The Kinds of People by Kate Hirschfeld

Let’s go back.

To when the days were counted not in numbers but by discoveries.

Small fingers outstretched to the sky, trying to get a grasp on this world,

one experience at a time.

Asking questions without answers

Your favorite word was always “why.”

“Why”

Punctuated with intensely curious eyes,

Your head cocked slightly to the side,

Expecting a response even when there wasn’t one to give.

Minds full of fairy dust

Wide eyes of wanderlust

Never knowing what life had in store for us.

Back to when you had perpetually paint stained hands,

Dirt under fingernails,

Hair tangled by the wind,

Mud stains on your new dress.

Don’t tell mom but you always liked it better like that anyway.

Said it reminded you of chocolate milk.

And everyone knows, there's nothing on this earth better than chocolate milk.

Back to when we gazed at the stars so long our eyes themselves began to twinkle.

We took to staring contests during the day to share our galaxies.

We woke up early to watch the sun paint the sky like a canvas.

Pink stained clouds never ceased to take our breath away.

Call us crazy, but thought it beat Cartoon Network anyday.

We stayed up past our bedtimes to wave the moon goodnight.

We searched the sky for the Big Dipper and Orion's Belt.

They were the only constellations we knew,

But the way our eyes lit up when we saw them,

Made them the only one’s we needed.

Back to when wonder was our only motive.

We dived in head first not because we had courage,

But because we didn’t know to be scared yet.

Back to when we rolled the windows down just to taste the wind.

And daydreaming was a common pastime not a waste of it.

When we were more than just people,

We were heroes and pirates and wizards and royalty.

We soared through stormclouds and danced with dandelions.

Our heartbeat was the only music we ever needed.

And every raindrop was proof that magic really did exist.

Bedtime stories didn’t seem so far off.

What happened between then and now?

How did magic become merely a device for Disney to make a profit.

And four leaf clovers became so rare we stopped even bothering to look.

We stay up late but keep the curtains closed from the cosmos.

They say money can’t buy happiness but it’s starting to replace it.

We shy away from opportunity because we finally learned what fear was.

Our dresses remain clean and we don't drink chocolate milk

We close our fists and turn our eyes from the skies.

We don't have time for staring contests so our galaxies flicker and dim.

Your favorite word became “Because.”

Except, for a few.

Some people never stopped daydreaming

They still wish on dandelions though some may call them childish.

And wander forests in their free time because their curiosity surpasses their fears.

They seek out the beauty in the extraordinary and the mundane because to them those

words are synonyms.

They love for the sake of loving, their joy does not need justification.

And they aren’t afraid to get wet if it means dancing in the rain.

Most of all,

they still ask questions.

Peaches in a Post-Apocalyptic by Emily Weller

Maybe

we’ll reach the next sunrise

the next thing to live for

breeze tickling our necks

 

When I

look into your eyes

I'm reminded that there’s more

to life than its end

 

Sand clings

to my clothes and my teeth

the grittiest picture

that I will ever take

 

The sun burns

even in my dreams

fever-ridden blurs

of swallowing lakes

 

I’ve lost

things I can’t replace

with ragged hand me downs

and makeshift families

 

I’ve no doubt

that you’ll still know the way

back to our hometown

once we’re finally free

 

And sometimes

I can't make myself move

Past thoughts of what's gone

And matters of when

 

But you, dear

You stand as my proof

Despite all the odds 

Soon we'll breathe again

Chicken by Erin Reichle

"Damn," he murmured under his breath, right before he lifted the dry chicken into his mouth.

Maurie looked over at her husband, her eyes found his wrinkled furrowed brow. She examined

his pale fleshy skin and the way his hair was thin but still slightly greasy, pulled over his patchy

bald spot in a combover. No matter how she looked at him, she would still see ugly. Maybe she

had been looking at him for so long that she had forgotten what he really looked like. How he

looked to people who had just met him, to people that loved him.

"What is it dear?" She was aiming for a caring tone, but her voice came out flat.

"Nothing." He could barely be bothered with one word. His irritated manner worried her.

"Jim?" He looked up and their eyes locked.

