Like Taking Your Glasses Off by Jennifer Paffenbarger

the street is all pink, she says

and that man is just a pair of legs,

pink street cloaking pink shirt and pink skin.

each tall iron lamp is a flickering candleflame,

each sparkle of reflected light a frozen firework

exploding across glass-front shops,

wavering and dancing in the dark.

all of this she describes to me as we wander the streets,

her hand in mine to keep her safe so

she doesn’t run into an iron lamp-post,

or open door, or headless man.


my eyes are whole,

but they can’t see the world

shining and disappearing in a beautiful mirage.

I wish I was in this place with her,

seeing what she sees,

instead of following the fine silver stars

she breathes out with her voice.

Loneliness by Maura Cahill


             is my oldest friend.

When I was five years old I found her, laughing,


in the very furthest corner

of the pink-blue- yellow-green alphabet carpet.

On my sixth birthday she took my hand,

Led me on every adventure.

               A thousand pages, magic and her.

Bittersweet simplicity she was,

Whispering secrets of the big wide yawning world:

Alluring ache.

I played with loneliness every day.


She was my confidante as the world turned on its axis about me.

You are special, she said,

Your tears are diamonds.

You are strange and you are free.

She who

Introduced me to the moon

              -goosebumps on my skin in the cold night air

and the ghostly crystalline stars calling,       reaching,       crying out

to their sisters in my eyes.

She lingered in the hallways,

Wrapped around me like a blanket when the sun

Expired in bursts of golden light-

and I loved her for it.

Still she follows, waits, caresses my cheek when the leaves start to fall

Murmuring, Remember me old friend?

And I do.

I do.

Whynot by John Emery

We diet our dreams on kerosene

This civilized competition of gasoline,

We paint a salvation through the mud,

and play along with the flood.

Bent destinies dwell in houses of cards- jaw and nail-

Built up from the hand we’re dealt.

Darling, with you near I can stand to fail

This is the calmest the havoc has ever felt.

God Exists by Violet Paget

They always ask me why

I don’t go out more often or why

I like to be alone;


but what’s more upsetting is that they never just ask me.

They nudge me to go to parties

(as if preparing a face for a social

event with people I don’t know

screaming and spitting in my ear

is that easy enough to do on short notice).


They stop answering my daily phone calls

(as if my interacting with them is holding me back).


They reassure me that I will find my

friends in time but follow up that sentence

with caveats including, but not limited to:


          you can’t find good friends until you find some bad ones;

          there are shy people like you out there, you just need to look for them;

          and my favorite...


          but you’re probably so lonely. What’s the

          harm of a little carefree time with some new faces?


Well, I am lonely, Mom,

but I feel infinitely more lonely racking

my brain for things to say so that that

uncomfortable little silence doesn’t creep into

the conversation and it takes

so much effort.


I am not asking for much. My standards are really not that high

but it seems that most people I meet are

more interested in people more interesting than me.

And this is when it starts—those thoughts

that, every two weeks like clockwork, tiptoe

into my head like my brain belongs to them.


Because, Mom, it would be so much easier to make

friends if I didn’t have to wear long sleeves even

on days when the humidity swallows you

the moment you walk outside and you would

give anything for clean wrists—


Because, Mom, it would be so much easier to make

friends if my depression actually liked to be around

other people but, FYI: it doesn’t—


Because, Mom, I know you’re just trying

to stop me from making your mistakes—


But, Mom, you didn’t make any mistakes—

Save for the one when you believed you were broken.

Because, Mom, I know I inherited this sadness from you—

But, Mom, don’t worry. Your baby girl will be just fine.

You can let go now.


And, Mom—please remember, even when I am not

there to remind you: if your flesh is not the flesh

of God than God does not exist.

Legacy of a Class Long Ago by Hilda Friday

Oh hallowed halls of college old

Where souls of all your kin commune

In thee laughter echoes bold

From deadly winter to kindest June

Thy gleaming lights and shining walls

wash thy habitants aglow

With nectar and ambrosia’s thrall

Our staccato heartbeats slow

We’ve laid our marks upon thine floors

thine taste upon our lips

Thou art solace from our lonely wars

All other sustenance do thee eclipse

Yet when moon has turned from honey

pastures lose their emerald sheen

Thy radiance no longer seems as sunny

From thy nurture we must wean

Thine children bid your thrones adieu

Thy audience disperses

From the nest the flock hast flew

fearful of thy verses

That which many hearts has broke –oh!

Canst thou be the halls of Foco?