By: Clarissa Nunez

A dark empty room
A masked enemy
And impending doom
A fear with no remedy
Hands tied
The echo of a plea
No one to reply
Desperate to be free

A black comb was near
Strong rope in a twist
The edge like a spear
Dragged across the wrist
A flow of blood
Undid the tight grasp
But now a red flood
And a nervous gasp

A shoe lace
Tied on the forearm
A bloody trace
An act of harm
Purpose to escape
Eyes searching for hope
No fight without a scrape
Not much besides the rope

A stone with some weight
As smooth as leather
A rusty nail, long and straight
Working together
The sturdy doorknob
Would not unlock
A shaky sob
Knock, knock, knock

Freedom in sight
Swinging of the door
By the enemy’s might
Please, no more
Jabbing a nail
In his eye
An angry wail
To the enemy, goodbye



Clarissa is a 17-year-old from New Mexico.

When the Lights Turn Off

By: Isabelle Edgar

The sun shone blue above our heads
Until the lights turned off
Silence filled the creases in our palms as we looked for something to hold onto
It was living life by texture
By our fingerprints kissing surfaces
Light was a memory

The sun shone blue above our heads
Until the lights turned off
We stared into a sea of misty darkness
Dilating our pupils with confusion
It was color through touch
Words through echo

The sun shone blue above our heads
Until the lights turned off
We wanted to find a place to rest our bones
Yet the sky was the earth just the same
Up became over and around and down
It was as if we were chalk figures
dancing together through the chalkboard

The sun shone blue above our heads
Until the lights turned off
We realized that we could at last close our eyes
Without worry that something would flutter past our eyelids
Listening to the misty darkness
Resting our bones



Isabelle is a 16-year-old from Massachusetts.

77 Cents

By: Mansi Garneni

A dollar can buy a lot. It can buy a candy bar. A slice of pizza. A bad song on iTunes that you only like because “they played it at Coachella! You had to be there.”

It can pay the fare for the elevator ride to success, whizzing past those scrambling up the corporate ladder. And everyone knows you can’t climb a ladder if you’re wrapped in a bodycon dress.

It can buy your way into penthouse suites. Into the safety and security of a 401K once the corporate ladder has been climbed and conquered.

It can demand your way to “authoritative,” instead of “bossy.” To “career-oriented,” instead of “selfish.”

A dollar can buy a lot. And they expect me to sit here, with my hands folded demurely in my lap, in a dress with too much lace to be considered practical clothing, content with my 77 cents.



Mansi is a 16-year-old from California.