| By Abigail Bechtel
You pass an invisible wall,
you begin to snicker and sneer
You judge me.
You make me your victim.
You cannot know where I’ve been
or what trials I have gone through
nor my joys.
And I do not know yours.
I cannot judge you back
though it would be so easy,
though I desperately want to.
You make me your victim,
but you were victims first,
although I cannot know to what.
This bonds us.
We are akin in this way,
victims to one another,
To prejudice, insecurity, pride
The list is infinite.
But we are victims, you and I.
This doesn’t make you easier to forgive,
nor me easier to like.
This does not cripple us,
Nor empower us.
Neither does this make us the same.
Those who say,
“We’re all the same”
We are not all the same, you and I,
but we are also not all
By Jordan Elsely-Kolhman
The sun shone on Monday morn
in strands of flaxen memory.
Out past the horizon sat a visage,
its magnificence sifted through the atmosphere,
but those minuscule collisions resulted
in splendor unrequited.
The gentle warmth of lips shifting
into smiles a million miles away
lifted midnight mists,
weekend haze cut into
by moments of focus.
We play our celestial parts,
bodies revolving in and out of
eclipses, simply wishing for
the bliss of glimpses.
This life is but a struggle
through ellipses into
periods of certainty.
By Natasha Orpin
Do you hear it?
Of course not. There was little hope that you
would ever hear and know – listen.
For you run about all day chasing monsters and
digging in the dirt
with a playmate no one sees.
How does one put
to paper a thing silent in nature? How does
one imagine the imaginary friend to look?
This is the trouble
with the ineffable. Yet
the instrument – language – is
not the problem. Listen, child!
Your playmate has scampered off with the monsters and now
you are left to the inexpressible.
Ms. Dickinson will be along shortly.
By Cody Claassen
Stuck in orbit around this place
It never decays
always mere miles
from the flowing shadow pit
of melancholy and mediocrity
Sheer exudes from its centre
And this one can hold
Even the idea of escape velocity gets sucked
towards the hostile maelstrom
Now sitting at the edge of space and reason
I watch like a shamed voyeur
at the things left undone
A great unwinding is happening
and I am doing nothing
to stop the pulling of chords
I should want to leave
want to forge a way out
want something more
But I don’t
and that unsettles me
more than the constant pull of apathy
By Cody Claassen
Silver begets Bronze
just as mother births child;
a cycle continues,
staying the same and yet changing everything.
Whimsical fantasy shifts into gritty noir
that taint everything with a realism
not yet experienced in this day and age.
A legacy is dirtied, a hero dissloved,
and respect for the future
A beacon emerges
flooding existence with its emerald, ethereal glow
and thunderous lightening applauds its coming
Icons from the past usurp the darkness
that simplicity and innocence still have a place.
Heroes made, Heroes, died, and Heroes reborn
Forever a cycle of continuity.
By Marike Stucky
She listens for his motions, attentively,
but does not hear for the blare of the television.
It’s switched on
she’s nestled in the crook.
As a little girl
I listened closely as well,
but now I have seen
the things that men can do.
I feel the fear
that salted her trembling lips.
I only wanted someone to love, she tells me.
Can I climb my way out?
The voice-over keeping on
from the television
By Jocelyn Wilkinson
We have some problems
Real life, fucked up, serious ones.
Actually, fucking tons.
Is it our culture?
Is it our government?
Is it our military?
Seriously, what is it?
Because I don’t understand.
My mind is incapable of comprehension
I can find no sense.
The killing, the innocent,
Death doesn’t ruin only the defiled.
Hitting that point,
it ruins society.
Perhaps we encourage it.
Or maybe we just don’t challenge it.
We live, expecting shit to fix itself.
By Kaitlin Schmidt
It occurred to me today, (so long ago)
that you are a bit like the sugar ants that
crawl across my grandmother’s kitchen counter.
Let me tell you about them.
She never could keep them out.
During the dry months
when the heat breeds heavy hopelessness in the air,
the ants scuttle in to escape it.
In, in, in from the house’s every seam
from between the blonde trim and the wall
from behind a loose outlet cover
easiest of all, from a windowsill.
They have no mass no limits nothing slows them.
They are minute dots, black wisps in my vision as they explore
the cool white porcelain sink. They like it there, I think.