A Walk of Courage

A Walk of Courage by Sarah V. Rain

Cold and cautious,
remembering the days of misery and contempt,
hollow words and piercing gazes,
pinning me to the ground,
Not able to move,
withering like a wet cat
Aware of sneering faces,
And feeling berated.

Holding on to the precious self-respect
And gaining the strength
To take steps,
to move forward.
Head held high,
Spine straight,
looking them dead in the eyes.
A slow smile forming on my face,
A sudden rush of self-confidence coursing through my veins,
I’ve won this battle and
Ready for next.

They may look me upon
As weak and breakable,
But the spirit of mine is unbreakable,
Gone through fire and molded with iron
took years of sweat and blood, which made my core stronger.
The faces now confused,
hushed voices getting louder,
I walk away without glancing backwards,
Not any more bothered.

<strong>Sarah V. Rain</strong>
Sarah V. Rain

Words written grammatically makes sense, and when arranged beautifully, invokes the right emotions. That is what Sarah does best. She is a 21-year-old aspiring writer and poet from India.

Sarah writes about love and life through her experiences blended with some puns, which most of us can relate to, on a personal level, and if you don’t understand some, you might need another reading. Because that’s what she’s best at.

She can hide subtle details behind those lines, which, if missed, would render you confused. Well, what’s the fun if it was so simple and direct, right? So if you are into some word porn stuff, definitely check out her work! When she’s not writing she loves to read and really try hard at cooking.

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Explosive Independence

Explosive Independence

Explosive Independence by Kiana Balacich

Please don’t label me
“loud” because I share ideas.
I am a thinker.

Please don’t label me
“bossy” because I can lead.
I am a teacher.

Please don’t label me
before you get to know me.
It doesn’t make sense.

Once, there was a time
when I cared what haters thought.
Their words cut me deep.

Today I declare
explosive independence
from all they’ve ever said.

I won’t hide, shrink, or
change myself for their labels.
I’ll keep sparkling.

Harmony After the Discord by Kiana Balacich

When I need good vibes,
I hold onto the music
I hear in my heart.

Music gives me hope
that there will be harmony
after the discord.

I find clarity
when I organize my thoughts
across the six strings.

The steady drumbeat
reminds my heart how to beat
again and again.

Music restores my hope—
after heartbreak, there will be
better days ahead.

<strong>Kiana Balacich</strong>
Kiana Balacich

Kiana Balacich is a writer from New York City. She writes poetry and short stories sprinkled with magical realism.

When she’s not writing, she’s playing guitar and trying to live life to the fullest.

This site contains affiliate links to products. We may receive a commission for purchases made through these links. For more information, see my disclosures here. 

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What Shall Become of Us?

What Shall Become of Us? by Katja Kremzer

What shall become of us,
when the rain stops and your reflection in the water disappears?

When all the words spoken linger in the air only to be taken by the envious wind in the first glimmers of sunlight?

When all I know is just a fading memory as your hands never reach mine again.

One Day You Were Just Gone by Katja Kremzer

And I sent paper cranes after you
but they never reached you.
Got entangled in the noise
and the rain soaked their paper wings.
So they fell back into my lap,
where they unfolded into dormant memories
to silently wait for your return.

<strong>Katja Kremzer</strong>
Katja Kremzer

Katja Kremzer is an aspiring writer who scribbles short stories and poems in her notebooks.

If it were up to her, her day would start with a cup of coffee, a good book placed next to it and piano music gently playing from an old record player. She would lie in the grass, cherry blossoms dancing in the wind, while the sound of the typewriter tuned out the noise of the trains passing by.

But in reality, it begins with an alarm clock telling her to go to work.

Her motto: “If I can’t capture the moment with a camera, I will paint it. If I cannot do that, I will describe it with poetic allegories.”

This site contains affiliate links to products. We may receive a commission for purchases made through these links. For more information, see my disclosures here. 

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Void by Arpita Agarwal

You find yourself looking for him from the corners of your eyes, turn the slightest on your bed in hope of his warm embrace.
There’s nothing your brain pictures.
A vaguely formed necklace of arms going around your neck, a touch so cold sends shivers down your spine in the deepest of your skin.
A slideshow of Polaroids.

