Category Archives: Undergraduate Poetry Picks

I Would by Hugh Cook

My nails are shining Lavender,
I’m afraid you don’t see me.

I wish someone would rub
Sunburnt arms with aloe,
So I could tell them I wasn’t sore.

I felt the love’s weight
As I tried to breathe
With no woman pressing into me,
Once I stopped the chattering TV.
I can feel the weight, lost,
Like I starve myself, so far
Inside does love carve.

I would sit outdoors,
At a warming bench all light time,
To hear “Hi,” receive “Hello.”

Hugh Cook attends University of California, Santa Barbara, studying Writing and Literature. He has authored a collection titled The Day it Became a Circle (Afterworld Books). His poetry has been published in Tipton Poetry Journal, Ariel Chart, Muddy River Poetry Review, and Blue Unicorn.

When I Got My Ears Pierced by Sophie Cohen

Well, I was walking trying to mind my business
and guess who came by on his bike!
Yes, it was him and his hair was short,
if you can believe he’d let someone cut his hair.
He stopped to call my name and come beside me,
walking his bike and the chain came off.
Do you mind waiting just a minute?
And I waited, because there is something about his voice
I’ve always liked, and I wanted him to walk
beside me, asking questions people don’t ask.
Do you go to New York a lot?
I said I did, sometimes, but I don’t like it there.
We should go. In the summer.
He even went so far as to ask where I was walking,
so I said to get my ears pierced, and he asked
if I had any other piercings on my body,
as if he’d never seen me naked.
But no, I said, I only have them on my ears.
Then he was away on his bike,
and for a sudden moment it was the fall again,
when at the crossroads as he walked me to the doctor
I said I knew the rest of the way, and it was raining,
and I saw his eyes afraid before he turned and ran
down the street, catching the arrow green.

Sophie Cohen is a rising junior at MIT, where she studies mathematics and creative writing. She is a writer for MIT Chroma Magazine, and a teaching assistant for calculus. An active member of her sorority, Alpha Phi, Sophie leads the fundraising effort for the Boston Walk to End Lupus Now. Her favorite poet is Brigit Pegeen Kelly.

Paperplane letters by Kristina Gibbs

Love was pressed between
Stained smudges of downy diction
            Creased along the edges
Bent over backwards
            Then folded forward
Sealed by the weight of waxy hope
Sent with a flick—
but the sun beat on
      And on
      And on
So it flut ter ed
            Falt er
      ed
                Fall
            ing
Hitting the water
A distraught Icarus.
The whole of its failure upon it
Contributed to its
Sinking.
Words raged
And swirled
Unleashed—
            Torn open
Harboured in
The inky black deep.

Kristina Gibbs is an emerging writer from Tennessee pursuing a Bachelor’s degree in English and minor in Linguistics. She has previously published in Speaking of Marvels and North of Oxford Review. When she is not reading or writing, you may find her clambering over both hiking trails and paint brushes.

a modern sonnet by Cleopatra Lim

i know that it is okay because i said yes but it should mean
that i don’t have to feel like a suckling pig before slaughter
and i did this, i think, to feel like an adult now that i’m eighteen
but i went too far– i go too far– ten bucks that he has a daughter

somehow i can see myself in an hour, picking the curly aged hairs he shed
off polka-dotted sheets that laid witness to my first lunar blood
and soon he’ll unlock my beloved chest, spill jewels of cherry-red–
hindsight says once a flower blooms, it’ll never again be a bud

but reason and rationale are always late and the party don’t start
til they walk in and see me: emptied and filled with cheap wine
and tears… they said when it happened, i would feel in my heart
completed, perfected, and his gaze would be sugary sunshine….

instead the bed shakes and i am seasick until the north star, i can mark.
he tries to see me but he can’t. i am with the stars that glow in the dark.

Cleopatra Lim is a student currently attending Columbia University. She most enjoys writing prose poetry and personal essays, and has been published in some smaller literary journals. She currently works in NYC as a marketing assistant and a junior agent at a talent agency. In the future, she hopes to be able to work with both film and writing, working to incorporate poetry on to the big screen.

Eden by Kayleigh Macdonald

We all have ways to weigh ourselves.
Eden’s way: stay in motion.
She would still the silence by
praying to God, eating her vegetables,
journaling in the achy fog of morning.
She would lean against the counter when she stopped.
Chairs were much too comfortable.
I never saw it was defense
until I, too,
heard bees in my head.
I see myself in Eden’s race
against the unfair haste of silent time.
There isn’t ease in inner peace
when a piece of you is missing.

Kayleigh Macdonald was born and raised in San Jose, CA. She is a recent graduate of California Polytechnic State University at San Luis Obispo, where she obtained a Bachelor of Science in Graphic Communication and a Minor in English.