Tough [Self] Love

By Andrea Hunter

no more victim
no more waiting
no more goddamn procrastinating
enough of the pity parties
they're not very fun
let go of the what-if's
they've never won
so get up off your ass
girl
and get a big fat grip
use your skills and
prove to those haters
that you are indeed "the shit"
have respect for yourself
that's just food for your soul
people will see it
accept it
and the truth will take hold
you
are
worthy
and
capable
you have to believe
practice this mantra
and then you'll receive
believe in your heart that
this is the day
put those worries in a bubble and
blow
them
away
stop waiting and worrying
take action and do
no one else can make this happen
it's all up to
you
embrace your power
the magic of your mind
do it
believe it
and when you do
you will find
opportunities are endless
'cause you
are
a gift
and that gift is
divine

Andrea is a writer and consultant currently perched in Illinois. She is a wine drinker, nonstop thinker, and photography tinker(er). Find her on Instagram @andrea.hunter3

Return

By Jordan Donohue

If I could take the words
from the universe
through me onto this page
they would say
your voice is like
a kiss on the forehead
from a mother
one I truly never had
a sister with arms
that cast stars into
the air around us all
your glow forced me into bliss
energy divine flowing
between me and what I thought
was far too lost
to ever be found
but from long ago
I have known you
and to be here with you
once again is perfection
my devotion will never
complete itself for the
endlessness of gratitude
flows beyond my river
into the sea with you
diving deep within our souls
to create a heaven home
I believe and know
there is a great truth
everlasting in the ether
that has drawn my soul
to yours

 

Jordan Donohue is a writer from Woodstock, New York. Her work explores the many emotional vantage points of her life, with a thematic emphasis on family and the identification of self. She can be found on instagram @thejordandonohue

Take Care

 By Jordan Donohue

I am softening my spirit, each day when I rise
I wrap my mind inside a safe place
I meet my body on the earth and thank my toes for
keeping me here, I tie a string to my soul attach it to my
center and put a padlock on it.
I feed myself foods that actually came from the ground, I
dance in my living room and sing very loudly.
I even bought milk to make my cappuccino at home.
Is this what it means to take care?

 

Jordan Donohue is a writer from Woodstock, New York. Her work explores the many emotional vantage points of her life, with a thematic emphasis on family and the identification of self. She can be found on instagram @thejordandonohue

Your Mother's Shoes

By Kristi Annelie

I swore I'd never compare you.
But here I am again
And again
And again,
Like every day of the last 5 years,
Meticulously sizing up
A pair that could never belong together.
You and him.
For one cannot honestly exist
While the other does.

He makes me want to leave legacies
And move mountains.

You put our faces on a plaque in EPCOT
And made me climb hills in your mother's shoes.

I think you meant well, but you never knew me,
Because I didn't know me.

He remembered me as soon as he saw me,
And reminded me how to say my own name;
The same one you tried to change.

He has cured me of diseases
I didn't even know I had,
And is the last person on Earth I'd have ever expected
To call my Healer.

But every day he encourages me
To keep my own shoes on the ground.
I'm sorry your mother's were a bit too small for me.

 

kristi annelie is an adjunct professor of college composition and creative writing at kean university in new jersey. she is currently revising/editing her first self-published novel "three squeezes" for re-release this summer. if not reading or writing, she can typically be found with her phone in her hand posting poems, nature photos, tea, crochet projects and too many selfies on instagram. if you'd like a glimpse of her daily life, or to follow her re-release progress, follow her at: @livelaughwrite

 

