An Adventurous Heart

By: Madeline Rick

I wandered through the desert

With nothing but my guitar,

I trekked across the seas—

Waves tossed me near and far.

I dined in all the palaces,

And lived like kings and queens,

I napped amongst the jungle:

Wild, and yet serene.

But nothing, I admit

Prepared me well for this—

For you

My dear,

After all, I fear

Have slain me with a kiss.

Madeline is 18 and lives in Temperance, Missouri 

Dance of Disassembly

By: Tristan Deeley
We dance to the music no-one hears—the beats of our hearts, the breaths of our lungs, the caresses of our minds. No matter. Music of the mouth is unnatural and discordant; instruments are not as perfect as we are.
I take your hand in mine, then take you all, from the shoulder onwards. When you twirl, the simple twist lends me your other arm, like soft clay being taken apart.
Armless, harmless, you spin to the floor, legs spread wide for me. A gentle tug, the ones you like, which elicit purrs from your porcelain throat, and I have them, too. 
The torso is much harder. Nothing to hold and pull, at least not without hurting you. I run a fingernail gently across your neck, and that does the trick. You fall apart.
You roll away now, as I pick up your body and follow. You’ve gone far ahead. Ahead; I chuckle throatily at the thought. I am so tired. Only the sane sleep.
I catch your head, the backs of my fingers resting on your delicate cheek. You cannot leave yet. Not until I am done. Not until we finish our dance. I smile softly into your eyes, your cold glare sending arrows up at me. You hadn’t thought I would take it this far.
I ponder your eyes. Deep brown, like chocolate. Wild, though. Untameable, untakeable. I look at my full arms. There is no room, anyway. I would not want to break them. They look beautiful in your sockets, and I must leave something. A single tear runs down your snowy face, falling to the marble ground. But I am still hungry. Not my mouth, nor my stomach, but my soul.
With a final kiss, I take your lips, and I tuck them into my breast-pocket. For later.
Tristan Deeley is 17 and lives in Queensland, Australia.



By: Rebecca Huang
The shot rings out in place of a bell.
Left, right, left. 
The sound of our boots and the heart-wrenching cries blend together into one cacophonous symphony
And we march to its beat. 
One by one the students fall into the onslaught of indifference.
As the cannons fire in the fields
Where fallen comrades lay mangled and broken and
But this time the bloody sacrifices will not go unaccounted for.
In our Sherman’s march, we will blaze a path of solidarity
Trailing behind us a scarlet line 
On our trek to the Capitol.
When will you Kings on the mount of the hill
finally open your eyes to the suffering that surrounds you?
You have locked yourselves away in a glass cage.
Do the walls mute the cry of our brethren?
When you wake up every morning and see the sunrise,
Do you think about the all the sunrises they will
never see?
How much longer will it take before the broken shards of their dreams break through your wall of apathy?
He claimed that the devil made him do it.
What about you?
One day your cage will shatter from the pressure of our pain.
One day your cage will shatter.
Rebecca Huang is 16 and lives in Darnestown, Maryland.

Because You Loved Me

By: Amina Mohamed

You tore me down

Then you picked me up

Only to shatter me to pieces


You told me I was useless and pathetic

Only to then kiss my lips

and tell me I was your everything

And when you found me to be of no use

You crumpled my heart like a piece of paper

And tossed it over your shoulder


Because you told me I was special

I let you spin a web of lies around me

Because you called me beautiful

I forgot about the bruises

That lay scattered on my shoulders

Because you taught me your idea of love

Every tear I shed goes unnoticed



Amina is fifteen and lives in Portland, Maine

The Old Dog

By: Abby Bartlett

The old dog lying in the sun
lounges there every day.
He casts his shadow across the lawn,
and watches younger puppies play.

He sniffles at the lily flowers
that line his sleepy path.
He sits there,
still as a rock,
and takes in the world—

Until his owner comes to play,
the old dog lounges in the sun

Abby Bartlett is 11;  she lives in Freeport, Maine