Plans for Tomorrow
-twilight spurs the sinking feeling of sorrow.
-when one realizes today has been snatched away,
-and every day after the next is no longer tomorrow.
-the morning has been lost, like every other, it has turned grey.
-quietly has the night shown its true colors, terror and fear.
-but the night must be where my soul lies at rest.
-clutching prickling red roses and his memory dear.
-this is my home, and I know nothing but the best.
this is who you (i) are (am)
If you are not part
of the solution,
then you are part of the problem.
“That's so gay”
She was just a girl I played with sometimes
The girl who was friendly to
other girls, like me.
The way she waves her hands
and bats her doe-y eyes like she’s
on the verge of crying.
What ever happened
to the girl she used to be?
I never thought about her
in all the years she lived somewhere else.
Now that she's moved back, she never lets me forget.
Because I have a boyfriend,
I thought things would be different.
Now I’m a girl who kisses
and secretly wishes
I want to say
“Close your lips,” if only to divert attention away
but it’s too late.
Pray for release
from this purgatory of
so many things
that never mattered before
and will never matter again.
She has eyes that say,
“I'm the hammer
and you're the nail.”
I Wonder If She's Jealous
“So, you want to go to the dance with me?”
I was so clueless
And I said,
And that's the way it happened.
Love makes fools of us all.
At the dance,
I’ve never seen such passion
Oh, how I love her fire, her mind,
her awesome sense of fashion.
(Not that I notice what she wears,
it's hardly worth the mention;
with her skintight jeans
and her pouty-pouty lips
and the way she moves her hips
With her perfect little purse
and her perfect phony tan.)
“That's so gay”
is an expression I hate.
Some boys laughed, and some girls, too,
one even called me mental.
as if she were my best and oldest
and truest and forever friend
“If you and I happened to be straight”
I never say it, but I think it every time,
but it doesn't matter who we are
as much as where we are.
The pounding on the door and the
shouting of names
LEZZIES! FAGGOTS! FREAKS!
After a chance
encounter between both her legs.
Twirling her hair,
dropping her voice,
raising her eyebrows.
“This is going to be a
challenge. But you know me,
I love a challenge.”
“You should put on a
I will, I say, and I’m out the door,
and I know
I'm forgetting something
Where's my kiss?
The thought of it almost makes me laugh
I have a boyfriend
“Shut up for once”
And he leaned in
before I could say
“What are you doing?”
I could disprove the words in my head
I can't help myself, and now
everyone is staring at me.
I slip past
ashamed to have been caught in the act
of being normal
Writing it down
is the way I make it real,
the way I find my way
into what it is I feel.
When I'm afraid,
let me keep
what I don't want
Say to me:
So I walk home alone
thinking about how it used to be.
I could never keep up with her, and yet
somehow we'd always end up with our arms
wrapped around each other's waists, kicking
like the Rockettes, or swaying like a couple
of drunks before we even knew what that
meant. Now I walk home thinking the kinds
of serious thoughts she helped me to forget.
When I get home,
she has one arm
and one leg splayed, reaching
for the sky, her eyes squeezed
tight, her mouth open wide,
crying, “Look at me, I'm flying!”
say nothing back, but run inside
to throw myself on the sofa
“I’m with you
on this one.
face breaking out in dimples
and I know it's a look that's meant
for only me, and I feel my insides
flip and my brain flop, and I know
I should do better, but so what?
I heart love.
I have a boyfriend?
Does it count as breaking up if the words are never said?
Maybe we half broke up. Maybe when you half break up,
you don't have to say anything.
The boy who first clicked the clasp
of the necklace,
stepped back to check it out, and said,
“You look nice.”
The master of sly looks
and cool moves
and smiles that charm the teachers
I say, “I am not your girl”
and he says
“I am already gone.”
we broke up.
I looked over at her face.
Her eyes were closed.
Maybe she was thinking.
Maybe she was simply glad that I was there.
With her hair in a braid,
in her high white boots
and her short, short skirt.
She was a mystery I
would never solve, only glimpse in
moments she chose to share.
the flowing hair, the flashing eyes,
the sun and then
and the rain
and the rain
No clothes at all
I thought it would go on forever.
I do not understand this girl,
don't understand what I am to her.
She doesn't try to hide
eyes that have been crying.
She says to me simply,
“You don't know everything.”
And goes to wash her face.
My mind is full of not knowing.
Maybe that explains the sadness in the corners
of your eyes.
“Remember when we were little
and would swing out here
in the summer evenings,
counting fireflies, pumping
higher and higher,
racing to the moon?”
I am a girl that kisses.
She is wearing duct tape over her mouth.
Thinking that she's brilliant
and beautiful and amazing
and loving the way she dresses
and how the heel of her right shoe slips off
when she sits on the edge of her desk.
