Changing the Weather by Samantha Burke

Changing the Weather by Samantha Burke

Her words are like spring

Soft rays of sunshine

She fills you with butterflies


He reminds me of a hurricane

The crash of the thunder claps

And the wind gusts as his audience gasps


She causes a storm

With loud rain from her eyes

The spotlight like lightning, she feels blind


His poems are a blizzard

His words are harsh and cold

They send chills down your spine


They make you smile

They make you cry


Their words are replayed in our minds

They change the weather

A Backbone of Steel and a Heart of Gold by Abel Ramos

A Backbone of Steel and a Heart of Gold by Abel Ramos


Here is a story about an amazing mother named Vanessa, who is raising two kids on her own named Aiden and Alex. She is a single mother working a part-time job as a bus driver. Vanessa is always busy with her job, house, cooking, and cleaning, and she feels overwhelmed and depressed. She also feels that the love and happiness inside of her is slipping away.  

8:40 am; it's a Sunday morning, and Alex wakes up to brush his teeth and then eat breakfast. “Good morning Alex," his mother says in a cheerful tone. “Good morning, mother, I want pancakes for breakfast,” Alex replies. While Alex is brushing his teeth his mother gathers all the ingredients together. But then she notices that she doesn't have any eggs in the refrigerator. So she quickly checks her purse for some money, and all she has is $1.26, and a dozen of eggs costs $2.10 at her local supermarket. She quickly wakes up her oldest son, Aiden, who is 16 years-old and s student in high school. “Aiden wake up, Aiden wake up, go ask the neighbors for two eggs.” “Now?” he complains, “You just woke me up and I didn't even get to brush my teeth. “So what, just go” the mother insists.

Aiden feels embarrassed to go ask for eggs. He makes it to the neighbor next door and knocks. A lady with brown puffy hair and a lazy eye named Ms. Higgins answers the door. “How can I help you, son?” she inquires. “Well, I was wondering if you have two eggs you could give me, because you see my mom was going to make pancakes but we have no eggs, and no money to buy some at the supermarket. So I came here.” “Sorry, Aiden, we just used the last three we had left to make scrambled eggs,” Ms. Higgins informs him in a sad voice. “It's ok” Aiden says. He goes back home, and when he steps inside his door once more, he sees his brother crying, crying because he can’t have the breakfast he wanted. Their mother is screaming at him to shut up because there’s nothing she can do. Aiden tells Alex, “Let me brush my teeth, and then we’ll eat cereal together,” and that’s what they do.

Later that evening their mother gets a call from the light company telling her that she owes $252.00 on her electric bill; she tries explaining to them that she won't have the money until Wednesday, when she gets paid, but they insist that they’re going to cut the power off by Monday night. She keeps pleading for a little more time so she can pay the bill, but they simply say, “NO.” When she gets off the phone she starts crying. Aiden and Alex quickly go over to comfort their mother, but you can hear from her voice that she’s unhappy with herself, sad and mad. She feels that she’s let herself and her kids down. “Don’t worry, mom, we’ll get through this together; I don't want to see tears running down your face,” Aiden murmurs, trying to comfort her. “Thanks, baby,” his mother replies. You can hear in her voice that she needs help mentally and emotionally. Aiden has seen his mother fight through all her battles, whether it's putting food on the table or having enough money to buy some clothes, or medicine when the kids are sick, or even simply having enough time for herself and her children.

It’s late, around 9:32 pm, and the kids have to get ready to go to bed, because they have to attend school the next day. While the kids are falling asleep, their mother is in her room talking to herself; “I can't do this anymore, I need to get some money quickly.” The only thing that comes to her mind is to sell herself -- her body -- out on the streets. So she quickly gets dressed and drives over to Berry Tuck Ave, where she’s sure she can make $150 in less than an hour, and if she stays for a little longer, the money could easily double or maybe even triple. She risks everything -- herself, her kids finding out what she’s doing, but she feels she really doesn't have a choice.

Aiden wakes up to ask his mother a question, but when he calls her, there’s no answer. The house is sunk in complete silence. He feels something is wrong, but he’s too sleepy to think about it, so he just goes back to bed. He falls asleep wondering, where did mother go? It’s already 11:09 pm.

By the time Aiden opens his eyes again it’s already morning, 6:05 am, time for school. He and his brother Alex get ready. Aiden takes Alex to his school, which is only five minutes away, and then he takes the bus from there to the high school. When he arrives, his friends are waiting for him. “What's good, Aiden, want to go smoke?” his friends cry out. “Sure,” he replies. They go off, skipping school and smoking. Casually, one of his friends asks him, “Hey, do you want to make a little money?” Aiden is interested right away, and asks how. The companion responds by saying, “Selling weed.” The first thing that comes to Aiden’s mind is, “Money; money means helping mom with the bills and putting food on the table, and having a little extra for other things, like clothes.” So Aiden eagerly replies, “YES”. Throughout the day Aiden keeps skipping classes and selling weed. By the end of the day he’s already made $82.

