Affinity’s March Poetry Collection

E

very month we will showcase the best poems from the previous month curated by our talented writers! We will also showcase awesome art!

I Don’t Know What I Need..

By  Ilhan Adan

As I walk home, I hear the pitter-patter of every droplet of rain that hits the asphalt of my cruel hometown.

My whole world consists of dark and grey hues that somehow remains the only shine in my adolescent life.

Relationships and bonds don’t seem to matter as much anymore. I feel as empty and dirty as the mason jar that sits on my dust-filled shelf.

There’s a void that sits heavily and uncomfortably on my chest and I don’t know what to do.

This kind of emptiness consumes you in a strange way.

A kind of drainage that sucks the life out of you.

A lack of basic human ambition is embedded within me.

Am I wired wrong?

What wrong in my past life did I do to be bestowed this curse?

Photo by Namaah Kumar

I Gave You The Power

by Tre Edgerton

Too many lives have been lost because of gun violence. How many more need to be used as an example that we need MORE gun control legislation. This poem is based on a  Nas song that speaks from the perspective of a gun

They use me, grab me, sell me

I’m a gun.

It’s cold in this backpack maybe because I’m metal

(at least you were nice enough to wrap me in a towel)

I feel like a virgin waiting to pop

Just keep walking and walking don’t be suspicious

Stop!

Feed me.

I need 29 rounds and one for the road

You wanted to be a hero in real life so you bought me

Walked in the store picked me out like a stick of gum

Asked for the largest magazine for “self defense”

You love rock music.

I can tell because you know how to make a crowd go ride

I felt the warmth of your hand and the way you touch me

I was excited until I realized you just wanted to use me

A spark went off in my mind

I did not feel so well

Nausea consumed me but I tried to hold it back

Till you gagged my throat

And I coughed and choke

A fire left my soul and, with it, lead

I could hear the crowd screaming you were putting up a show

Just went I thought it was over, my stomach felt a reload

I’m starting to get tired; my head begins to smoke

You put me back in your backpack

I guess the show is over.

We run and we run but I know not where we are going

I hear police sirens; I guess the show was too rowdy

I fall out of your bag

Still rapped in that rag

I’m kinda sad

But glad

Concerts really aren’t for me

Till another kid picked me up behind the tree

He said it was bring your friend to school day in his classroom

Our March

by Rebecca Huang 

Bang.

The shot rings out in place of a bell.

Left, right, left.

The sound of our boots and the heart-wrenching cries blend together into one cacophonous symphony

and we march to its beat.

One by one the students fall onto the onslaught of indifference.

As the cannons fire in the fields,

where fallen comrades lay mangled and broken and

forgotten.

But this time the bloody sacrifices will not go unaccounted for.

In our Sherman’s march, we will blaze a path of solidarity

trailing behind us a scarlet line

on our trek to the Capitol.

When will you Kings on the mount of the hill

finally open your eyes to the suffering that surrounds you?

You have locked yourselves away in a glass cage.

Do the walls mute the cry of our brethren?

When you wake up every morning and see the sunrise,

Do you think about the all the sunrises they will never see?

How much longer will it take before the broken shards of their dreams

break through your wall of apathy?

He claimed that the devil made him do it.

What about you?

One day your cage will shatter from the pressure of our pain.

One day your cage will shatter.

Photo by Raul Urias

What It Means To Be a Woman

By Samantha Merzel

I am a woman.

It means that I will have hair on my arms, hair on my legs and hair on my armpits if I please.

It means that the makeup I apply to my eye, my lips and my cheeks will solely be to please myself.

It means that just because I am angry does not mean I am menstruating.

It means that I have the capability of being on the football team.

It means that I will have stretch marks on my body and find them beautiful.

It means that I can wear short and tight clothing without “asking for it.”

It means that I am not obligated to start and raise a family.

It means that I will not let a man tell me what to do.

It means that my place is NOT in the kitchen.

It means that I can walk down the street and not get catcalled.

It means that I can gain some weight without being questioned if I’m pregnant.

It means that you don’t have the right to call me “too skinny.”

It means that I can work in the office, in the House and the Senate.

It means that any minor change I make to my appearance won’t be to please somebody.

It means that I run fast and hit hard.

It means that I am constantly surrounded by other inspirational and empowering women.

It means that I am strong, and I am fierce.

