Poetry, Visual Art
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adolescent fragments // poetry by M.L.

Pin Ball Machine:
Bursting through the door
Freezing and frigid
Yanking off a red cotton coat
Nothing distinct
Blood boiling, livid
All was a whirlwind
People and places and other nouns
Confused with each new house
With each move, they’ve decreased in size
Jobs and salaries lower
But the costs of living rise
I can hear the drums drumming at night
The metronome counting off
Each tick and tock
One after the other,
A steady tenor
The train racing by
Cutting through the night
Like glass
A father’s footsteps tap
Against the creaking wood floor
An insatiable hunger he has for more
Mumbling, disoriented
He pulls at the lamps
Her room floods-too bright
Her eyes flicker open
Then shut quickly,

Making sure to squeeze out all the light

Frog punch bowl:
Lying in my own history
There lies little honesty
Always in between fights
Always awake amid the night
Fists and words fly through the air
Shrapnel wreaking havoc everywhere
Women sift through grocery aisles
Like they do the flour
In the meals the men never learned to cook
That they ferociously devour
The Bakers crave sweets and sugar
Because their parents were never there
Present were the men and the mirrors
Where mothers have whispered to their children
Their disappointments
And fathers aren’t so sure how to do it
Where to start
Catholicism holds presidency over
Sense made where sense is do
For hours and hours
We’ve laid in bed
Stunting our growth
Holding our heads
Echoing the pain
Time golden ‘long as you don’t wait
Alcohol stoking the fire of shame

Coarse and golden hair
He came to my house,
I was crying
Head unhinged in despair
Lemon pledge wafted from the mis-polished silverware
Fingers dancing on the dinner table
Picking at
Scraping off
Fiddling with
Must keep our minds occupied;
Busy, minuscule bits
An old worn shirt with stars
That flew off of the cotton
Into his eyes that I had forgotten
Gone for far too long
Sitting there listening
To nostalgic songs
So much easier to come back
Than I had predicted
A pre-disposed notion that I could not return
Though the red-eye there was long
And my father too stern
Uncertain pitter patters of rain tapped
On the opposite side of the window pane
It fell with inaudible thuds
Children whispered for it to go away
While a story passed between my lips and his ears
Never touching because of unforgotten fears
Words and sounds transmitted
We left his home,
His mother, my car
Soon we were far
Far away
Melodies occupied the distance between us
Keeping our minds sane
Years and days dispensed
Warm and earthy sturdy arms
Found their way around my dress
Comfort has never felt so much like a shirt
That should no longer fit
But does

With a glimpse
You would notice
On her left
You would find some things
Some secrets
Some jackets
Some memories
All things that she was taught to need
You would learn that nights were meant for
A stripper, a waitress, a prostitute
Sleepless nights and scalding showers
Screaming matches
Helpless hours
On her right
Jaw clenched tight
When dawn breaks
She complains and wakes
Snatching clothes and stumbling,
Her hope for the day stood crumbling
A groan
Must check her phone
A life of relentless monotone

Salt and speck:
I’ve been hungry for seven years now
Candles lit chronically, annually
Always waiting, seaside scraping
A collarbone like a conveyor belt
For jewelry I can’t afford
Clicking the door closed behind me In a room
Where the walls heave heavily
Impervious and repellent of chaos
As I dream that
One day I will stuff myself
With happiness; And not fear Stomach ravenous without Consummation
And the dead on my hands won’t-still-drip wet in anxiety
Sweet and citrus lemons
Where my promises
Fall to the earth; in the dirt–become mold
Decayed by the invertebrates hidden under the soft mulch
Bacterium decompose the flesh in no rush
Where a deity may or may not watch over
Take rest in His creation As the apex, of the revolving earth
Whose entrails carry on perpetually
And feverishly hot
As butter churned by a millennia of women
As Alexander and his Gordian Knot

One lineage of demure women
And Cowardess
Hiding behind the husband
Whose hand is the root of problems

A slow and quiet anguish
And another
Of great ignorance
A narcissistic apperception
Of one you claim allegiance

Deception lies under

Racket strings
And tv screens

The ephemeral stranger
Whom I’ve had to become
Running in and out
Of people’s lives

Who am I to impose
An entire tragedy
Haunted by the triviality

I’ll stick to making breakfast
For the one who throws it back at me
One light turns on and the other turns off
Esperanza never rising

m.l.; age 17; South Pasadena High School

I like to think that I am on my way to compiling a small book of poetry by the end of Highschool. The process is ongoing, and I thought I could send you a few of my very first poems.  Writing is important to me and when I don’t do it I find myself feeling irritable and unproductive. It’s the easiest way to express myself.


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