Hometown- Chicago, IL
College: Dartmouth College
Year: ’13 (Current Junior)
Major: Studio Art and Art History with a concentration in Architecture
Post-Grad Plans: Dual Degree in Masters of Architecture and Masters in Business administration
By Nikkita McPherson
T i g h t l y
molded for the
liking of them.
Melting against brick
Carved cement, yearning
for imprints of roots
Trucks enter into canals of
Massaging vessels of graciousness
Being engulfed by patient,
overwhelming, welcomed power.
Your smell and your tastewill not be newtome
It is the respect that you have for who I am
The love you have for who I am not
That will make the thrusts melt into my pores and
produce gentle breaths of waterproof barriers when
you open me up even more to envelope your skin.
Evenings bring further yearning of the river of life to boil
underneath the softened barrier.
Fetishes unresolved, unrelieved.
Scornfully avoiding that lustful fluid,
Bodies Fixated, Eyes unfocused.
Placed one beside another
Against the will of many
For the wanting of 2 of 3 of…
Time and time again.
For the acknowledgement of many.
Deathly curves that cause the meltdown of knees
Crashing into tile, into dirt, into wood.
The break down vibrates slowly, lowering under cervices
Gently running down chests, running down full,
Distastefully delicious against the holy
matrimonial meaningless exchange of
Only needed in this world to vibrate
Numbering millions making joints bend and
blood run red
Clawing from the excitement underneath hip
Breasts cupped by human ridges
Constantly gripped between white bridges.
Shock waves elevating muscle pressure into wrists.
Pressure through the stomach reverberating into the
At rates unacknowledged, but recommended only
through gold, platinum and silver held together by the
rehearsal of “love.”
Chest cavities rising
Falling into impact zones
Shaking relentlessly against calcium enriched structures
Digging deeply into unprotected zones.
For the specimen cut out
To enter into dams.
For the desires of all.
Now My Heart Is Closed to Others
Here I stand
Aching to be chosen over countless others-
Cramped between the likes of Hawthorne and Melville
At Last I sense your slender fingers
Press lightly on my spine
Pleased to breath in the cool air
You crease back my aged and slender sides
My black and white features are tainted
Tainted with patches of yellow like marigold
Making me vulnerable to your scrutiny
I dread you will dismiss my thoughts
Cast me to the side so I may be trampled on
Or hidden (in) silent (darkness) underneath the shelves.
For now you give weight to my words-
Trust me to guide you deeper out of reality
That when the bond is broken I can feel our pain
As you savor the last sentence
You finish me battered and bruised
Only from excessive love
I am forced to leave your caring cradle
Back into my empty space ready to meet another
by Shermaine Waugh
15 and hands shaking,
pale cheeks flushed with
color – he looked to me for
reassurance before ever touching
Fingertips kissed my tummy – roamed over
deep, feminine curves neither one of us were
I remember his whimpers… like a newborn, loud and
piercing, but so full of life that I smiled through the pain of
clumsy little pricks – shallow at first but then deeper –
hesitant until finding the right spot.
I stared in wonder at the blood on his needle.
Damien was the second.
He saw my back like a dusky canvas, a rich expanse of something
new to conquer.
He did me on my stomach – my cheek pressed against the
pillow, body so close I could smell the heat of his
“Easy,” he liked to tell me as his long, dark
fingers probed my spine, finding the soft
junctions to tease…
With him I squirmed –
touch of an
with sweat and
a row of sparkling
studs in its wake.
He worked serving kimchi at a
family restaurant that kind of looked at
you funny if you weren’t from the neighborhood.
He had a smile like diamonds and on our first date,
studded my ears with a pair from Tiffany’s.
Boring. I remember thinking they were so boring. I already
had six on my right ear and three on my left.
But he knew. The shining little diamonds did nothing, so he did everything.
Eager where others had hesitated, powerful when most men were soft.
I bled onto his fingertips and let him conquer my hips with pressure
and steel. On my stomach, on my back, staring down at him without
shame – we worked everywhere and any way we could.
I would always leave his room with new holes and
the scent of raw spice burned into my skin.