It means that I am everything.

by Andra V

She reminded me of the moment you first open your eyes in the morning:

pure bliss with no memory of pain, sorrow, or trembling;

She reminded me of a little Scheherazade, eyes in the shape of the full moon,

arms that hold you, mend you, words that fool you.

She takes the train alone on rainy days and up she goes, up she goes.

She only stops when the ground sleeps beneath the clear water

and then continues to walk along the drunk railroad,

with her slippers in one hand, full-speed ahead,

the other one hand stretched out, caressing the horizon.

Between her ribcage hums a lonely blue whale.

She was the last one of her tribe.

She carried all her ancestors on her burnt palms,

hiding them among the circles of her index fingers,

letting them breathe with her, through her, behind her.

She picks up her luggage then she drops it to the ground:

she remembered the long-forgotten white boat waiting by the river.

She runs towards it, she is the captain and orders herself

‘’We shall reach the land of waking up on the count of three.’’

Photo by Julia

A Woman’s Face

by Hannah Van-de-Peer

This is an open letter

To the girls in further education

Who need to be educated further

On the prospect of feminism:

Dear Ladies,

Experience was never a man’s obligation

Expression was never a man’s commendation

It was all of ours;

Wrinkles and laughter lines

Are acceptable

Whether you’re eighteen or eighty.

Spots that erupt

On our faces (and everywhere else)

Are not the crux of the matter;

Yes we have hormones

We need them to bear children 

Or not to bear children –

Either way is okay.

You’re no less of a woman.

You’re never less of a woman.

Even though they’ll say

“you’re at the age when you shouldn’t still be a cup size A.”

Even though Jeff from economics

stared at you for the seventh time today

because of your back-breaking double-Fs,

You’re never less of a woman.

You know what hurts?

The fact that we’re still here

In 2018

Ridiculing difference

When, in fact, we should be indifferent

Because diversity is a beautiful concept

And not fitting into a mold

Is a beautiful thing

Because “beautiful” comes from within.

Photo by Cosimo Cella

Every Damn Time

By Dorothy Walker

All the same. No difference.

No matter how much you claim that you’ve changed,

Every day is like the one before. Same routine. Same mistakes.

You told me to come over; you said it was important

I got out of my car and walked to the steps.

The house seemed so far.

As I knocked on your door, I knew this was another ‘booty call.’

Like every other damn time.

You open the door,

and the next thing I know,

My clothes are on the floor.

Can’t seem to make sense of this.

But I still went along.

You always know how that one little kiss, makes me go with your flow

And puts me under your spell. You never even said hello.

When you opened the door I asked for a break.

You said you weren’t done. My body started to shake

as I realized my mistake.

You told me what to do,

I tried to resist. I wish earlier I could have had a clue.

I’m trapped under your body.

Feeling the warmth from your tan dark skin.

I said, “please get off of me.”

And my bottom lip started to quiver.

You got more aggressive and ignored my pleas.

You started acting possessive,

And did what you wanted with my knees.

Acting like you haven’t got a clue.

You went all the way with no consent.

All I could do was pray. I was filled with resent

But you just kept going, all my feelings were showing.

You had no cares. You hit me when I tried to escape.

You must have seen my tears.

I screamed rape!

You clutched me harder, I couldn’t escape.

I shouted louder. No one came.

You thought this was a game,

But I felt so much shame.

You handed me a beer and told me to drink.

I did it out of fear and just wanted to go.

“I’m getting out of here,”

I said as the tears ran down my face.

“We aren’t done yet, I do believe,”

You said with a smirk. With all your force

You threw to me the ground,

And took me through your course. I’ve never felt worse.

When you had decided you were done,

You let me free saying “now wasn’t that fun?”

I just sat curled up in a ball, unable to speak.

And when I left your house, I felt so weak.

I fell for that same ‘booty call,’

Like every other damn time.

The MoneyMakers

By Sophie Sebastiani

Vomit: a mix of sour coffee and last night’s meatloaf is spread like warm peanut butter

On the bathroom tile,

Or in front of my mother as she looks at the pile of bills,

Stinking, putrid mess of dollar signs and phlegm.

My father sees it in the stacks of papers before him,

The looping cursive of student writing makes him sweat,

Bile slides up his throat.