You get up and bend down, even the worn-out shoes and the filthy lace brushes off the dust on the cardboard of the picture of him fastening your sandals.
Stick the frame to your heart.
When the world’s asking for forgiveness to the moon, all you hear is the howling of dogs and tickling of the clock, your feet complain but their lips stop midway to the shattering roar of your heart.
The same dampened lake after your porch.
Your melody tries to climb the air to sing along those birds. Past the crowded empty streets, past the moving dead bodies and the flickering traffic lights. Frozen pockets of your overcoat ain’t worthy to search for warmth in them, says every vein.
The same quintessential forest.
Stepping onto the sand turned soil ignoring the splinters longing you cascade, drops of blood slip through the corner of every bruise to mix into the sweat, each tissue giving texture of your beloved leaves and twigs imprinted in your mind.
Creatures and creators to utter, welp.
“There will come a white deer and I will forever save the two most beautiful creations on this planet in my capture!”
His voice, each syllable echoes ages hence, staring at the unending valley, you witnessed redolent lilies wither and die and bloom again every spring. Just one step and you’ll forever be among those gardens sleeping with your love.
Where’s the click?
How can you face him? He only had one dream.
It will come chants every ripple in the river below and I sit there head on my knees hearing to his laughter, dying on his smile and feeling the gentle kisses in my mind..
Void isn’t always empty
We wrapped in a blanket of negativity
Repulse creatures
It’s emptiness empties.

<strong>Arpita Agarwal</strong>
Arpita Agarwal

I’m, Arpita Agarwal, a 16-year-old amateur writer. I am currently a student of Commerce. Reading different writers has been my hobby since childhood, but I started writing only a few months back when I realised that it is my escape from the harsh realities of life.

During this blissful journey, I have taken part in many online writing contests and anthologies through my Instagram handle (@_thepoeticsoul._). One of my works was also published in an anthology named ‘The year ends’. 

I aspire to keep pouring my feelings into words and seek shelter in my readers’ minds through them.

This site contains affiliate links to products. We may receive a commission for purchases made through these links. For more information, see my disclosures here. 

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Letting Go is only as Sudden

Letting Go is only as Sudden by Noor Alzaghal

The quiet city boomed with life with the start of another school day. The entire neighbourhood was like a beehive during the honey-making season. Relishing the sound of the rolling tires of school bags scraping the pavement, the bus engines roaring up and down the neighbourhood streets, and preschoolers running around playing hide and seek, I got out of the bed and went to the kitchen for my morning dose of caffeine.

Glancing at the couch, I could see Aurora asleep with the book she was reading lying on the carpeted floor. The sight of her sleeping brought a smile to my face. Her image soon disappeared once reality sunk in. She’s gone now.

The atmosphere was faintly thicker than that of a normal day, as her mother’s departure marked the date on the calendar. That dreaded date.

Aurora was only eight years old when her mother passed away, but she was mature enough to know death. It meant the end, darkness, and an eternity of nothingness. This idea of nothingness, to a child who couldn’t imagine a void, was dreadful.

Stillness. I lay in bed and gazed at night’s silent companion. I admired its shocking purity. It is both empty and full. I can see nothing, and I can see everything. Its magical powers did not sit well with young Aurora, for she could not harness her wild imagination then. It is amazing the number of creatures one can see in the night, but it is also amazing how it could all go with the wind in the blink of an eye.

Fear did not leave me, for it never leaves. It is always replaced with another. It is understanding, though. It sometimes induces me to believe it is gone. Oh, those brief moments of relief. They are pretty but short, usually the case with beauty—brief, deceptive, and powerful. The sun soon shall rise, snatching my comfort along. You would think I can keep my comfort by shutting my eyelids, but no—light manages to seep through and crawl underneath the covers.

The sound of tires making contact with the paved street was white noise and a persistent reminder of the ongoing day. I sat up, inhaled deeply, paused, exhaled. I stood up with eyes closed, feeling the blood rush through my body. It didn’t feel as if it were going through my veins. It just felt like a waterfall going down my body. Again, I took a deep breath, held it, then released.

