Make Abstinence Great Again

By Alara Egi

Seventeen magazine – tell me; is he flirty or friendly? you must not condemn me; male decency is so alien. is it the chick-flicks? we’ve been pumped since kindergarten; if he pulls my hair – interested (rape culture is coded within our moms’ advice). is it the fan fiction consumption? or about the way we […]

Grief Counselling

By Ellora Sutton

After Caroline Bird Have you changed the way you write your soft letters, like m and c and s? Made them harsher, perhaps, to offer no hiding spaces? When you wake up, do you have to weed your eyelashes? At dinner do you see a thatch of hands writhing in the vomit of your lamb […]

Hound

By Tallulah Howarth

WHAT IS YOUR NAME? My name was spat out of a laughing river. It is lips of salt, it is soaked in sunlight, it is without god. HOW OLD ARE YOU? I am old enough. You can count the tree-rings on my torso if you cut me in half. HOW IS YOUR HEART? I wish […]

allegiance

By Maggie Wang

Based on questions from the civics portion of the naturalization test for United States citizenship. What is the supreme law of the land? ask me where I’m from // go on / ask me // don’t / be afraid // I’m harmless What does the Constitution do? ask me where I’m really from // go […]

How do you freeze time?

By Megan Mumby

Is this something that humans can do? I guess you could drop your iPhone X but that wouldn’t give me more time with you. How do you freeze time? Is that something that we could achieve? You could always send a photo to the wrong person but maybe I’m just being naive. How do you […]

Best Left Unanswered

By Iona Mandal

Why is there dissonance within music? Must a pianist’s chords clash and release, like tide shattering a hermit crab’s home? Why do trees fall? Are their roots too fine in holding their dignity of years? Or do our axes force gravity upon them? Must a story always end? Should pages be written in indelible ink […]

Whispers Carried By The 3AM Winds

By Hania Habib

Should I seal my singing lips so as to not wake others’ demons? Should I lock my rattling voice box and let all my unexpressed opinions choke me? Should I remain a ventriloquist’s puppet and speak others’ words? Should I hold my breath and stay under water, lest the free air liberates me? Should I […]

The other

By Amy Wolstenholme

do I remain      when I leave for good, huddled in the corner of your brain,            unwanted, chained, quick, quick             lock her up      get rid am I embraced             do you have a       synapse dedicated to my name          that sparks heady glutamate when I am mentioned             casually in conversation,           do you […]

pssssssssssssst

By Felix Stokes

pssssssssssssst. pssssst. hey i heard maybe you wanted to talk. no no its okay im not busy whats up man im sorry to hear it. you need space? wanting words? wanting poems that know what is up? how about even at night in the garden the birds fly. the stars are incapable of grief, and […]

To the reader (from a poet, with love)

By Amy Wolstenholme

Leave the poem where you found it. It was never yours, and besides, it has a dangerous song. Can you not hear the blade in that soft, serrated edge where you casually scrape your thumb? Listen to the way the light screams when it comes to rest on these bands of black and white. A […]

The page is also the night where i climb out of

By Duy Quang Mai

after Ocean Vuong i    restart                                                  this sen     tence, i edit edit my life     off                                                             these fingers these words they                                                                  ask me how do i do i feel […]

being just a poem

By Maggie Wang

being just a poem & not a body on the operating table, I never expected you to cut me open & tear me to pieces—never thought you would take your scalpel & carve my abdomen up like the last virgin forest & twist my organs into knots in your quest to cure me (I was […]

Brazil sends army to tackle Amazon Fires (BBC News, 24th August 2019)

By Jack Cooper

Today, I wrote a poem. I let a wasp outside. I made a coffee, set out sugar. When the wasp returned, I gave it sugarwater. I invited you in, changed outfits  to make a statement. I made us dinner, made conversation. I suggested a walk. You taught me the words for how sun is filtered by a […]

Raising a Poem-Baby

By Evie Collins

So, here we are: you, you’re sitting in your highchair, looking all smug. God, you’re so cute that I could just eat you. Right. Here comes the aeroplane? Remember that one? That’s what we’re going to do. See? Mummy’s got the food. Dinner, din dins. Din sure does. You had existed for a handful of […]

My poem sits next to fifteen poems at the workshop table

By Fathima Zahra

stares at its feet/ my poem is an orphan/ is a stray kid that went missing from the science class/ doesn’t have a birth certificate/ residence permit/ didn’t grow around books/ or other kids that looked like it/ my poem hid behind the broad shoulders of prose/ it has no permanent postcode/ sounds like three […]

