“Me” by Atticus Elsass

The crickets croak like dying dogs
I sit alone.
Nothing to help me
I was nothing.
Nobody believed me when I said I was
That I thought the same way
I turn on the lights
I am exposed.
I am me.
Then I am shamed and shunned.
Until I decide
that hiding me is for the better.
And I know what I have to
I tried and tried to ignore,
Hate, and fights galore
I am pushed around
as I hear that cricket sound.
I am not alone.
But that doesn’t change anything.
In fact, it makes it
Knowing that others are facing the
I must hide
Until the crickets recede
And I can be free
as who I am.
I turn off the lights
and curl up and wait…

Untitled by Anonymous

I was meant to be happy
Most of all jolly
Every leaf represented me
One day
A girl came
She leaned on me
and took my angry leaf.
I couldn’t get mad at her
Another day
An old lady came
She said, “Ooh, what a beautiful purple leaf.”
And took my disgust leaf.
I couldn’t be disgusted by her
The next day
A little boy came
He sat near me
And took my fear leaf
I couldn’t be fearful for the rest of my leaves
The week after
A man came
He talked to me
And took my sadness lead
I couldn’t be sad that he took my leaf
A month after
A woman came and sang to me
She took my joy leaf
I couldn’t be jolly anymore
After that I felt no emotions
I felt nothing.

*Inspired by Shel Silverstein’s The Giving Tree.

“Expression” by Anonymous

I am a grenade ready to explode
through the invisible glass barrier
they keep me in. Whenever I stand
tall , and strong, they always put a
hot hand on my head and shrink
me. Clasping me into the small flower
seed that worked so hard to grow
out of.

This place needs expression, this place
needs to let petals of color unfurl
in the wind and grasp the plain
things that stealthily bore this place.

I try to help. I walk on the gray
cobblestones, letting my feet splatter
paint on them. I try to shine, shine
brighter than the veneer they spread on
wood floors.

But everyone worries. And that
worry blinds them, it blinds them
from seeing past the plainness.
That’s why they shrink me.

“Zhigira” by Angie and Diego

Zhigira is now in seventh grade and has a big crush on a boy, Angel. Angel was a nice guy, respected by the whole school — unlike Zhigira. One day, Lilith locked Angel and Zhigira in a janitor’s closet. They spoke, and Zhigira realized that Angel was really mean.

She really liked him, and she confessed. But then, he said, “Talk to the hand, everyone loves me.” She was heartbroken and done with liking him. That closet felt like it was closing in on her slowly, but not slow enough. No matter where she was, she felt that closet closing in on her. Good things always come to an end.

Untitled by Anonymous

I stand next to a house,
Large and made of glass
I see that there are people inside
But I’m fated to never go in
I’m still, watching idly
Their movements, expressions, emotions
Yet though I listen, no sound comes through
I’m fated to never go in
The glass is pristine, not a spot to be seen,
But to touch it’s fire on my flesh
I have nowhere to go, I must stare at this house
That I’m fated to never go in
I try to scream, no stir from inside
They don’t see me, they’re laughing along
I’m watching them, they can’t see me,
It seems I just can’t win.
So here I stand, waiting, longing,
In perpetual loneliness, seems I’m stuck
Outside that big glass house
Still fated to never go in.

“Waiting on a Text Back” by Anonymous

three dots, appear and disappear.
anticipation builds
you’re typing a paragraph — maybe a love song or a sonnet
(i’m a sucker for well-done iambic pentameter)

“lol” “yeah” “ha”

it’s funny how one letter can make you feel like someone ripped out your organs
(not to be dramatic, or anything)

the dots are back!

gone again. probably you were writing out a poem describing how he loses his breath and his train of thought every time i walk in the room until you got too self-conscious to send it. probably

you probably hate me

this is so stupid!
stupidstupidstupid who cares if you don’t write me back right away or at all because it’s not like it matters or anything because i have better things to do because i’m honestly a very busy pers-

“see you tmrw :)”
the smiley-face emoticon lights up my screen and my heart
dumb, stupid smile
“see you”