On the way home, Aiden stops at his local supermarket to pick up some bread, milk, cheese, ham, and eggs with the $82 he earned. So at least he and his brother will have something to eat throughout the week. But when he enters his house, he hears a noise, the sound of someone crying; when he checks, he finds Alex weeping in the small bedroom they share. Aiden asks Alex, “What's wrong, bro, why are you crying?” Alex looks up at Aiden with his dark, watery eyes, with tears streaming down his face. He breaks the silence with the horrible news. “Mama is no more,” he murmurs, “mama is gone, mama is dead.”

No Little Baby Girl Anymore by Gianna Gonzales

No Little Baby Girl Anymore by Gianna Gonzales


I wouldn’t start off by saying my life is as hard as others might be. Everyone goes through some difficult times in their lives. The only difference is the period of time might be longer or shorter for some than others. Just like the many years that have now passed. I don't hear from him. I don't see him. He probably just doesn't care enough that he has a 16 year-old daughter who wishes she still had the daddy's little girl connection. But all he can say is, “Don't you ever forget that I'm your father and no one else can ever take my place.” PAUSE!!! It doesn't take much to be a father to a child. It takes a grown man to raise a child the right way and have a daddy's little girl. Now continuing. Early June receiving a call from an unsaved number wondering who it could be . . . “It's me, baby girl!” My voice didn't let him get another word out. “I'M NO LITTLE BABY GIRL ANYMORE!!! The next time you think about opening your mouth again, think about the 16 years you've missed out on. See you next time.”

Demons by Carlos Villarni

Demons by Carlos Villarni


These fucking demons
are really scheming
inside my head
making my brain dead
those are the perks
if it really works
but it's not too late
to come back against fate.

The thoughts inside my head are like demons
setting my head on fire and my brain steaming.
Yet my actions are definitely the angels
battling the demons so I’m able
to defeat them so my mind can clear.
The shit I overthink about isn't weird
Yet regardless it doesn't do me any good.
My mind says I could but my heart says I should
Keep repeating these actions since I do it for me
I’m really trying to keep my mind stress free
in order to progress with how my mind can be
I’ll keep fighting these demons indefinitely.
I won't let these thoughts become my controller.
It'll be easier to handle as I get older
because I’ll have to face the same shit over and over.
I'll focus today for a better tomorrow
rather than surrender to fear with my thoughts locked in.
Having determination is how I'm rocking

These thoughts inside of my head
leave me feeling steaming red.
Confining me to solitaire
telling me this shit ain't fair.
I’m left wanting nobody around.
Sometimes I'm pounded down to the ground
Sometimes I'm down on my knees
Pleading God just help me please.
Get those demons out of there,
Get those demons out of there,
out of there, out of there.
Get those demons out of there,
out of there, out of there.

These fucking demons
are really scheming
inside my head
making my brain dead
those are the perks
if it really works
but it's not too late
to come back against fate.

It's like I go through the same cycle everyday
then get tired without anything interesting to say
let's be real, we've all been through this phase
but we can move on in many different ways
so our past can just be history
we’ve moved, we’ve achieved victory.
Sometimes we lose the battle, but oh well
I still won't allow my head to steam like hell
Ever since I let my mentality raise the bar
as well as allowing it to take it too far.
Y'all can just call me an overachiever
but I won't sit back and become a pleaser
because I'm not afraid to make my next moves
since I know I really have a lot to prove.
With a little bit of spiritual help I'll be straight
and have negative thoughts escape through the open gates
they’ll come around again just like karma
so I’ll have to plant new seeds, just like a farmer.

These thoughts inside of my head
leave me feeling steaming red.
Confining me to solitaire
telling me this shit ain't fair.
I’m left wanting nobody around.
Sometimes I'm pounded down to the ground
Sometimes I'm down on my knees
Pleading God just help me please.
Get those demons out of there,
Get those demons out of there,
out of there, out of there.
Get those demons out of there,
out of there, out of there. 

Family Legacy by Idaris Andujar

Family Legacy by Idaris Andujar

It was April 7th, 2012, a day that changed their entire lives. She was a beautiful person inside and out. She hadn’t had the best life, but she always tried to give her daughters the life she never had. She failed at times, but she raised some very successful, encouraging, strong and beautiful women. She grew up with nine other siblings, no father, a single mother, surrounded by drugs, and everything dark. All she ever knew was the streets. She never finished school, but she knew money like the back of her hand. She never learned English, but she was effortlessly fluent in the most beautiful language there is. She grew up in the streets, and like I said, that was all she knew. When she had children of her own that’s what she taught them too, but she also taught her four girls that they were not allowed to be like her. Her girls had it tough, just like she did, just not as bad. Some of her girls followed in their mother’s footsteps, but some of them didn’t think about anything else except escaping the darkness and beginning a new and better life, a brighter, happier one. Yes, there were bumpy roads along the way but they all made it out eventually, after intense struggle.

