Rejection does not take away from the beauty of creativity.


she's alive and her tears are too. an extension of her agony, a throbbing ache welling to the surface.

Miriam Reichenberg


Nights lay their shadows
on your chest and weep, finding a
ready ear in you.

Oskar Leonard


she's alive and her tears are too. an extension of her agony, a throbbing ache welling to the surface.

Miriam Reichenberg

i call you via umbilical cord
mum, i cannot do this anymore
mum, what fabric softener do i use
(to fix my career relationship identity life)?

if i’m washed too hot will i shrink like my favourite sweater?

Murielle Mueller


Lie me in the crook of your arm

And let me hibernate by the flickering light

Thaw this cold heart by the fire

And let the black ice melt off

Ashley Pearson


Amphorous lava filled the basement
Oh, angels leave me,
Oh devil get on board
Sonorous screams
Oh angels forget me
Devil, come heal me
Stepping on blazing fire
Humans what a glee
Smoke emerging from the sea
Acid tearing me
Decrepit, leech sucking scarlet

Samina Parveen


My best friend is distances. I don’t want him to fall for it. Could he just stay like the ink spots on my uniform forever?

30 minutes left to die

I would have a bar of chocolate. Who body shames corpses.

Samina Parveen


Her palm was a guide
lightning bugs stitched in the stars

Claire Koening


Inside, my heart is dying,
I can feel it reel me to the lines of death
Like a star about to go supernova,
I'm finally waiting to crack

Sarah Chaudhry


See, that is what you don’t know when you walk past that abandoned, stunning house. There are cobwebs and broken light fixtures. There is no furniture or any reminiscence of human life. The outside is stunning, but the inside is dark, empty, and mysterious, lacking all of the small objects that are needed to make a house a home.

Ali Fishman


She looked up to the sky, on a seat that was not a throne and sighed. It was colder than she thought.

Jessica Wang


I glanced a traveller from an antique land, The Maharaja of Maryhill,
escorted to the back of the shop for failing to foot the bill.
For a jumped up wean’s first impropriety at the till
There’s a slap on the wrist and a heart unstill.

Rory Mullen


A knife, fiercely sharp like her majestic mind.
Her wrist, delicately fragile like her heart; hideously blind.
She hears the sirens of her heart,
Her veins bleed ink, and everything falls apart.

Farzeen Rashid, from the poem "Anonymous Grief"



They tell each other, in mutters and whispers

That you are just a misguided angel

    (I’ve lost my halo)

But the Bible calls misguided angels the devil

Are you the devil?

    (They all murmur Lucifer)

Antara Choudhary


Summer- full of charm, passion like a lava, helping, giving, fiercely out there believing in us, was I, while he
was the winter - biting, breezy, stormy, cold, foggy and gray.
The reason for my suffering was summer clothes during winter nights until one day when another woman named Rain came in the form of an exam and separated us apart!
All I was left with was my summer self and hurt.

Bhakti Mukhi


freckles, out of place in the misery
we loved and called the city
that drenched, miserable paradise.

Oskar Leonard


That night as we both sat on the cold floor of the balcony, looking at the stars, smoking a cigarette each, I realised a lot of things and I was sure mom did too. There was something I was born with, something underneath the flawless, white skin for sale in the shops of the Rainbow mall, underneath the flesh and blood; that is my identity, my own perception of who I was. I didn’t know that yet, but dad would be back soon, out on mercy and we would again try to be normal, whatever that meant. 
But needless to say, we would soon go back to what we wanted to be. Soon, we would live our lives, waiting for something to happen, not giving up, embracing our little acts of defiance.

Ramyani Bhattacharya, from the story "For Sale"


ice chips gravitate to her like icarus to the upending sky, some relief from the agony of the miracle of life /
a lover stands by, patient as the rain clouds in summer, grasps her sweat-riddled fingers- perhaps it is a fever dream

Anoushka Kumar, from the poem "inbuilt/the pains of womanhood"


i look in your eyes

you look in mine

and time gets frozen

in shiny glass bottles of perfume

to be cherished

one drop at a time


Like cut-outs 

from old, musty newspapers, 

glued together 

in a cheap collage. 

Like seven different songs, 

playing all at once. 

Like all the colours of a prism

mixed together to form a 

pale, blurry white.


People I call family.

strangers I call friends. 

A broken house I call 


Aadit Pahuja


I watch the hammer of your chest rise and fall
like the gavel deeming you not guilty of being in love with me
as you sleep in my bed,
next to me,
through a mid-afternoon nap.

Jacob Smith


Ruby lipstick spreads across your mouth like a sunset.

You spit fire across the horizon before it swallows you,

Ready to burn anyone.

Brooke Mitchell

She pictured the forests-- 

She heard the moonlit darkness call

Inside the darkness, she felt

She would have solitude and calm.

Tanvi Nagar

hunger. fire of nostalgia burning pit of my stomach,

whining. screams climbing up my throat, my hands

covering my mouth, drawing in my inaudible cries. 


You locked me up for life; the cage is crumbling like

pieces of your face, sophisticated machines. I

dissolved my stardust into chamomile tea. beautiful

pain, i wish i was the one who took away your last

breath. beautiful pain

Samina Parveen

My prudence is built off of foolishness.

Jorge Romero Campos

Tossing ropes into water is useless

when there’s no one around to catch them.

Halle Preneta

I stand before him

and his stale air. Should I feel

remorse? Should I pray for his

day of heavenly resurrection?

Isabella Melians

My hard guitar case rests against my legs, decorated with peeling stickers. The pads of my fingers are still raw and flaky from the months I spent playing my Yamaha acoustic while staring at blank walls, drowning it all out, trying not to explode or cave in. Remnants of my long hair stay, probably permanent, in the chrome tuning pegs.

