November 2014

Social Deterioration
By Camille Bradshaw

It would be a slow descent,
Into the deep and smokey,
Creepy and murky darkness
Of Him.
But I threw away my flashlight,
Packed it as tightly as I could,
And dove.

When I Try to Push Past the Anxiety
By Camille Bradshaw

As a little girl I wished I lived in an igloo.
I could be friends with polar bears, learn
To start bonfires, eat s’mores for dinner.
Too bad I was frightened of leaving home.

Now I sit in my dorm room looking
Out at the cold expanse of college.
People pass by, smile, say hi.
I dream of making best friends, adventuring
Past the boundaries, discussing life.
Too bad I am stuck in my igloo.

I keep thinking I’m trying to tear down
The ice blocks, reach out and touch the frozen
Figures that pass my icy façade.
I keep thinking I would kill to be outside of this fortress
That locks me.
I keep thinking I want something warm—
Something true.
That rattles me to the core,
Rather than the ice that slowly hardens my heart.

But when I look down I see reality.
My steady hands add another block to the wall:
Another layer to protect me from them.
Them from me.

That Helpless Feeling
By Shelby White

I clench my phone and listen to my friend’s screeching sting deep to the core of me.

But it was a different guy, she said. He told her she looked lovely that night. That her white dress made her look sweet. His princess. They always called her that. I practically heard her favorite red heels click on the cemented ground as she held his hand when he called her that.

He led her to that Italian place on 3rd and Western. I’ve always hated it there, she told me once. But she ate there for him. She smiled when her order came. He cracked a grin at her excitement, but it didn’t reach his eyes, she says. The waiter came back as customary, his polite grin reaching his eyes, she remembers. She’s laughed at the waiter’s joke. He ignored the waiter, grabbed her hand and dragged her out. She only smiled, it wasn’t a big deal, she told him. And me. He didn’t listen to any of it. Her pain dripped from her wrist through his tight grip and stained her white dress. It hurt, she told me.

But my poor white dress, she cries. The one that made her his princess. She didn’t feel like one that night, she told me. I couldn’t picture that fairytale either.

“Hello? Are you even listening?”

“I heard every word,” I sigh. “But did you?”

Taking Too Damn Long
By Shelby White

Time wasting. I’m anxiously awaiting
For his arrival, his presence brings peace.
Downing Jack Daniels to handle my grief,
But this source of relief has me panting,
Digesting, desiring your promise
to persist. Punk-ass pretenses,
he dupes me with swindling sentences
that cause more pain than him being honest.

Time wasted. Now I’m wasted, rambling to space.
Coherent thoughts left my remains restless,
puking poignant realities of what
I made genuine, what he said would change.
Now he walks through the door, mouth turned up;
But I’m turned off as her scent spreads our home.

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