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Edition 5 

2020

Life wrapped each of us differently. My mom’s skin looks like fall mahogany 

wood dried after soaking in baths of olive oil. My sister’s skin reminds me of a summer 

roasted peach. My dad’s skin is like a quilt of sun-bleached, well-worn autumn leaves. 

And mine strikes me as a gaggle of ominous constellations sprawled across a golden sky. 

Skin cancer runs as deep in my family as the lust for adventure. 

 

My dad would pay any amount of money to get more melanin in his skin. He 

reminds me of a plant. On sunny days, he sits reading like a grateful stray cat: He 

unfolds, blooms and soaks in the sun’s drenching glory. My dad passed on his thirst for 

adventure, his sense of wonder, and his skin to me. My sister tells me that I am “white person 

tan” -- that my skin looks too gold, like a spray tan. I feel the prettiest in the spring, summer and 

early fall when the gold makes me feel like a wild goddess. On the days when the sun 

overflows, my friends and I catapult off cliffs into thrillingly cold hidden lakes, surf until the sun’s yolk drips below the horizon, run through backtrails populated by wildflowers and ferns until my legs are numb, lazily bike through town for ice cream in the late afternoon, gossip and giggle by the pool wrinkled with streams of light, and awe at sunsets from grassy peaks. These days paint my skin their shades of happy. 

 

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Fuck you jesus
Melia Chendo

frozen dreams fell from my lips

and melted on your tongue

as i drowned in pools of blue

almost as beautiful as

tomorrow

a cigarette rests in your calloused fingers

as a plane flies overhead

and reality crumbles in the ashtray

this is too little

for an infinite mind

you play songs by dead rappers

and sink into broken laughter

as sugar coats your tongue

you whisper through chattering teeth

the stars are coated in hollow velvet

you stare at the sky too often

sinking into thought

like a crumb in a glass of milk

let me bleed

you scream at the world

and grab it by its rigid shoulders

each bone penetrating your wailing voids

the velvet is boundless

but you’re afraid to let go

white knuckles clench the ashes

and extinguish the flame

each kneel is a sin

you are so much more beautiful

when you hold no need to control

don’t fall asleep

your eyes droop with the weight of hunger

24 hours turn to 4 days

and you invite me over

to float through your dreams

your mind is broken in shards of glass

twisted hairs tangled in a mound of nothing

and you are the closest

we have come to everything

how liberating it is

to go insane attempting to understand

our infinite beauty

rather than become a slave

to fear

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Although I am writing about you, I should not be writing about you. 

---

When the sky looks different, I think I am happy. I was happy… I knew everyone would stay. But not everyone stayed... This time got cut, cut into millions of fragments--pieces. Pieces that were flung back and ricocheted into my heart. The shards scatter and sink deep -- deep past Branson, past our hearts, and into the rich, unreachable, layered soil, where they will stay. Stay forever. 

---

His long dangling arms swooped in, held, and surrounded our little world. Our community was suddenly warm and his charisma enveloped our hearts. But a hug, a daily hug was our thing. 

I wasn’t the only one. With that million dollar smile, he introduced us all to a better, brighter world, a new mindset. His magical laugh and radiant smile reflected his undying dedication to the choices he made. He embodied an angel, flying across each wooden gym floor and into the air, holding, gripping his world between his hands, shooting the black-lined orange ball with grace and ease.

---

    Monday, June 10th, 2019: I awoke to the feeling of throbbing pain rising up in my throat. Losing breath, my airway was blocked with sharp discomfort. I bolted to my desk and chugged the water. Down. Down. The cold water slipped down my throat, enveloping the pain, easing the heaviness. Washing the damage away. The damage, however, never abated. This damage pierced, stained, and remained. The last day of junior year, our graduation on a peaceful morning was the last day I saw one of my best friends. Where he gave me his last hug. The last hug I was able to receive. 

---

August 27th, 2019: The first day of senior year. Blank faces filled the atmosphere, avoiding the conversation, hiding the crushing destruction with forced smiles, laughs and welcome backs. Looking up at the sky, I searched for the right answer, for an explanation, for that beautiful smile, reliving that last hug I received. Where is he? And with a slight slip of a word, a razor-edged reminder, clouds of puzzlement evaporated. The sky dripped purple darkness onto the earth below, and diluted my soul. Expressed through the tears that dripped from my green eyes, these feelings shattered me, my heart, and my memories. My clear glass view turns, turns into a blanket of expressionless fog. My heart has cracked; no longer mended, these pieces have begun to rip off and crumble through this deep soil. I now have a habit of pushing, forcing this achiness deep down into my body. Trying to smile, I fold away this insatiable, stinging pain beneath and under my soul and core. 

I find myself spiraling, sinking. Nature and trees felt alive around me, until trees decayed, bark ripped off the scattered treelike edges, splitting into two ragged pieces that now fall to the ground and diminish into dust. The world scattered without him. He represented Branson, our little community, and held a place in everyone’s hearts. The ultimate manifestation of his soul, remained lost beneath this soil. But never forgotten. It’s impossible to forget him and that smile. When hearing that name, his name, and feeling his presence through words, he and his soil begin to feel unapologetically real. Painfully real. 