Sophie Kessler

There's chaos all around in the world. It's a competition rather of who does better and amidst reaching the peak, we leave our peace behind. So don't run, stop, grab your peace provider, do your thing and walk in the world where everyone around is running because unless you have mental peace, no running is benefitting. What do I do? I plug in my headphones and plug everyone around out. Where there's music, there's dancing, peace, listening, humming and singing no matter how good or bad your pitch is for singing along feels like someone's walking the same path and you're accompanied not alone. So let's pause the havoc by hitting the play button!

Bhakti Mukhi

We make bad jokes

And say "Just Kidding",

But we made good jokes

When we were kids;

It would make sense

If we say "Just Adulting".

Srishti Pandey

I am a creature of the water.

The ocean is my homeland

but it hurts me deeply to

witness it getting polluted

gradually. Each day is

supposed to be a new

beginning for creation but

instead it is becoming the

breeding ground for


I see hundreds of plastics

floating around in the water

for days and I know they are

going to last for a lifetime,

slowly destroying my

homeland and poisoning my

dear marine friends.

If continued, my fellow

inhabitants will be no more.

My species will be no more. I

will be no more.

My homeland will soon be

converted into a deserted

barren burial ground.

I sighed.

The ocean will be no more.

Prarona Roy

I'm much more paranoid now

Four years ago, I would have

slid down the steep slide

without a second glance,

But now–

Now, every possible bad


They come to mind

I could break my neck

Dislocate my hip

I could die.

So if someone asks me why

I don't slide at the park


I'll tell them,

I grew up.

Saanvi Sundaram

Words would hurt me. They

would be little things, not

much, all it had to do was

get to me. The shield I built

wouldn’t be strong enough to

push back the pains and

aches of the word weapons

that were thrown my way.

Sometimes it would hurt so


SaraJane Devereaux

I cry when my mother holds me as she's pushing me away.

Maisie Cu

Patriotism is a cheap and

vulgar word

and to dig trenches a worse


Tonight it is a star-drenched

night still.

Daniel Liu

and with my mind i make my tears flow in

retrograde, make the glass bottle drift backwards to where

i remember it. wondering, can dead stars come back to life?

remember: you were not moon-kissed, but star-crossed.

Kayleigh Sim

yes, i swallow broken english like stardust & choke on my own mother tongue, drown myself in the cosmos of the star spangled banner-- this place has so much longing.

Kayleigh Sim

If only life could be as it is in my dreams. Society isn’t there yet, but Inshallah (God willing) it will be soon.

Nafeesa Hoda

She stands then, a girl in a dead town, wanting to live.

The world is drenched in blue, silent except for the sound of a girl racing against time.

It’s an unfamiliar scene. The barren streets are washed in an aegean glow under the light of the half-masked moon.

Vanita Shih

in winter bones, we found ourselves together.

Emma Geller

my heart splintered everytime you


you’d promise to rebuild it,

then flee,

destroying it yet again.

and why did i keep letting you in?

because it was you.


my heart was always yours to throw

away anyhow.

Myesha Phukan

as the floor leaves us, my glorious


I let another prayer go unanswered

as if I had the power to fulfill it in the

first place.

Emily Rae Mahon

"While it is true that I have called you what you are, a Wanderer, I have not called you what you have always been, nor have I any name to remember this tale by," said Miz Yyadri as she turned to stare up to the Wanderer, whose eyes could not be met, for there were none. "

To share with you my name would be an impossibility." A statement of depth, "Miz Yyadri, a name I have not, I beg pardon that you forgive me for correcting you; I am not born of the Txnkanzho."


The sky seemed to dim. The nameless planet feared the words of the memory, of what would fall from the Wanderer's mouth.

Caleb Sa

Here I am, hiding in the rain again,

Sitting here ‘till the rain stops,

'The End.'

MJD Deetzy

Until the next dreams blossom,

The remains of childish dreams were

painted in the northern night sky.

Trisha Das

i may see the beauty that is shared but

you can never duplicate the real feeling of

fear but elation and openness all swirled

together in the most beautiful galaxy of

memories. you can never duplicate a

perfect city for an imperfect girl.

Rachel Miller

How gut wrenching it seems when the

blood beneath your veins wants to scream

but it’s voiceless,

Helpless it lies there unattended

Aahna Vashistha

the stars would go blind

before i forgot you

Ryan Hutcherson

tongue filled with silt, I scrape

the bottom of the world. it knows

everything. so I ask it

about the secrets hidden in my bones:

they are not for me to know.

Ainsley Kennedy

Our doc now sunken completely

My feet far down into the abyss

Didn’t foresee a majesty

leave me in such a tragedy

Please don’t leave me here like this.

Casey Law

We are people of summer. We live in the sun’s scorching scrutiny, and winter comes as welcome shade.

Anuva Chowdhury

How long before I let go of this pain? 

How long before I’m another empty vessel

     that’s screaming out your name?

Lizbeth D'souza

A white flower bloomed

In remembrance; Slowly, sadly

They named it

Lily of the valley


At times it’d appear

She could fly

But one’s born to stay on ground

Can never soar that high

Bareen Aziz

i want to believe when the church billboard commands me to p r ay. next door, the gas station light flickers, spells out HELL instead of SHELL.

Miceala Morano

Give me hope for this forest yet,

do not succumb to the rolling rage of the fire,

seek the clear air, higher ground, the mountains

with their snow-dusted crystals, let them

teach you to cradle the fragments, fractured flakes,

without burning the ice into thin blades of steam.

Natasha Bredle