The bathroom glass mirror is a window into the soul. Every day, I attempted to hold a gaze with my reflection. I blinked and looked away. Horrified. I was awake, but my heart was asleep. Short slow beats. Scarce oxygen. Heavy limbs. Robotic movements. My body opened the freezer and got some ice. I put it in a mug and followed it with cold milk. Then, boiled water to soak two bags of mint green tea. I stared at the tea while it cooled down, then poured it over the iced milk. My morning drink. My humble dose of caffeine.

I returned to bed. The fan was dusty. There was no Aurora to turn it on. She couldn’t live without it. We would argue all the time. She, being warm-blooded, could not function a second without a fan or air conditioner. I, although warm-blooded too, could not stomach the continuous air hitting me. My head would throb, and I would feel my insides whirling in my abdomen. It often felt like a slow dryer or an eye of a hurricane.

It is safe to say that I only use the air conditioner now. If Aurora were ever to see the electricity bill, she would for sure be disappointed. It is expensive, but I cut back on other stuff. For one, I am almost always sitting in the dark. The light emitting from my laptop screen is enough for my nocturnal being. They say using your electronics in the dark is much better for your eyes anyway. I don’t know anyone who said that, but I am almost completely sure someone somewhere has said it once.

The clock struck eight. My morning drink finished, I headed back to the kitchen. I placed my mug on top of the island, opened the fridge, grabbed three eggs, cooking cream, some cheese, and kicked the fridge door shut with my foot. Then I put it all down on the counter and fetched the pan. I oiled it and cracked the eggs in it. I started stirring slowly, added the cream, stirred, added a slice of cheese, and stirred till it cooked through.

I grabbed my wooden chopsticks and started eating right out of the pan. Salt. I forgot to add salt and pepper. I continued eating while standing. When done, I washed up the dishes and headed to my room. The mug was still unwashed on the island. I’ll wash it later. Putting on some beige slacks and a button-up white shirt, I slipped on my only pair of brown leather shoes. I picked up my car keys and unlocked the front door. The mug. Her voice was clouded, but it was there.

I went back inside to wash the freaking mug, and then I was straight out of the stuffy apartment’s door. Climbing in my sedan, I turned on the radio to full volume.

One of the perks of having your job overlook the beach is that you’re driving with the greenish-blue water onto your left for half of your ride. Crystals scattered across the surface of the water and the sand. One can see the sunlight bouncing from one crystal to another.

Aurora and I spent a lot of our time on the beach. She would insist on having her birthday there every single year. It was neither easy nor comfortable since she was born on the tenth of August. It was a death wish to go out in the sun during August, but she never cared.

I would schedule it for four o’clock so that the sun wasn’t screeching hot anymore but would still melt a human being. I would bring multiple coolers filled with ice and cold drinks, and I kept them in the shade so that the ice lasted till the end of the party.

Aurora was very active and forced everyone to play with her. Her favourite game was volleyball. By the time the whole thing was over, she would have sand in all the crooks of her body and all the pockets of her clothes. Her curly hair was another story. Sand would keep falling from it for a full eight days.

Catching a glimpse of the playground, I awoke from my trance and took a right turn to the preschool. I parked close to the entrance and took a deep breath, paused, and let it go. Entering the preschool, the sight of children plastered a smile on my face for what would seem like an eternity. Aurora used to teach math to those kids alongside me. On her first day, my pride flooded the school.

When she left, I had to cover her hours until they found a replacement. It took them a few months to find a replacement for her, but they eventually did. They had asked me to train the new teacher for a week since I knew Aurora’s teaching plan by heart.

The bell rang, signaling the end of the school day, and chaos filled the hallway leading up to the busses’ assembly point. Other teachers yelled at the kids to be quiet and walk slowly, but I didn’t bother to. There was nothing that could tone down the kids’ glee on this fine summer day.

My smile turned down a notch as I stared at them diving into different buses that would soon drive them to their homes where summer break awaits them. I exited the preschool and entered my car. There was no trace of a smile left on my face. Turning on the ignition, the radio blared with the sound of Rolling in The Deep by Adele. Pulling out of the parking lot, I continued down the road towards the Hypermarket, still driving by the beach.

