I Feel Unpretty

Sonya Scott

Don’t you know that I hate looking in the mirror
When I see my reflection in the mirror, I get sick
I try to avoid looking at the mirror
When I do cry a little

The bumps that I see on my forehead is annoying
I tried covering it up with makeup and face cleanser
But that didn’t help me out at all
Why does the guy that I like, dislike my appearance?

I thought my appearance wouldn’t matter to you
Am I really that ugly that he won’t notice me?
I just feel so unpretty when I see my face
People say that I’m beautiful, but I don’t see it

Maybe one day I will be able to see how beautiful I am
But until then I still feel unpretty

A Cow Gets Caught in a Storm

Monica DeJesus

Thunder before anything else.
Rumbling through the earth’s body like an unruly stomach,
desperately searching for something to fill its core.
Hurry before the rain, before the tears and the violence,
the flash of lightening.
It’s hungry.
Hungry and here you are.
Alone on this empty stretch of land trying to run from the looming rain,
the brewing storm at your back.
a crumb on a lonely plate and no matter how far you run
the earth will always swallow you whole.
Do you even know how you got here?
Who it was that made you into meat?
To be tenderized, not bruised.
Lean green diet, farm-raised, branded nice and pretty.
A product for your environment.
A blue-ribbon cow
With wind breathing down your neck.
Lightning strikes, the same as an open palm.
It’s catching up to you
and no one taught you how to swim or hold your breath,
yet here you are thinking you can run from creation
when all it wants is to devour you.
Bit by bit.
Bite by bite.
Easy peasy.
You should be grateful to be made part of the earth once more, to be making her whole.
The sky parts, mouth wide…
You’re going to drown
You’re going to drown
You’re going to-

Till Time Do Us Apart

Aneesa Williams

Walking among the living,
Is such a fragile thing.
The birds grow weak whenever the young cry.
My life is just like a cycle of the dead swarms of winter.
Until I met you,
You became my summer, always bright and encouraging.
I never thought I could let go from my dark abyss until I saw your face.
You have always been a dawn for me
This time it is my turn to be a protector to our new young.
Welcome home, Dawn
I’ll protect you just like she once did.

Mental Health Haikus

Joye Tate


There was no air left to breathe
Water rushing around me
A fish, swimming.

Trembling in fear
Winds ripping apart houses
A shelter, no longer standing.

If I just let go,
falling to Earth’s surface
a bird, soaring.


I’d trade the world,
A slave tied to a ship,
Freedom, nowhere to be seen.

My life is falling apart
Fall leaves crunch underneath my feet
No one can put it back together.

Failing is inevitable
Still born is painful
Life is everything.


Memories will not fade
Scars run deep
Not even time can erase

I am the victim
A fawn attack by the wolf
Judgement day soon to come.

Who can be trusted
Glass shattered into pieces
Unable to be repaired


I am withering away
Fishes swimming downstream,
Death awaits

I want to stop
The fires die
Embers still burn.

Trapped in a reoccurring cycle
Born, Live, Die
Age is nothing but a number

Mental Health Triptych

Alyssa Marshall

Words run rampant in my mind
Your words, his words, and mine
I cannot shed my feelings because I have gave too much
I keep pulling at this heart on my sleeve, I’ll tear off my arm eventually
Weeping and I can’t stop it
Crying for no reason
Wishing to wage war on my tears
I’ll give you something to cry about
Weak like water, the salt in it don’t help
We stand at different roads and u won’t come help  My tears have carved a river between us
My heart is soft and u poke it and poke it, I’ll burst
You have to grow a thick skin
I try but my skin cant put on the layers as they are being destroyed
I grow into it accept it as my own
I stop resisting the change and become apart of it
At times I replace it with anger
They meld together
I will fight back and know feeling is okay
My feelings are worthwhile and I will stray away from concentrating on your words
I will cope instead, push u away if you don’t try to understand
Make it my own light and follow it to the end 

The Cycle of OCD & The Answer for a Cure

Nizira Muhammad

“The What If….”  

A thought pops into my head, what if I kill my best friend? Whoa, where did that come from? I love my best friend, I would never want to hurt her, but this thought scares me, I’ll avoid the kitchen whenever she comes over, so I won’t be around the knives. 

What if the stove blows up and kills her because I didn’t help her make dinner like I always do? I’ll brush my hair exactly two hundred times every day to make sure that doesn’t happen. 