Palms sticky with saliva and tears, I wonder how I will pay for college,

Picking up another shift, my stomach churns,

Acid burning a hole in my shirt.

Our home is painted a stale cream,

The color of snot and the wilting flowers on the window seal.

My mother doesn’t want to toss them just yet,

They were eighteen dollars, she says, looks sadly at the withering petals.

A reminder of that dress at the store,

The one with the taffeta lining and lemon-coated exterior.

The price made me sick to my stomach,

Left in a crumpled ball in the dressing room.

The popcorn ceiling bulges like the belly of a snake,

His meal of melting bones, thin as fingernails on scratch cards

Purchased at oil covered gas stations, hope and then disappointment.

Lying awake at night, polyester sheets itch,

Scratch, scratch, praying for a win; my nails are dirty.

And all I dream of is money.

Endless zeros throbbing behind closed eyelids, an incapacitating fever,

Sweat made up of plastic diamonds.

By Kay

I love my coily coarse hair that possesses the golden flecks

of the sun

I treasure my divine brown skin that everyone scramble

in awe

I adore the swag, the groovy authenticity, my people bring

to the table with gracious essence

There’s nowhere I would rather be than residing in the body

God gave me

Wallowing in the glorious culture I was blessed with, alongside

the ones who reflect me

My stomach turns at the thought of once despising myself

Letting the mind tricks, deceitful lands of America, allow

me to lose sight of myself

We all hold the crowns despite the world denying us.

Yet everyone finds it suddenly pleasing to replicate us

There is no stalling now

Our courage stands much more powerful than ever before

Our perseverance is much more consistent than ever before

Kendrick meant it when he said we will be alright

Nothing cannot and will not steal our rights

Let us celebrate our history with unapologetic delight

Don’t forget to catch the privileged tears pelting us during our joyous flight

Dearest Mother

By Esther Cho

Dear mother, you never cease to amaze.

I watch as hurricanes bow down at your feet

while your abject love falls in a cloudy haze

just as you waltz in and skip every beat.

Slipping into my personal abyss,

you have already slipped

as far as you possibly could

into drugs and boyfriends, but tell me how,

back then and now, you were always missing?

And although you sign the cards with ‘Love, Mom’

Don’t think for a second that this makes up

for all my pain that you hold in your hands,

and the tears that solely learn to fill my cup.

Have I told you lately, how tired I am

of loving you when your love’s but a scam?

Design by Cosimo Cella

The One With The Dream

By Andra V

She reminded me of the moment you first open your eyes in the morning:

pure bliss with no memory of pain, sorrow, or trembling;

She reminded me of a little Scheherazade, eyes in the shape of the full moon,

arms that hold you, mend you, words that fool you.

She takes the train alone on rainy days and up she goes, up she goes.

She only stops when the ground sleeps beneath the clear water

and then continues to walk along the drunk railroad,

with her slippers in one hand, full-speed ahead,

the other one hand stretched out, caressing the horizon.

Between her ribcage hums a lonely blue whale.

She was the last one of her tribe.

She carried all her ancestors on her burnt palms,

hiding them among the circles of her index fingers,

letting them breathe with her, through her, behind her.

She picks up her luggage then she drops it to the ground:

she remembered the long-forgotten white boat waiting by the river.

She runs towards it, she is the captain and orders herself

‘’We shall reach the land of waking up on the count of three.’’

My Heritage

by Kay

I love my coily coarse hair that possesses the golden flecks

of the sun

I treasure my divine brown skin that everyone scramble

in awe

I adore the swag, the groovy authenticity, my people bring

to the table with gracious essence

There’s nowhere I would rather be than residing in the body

God gave me

Wallowing in the glorious culture I was blessed with, alongside

the ones who reflect me

My stomach turns at the thought of once despising myself

Letting the mind tricks, deceitful lands of America, allow

me to lose sight of myself

We all hold the crowns despite the world denying us.

Yet everyone finds it suddenly pleasing to replicate us

There is no stalling now

Our courage stands much more powerful than ever before

Our perseverance is much more consistent than ever before

Kendrick meant it when he said we will be alright

Nothing cannot and will not steal our rights

Let us celebrate our history with unapologetic delight

Don’t forget to catch the privileged tears pelting us during our joyous flight

Hey there!

Sign in

Forgot password?

Don't have an account? Register

Close
of

Processing files…