One birthday, Aurora showed up late with a cast around her right ankle and crutches supporting her tall but petite body. She had a smile that reached her eyes while her crutches were digging their own grave in the hot sand. For a millisecond, my heart dropped in the pit of my stomach. It happened occasionally. She would either twist her ankles every two weeks or so, or tear a ligament once every few months. That day she still managed to find a way to participate in all games. She even threw a tantrum when told to be the referee in the football match. I sighed audibly at the memory. Then rolled the window down to both soak the memory in and let go.

The ocean breeze whispered her name, and for a second, I let the crashing waves lull me to momentary relief. Adele’s full-throated voice got swallowed by nature, and I surprisingly found it relaxing. The breeze whispered, the waves roared, the birds chirped, and the sunbeams screamed, while the sand grains maintained a quiet conversation amongst themselves.

Amidst all this noise, I heard her joyous, smooth laugh. Taking a right, a left, and another right, I reached the market’s parking lot. I parked and walked myself to the entrance. I went up the side trolley entrance. Walking uphill, I looked at the rails she would use to help pull herself up to reach the door before me. My steps automatically slowed, and I waited to see her jumping up and down, flailing her arms everywhere with her red curls bouncing in all directions. Her happy dance. She started fading, and I walked through her dancing image with a clogged larynx. I breathed in, paused, let go. Inhaled, held it in and released. Breathed in and out. I repeated this a few more times, focusing on my heartbeat slowing down.

I walked down the painfully familiar aisles aimlessly, looking for something that I remember thinking I needed to get. I didn’t want any sweets. I didn’t want any crisps. I didn’t want any biscuits. I didn’t want any milk or cereal. I didn’t want any condiments. I didn’t want any salt or spices, but I did need eggs. I grabbed a dozen eggs and walked back to fetch some orange juice and a mint chocolate chip Baskin Robbin’s tub from the cold aisles, as she used to call them. To her, they were rural villages located in Britain.

I went to the “10 or less items” counter to avoid a queue. As Philip scanned my items, I caught a glimpse of the gum shelves next to him. She would beg me for a watermelon flavoured Extra by now. Philip handed me the white plastic bag with a smile that I tried to return.

The ride home did not include an ocean view. Buildings on each side kept on doubling in height. I couldn’t help but feel them closing in on me, and the two-lane street became one lane in an instance. A turn right to my apartment building was an escape I needed.

Going up the elevator and walking to my doorway, I unlocked the door, turned the knob, shut the door behind me, and threw away the key. I placed the bag in the fridge as it was, but then remembered I needed to put the ice cream in the freezer. I pulled myself to my room and shut the blinds.

Lying in bed for the third time today, I pondered my life choices. I didn’t seem to have any anymore. If I did, I knew I wouldn’t want to live for long because I knew if I were to, I wouldn’t do so without the pain.

I repeated her name in a loop in my head in a pitiful attempt to bring her back home. Why wouldn’t time stop? My time. Why wouldn’t it just stop? Why am I still holding on to it? Why am I still breathing? Why couldn’t it have been me instead? A river streamed from the corner of my eyes and poured into the delta of hair. My lips dry and trembling opened to let out a silent scream.

It was thirty minutes to six—time for dinner. I am not hungry, but I needed to eat because… I honestly didn’t know why. I took out the leftover pizza from two nights before. I put four slices into the microwave and waited for the beep. Then I turned off the kitchen lights and took my plate to the living room, and turned on the TV. I ate the semi-warm pizza and watched some show I didn’t know. I watched lips moving, but heard nothing. Thought nothing. Barely not forgetting to breathe.

We had driven to her graduation. She had glowed, and I was grinning proudly. I had forced her to get up early, so we can get to the venue early. She rolled her eyes at me, but deep down she was glad, and it showed. She was ready when she woke me up before the already early alarm I set.

Little did I know that a few more hours of sleep were what she needed to avoid that day’s events. We got there with time to spare, and she ran to her friends on stage. I watched as they discussed their standing arrangement.

“Tall students, please stand on the short bench at the back line please,” a teacher said over the microphone.