What if I sleepwalk over to her house and strangle her in her sleep? I’ll lock my bedroom door before bed. 

What if someone breaks into her house while my door is locked, and kills her? I’ll wash my hands ten times while getting ready for bed so that won’t happen. 

My skin is peeling off from all the hand washing but must keep her safe. 

I’ve started losing weight because I’ve been avoiding the kitchen, but I must keep her safe. 

My hair is falling out because I’ve been brushing it so much, but I must keep her safe. 

I’ve had panic attacks every night while locked in my room because of these thoughts, I can’t handle much more of the anxiety, the guilt, the fear, but I can’t stop thinking what if…what if…what if…A question my brain never stops asking.  

“No Answer”

Answering the “what if…” only makes it stronger. 

The only way to end it is to not answer. 

Take the locks off your doors. 

Put the hairbrush down. 

Take your best friend into the kitchen and make dinner with her. 

And when the thoughts come, when the anxiety hits, when the guilt makes you sick to your stomach. 

You must breathe, and keep living your life. 

Let the thoughts come. Don’t try to stop them. Don’t act like they’re real. Let them pass. 

Sit with the feelings. Feel them. Let them pass. Let them go.

It won’t be easy, but it is possible to live a life without “what ifs.” 


Devon Jackson


Those moments
Those moments where you feel alone
Your heart feels hollow
friendship seems like an after thought
And you have no motivation to move on
We all deal with this emotion in our lives
But when it comes down to it
You’re never prepared for it
So seek out answers to this question
How do I stop it?
And you will be filled with knowledge
knowledge that can change you for years to come


The deep breathing
Shaky hands
The spiraling of the mind
Anxiety has set in 
The feeling of every wall around you closing in
And slowly pulling you towards insanity 
Deep breathes you repeat in your head
But your body struggles to respond
It might only last minutes
But feels like an eternity 
It targets all with no descrimination 
And can make peoples lives turn around in a flash

Panic Attacks

Breathe….. Breathe
Why is it so hard for me to breathe
I feel like I want to scream
But nothing comes out
Feeling like a person in a horror movie
whose mouth is stitched closed
And is bounded to a surgical table
The table being made of your own thoughts and fears
You have to find a way off this table
Or the world that you know will dissipate   


Sleep is on the search for me
But I am lost in the world of the awake
Laying in the bed staring into space 
Trying to count the sheep
But the big bad wolf continues to take them away
My mind wonders why this is happening
But I can’t answer the question


Those memories of the good times
The parties
Late nights
Girls I have met The wonderful escapades
But same as there are good times
There are always bad times
The IEDs
The look of the families’ faces
The funeral services attended
Those people live on forever in my mind
I live with that
But doesn’t meant that I have the will to always bear it


Zuriyana Martinez

What inspires us to dream about today and tomorrow?
Uncertainties ravage the future we await
As we move towards the destination we desire to follow.

Possibilities ahead may be hard to swallow,
Among decisions that are destined to shape our fate.
What inspires us to dream about today and tomorrow?

Our passion grows brighter, we abandon our sorrow.
Memories are stowed away in a forgotten crate
As we move towards the destination we desire to follow.

We’ve decided to destroy all doubts that are hollow.
We refuse to remain dormant until it’s too late.
What inspires us to dream about today and tomorrow?

We’ll overcome our struggles just like Frida Kahlo
And let our choices dictate the moments we create
As we move towards the destination we desire to follow.

Before we part ways, in the past we mustn’t wallow,
We’ll ask ourselves before we seek what lies beyond the gate:
What inspires us to dream about today and tomorrow?
As we move towards the destination we desire to follow.

Depression Triptych

Ariel Hall


Predatory grey hastily approaches
With delayed reaction from prey.
Ominous cirrus encroaches sun-seeped rays

Atomic grains blur and fizzle
As coarse gears oxidize,
Catching with swift, ill-timed chemical floods.
Skulked claws embed between layered particles
To puncture teal-mothed skin.

Hues deafen among muted roars,
Onyx slithers to edges of the eyes,
Hitching rides on wired vessels
To the remaining mush.
Mistaken sight crystallizes organic veins.

Electricity is silenced in its house,
Deep leagues within witty meat.

Skewed vision blanks
When an abstract terrorist cloaks and distorts
What once radiated content.


Wounded lavender petals spread across subway lines,
Begging for reprieve from steel severance,
Doused by wilted muck swamping the tracks.