Me Too

By Kelsey Hamby

Me too.
Two small words that,
When put into the same context,
Can change the way society views a controversial subject.
Rape.
One small word that can devastate millions
Is the controversial subject
Of the two small words.
Now, when these three words
Associate with each other,
There is a silence that falls
Over everything as the
G
r
a
v
i
t
y
Of them are taken in.
This gravity seems to be
Up for interpretation
And complete isolation.
There are cries of outrage,
Cries of sadness,
And, unfortunately,
Whispers of suspicion.
The most toxic of these
Are not the varied degrees of
Cries,
Or
Sorrow,
Or
Anger.
The most toxic is the
Lowered voice in someone’s ear
That makes them hear doubt
In the story of someone’s pain.
It can turn,
“Oh, you poor thing!”
Into,
“Oh, honey.
Are you sure you’re not being a bit
Dramatic?”
It invalidates the parts of
The human race wanting to
Face or stay away
From this overwhelming pain.
Invalidation.
Another word that can devastate so many
Who just want to be heard
Over the silence in their head,
Over the immense dread
That threatens to pull them under
Until they can’t breathe a word of
Their pain without
Doubt in their minds.
“Am I exaggerating?”
Or,
“Maybe I’m just making a big deal of
Nothing,”
Begins whispering its poisonous words
And blinds those who
Just want their pain to be heard;
Of those who want their pain
To have the power to
Prevent someone else’s.
Pain.
Now, that’s a subjective word.
But pain is pain,
No matter how BIG or how small.
A single call
Or scheme to cause discomfort,
Even though,
“It was just a compliment,”
Can be just as painful as someone
Violating hopes and dreams.
And bodies.
See, pain doesn’t care
How much it divvies out, because
It knows it will be felt in any capacity.
It can strike fear into
Even the strongest of individuals
With the audacity to
Overcome adversity
And tear them down
P i e c e
By
P i e c e.
Kind of like the edge of a cliff that keeps
Eroding and losing itself to
G
r
a
v
i
t
y.
Even if there is a fear of falling,
It continues falling
Just the same.
Fear
Is a word everyone knows.
Fear is the ultimate villain
Marveling at someone’s inability
To live without it.
Fear is piling on layers of clothing,
Trying to protect the skin from
Unwanted attention
From men who don’t understand
It’s not wanted.
Fear is realizing that,
No matter how much clothing and
Armor is layered on,
It’s not impenetrable. 
Shouted “compliments” and
Spiked drinks and
Even hands can find their way
Into the thickest of armor
Unforgivably.
Unforgivable. 
Unforgivable are the yelled
Conversations and
Violations of bodies who,
“Said they wanted it five minutes ago,”
And,
“Were dressed like they wanted it to happen.”
Unforgivable are the drinks
Intended to elicit fun, 
And memories,
And dancing,
But instead, become tainted
With illicit drops of
Bad intentions labelled as
Date
Rape
Drugs.
Rape.
That’s the forbidden word.
The one that’s swept under the rug
Of denial
And “Twenty minutes of action,”
And “Well, were you drunk, sweetie?”
Rape is the word that
Disobeys when confronted with the word
“No,” and, instead, takes
What it believes to be something
Rightfully belonging to it.
Rape is devastation
And humiliation of
Minds,
And
Bodies,
And
Spirits.
Rape is real
And cold
And cruel.
It takes prisoners and
Tortures them eternally,
Whispering at the most
Inconvenient of times,
“Hey, remember when…?”
Rape is something that
Can be stopped
With education and conversations
Shedding a bright,
Revealing light on reality,
But it keeps being shaded by a
Shelter of denial and fear
And lack of action.
It has people confessing,
“Rape? Me too.”
Me too.
Validation in two words.
Two words that can bring litigation
To those who so badly need to
Be free from intimidation.
“Me too” are words that
Show the silent they aren’t alone
In their pain,
And the suffering is not required
To be in vain.
Comradery,
And love,
And solidarity fill the words “Me too”
To the brim,
And brighten the dim despair.
Me too.
Two small words that,
When put into the right context,
Can change the way
Society views rape.

"I'm a 24-year-old with a BA in English, even though my mom told me to major in something else. I've always loved diving into books and poetry; creating fictional worlds of my own. One life has never been enough for me, so writing allows me to make up my own worlds; speak my own mind and satisfy my adventurous and poetic nature." -Kelsey Hamby