What does that make me?
I ask my grandma,
“What were girls like when you were my age?
Did they mess with your head?”
Grandma's shears go snip,
and she straightens herself to look me in the eye.
She hands me the tulips
and we turn back to the house.
“Rise above it,” she says, her hand
on my shoulder. The air is turning colder
as I tell her,
She lived across the street.
The house was empty. The tulips,
all but the one dropping in my hand,
nodded goodbye as I turned away.
I go to wash my hands. They aren't especially dirty.
Perhaps it's the loneliness I want to wash away.
I never even said goodbye.
A strong, sensitive girl fighting her way out.
She got some kind of mouth on her.
Pretty as a picture.
Now, why do you think I’ve gone
and fallen for a thing like her?
Am I strong
when I do not speak,
but keep silent
and accept the truth?
If you are (I am) not part
of the solution,
you are (I am) part of the problem.
By Veronika Kowalski
I dreamt I was part of a boarding school. My friends and I were going to visit the public school we went to when we were younger. Most of my friends were taking a big blue bus, one that looked like it was from the city. I wasn’t done packing by the time they all got on the bus. By packing, I mean stuffing a few knicknacks into my volunteer jacket. They kept falling out.
The bus started to leave. It drove onto the sidewalk, then it flipped to the right, then it teetered all the way to the left side and I yelped. Somehow, it got back on track and kept driving perfectly. I continued to pick up fallen items from my pocket, such as my hair tie. When I finally got my stuff together, I started walking in the direction of my public school.
There was a police officer talking to my friend. She was telling him, “There’s something on your wrists,” as she pulled out a pair of handcuffs. My friend stared at his wrists as if there was actually something there.
I went up to the policewoman. “Excuse me, Officer, but do you know the directions to the school?”
She looked at me. “It’s right there,” she explained, pointing at my boarding school.
“No, no,” I started, “I’m visiting the public school. I go to the boarding school. And as you can probably guess, my friend Timothy is going too.”
The police officer put away her handcuffs. There was quite a conundrum about from where to where we were going, but finally, she came to the conclusion that we weren’t runaways.
Gregory came. “Do you know where you live? Diamond Street? Henderson Street?”
Tears ran down my face. “I don’t know,” I admitted. I should have just blurted out one or the other and let him correct me if I was wrong.
The police officer now wore a tank top with horizontal yellow and orange-pink stripes, and jean shorts. She started telling me about her family problems, how her mom had blue lips. I turned, and saw her mom and her sister. They were riding small bikes. We were in a park. I wasn’t interested in her conversation. I kept glancing at my brother, who was trying out bikes, and my dad, who was helping my brother pick a bike. The officer said something along the lines of “Well, I better tell my supervisor;” she was off duty now.
My brother had picked out his bike and was sitting on a park bench. All the bikes were lined up from the kids who were in the park. Of course, they were all too small for me. Most of them had training wheels, or wheels on alternating sides. I liked a blue scooter that was about three feet tall, and had a large footpad. I was thinking, “This is stealing. I don’t want to steal. It’s dishonest,” but none of the bikes were locked or tied down. They were all in a row for anyone to take.
Stuy Says Enough!
By Caroline Magoc
I'm standing a corner of my seventh grade history classroom, my back leaning against the old wooden closets, engraved with names of old students. Some of them watched the towers fall, I think. Others hid in these cruddy closets during lockdowns.
I'm bored with this. I’m looking down at my feet, rubbing my eyes when I see her.
She's strong-willed. Her eyes are knives.
I can hardly keep mine open as I swipe through countless articles on my phone. If there’s any shred of humanity left, I want to find it.
She runs on hatred, on the idea that others just don't get it. She asserts what she believes via MAGA caps and mounting piles of evidence. I wouldn't call it fake news, per se. It's just a different piece of evidence than what you're used to. Damned statistics. They so rarely give you a clear answer, so you're stuck reading in between the lines. You end up grasping for only the conclusions you desire, so rarely what's beyond that.
I read the news, but I don't know what to believe anymore.
She does. But she speaks on account of people she has never met, about guns she's never seen.
She didn't hide with her group of friends, cowering in fear, as rumors of a truck driver, gun in each hand, swirled around her school.
She didn't sit cross-legged, eyes glued to the TV screen, through shooting after shooting, listening to the same narrative on repeat, like a broken record which tells you the same thing over and over again without giving you the chance to process it, to see a grey area. All the news denies the grey-- it is all black and white, red and blue, us and them.
She didn't want to speak up for change. She just wanted to be the loudest voice. She hated being clueless so much she drew her own connections and called them fact.
She had experienced nothing, but knew everything. Today, I increasingly feel like I've experienced too much and still know nothing.