Aurora’s four friends immediately pushed her towards the bench and stood in front of her. I smiled proudly, seeing as she took her height from both her mother and I. Her mother would’ve been so proud of how long our daughter had gone from learning her first word to graduating highschool.

Soon, the ceremony started, and she was going up the stage stairs to her assigned spot on the back line bench. Rays of light beamed from her smile. At the end of the graduation, she and her friends talked about their plans. Then Aurora came up to me asking for permission to go along, and I couldn’t give in easily, but eventually, I did. After all, she had her mother’s charm. One couldn’t just deny her wishes without guilt eating them up.

I let Aurora enjoy the pool with her friends, with a promise to pick her up at around seven in the evening. I went back to work at the preschool, then home. My phone rang at about thirty to four. Aurora’s name flashed on my screen, so I answered it immediately, expecting to hear her plea to extend the curfew.

“Hey, umm… she’s okay, but we’re at the hospital,” her friend said. My brain froze. The night ended with her friend sleeping over and me texting her to drink water every thirty minutes or so. She often scared me like that, making it easy for her to prank me come April Fools.

I’m soon out for a walk. I walked and walked, nothing but Aurora occupied my thoughts. The sky morphed into a lion’s mane, and I stepped closer towards the sea. The thick sodden humidity could be inhaled, as my large coarse hands enveloped the bright urn. I traced the intricate designs with my fingertips. Traced the flowers, amber-like her curls, peaking through June’s green canvas. All blurry. All her. My lower lip trembled, and I caught it in between my teeth. A cry failed.

I looked ahead to witness the sun skinny-dipping into the sea. The sand itched its way between my sinking toes. My right hand reached to lift the lid, and my eyes shut. Waves of sorrow engulfed my being. Opening my eyelids, the only light came from the full moon and the few street lamps on the beach’s sidewalk.

She was everywhere he looked, but mostly the sea. Once the water leveled his heart, he stopped and closed his eyes, listening to the wind’s caress his cheek almost as if to wipe the falling tears. Taking a deep breath, he pulled the urn up higher and softly tilted it, watching her travel with the winds, and he let go.

<strong>Noor Alzaghal</strong>
Noor Alzaghal

Noor is a 20-year-old Palestinian writer, whose main focus is poetry, but is exploring fiction writing. She’s a senior English language and literature student at An-Najah National University in Nablus, Palestine looking to pursue higher education in creative writing and literature. She runs a local creative writing and drama group called Englitopia, and she fully intends to expand it in the foreseeable future to include youth all over the world.

Noor is yet to be a published author but has been working on a few projects for a while now. However, she is aiming to build an audience on Instagram before publishing anything. She believes that creative writing is not only a passion but also a powerful tool for self-discovery, self-awareness, self-development and self-expression. 

Follow her writing on Instagram: @noorpoetica 

This site contains affiliate links to products. We may receive a commission for purchases made through these links. For more information, see my disclosures here. 

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Umbra by Chloe Wade

I’ll live in hope that your shadow falls on another pavement,
But the sun won’t change the way it casts you.
The sun works with silhouettes and what it can see,
Not false promises that will never be –
The blinding hope that’s blinding me
To your true nature.
Blooming flowers in every other garden.
A ricochet that leaves me sunburnt every time,
A magnified ray of your carelessness
As you, once again,
Forget me.
When light falls on the horizon,
I’ll be at your forefront.
But when the clouds distract you,
I simply blend into the ground
With only my concrete boredom for company,
Until the skies clear themselves again –
I’ll still refer to it as a sunny day.
But lately
I find myself waiting longer and longer
For the next sunrise.