Her girls grew up around stepfathers, drugs, and disgusting men. But the mother was so blind to all that because she was stuck behind the shadow of what she already knew and had been imprinted onto her skin, or that is what it seemed like. Some of her daughters were touched inappropriately by those disgusting men, and sometimes it went even further that. But their mother was blinded by love. She wanted to be loved by a man who was obsessed with her.  She looked and looked but never found him. Well, I can’t say never. There was this tall, powerful man who wanted nothing but to take care of her, love her, cherish her, and not only her but her girls as well. The girls didn’t like him at first because they thought he’d be just like all the rest, but he proved them wrong.

By this time she had three gorgeous grandchildren. Then a couple years later the second youngest had her first baby. Then, not even a year, later he died suddenly. The second youngest daughter eventually told her second baby, a daughter, that her stepfather was my grandfather because her father was never in her life or her older sister’s life. She was truly blessed to have her little daughter, and so was the rest of the family. The same year that the second oldest lost her baby boy both of her younger sisters had babies. They are just as amazing as the rest of other babies. Their family began to grow more and more. By 2012 the family had grown to be huge. Little did they know that April 7th, 2012 would change all of their lives forever. Their mother died. She died after being struck by a car. The man who killed her had been working in one her grandchildren’s classroom. He had also worked in the same school as her second youngest daughter. The family members were all in shock. She had been in and out of hospitals due to her weak heart, her diabetes, and her numerous bone fractures. She was the strongest woman her family had ever known, and she was suddenly gone in the blink of an eye. She had been literally only five steps from safety on that sidewalk.

The crazy part is that it just gets worse as the years go by. Three months later the oldest daughter’s husband killed himself. Not only did the family lose two very important people, they lost two more very important people, although through death. They just lost themselves in the mix of tragedies they’d never thought they’d have to face. It was almost like they were all losing themselves in a never ending black hole of pain. I would know. I have experienced the pain. I have felt it for many years now. I have lost myself in the mix. Now I’ve decided to write about it. I am the second youngest daughter’s oldest daughter.



J.D. (my grandmother)

T.D. (my grandmother)




Oldest: G.F. (my aunt)

2nd oldest: C.I. (my aunt)

2nd youngest: I.A. (my mom)

Youngest: S.D.(my aunt)



M.C. (cousin)

S.F. (cousin)

C.D. (cousin)

Idaris (me, the oldest daughter)

K.P. (cousin)

N.A. (sister)

(there are way more but too many to name)



G.F. The oldest daughter’s husband (my uncle)

Some Wounds Only Love Can Heal by Kristen Aponte

Some Wounds Only Love Can Heal by Kristen Aponte


Years passed after the incident in the woods that night. The little girl picked herself up from the ground and headed home. No one ever suspected or ever found out what happened that night. She was eleven when that happened and now she is sixteen. She’s in the eleventh grade now and she has a boyfriend who is a senior in her high school. One day they’re hanging out at his house in his room. She’s been alone with him many times before so she doesn’t think anything about it. They’re making out on his bed and he starts raising her shirt and then takes it off. She’s too into the moment to think about what’s happening, so she lets him. He doesn’t do anything else for a few minutes because he’s not sure how she’s going to react; once he sees that she doesn’t protest he keeps going. He lays her down with him on top and slowly reaches down and starts undoing her pants, taking them off slowly and then pacing his hand inside her. She tries to be okay with it and enjoy the moment. She lets him continue as they keep kissing hard, but then she starts getting flashbacks of that night five years before. She can see his face again, the smell of his musk returns, the way he held her so tight, and suddenly she returns back to reality and freaks out. She pushes her boyfriend off of her and jumps up quickly, grabbing the blanket, trying to cover herself as she backs into the corner of his room.

She can’t control herself anymore. She’s crying and has this crazed scared look in her eyes, which startles her boyfriend. He is still lying on the floor where she pushed him and he’s just staring at her in shock. He doesn’t understand what the hell just happened. He thought everything was going well and then all of a sudden -- he starts asking what he did wrong. Why is she freaking out? Did I do something wrong? he wonders. He gets up and walks toward her but as soon as he gets close she starts to freak out so he stops. She can barely get the words to form in her mouth. She is shaking and tears keep falling from her face. All she can say is No, stay away. Not again. I won’t let it happen. She can see that he is completely lost now and she realizes that he doesn’t have the same intentions as that devil of a man from her past. She collects herself in his bathroom and then apologizes to him for what just happened. She sits on his bed with the blanket wrapped around her waist trying to catch her breath as her boyfriend slowly approaches and then sits near her. He doesn’t know what he should do or say. He keeps getting closer little by little, until finally she is in his arms. He asks her if he did something wrong, if she doesn’t want to have sex with him, if she isn’t ready, but she doesn’t say a word. She just lies there in his arms in silence.