 The shift was monumental. Detrimental. He was the connection, the glue that could mend the pieces, the pieces of all of us together. He hooked us all in with his lengthy arms, and kept us hopeful, positive, and powerful. His enigmatic, unparalleled spirit and energy lit the match that sparked all of our flames. Now our once reality, morphs into an everlasting memory. We live, and live, and live through the ability to remember him, trying to recreate this reality that once was. 

Although released, his presence still moves through the trees, tearing every leaf off in sight. It seeps through the ground until it encloses you and anyone nearby into normalization. I began to learn in time to normalize this true, unspeakable sadness. Until it leaves a permanent look of emotionless feeling that covers my face, and it hides, it overshadows the mask of paralyzed sadness and fear. And this fear. This fear, now something more prevalent, reveals one day some might not stay, including myself. This rampant animal that constantly tugs on lifelines of those I love. 

My focus constantly escapes from my cluttered, confused mind. It hits me, hits like a wrecking ball crashing into that clear glass view. Suddenly any room can become fuzzy, and colors can start to collide and become a blur. Stained black dots could appear. Water drops could fall down my face. My world breaks without you. My world is different without you. But only then did I feel the pain of recognizing that nothing would change. Still waiting for you to come to school again from your never ending basketball tournament. 

This dream, this long, endless dream shatters my empty heart, shatters all of our hearts. Tears could fall slowly over and over again. But his devoted loyalty and effervescent spirit will help us to reweave the severed ties of this community. We search for that missing being in our lives. His soul, however, remains a part of us, lies within us. That unforgettable, courageous presence hooks deep into our hearts, leaving his legacy of selflessness within us. We constantly remind ourselves: support each other, love each other, support each other, love each other.

---

As I wake up again, another morning, I look up to the sky, to him, just hoping he will one day fly back towards home. The sky looks different, feels different. Sometimes you will never know the value of a single moment, until it transforms into a memory. 

 

This piece is dedicated to Kwentyn Wiggins, my hero. Rest in peace. 

Skin

Maddie lowe

 

Madison Morrison

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Phase one 

Audrey Dickinson

CArlyn Cunningham 

All doodles by Carlyn Cunningham

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DENUO

MADISON ESREY

 

If they must kill us, let them all be scared

Scared not of us or friends, but of thyself 

May they regret their deeds, leave them unshared

Archive the records, hide them on the shelf.

For the enemy is a ferocious beast 

They do not think, they only strive to hunt

They hunt with no pride, the meaning deceased 

So before we die, we defend our front

The enemy doesn’t fight for their land

They cower and hide in the face of death

White flag flying, standing alone; outmanned

Carefully, they will protect the last breath

Oh, the enemy is not doubted to be a scared animal!

But they’re beastliness is clear, outlined to see by us all

If they must kill us 

anonymous 

English 1 poetry 

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Aj sann

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AVERY HANSEN

EVOKING A FEELING 

AMANDA DAVIS

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When the Sky Looks Different

Alexandra lenzo

You can see me broken, my face wet with tears still glistening,

And I can see that in your heart, you still aren't even listening.

To words that fall like stone in water, to the bottom of the ocean floor,

On ears turned deaf solely to a voice that you will hear no more.

 

I'm sorry that I'm leaving, I'm sorry I can't stay,

But I cannot learn and love and grow in this hellhole of decay.

I thank you for the time and love and what little joy we shared;

I sincerely hope that at some point you really, truly cared. 

 

And like a ghost, I'm dead and gone, an apparition that can’t be traced,

For when the memories of me fade from mind, then I will truly be erased.

But I believe when something is erased from mind and sight;

A brand new page is opened up to a brand new story to write.

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Red crayon

A response to toy boat by ocean vuong

Anonymous

red wax red paper

 

round-shaped crayon

in a lonely box 

torn box — with

nowhere to be

ever no drawing kid

yet the memories move it 

like the kids would never stop doodling & stay content 

red crayon — pointless

to artists not to its

owner 

red crayon blue crayon

fallen from the battered box

frozen 

frozen like the child-hood

from the past

has not been lost

to the forgotten owner 

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Her

Anna Rewick

From off the bed of velvet skin

She slips the sunshine locks

That frame her long-drawn face tonight

And follow as she walks.

 

Those prepossessing mountain tops

Which lay upon her breast

Edge stark indents of shallow bones

That mount her dainty neck.

 

Soprano croons from fragile lips

With tints of florid hues

A distant scent of modest poise

Each step, a walking muse.

 

Like hills traced down with scars of growth

Where silky sheets of skin once were

Upon her sides the mounds give shape

To tales of life - to tales of her.

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Sylvia jacoby

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Naomi Kessinger

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Skye zweben