Bye, Bye, Butterfly by Chloe Wade

Nobody can hear me.
Each plead as delicate as a butterfly’s wing,
Falling upon deaf ears,
As they beat outside your door.
Too quiet to notice.
Insignificantly small.
Let me in.
A welcome guest.
Remember me for a second,
Then leave a gap in the window,
Waiting for me to fly away
(Wishing me to fly away)
So the world can continue as normal.
Shut me out.
A better place to be
When the windows are closed.
Bye, bye butterfly…
Inside I am screaming to be seen,
But I know you only see the outside of me.
The wings adorned with colourful lies
Nobody sees through.
Even then,
You’d rather not look.
I’ve forgotten how to fly outside of this beautiful garden –
Limited times of paradise
And free from the burden of beating my wings.
I wish I could stay;
The rest of the world is unwelcoming.
Struggling to stay up in the air.
I could crumble like pastry if you preferred,
Leaving you with only my pieces.
But that wouldn’t be very pretty,
Would it?

<strong>Chloe Wade</strong>
Chloe Wade

My name is Chloe and I am a 19-year-old student from England, studying English with a minor in Film.

Writing poetry has always been a more private interest to me, expressing my emotions privately and intimately through the form of prose.

Since creating my poetry account, I continue to step out of my comfort zone and finally share my writing! Common topics within my poetry include open portrayals of love, self-love, heartbreak and my struggles with mental health.

This site contains affiliate links to products. We may receive a commission for purchases made through these links. For more information, see my disclosures here. 

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Summer 2020

Summer 2020 (Covid 19 Edition) by Kamakshi Verma

The flowers under the sun

sublimed into scent

across the green expanse

as spring welcomed summer.

The clouds too receded,

for the sun to make its mark

across the vastness above

as it transitioned into ether.

In greetings, I let the sunshine

settle onto my skin

for I too yearn to evaporate,

to rise, to disappear.

To elope, to when

I roamed around

to satiate my wanderlust,

to summer escapes & travels-

to the normal yesteryear.

For here we are now,

at an unknown home.

Helplessly entangled

in pandemic & panic,

here in the world

that’s upside down.

Where the sun shines

to mock, to lure,

to make us repent.

To remind us of

the times taken for granted,

the precious blessings

we carelessly spent.

So this summer

I travel to gratitude & hope,

I revisit my memories,

I am humbled,

& I pray for humanity’s

peaceful adobe.

<strong>Kamakshi Verma</strong>
Kamakshi Verma

 Kamakshi Verma is from New Delhi, India. She is a student of Bachelor’s of Education. Apart from being an educator in making, she is a theatre enthusiast and performer, a linguaphile who is currently learning Spanish, a social worker who has been volunteering for different NGOs in India and a newly published writer.

Through her writings, she covers  a spectrum of topics – Self love and acceptance, Nature and Travel, Romance, and Tragedy, Feminism, Mental Health, etc.

She draws her inspiration from literary legends like Sylvia Path, Margaret Atwood, Shirley Toulson, Robert Frost, John Keats.

As for her future plans, she is hopeful for working on and later publishing her debut book of poetry.

This site contains affiliate links to products. We may receive a commission for purchases made through these links. For more information, see my disclosures here. 

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Bullet by Rhiannon Mitchell

There is a bullet lodged in me
I think my shaking hands held the gun.
It must come out or else,
No chance for healing.
No one around, no aid to call for.
I try in vain to stop the torrent –
Crimson wet, soaking, drowning me,
Waterfalling over the aching wound;
A glint of offending metal
Buried deep between protesting ribs.
No one around. It must come out or else.
Shaking hands must punish and save.
If I have to dig it out with my fingernails –
I will.

<strong>Rhiannon Mitchell</strong>
Rhiannon Mitchell

 Rhiannon Mitchell is an English-born writer living in Ireland with her family. She is currently studying and working in childcare, but writing has always been something she is very passionate about. 

She wrote obsessively growing up, short stories and children’s books, but only began writing poetry a few years ago to process her parent’s divorce and her own mental health journey thereafter. For her, writing is a way of finding beauty and clarity in even the most painful experiences. 

She finds inspiration in the works of Sylvia Plath and Rupi Kaur, in the beautiful Irish countryside and in her travels. Her dream would be to live in Paris, scribbling away at her poetry and her art in a little cafe in Montmartre in the rain. 

You can find more of her work on Instagram at @poetrybyrhiannon  

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How I Meet My Metaphors

How I Met My Metaphors by Bidisha P. Kashyap

I promised my lover,
that some day I will write
a poem about him
(never really knowing why)
And after three long years
and a handful of second chances
I realised that for maybe some,
poetry bloom from the deepest form of regret
of letting go, of moving on
and of falling in love.