They fall asleep for a while, and when they awake he asks her to tell him what happened. She can’t stand the idea of telling him the truth because she doesn’t want him to look at her like she is this injured soul and feel bad for her, or even worse, think she is just a whore because all he can hear is sex at eleven, so instead she tells him that she got scared but that it wasn’t his fault. The truth is she did want to make love with him, but she was too scared because she could still feel those cold rough hands on her from that night long ago. He asks her if she wants to make with him now and she just shrugs. He touches her body gently as before and she allows it.

That night she feels as though it is her first time, as if nothing ever happened and she has been a virgin her entire life. She allows herself to give in to him, to let him take over her body, and she discovers that she actually enjoys the experience. She doesn’t think about that terrible night from the past, she is completely and totally submerged into what is happening in this moment. His hands flow over her soft skin losing themselves in the mystery of her beauty. Their bodies intertwine like vines in the trees. When they finish they lie together on his bed, his arms wrapped around her, holding her so gently as though she might break. The blankets are pulled over them both and she lies next to him with her head nestled in the crook of his neck. For the first time since the terrible event five years before she’s able to be with him and not be scared of what might happen. She can enjoy him as her boyfriend and not feel terrified of some guy who might take advantage of her again.

Which Is to Say by Nara Lopez

Which Is to Say by Nara Lopez


This is not just another poem about brokenness, which is to say my heart cannot conjure up any more metaphors about how broken I feel inside. This is not just another poem with melodic rhythms for my soul. This is a poem about emptiness stuck to the back of my throat. My hollow stomach hungry for something other than this depression I’ve been eating, the sadness that leaves my tongue laced with distaste, bitter and dry. Read in-between the cracks of my skin and you'll find nothing, which is to say when people look at me they can't know the demons that hide inside the corners of my mind. My spine cannot stay upright anymore because of the weight of my sorrow. Lifeless bodies and dead butterflies gather in my surroundings; I have never felt so empty, which is to say everywhere I go everything seems so lifeless. I am withering away. Every breath fills my body with pain, with every step I take. Maybe this is a poem about caving in, about life hovering on the brink of death, which is to say I can't go a day without feeling this way, lingering in-between the days and nights that capture no life from the sunless sky. Hours drift away, yet this ticking clock that is my mind can't function correctly, always stuck at 3am, which is to say I’m now a lifeless body haunting my own home. I am nothing, with no vision of happiness. I hope I’ll get to live long enough to see.


Tired eyes by Gina Derasmo, English Teacher

Tired eyes by Gina Derasmo, English Teacher

English Teacher, Freshman Academy
New Britain High School
& Pure Imagination Mentor


Tired eyes
Have just cried.
No one sees the struggle, just to get by.

Tired eyes
Hiding lies.
As I keep them hidden, they just grow in size.

Tired eyes
Energy dies.
Time stands still for some, but for me, it flies.

Tired eyes
Too hard to try.
Time to take like the birds and fly so high.

Phases by Carlos Villarni

Phases by Carlos Villarni


We all have been through so much doubt,

But that’s one thing life is all about;

We always think we can’t possibly make it,

So much stress that we just can’t take it.

It’s up to me to get the job done,

To get that diploma if I want one.

No time to hate on others and ruthlessly compete,

I'm just saying life ain’t no track meet.

Yes, that’s true, but on the other hand,

Sports is what I’ll have to stick with and stand.

That’s my only escape from the stress,

When I’m tired, annoyed, or feeling depressed.

I always stay low and remain humble,

So that others can’t make my life stumble.

Once I thought living would be just a breeze,

But lately it seems there’s not a moment to breathe.

Yet never will I let my hopes go down,

Because I’ve got to realize my dreams now.


You’ve got to know life ain’t no game,

When you realize things just aren’t the same.

Sometimes loneliness can be an escape,

It enables me to keep my thoughts in shape.

Others like to sit, talk shit and think,

But those are vain assumptions, so I just let them sink.

I have a future and know who I’ll be,

So don’t bring that fake love around me.

Don’t even try for I have a lot on my mind,

But I’ll solve it all myself, I’ll be just fine.

I don’t focus on the daily clout on Facebook,

Like those who fight, drink, and smoke for the cool look.