She thought they were about to have a moment, but all Maurie saw was ugly blue pupils and

the minuscule purple veins that ran through his eyelids. She felt her own unattractiveness

reflecting back at her off of his face, she felt her small eyes and dumpy nose and all of the

weight she had gained with her age, and her stomach dropped.

"Jim, do you want to leave me?"

"Yes."

They returned to their food, and never spoke of it again.

Cold as Fire by Emily Sheffield

On the threshold of death

The flames burn

as an ever fervent winter reigns on

 

Eleven Million

Annihilated

by the cold hand of the

living, breathing people that,

All too quickly,

became

The blasé

 

Dead

But never forgotten by those strong enough to remember

 

Dead

But left behind by those who run from the truth

 

Only the darkness of the night

Knows the smell of burning flesh consumed by heartless flames

Knows the sound of blatant screams of the walking dead

Knows the horror of mass murder

That  took place at

Auschwitz    

 

The wind whispers about

The evil there

 

But many are too ignorant

To listen

They choose to forget

 

How convenient it is!

Convenient,

to forget the darkest part

Of our existence

Where a human heart is as cold

And as pitiless as fire

 

Convenient,

To deny

The part of our history

That makes a human

A monster

Inconsistency by Claire Winters

Words roll off of your tongue

But I cannot comprehend

I am too caught up in how your mouth forms the words

To understand what you are saying

The ideas you speak are merely sounds

Meanings dissociating from them

I cannot follow you

No matter how I try

Your lips are round when you say my name

Biting off the end

You gesture as you go along

Extravagant when you can’t find the words

As though what you can’t sound out with your voice

You can shape with your hands

You are loud

Louder than you think you are

But I can’t mind

Not when you are more passionate than the sun

I don’t know how long you’ve been talking

I don’t remember how long you’ve been talking

I don’t care how long you’ve been talking

Because the sounds you make are more beautiful than any song

Astronaut by Emily Weller

I once met a man who scoured the skies
Looking for the point where the sun finally dies
He stole the moon to replace the gleam in his eyes
But it just wasn't enough

He followed the stars in the most peculiar of ways
He let them rule his nights because he couldn't see the days
I guess in the end that could be considered fate
If anything ever is

He told me, once, that his ship was made of dreams
But that as of lately it was tearing at the seams
He's replaced it with steel but it doesn't redeem
A plan that's falling apart

I asked him why go on when there's nowhere to go to
He said "it's force of habit, like all forces that move you"
I don't understand but few ever do
It might be a matter of time

When I went to leave he didn't tell me not to go
I said I'd never see him but he said "you never know"
So I waved goodbye as he said hello
In case we met again

I was thinking just how lonely that would be
To know that your body is where no one can reach
If you're searching the stars and you happen to find me
Bring me back to earth

Night by Abbey Archer

The fact that it’s almost dark outside scares me.

The fact that it’s night again is terrifying.

Why?

I don’t know.

But I just can’t deal with it.

It’s almost dark outside.

So much more to do

So much more to say

So much more

But it’s almost dark outside

The stress of falling asleep

The stress of another day slipping away.

It’s almost dark outside and it scares me

It tears me

Why am I scared

I couldn’t tell you

But right now

It feels like another day wasted

But it wasn’t that at all

I just can’t deal with night again

I can’t deal with the fight again

Asleep or awake

Here there

Up down

It’s almost dark outside and it scares me

Calm

Calm

I tell myself

The coulda woulda shouldas drive me crazy

And they don’t ever stop.

Fourteenth Funeral by Lila Denton

Fading, is my foggy facade, for It seems I have fallen into a fatal fatigue. Forgive me, Father, for  I have forgotten to forgoe the forseen, the forsaken, the fortunate few filled with faint failures. Forgive me, Father, for I have felt the factious feathers of a fatal foul. None the less, your faith is forever freeing. Frantic fingers feel a fleeting face, my favorite fantasy. A feckless flatline floats into my feeble fever, frozen frowns and fluttering flowers, forbidden fruit... the grande finale. For I follow and follow and follow until my feet can no longer find you. Do not fret, my friend, for this is my fourteenth funeral.