Ina Yoonseo Lee was born in 2006 and is now a high school student in Seoul, Korea. She is an emerging artist interested in expressing emotions through drawings and paintings. She always tries to capture the memorable moments of her daily life.
Literary Journal for Young Writers
By Ina Yoonseo Leo
By Bryce Baron-Sips
A sparrow, catching a bee in its beak,
Splits its little body down the middle
Via the geometry of concrete.
This memory comes back like hot concrete
Every summer: Bird can’t fit Bee in Beak,
The angular crush along its middle.
Between necessity and cruelty, middle
-point proofs have been proven, yet the concrete
Angular force of agony, a beak…
A beak is a middleman for the force of concrete.
Bryce Baron-Sips is an American writer living in Sweden. His work is published or forthcoming in Revolute, VIBE, beestung, Strange Horizons, and elsewhere. He can (while it lasts) be found on Twitter @bric_a_bryce.
By Matilda Stolte
On the walk home, shadowed
by smeary Christmas
lights lining row homes,
I stared at the parade
flying into warmth.
scraping my knee
on the past, space you occupy
when the trees were still
full of birds,
when sweat slid behind our shirts,
when the sneakers
flung over the cables
started splitting by their laces,
unable to carry each other’s weight,
when we looked up, into the
Sun, and saw the beginning of
worse. Now, I feel
heat drip down my
sparrows who don’t know the
difference between warmth and
Matilda Stolte is a storyteller and poet. She recently graduated from Franklin & Marshall College with an English-Creative Writing major and a Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies minor. Her work appeared in boy-band magazine, the literary magazine at her alma mater. She is hoping to attend a MFA program next fall.
By Vivian Zhu
I miss you. The city is cold
without you. I tripped over a seesaw
yesterday & you weren’t there
to yell at the bum who pushed me
in your winded, loping accent.
Do you still keep a plate of oranges
on the kitchen table? I used to dig
my fingers into ripeness, tender
rind congealing beneath my nails.
Now, I wish I didn’t see everything soft
as bruised, bent for blows. There’s something
nostalgic about destruction waged quietly,
when relative damage can only be reversed
by further desecration. After I leave,
you paint the walls vermillion to hide
a single bloodstain. Erasure only threatened
when invisibility strains. The fog rolling into rain.
Rain cleansing our city of smog. The years
run away from me, but now I know to hold
the door open. I learn to apologize for everything,
even the things I didn’t do, because memory
is a living thing & hindsight is evolutionary,
undergoing osmosis. The day I left
the sky was the color of blue raspberry sorbet
shot through with strawberry sauce. Honey
& an aftertaste of hope. Back then, I still thought
of the world in terms of sweet things.
Back then, I ate sliced oranges as the train
bulleted out of the city & everything stung
like citrus on an open wound.
Vivian Zhu is a Chinese-American writer from Adlai E. Stevenson High School. Her work is published in CHEAP POP, Eunoia Review, and Aster Lit. A lover of all things orange, she can be found peeling tangerines for her younger brother.
By Tiffany Aurelia
clinging to the branch on the jambu tree
planted on his passing, where sunlight veils
his hickory wings in gilded glow. Where the
shadows bend, hesitant, like they too cannot
discern whether amongst man, myth, or mirage.
I see his face, softly wrinkled and deep lined,
on the folds of heaven-sewn feathers; on the
sparrow’s crown laced in white wisps –
whiskers of the hair that tickled my cheeks
in bedside hugs and kisses goodnight.
In silent flight, the sparrow lifts a tawny
wing — a hand beckoning reassurance — and
flutters, down onto the damp grass breathing
the scents our hands traced so long ago.
Tiptoes toward my crouching figure.
Stay, Engkong. Reteach me the odysseys
of the tricycle. Carry me upon your wings, tufted
with cloud relic, as we reassemble morning sky
jigsaws and rebuild the birdhouse once more.
Let the puzzle of lost time hold us whole.
Memory is the requiem I hear in the chime
of rustling leaves, branches stirred by the
wind, all the unsaid words between us
translated in morning song, for the air knows
how to carry what cannot be spoken.
And we listen, Engkong and I, the sparrow
nestled at the navel of my ankle as if
I am now the elder and he a child, resting
on the lap’s cradle, both beings stilled
by the tender familiarity of presence.
*Engkong translates to Grandfather in several Indonesian dialects.
*jambu (also known as ‘Wax Apple’) is a tropical fruit commonly found in Java.
Tiffany Aurelia is a South-East-Asian writer and current high school student, from the bustling city of Jakarta, Indonesia. Home to a constantly traveling mind, poetry is her vessel to give her tumultuous, wondrous thoughts a home. Outside of writing, you can find Tiffany lost in the pages of another magical realism novel or training for her next badminton match.
By Lauren Mills
I am thinking of my mother
and my mother’s mother’s mother
as I stay, languid, soaking my hair in sun
I am thinking of exponential prefixes
stretching back—the greats—
as I fall for none but July skies
I am thinking of the body mine was traced from,
the slope of my nose, their echo,
as I dodge, cheat, and forget fate
I am thinking of primogeniture’s pressure
for a tan line ‘round my ring finger
as I weave a crown of violet and rose
I am thinking of being a wife
and more, the pain it brought and brings,
as I long to be all they could have been
I am thinking of daughters
and more, how they stop you in your tracks,
as I commit to moving on and on and on
Lauren Mills is seventeen and feels it in her bones. She enjoys pasta, rain, drawing, and tv shows about strange towns.