When I isolate it usually feels just right,

So I can deal with myself and continue to fight.

With just a moment of needed peace,

Things can slowly work out at least.

I’ve gone through so many phases,

I’m like a book with endless pages.


Little girls, don’t even get me started,

All they do is make you look retarded

With all of their stupid ass assumptions,

Inflicting heartbreaks as crushing as concussions.

And then we wonder why these things bust us up,

No one wants to talk and try to make up.

This also goes out to all the guys too,

Little hoes and flicks ain’t the wave, it’s true.

But at this age I shouldn't stress too much

Just because someone else loves to hold a grudge.

There are lots of thoughts running through my head,

But they really should be words loudly said.

For me trust is the number one issue,

They do you dirty and then just diss you.

I mean this seems like what we do now,

People act for the crowd when I come around

Then keep talking junk and don’t defend my name

When I’m nowhere in sight, damn what a shame.


Even your bros and best friends don’t care

Even if since day one you’ve always been there.

But that’s okay, even if life is tough, yo

Like always, other people just come and go.

Don’t let these things hold you back in school

Be happy, humble, and don’t be a fool.

Everyone can do it, that’s a fact

Just make sure that you know how to act.

Remember to sit back and take time to reflect

That way you’ll never have any regrets.

Every problem will inevitably vanish,

Remember that life is like a sandwich.

Whatever side you flip the bread comes first,

But don’t let that mentality put you in reverse.

Keep your personal life on the down low,

Even if all the others would just love to know.

If there’s one thing I’ve learned from my experience,

Major comebacks require something serious.


Artwork by Carlos Villarni

Your Ocean by Tahjae Barrett

Your Ocean by Tahjae Barrett

"For years, Suchen had felt as though
she were standing at the edge of a beach,
holding a line that flew Lei into
life like a kite over the sea—
or was it the other way around?"


Is it your ocean,
that moves with the wind,
Is warmed by the sun

Occupied by many fish,
And makes sailors feel like one?

Does the sound of your waves
excite you?
Does the motion and color clarity
ignite you?
Does it spark conversation
among people who love to swim?
From those who are ridiculed
for not being ready to?

Is your ease of access
too accessible?
Should your water
not be opened up
until your swimmers
crack an intricate code?

Can people leave
their garbage there?
Is it still littering,
if you're the one
who snatched it in?

Do things pry in it?
Do they run from each other,
act shy in it?
Does one kill another,
and die in it?

Do storms take your water,
then pour it back stronger?
Do you notice,
you rarely become completely empty?

Lessons: it's like all those fish
and sailors
were heaven sent.


Yes, it is my ocean.
It's deep,
Not because things use it,
but because things need it.

Four Walls and a Heartbeat by Samantha Burke, SLB

Four Walls and a Heartbeat by Samantha Burke, SLB


This I dedicate to the room in which everyone has formed a second home and a place where they feel free to talk about anything they need to express.

I also dedicate this to all the students who have been so strong through all the things they have been going through.

And finally a special thank you to Dr. Walsh for creating a platform like this for students to write, share, and deal with their problems alongside others.


Four walls and a heartbeat


In me the chairs don’t squeak

No whispers or moving feet

Students sit and they listen

To the shy faces, talent, and ambition




Four walls and my heartbeat


They hold their fists clenched while reading

They hold back the tears

They hold onto their fears

But not holding back their tongues is what keeps my heart beating


Four walls and your heartbeat


What their lives have been

Filled with venom

Fake friends with snake eyes

The pen is their weapon


Take a breath


Four walls and you are my heartbeat


You just want to pull the trigger on that pistol

You want to feel happiness

Even for just a little

To them, what they read are mistaken memories

Death, drugs, and rape

These scars are not temporary


They run to the composition book

And me

Four walls and a heartbeat



A Poem to My Good Friend by Julia Conant

A Poem to My Good Friend by Julia Conant


I recommend an app,
Give you a clap,
As my excuse,
This is useless

Why am I
Willing to throw away my life
For this guy
Who doesn't want me?


Let it be known,
That I would throw,
Myself into your arms
Without any warning;
I'm gonna fall,
I hope you'll catch me,
Answer my calls!

Don't answer my calls,
He simply can't know
That you are the cause
Of all of my hope
And pain in the world
He simply can't know!
Don't tell him, dear friend
Of the texts that we send
Of my undying love
You know that I love you,
But don't tell him that
He would eat his hat,
If he knew his princess
Was starting to second guess
Who she wants to be with
For better or worse

You're texting me now,
You don't know I'm writing this
Ignorance is bliss
I guess you don't notice
I would play
This game all my life
But you don't want me
As your future wife?!

Don't love me, see if I care
I care. I need you,
Good friend, are you there?
This silence is killing me,
I'm in despair
Help me, I'm drowning
Get out of my hair!

