1st of February the principal read the I Have A Dream speech.

But who really listens to the morning announcements anyways?

I felt like the elephant in the room on those days.

Just by hearing my classmates last names you can tell who was Polish and who was of German descent.

Mine had no significance.

But because I’m dark I must have come from Africa.

No greater sense of self pride and culture.

So I went after theirs.

Thinking I would be accepted with Abercrombie jeans and straighter hair.

Of course that didn’t make me happy because I hated who I was inside.

I still wasn’t asked to slow dance at night.

And when I went back to my neighborhood I was exiled for being too proper and dressing too white.

Whatever that meant it kept me up at night.

I didn’t fit in here or there.

I was not comfortable in my skin anywhere.

So where does a young girl go from here?

She leads a life of confusion until she can struggle through life by figuring out who she is by trial and error.

Eventually learning that some people will accept you never.

That your worth is so much more than a boy kissing you and asking you to a dance.

Learning to appreciate the hue of her skin.

And the natural kinky curl of her hair.

Realizing that all are created different.

So there is no point in trying to fit in becaus


SOMOS LOS MIGRANTES, by Hamsel J. Lopez Franco

Somos quienes vuelan hacia sueños.

Somos los que saltan muros, cual dedo que salta en las teclas de un piano.

Somos quienes cruzan mares con anhelos de alargar la vida o hallar muerte digna.

Somos quienes huyen de las balas y del hambre.

Somos los que se desprenden de hermanos, abuelos, amigos.

Somos los idiomas que hablamos y el silencio que todos callamos.

Somos nómadas que obligan a sus hijos a ser viajeros.

Somos extras en una película de terror en la que rara vez sobrevivimos las peligrosas hazañas.

Somos el alimento que el paladar mundial disfruta.

Somos los que comen en el suelo, los que comen con palillos, los que comen con las manos, con cuchillos y tenedores.

Somos la música del laúd, del acordeón, del sitar, del charango, de la marimba, del bombo.

Somos pies descalzos, somos manos sucias, somos peculiares vestiduras.

Somos barbas abundantes, somos ojos rasgados, somos sonrisas blancas, somos manos coloridas.

Somos humildad, somos temor, somos amor, somos animosidad, somos perdón, somos olvido, somos cautela, somos duda, somos confianza, somos lealtad, somos melancolía, somos desprecio, somos alegría.

Somos del mundo, somos de lugares, somos de donde nacimos y somos de donde vivimos.

Somos la familia del mundo, aunque el mundo no nos vea como su familia.

 

 

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WE ARE THE MIGRANTS

 

 

We are the ones who fly towards dreams.

We are the ones who jump walls, as a finger jumping between piano keys.

We are the ones who cross seas hoping to extend our lives or find a dignified death.

We are the ones who run from bullets and hunger.

We are the ones who break away from brothers, grandparents, friends.

We are the languages we speak and the silent silence.

We are nomads who force their children to be travelers.

We are extras in a horror movie in which we rarely survive such dangerous exploits.

We are the food the global palate enjoys.

We are the ones who eat in the ground, the ones who eat with chopsticks, the ones who eat with their bare hands, with knives and forks.

We are the music of the lute, accordion, sitar, charango, marimba, bass drum.

We are bare feet, we are dirty hands, we are peculiar clothing.

We are long beards, we are slanted eyes, we are white smiles, we are colourful hands.

We are humble, we are fear, we are love, we are animosity, we are forgiveness, we are oblivion, we are carefulness, we are doubt, we are trust, we are loyalty, we are melancholy, we are contempt, we are joy.

We are from the world, we are from places, we are from where we were born and from where we live.

We are the world’s family, although the world doesn’t see us as such.

 

 

HAMSEL J. LÓPEZ FRANCO.