Promise it’ll be my last

By Matilda Houston-Brown

we are on the beach and my mother is telling me how poetry isn’t practical anymore. that my writing has to be an act of violence, a way to earn in a world that wants to eat me alive. I am sure that she is right this poem, like those before it, is useless: an […]

be poetic:

By Jewel Cao

         1. sit on a clear summer night on the roof of a ford, or an acura, or even a dodge grand caravan. pop open a beer which runs down the sides of the car and puddles into the lush grass. reminisce on how your life overflows the boundaries of summer.          2a. […]

How to Be a Dementia Friend

By Olivia Todd

How-to guides contain illustrations. A guy bent over a chair. You can see his wife in the background wringing her hair. Cursing their choice to not use IKEA. ‘I told you you couldn’t do it!’ How-to guides have multiple rules that end up merging like rivers. Screw A lives next to Screw D, but not […]

how to make dolmeh with your mother

By Nazanin Soghrati

1. drizzle oil onto the pan until the specks of heat feel like the blisters on your mother’s feet after a long day at the cash register greeting customers in a profuse thank you thank you thank you while handing out plastic bags with yellow smiles. 2. saute the rice & ground beef & five-spice […]

ten floridian commandments

By Emily Hana

i. say ponderosa out loud. it tastes like fresh lemonade and froot loops. ii. multicoloured jellies for breakfast. yellow jello. the american dream. iii. when eating sausages slumped next to your m&m pancakes, remember your father saying: they put something in the food, you know. something that makes them fat and tall. iv. eat cold […]

How To Be Punched

By Jennie Howitt

Be punch-worthy Be a boxer Be a punching bag Be someone with a lot of big promises who doesn’t follow through Be with your clumsiest friends at all time Be in a group of actors who do stage fighting Be that person behind someone about to be punched who ducks at the last minute Be […]

How To Write Me, Your Personal Statement

By Tae Suzumiya

[Intro: why you want to study your chosen subject] Firstly, stop longing / for the figure at the bus stop You have been interested in Love since that girl, I know, but stop & focus on me / for once / don’t linger Your eyes must be blind / to the flutterings / of winged […]

Penning My Thoughts

By Elaine Choy

Take it from a cup, or bag, or maybe from behind your ear. Press down the rounded edge, not the opening. Watch the spring compress then relax, ink building up at the metal tip. Let it fall onto the fall white surface, scrape it across the page, fill the troughs with feeling. There, now you’ve […]

How to be Remembered

By Anna Westwig

It is 20,000 BC, though, of course, you, hardy and paleolithic, do not know it. And you do not wonder how to be remembered. You are, I think, still grappling with phonemes and the complexity of light on water. In thousands of years, your DNA, woven and unraveled countless times in time’s nervous hands, will […]

Baby

By Amy Wolstenholme

                                                                     I never understood                                                    the fingernails as moons                                     depiction, but when you g                             rabbed my finger suddenly                      I […]

A poem for a moment with you

By Eisha Tandon

Sat in your arms, listening to the sound of you breathing A park bench, a rainy Thursday afternoon Nervous to turn my head to face you, to look into your eyes I don’t want to let myself believe that this moment is real I tell you that this feels like a dream, you laugh But […]

The funeral of half a stranger

By Morven Grey

It was January, there was no snow, and the sky was baptised in smoky grey. I went to a funeral in my school uniform, in a creased blazer that smelled like pencils and sweat and cheap perfume. I remember that the coffin was flooded with flowers; stars of butter and pearl and blood and hoarfrost. […]

Eating Pringles on the beach, alone

By Elspeth Wilson

Salt rests on my tongue, my eyes, my ears, the nostril where I got the piercing just so everyone could hate it. The other people on the beach mine the sand for treasures like a parent should for nits in hair. Their bodies combs, their smiles jagged. I sit still. The waves lick me with […]

Moments Like These

By Emma Rowley

Let’s go back to the moments you get four-ish times a year, when you’re laughing and you’re sugar-filled, and suddenly your life has turned from semi-skimmed to full-fat milk, the ones where you wonder how the melodies of worry could survive in this beautiful orchestra of joy and companionship, consciousness sitting behind your laughter-filled ears, […]

Grandma

By Reham Younis

My heart begs for you To come back to me Oh, how I see you In my dreams Standing in front of me. A smile painted on your face. I see you cooking, The crackle of the oil, The smell, Ah, lovely. Perfect. I walk toward you, To see what magic you’re creating, You swat […]