Some nights I hiss at my choice of words
choking upon the bitter memories
that each metaphor holds,
I apologise to my mother
saying art is not something she should seek from me,
while she replies casting her tender smile
“Trap your pain, my love,
before it starts to consume you.”

My heartbreaks wear faces that feel like home;
owning my metaphors,
abandoning my memories
and I like a shameless lover
not ready to accept my ends,
I write.
In fear, in happiness, in sorrow, in agony;
I write.

I write till my lungs run out of air,
I write till veins run dry
I write till every sunset taste bitter
I write till my summers start to wither;
For I should trap my pain
before it consumes me
As a writer always falls a little too hard
for faces who are never worth wasting poetry on.

<strong>Bidisha P Kashyap</strong>
Bidisha P Kashyap

Bidisha P. Kashyap is a young poet from Assam, India. Being a lover of words, her work often shows a hint of love, nature, the beauty of pain and old school romance.

She often writes mostly about chasing butterflies amidst wildflowers, celebrating sunsets, dancing with fireflies and about finding love.

Working with many anthologies and having her works published in newspapers and magazines, she looks forward to write a book of her own.

You can also find more of her works on her IG page @bidishaa_a

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Fold by Gale Acuff

I like to go to Sunday School because
there’s nothing good on television then
and my parents don’t get up until noon
so I’ve got to do something to kill time
and it’s like regular school but there aren’t
any tests, none that really count unless
dying and going to Heaven to be
judged does, Miss Hooker teaches me Sunday
School and she says that when the time comes then
I’d better be ready to show God that
I should be permitted to stay with Him
instead of being sent to burn in Hell
eternally and as for Miss Hooker
her choice is Heaven and though she didn’t
say so it follows as the night unto
the day that if I ever want to see
her again, after we’re both good and dead
I mean, I’d better do the things that will
get me into Heaven, too, including
praying and reading my Bible and not
doubting ever that Jesus is the Son
of God and most important of all is
that I must get saved and Miss Hooker means
that I need to have an experience,
something’s got to happen to clinch my berth
in Heaven once I’m dead, maybe like what
happened to Saul on donkey-back to where
-ever he was headed when God knocked him
to the ground and I think blinded him so
that he might see, that’s Bible-talk, and asked,
did God, Saul, Saul, why do you persecute
me, it’s a rhetorical question is
what it is, I guess, and he changed his name,
did Saul, to Paul and that’s what Miss Hooker
says I need but the last time I fell off
anything it was the mailbox post at
the foot of our driveway and when Father
came back with the new plastic mailbox to
replace the old bent steel one he found me
flat on my back and staring at the sky
with my eyes closed, that was a miracle
except that I was unconscious, but he
roused me and I rose again and on his knees
he asked me, he got as close as I’ve seen
him to crying, he asked me if I was
all right and I said Yes sir and then he
embraced me, it was a fancy hug, and
said For a moment there, boy, I took you
for no longer of this world, that’s fancy
for dead so I said No sir, I’m good now
but I didn’t get saved, just a hike in
allowance and two desserts after
supper. After class and Sunday School I
went to find Miss Hooker to say hello
again and a few seconds later say good
-bye. Gale, she said, I’ll be praying for you
every night until we meet again next
Sunday so I said, Yes ma’am, that’s very
kind of you but don’t go specializing
on me and she said something about sheep,
a hundred of ’em and one that wandered
off, it’s in the Bible somewhere and is
it I? Yes ma’am, I said. Little Boy Blue.

<strong>Gale Acuff</strong>
Gale Acuff

Gale Acuff has had poetry published in 
Ascent, Reed, Poet Lore, Chiron ReviewCardiff ReviewPoem, Adirondack Review, Florida ReviewSlantNeboArkansas Review, South Dakota ReviewRoanoke Review, and many other journals in eleven countries. He has authored three books of poetry: Buffalo Nickel, The Weight of the World, and The Story of My Lives.

Gale has taught university English courses in the US, China, and Palestine.

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