Leave me alone!
I don't want you here!
It's not like I think of you
Every day
Of every year
Hoping he’ll say goodbye

So that I can live happily by your side

I know that sounds awful,
I'm heartless, what's new?
You know that my heart
Beats only for you
Like the drums in a rock song
For three years straight
Not bad, don't you think?

When I see you, I feel I'm in place,
I'm grounded, I'm stable,
I'm finally able
To be me, to see
Exactly what I need
I need you
To know that you are my dream

I need you! I know that!
Do you hear my plea?
Give me a chance
So I can finally breathe

I want to be next to you every day
Be there with you always, there's no time to waste
I'd leave him this second, if you'd just say yes
I'm waiting on you, good friend
Be my guest

Mother and Child by Yarieliz Alamo

Mother and Child by Yarieliz Alamo


The main thing I wanted to capture in this poem is the hatred yet acceptance of a young mother’s feelings towards the child. My idea for this was to have a mother who is on drugs but has a child. She loved her boyfriend so much, she would do anything and everything to get her boyfriend’s acceptance. He didn’t want the kid, he asked for an abortion. The mother denied the idea quickly. She would never kill an unborn. So the girl kept it. But once she gave birth and once the baby started to look more like her boyfriend, she went crazy and started to hate it. The poem is from the point of view of the mother.

I'm killing myself from within as I sit in the corner of this room with the booze bottle in my hand and a cigarette hanging from my once-pink lips
My thoughts eating me alive as I sit and sit, staring into outer space while my baby cries . . .
just end it, I think.

I need to throw away my pills. It's what's best for her.

My baby, my miracle child.


It's her fault I'm like this. Her father still would be with me if it weren't for her.

Stupid kid.

But I love her.

She's my baby!

Now I sit in silence with my baby sleeping in my arms. I stare intently at her.

How much she resembles him!

Making me yell out, causing her to startle, awake, and cry out loud.

I hate you!

I could've lived a normal life, but you had to ruin everything.

It's all because of you.
But I need to be here, I'll throw away the pill.

If I go down, you go down with me.

I hate you, but I can't let that happen.

I'll accept you.

Stupid kid.

I'm shaking, my body is craving it; I thought I could do it but I can't, I need it. I need the pill and I need it now.

My hands reach out ever so slowly to the bottle of pills that I threw across the room. I place my baby in the crib as I pop one in my mouth.

Then two.

Then three.

All because of her.

Stupid kid.


Narrator: the next day, the neighbors called the police because of constant crying in the house next door. They seemed to think a child had been left alone without the supervision of an adult.

And they were right.
There she was on the floor, dead due to an overdose.

Because the drug was more powerful than the love.

The Dark Betrayal of My Mind by Donna-Lou Douglas
Once Upon a Time by Krystal Portelo Paulino

Once Upon a Time by Krystal Portelo Paulino


Once upon a time a pair of twins were born. From fire, blood and iron was their birth. Among a never ending war were they destined to grow. One a male, and the other a female. These two destinies equally aligned and perfectly harmonious, but with roles completely different. Tragedy, hate and infernal pain the future holds for them, but love will come, bringing them new worlds.

Nothing can be done to save our two heroes, for their beings are intertwined with the world’s. By a tragic event was their childhood parted, only to at the end again be united…”

As she was reading the draft, Elisa slowly moved her head away from the paper making a frown. It was a cheesy, lame and cliche writing. She hated it, plus it reminded her of her brother. Did Trevor know anything about her? Nah, he’s just a romantic when it comes to writing stuff.

“All I can recall, this is painfully brain damaging cliche. It even sounds wrong,” objected Elisa. “The prologue of the story is too dramatic, too cliché,” she said.

“How is it cliche? And how does it sound wrong . . . why are you such a party pooper, Elisa?”

“Do I have to answer and explain how this is a cliche prologue? IT STARTS WITH ONCE UPON A TIME! Also, ‘These two destinies equally aligned and perfectly harmonious... Tragedy, hate and infernal pain the future holds for them, but love will come, bringing them new worlds’ -- it sounds like at some point they’re gonna do some incest crap. Happy with my party pooping, Trevor?” She stares at him oblivious.

“ a) The once upon a time part gives it life, and b) you have a dirty mind,” Trevor pointed out while typing.

“c) the world has a dirty mind, not me.”

It was school work, the story they were writing together; the teacher made an error by partnering her with Trevor, or with anyone. But what could the teacher know about her? Nothing. And what will the teacher learn about her? Nothing.

It's just a project, nothing else. Let it go and get the grade. This has nothing to do with you, you are making up all this stuff in your mind and you are letting it damage you. Get your s**t together.