We were strange, but we worked.
Stewed ox tail at my place and bulgogi
at his. A steady needle always
piercing -my body
open and willing.
The Love Commentary
By Samantha Azinge
It so happens that I think of you.
My mind gets lost thinking of you.
We almost met but you…
Introduce yourself to everyone but me
My friends, family, coworkers, classmates
All have seen you.
All have believed in you.
All have tried you.
But you have immunity to me like a common
I see you all around me and feel you
Especially in everyday conversations and
late night phone calls.
You are always the topic and always
the hero or the heartbreaker
It’s a part of me that is glad I
did not meet you yet.
If I did, I would have
nothing to think about.
So I tha(i)nk (of) you!!!!
Please note that the following piece is from an earlier publication
By Shayla Mars
When Mommy felt the coarse rusty backhand strike her coco cheek,
She quickly believed that it was love
That forced daddy to treat her like tissue paper.
Mommy falls like dandelion seeds in summer beneath Daddy’s black leather feet.
Looking up, he seems Idol-like with big broad shoulders and a dim-effervescent
Or maybe that was the lights flickering again
Mommy had forgotten that the crumpled paper next to her read Oct 11
But Daddy must love Mommy
Love her enough to discipline her when she forgets.
Which is often
Mommy loves Daddy enough to paint the carpet a deep shade of red
That when dried looks like brown tears stains.
She thinks this is mercy.
No words pass through Mommy’s fattened lips.
Her brown eyes now tar, try to console me.
With bruised lips she forms false hope
A smile I’ve seen too often
I stare as Daddy starts to fold her like woolen covers
Like mine her breathing is faint.
Mommy is a scared little lamb.
Daddy is her shepherd.
Daddy lays down his burden by their naked bed.
Like the bill she forgot the laundry.
I notice the crimson of the off-white mattress matching the carpet.
Daddy shuts the door.
I stand alone in my angel pajamas
Holding my rosary close to my heart
Thumbing the black beads.
Silence engulfs our dim-lit repression box.
Shh! Is that God speaking?
No, Daddy is asleep.
The lights flicker then die.
I wade in the red sea carpet
My eyes bob in shallow pools.
Through blurred vision
I see gray seeping through their door like dreams
Instinctively I walk through the golden arch that is our doorway.
Outside I stand alone in my angel pajamas
Holding my rosary close to my heart
Thumbing the black beads.
Mommy always told me Idols are for sacrifice.
Her words cling to my soul like tears to cheeks.
Our dim-lit repression box is now a luminous inferno
That no amount of earthly water can extinguish.
I’m Sorry the Clock Won
By Angilique Coleman
The seconds are racing, the minutes are chasing behind, and the hours
are eternities. The clock is my father’s enemy and my annoyance because every
movement of her hands means my father losing seconds, minutes, and hours with
me that he can never regain…But my hopes are still higher than God because
fathers have to come and rescue their children from their skepticism right? Tick;
He has to be close by… right around the corner. Tock. He has to be coming.
The next car has to be him…Tick…or maybe the next one…Tock…but the next
car is definitely my dad coming to put my doubts to rest, telling me that the clock
is wrong because we have all the time in the world. Tick.
So I continue to look up the street from my window, anticipating his
arrival. Tock. I wait with my sister, who only goads my hopefulness. Tick. My
mother keeps telling me that I should change my clothes, watch some TV, play a
game even, but I don’t hear her…I do not want to hear her. Tock. There is no
point because the next car looks just like his! …Tick…I think it’s slowing
down!…Oh…in front of another house… Tock. Guess that’s not him. Tick. It’s
fine…next one. He’ll be in the next car, waltz right into my life and quiet my
He never came. Tick. He never called. Tock. He never said sorry.
Tick. And he lives five minutes away. Tock. He never told me why he never
And I cried.
I cried because I had to grow up. I cried because I didn’t
understand…Tick. I cried because the clock was right. He would never be on
time and he could never reclaim the time it took to crush his little girl’s dreams.
Tock. I wish the clock would just stop rubbing it in… You win…