Probably a joke, but the thing is, the story that Trevor was writing was similar to Elisa’s. Alike in the sense that in her version she had a twin in the tragedy and infernal pain sense. The rest was dramatic flair garbage.

A Memory So True by Taina Boria

A Memory So True by Taina Boria


Our memories are so true, sad to say I share one bad memory with you.

It isn't anyone's fault, it's just the time you lost.

You lost your final fight, but you're still a champion for holding on so tight.

Everyone knew you were sick, but we all thought you would overcome it.

It’s not the way I wanted this to happen, I regret all the times I took for granted.

One more laugh is all I seek, one more laugh in your white jeep.


I know you're okay because of my dream, the one where you told me to keep going, never give up, and stay strong, kid.

You'll be the one to overcome all this pain.

Although my sadness can never go away, I hope our memories never fade.

I love you with all my heart, but this is going to be the sorrowful part.


I truly miss you, and wish you were here.

At times I wish it was all a bad dream, but I know this is true, and not some horrible illusion that the darkness places upon you, at your lowest moment.

And this is why I dedicate this song to you:

“Hurt” by Christina Agulera


This song was created for her father who passed.

She wished the times she had with him could have lasted.

This song is dedicated to you, because you're the father I never had.

I want to make you smile, that's why everything I do is to make you proud.

I wish you luck on the journey, as you continue to seek

And may your soul rest in peace.


I love you, grandpa.

Don't Assume by Julia Conant

Don't Assume by Julia Conant

“It had been her mother’s idea that she should go to a
creative writing workshop. She’d said that a friend’s daughter had attended
one and enjoyed it very much. Aviad also thought it would be good
for Maya to get out more, to do something with herself. ”
"Creative Writing"


"Is that the boy you like?" I asked her.

"Him? Ew, no! That's gross!"

He didn't look gross. If we’re being honest here, he was far from it. He seemed nice, too. Always smiling. I had seen him around school before. He seemed friendly, but much too cool to be friends with someone like me. I didn't think about him for the rest of freshman year.

The next year, we had a couple of classes together, but we still didn't talk. I lent him some note cards once, but that was it. I still thought he was too popular to be friends with me. But it wasn't like I really wanted to be friends with him. I barely even thought of him. The only things I remember of him that year were him saying that if he could have any superpower in the world, it would be to summon IKEA furniture on command, and that he thought a proper word to describe himself was the word, "yogurt."

This year, I joined the Creative Writing club. It was full of people expressing their deepest, most profound emotions.

He walked in the door.

I thought to myself, "He must just be here to give a friend moral support. There's no way this upbeat friendly goofball could be harboring any deep secret emotions."

He walks up to the front of the class, poem in hand, and he begins to read.

"So, you wanna know what depression feels like?"

Fascinated by the Fast Money by Jennifer Mol

Fascinated by the Fast Money by Jennifer Mol


Their mind set is fuck school, them teachers don't teach us shit anyway, it's pointless. They just want to make that fast money. They seen a crack house that made almost half of a mil. Seeing all that white and cash makes me even hungrier and feening for money. They be sitting there thinking, why should I get a job that pays 9.00 dollars an hour and only pays every two weeks when I can work on my own hours comfortably and make almost a couple hundred a day? It's tempting, impossible to say no to that.

Just imagine pulling up to your block with the newest whip, wearing the freshest clothes, and the most expensive chain ever around your neck. They want to have the power to buy whatever they want. The power to get any girl that comes their way. And to stunt on everyone that looked down at them at one point in their lives. Most important is wanting to make sure that your mom and little brother got a roof over their head, living comfortable and eating good. That's what that fast money can do.
But you can have it all and lose it all. When you lose it all, ain't nobody gonna be there for you when you're down and broke. You start realizing they was only there for your money and fame. They don't care about you. They only cared about what you had in your pockets. Once your money is gone, the people you thought were your homies start disappearing, just like that. Now you're broke and not one soul is gonna lend a hand to help. The only thing on your mind is how can you provide for the family.
Now you're having thoughts about killing and robbing people. Hungry for money and all you can think about is ways to get it to provide for your family. You're carrying all this weight on your shoulders, feeling like spazzing out and shooting at anything and anyone in sight. But you got to stay sane for your mom and little brother because you know without you in their lives they would be living on the street. And your little brother would be out in the streets in gangs and doing things you wouldn't want him to do. Still thinking of ways to come up with some money, knowing you can easily plot on one of the neighbors that you know have money and nice things in their crib. You watch their every move first and find out days when they're not home for long periods of time.
So that's what you're planning to do tonight, to be in and out their crib with no complications. You really don't want to take anyone's life tonight. But before you head out you say a prayer in your head telling God to forgive you for what you're about to do and praying everything goes as planned. You remind yourself everything you're doing is for your fam. And just like that you're back to your old ways.

Dear Younger Me by Kristen Aponte

Dear Younger Me by Kristen Aponte

"What a thing to be sitting here remembering."
"Coney Island"


Dear Younger Me:

Well, you’re 15 now and not much has changed. You’ll be turning 16 soon and you still don’t want a party. It’s never been your thing. Being the center of attention. Maybe it’s because you’re so used to always being in the shadows that having to step out into the light scares you. Even when little you’d never take that chance on getting noticed. You’d always be the one in the back of the class sitting by herself, all quiet. Afraid of raising your hand because you might get the wrong answer, and you didn’t want to take the chance of getting it wrong and having everyone else laugh at you. Or maybe it’s because of all the secrets you’re forced to keep. One wrong move and it’s game over. People have left your life. Especially the ones you thought would stay forever. But as soon as one leaves a better one walks in. It might feel like the end of the world now, but trust me, it’s not. You still have trouble communicating with people. You’d rather sit in your room with the blackout shades closed and your music loud to tune the world out. You’ve tried interacting with people since you reached high school. You joined JROTC, which makes you speak a lot and be in a leadership role, which is funny because you always said you’d never be one to give orders. You’re in Cane-ettes – yeah, I know you always said you’d never dance, but you actually like it. The one thing that hasn’t changed is that you still like to block people out. You can’t tell them the truth when something’s wrong. You’re still so scared from what happened that it makes you clamp up whenever someone tries to enter. It’s made having a boyfriend pretty hard. It’s been the main reason they don’t stick around for long. You had one guy who tried his hardest to make you open up to him, but you were so scared that you couldn’t and you ended up pushing him away. You have a new guy now though; don’t mess it up, you really like him and he might actually be one to stay and put up with your crazed self. Those scars all around your body are still there, but they don’t bother you as much anymore. You’ve learned to deal with them. You stare at them from time to time and it transports you back to when they happened. Like the one on your knee cap from when you were biking with dad and you had a pretty bad spill and it left a pretty bad scar. Or the time when you went behind mom’s back and shaved your legs and ended up cutting badly yourself on the back of your ankle. Even the one where Alyssa dropped the lamp on you and pressed the light bulb to your calf and it ended up burning the hell out of you. Those you don’t mind looking at; they weren’t that bad, unlike the others. Like the one near your left ear or the cuts on your stomach. Those still do bother you and you wonder if they’ll ever stop bothering you. You’ve come a long way from where you were before. You don’t cut yourself anymore, and things have gotten a little better at home. Everything isn’t rainbows and sunshine, but it’s not like before. You can actually stand to be home now. You still deal with what happened that day, and it does bother you most of the time, but it’s not that bad. I just wanted to let you know that although your life seems shitty right now and you just wanna say “fuck this” and “I’m done” -- don’t. Things will get better at some point, just don’t give up. Trust me.  It’s not worth it.

Eyes by Rosie the Weirdo

Eyes by Rosie the Weirdo


Her eyes hold a secret, that I am sure of; I reach out, but by the time I reach, she’s already gone. I usually watch her from a distance, her smile much more beautiful than even the largest, most brilliant diamond, her onyx black hair sucking me in like a black hole, only to be brought up short by her golden brown skin. She looks like a roasted marshmallow, soft, crushable. Yes, these are all striking points, but her eyes are what shine the most – a mix of milk chocolate and caramel. She looks around, our eyes meeting; she stares at me, her eyes refusing to open their doors. How I wish to destroy those doors, though I could never, I mustn't . . . Should I? By the time I finish my thought she's gone; yet again she’s escaped. I truly love that about her, though I wish she would notice me, at least then would I need not to be so wary of her.

I can feel my heart race the next time I spot her; she's shopping, buying for two -- why? Is she with someone? Does she not realize that I'm all she needs? I calm myself down and follow after her, watching her head bob back and forth, her hips swaying side to side. A gentle wind blows, sending me a whiff of her strawberry scented hair. Strawberry? She usually wears kiwi. Still I can't get riled up, perhaps she has good intentions? She can't, she won't, I won't let her. She stops at an apartment, not hers; how did I not realize the path she took was different -- oh, why did she abandon me? I let my fury rise as I lunge after her, my hands are on her, her skin is soft but she's shaking, screaming. Her eyes are finally open, I’ve broken down the doors, but behind them is someone completely different -- where is she? “Where is she?” She screams loudly, grabbing my arms. I can hear doors rattling, I hear screams from neighbors, but I'll stay until I find her, this woman gasping as her hands release from my arm. Seconds later I’m free of her; she breathes calmly, her face returning to normal. She looks like me, her eyes watering, there. I can see I destroyed those doors, I flooded those doors with tears; my dear . . . is it me you fear?