A transparent assassin lurches, insistent
That a porous suit surrounding an anvil sternum cushions a tumble.
Stringed cartilage winces with each pace,
As sticky neurons fixate on pillow-top death.

Greasy linoleum tiles reflect unforgivably,
Coaxing parallel chins.
Saturated tongues flick in desperation,
Demanding exposure from overflowing acidic landfills.

Through moon-lit abyss
Periwinkle sheets engulf dim embers.
Powdered ash provokes clamped jaws to subside
But a ravenous coffin is patient.

Salt trickles through blood-soaked carpets,
Trampled by identical hounds.


Sculptors chip at numbed marble
While siren tornados saunter through entropy.
Bitter dew mists peach-fuzz cheeks as horizons eclipse,
Hyenas guzzle their alcohol,
And carbon decays.
Damp concrete echoes multiplied footsteps.

Abandoned playgrounds still loiter
After giggles run dry.
Cracked asphalt splinters upright
Over rusty chain-link fences,
Pleading for glimpses of tiny lambs.

Disguised shadows surround
Stubbed growth from plucked shrubs,
Cackling at their filleted roots.

Gooey pigs slide from canals,
Mucus bubbling around crusty snouts.
A serrated guillotine listens
To the ultrasonic squeals,
But is loyal to its design.

Ruby-freckled sky breathes despair,
And exhales infinite stardust.

Teeb Al-Rubaiaw

oh you

I fell for her, fell harder than I could have ever fallen

Her sweet voice, ringing in my ears

She told me once “Elizabeth, you are to die for”

Her humor, drying the tears that dared to spill from my eyes

The warm, happy feeling I’d feel when she speaks to me

My mind corrupted with the thoughts of her

“Elizabeth, please hold my hand, everything will be solved”

Wondering what would happen if she was real (is she not)

Elizabeth, you know that wouldn’t happen, don’t you? I can’t be let out” If I could meet her one day, what would we do?

Would you, my love, like it if we both wore pretty dresses and danced around in the fields??

How would we go about our day together?

I told her “Beatrice, you are to die for. What would I do without you” as I stood with the rope hanging around my neck

She responded with “Eliza, please don’t go”

Or would I forever not know the answer to my questions?

“Eliza. Please”

My mind is so cruel for threatening to die if she ever left my side

“Beatrice, I’m so sorry, love. I’m so sorry I tried to do it”

For making me fall for her and wanting to hold her in my arms. (is she real)

Its okay, would you please be a dear and get me a slice of cake” Could I ever meet someone just like her?

(You know you wouldn’t, don’t you, I’m created for you!)

If I did, would I ever love them the way I loved her?

Of course not Beth! You wouldn’t love anyone else. I’m just who you want me to be” I yelled back and told her “BUT WHO ARE YOU REALLY?

Would I discover the darkness that lies behind love?


Sometimes we can be so blinded by what we imagine

Making it seem so perfect, so flawless

Clean and crisp, so effortless

She whispered into my ear and told me: “you are everything I hoped for

I looked at her with tired eyes and spat at her “you never hoped for anything, Beatrice.

But in reality, they aren’t so perfect.

With empty holes, ink spilling from the page, perfectly flawed. Have you realized that now?

Who was that? Elizabeth, why did you have that girl…THAT GIRL!! Cant,,, she see me lingering about???”

Beatrice stop yelling, she can’t see you. I’m the only one who can. I’m all yours” (i’m unsure about you)

With blasts of color, making it seem like a mess because that’s who we are That’s what makes us, us. Do you see it now?

Elizabeth, would you like to go to dinner with me? I found a nice diner just outside of the city.” “Love, you know I can’t take you out with me, remember what happened last time we went out?

They tried to lock me away from you” (i couldn’t see you anymore) Oh you,

how could I end up like this

Looking forward to my dreams, just to see you

“Beatrice, where are you??”

“In bed, come take a nap with me”

Wanting to be alone so I can think about you

You fill my head,

You are poisonous drink, seducing me with your scent

With your skin

With your darkness.

I’m going insane but I like it

Your skin, so soft and delicate, how I wish I could touch it (my hands go through yours)

You hugged me afterwards and I can’t shake the feeling of knowing that you’re just in my head

Pushing away everyone and everything just to have you

“Lizzie, don’t forget tonight! Our anniversary”

“How could I? I cancelled my plans just for tonight”

Yet you aren’t human. You do not breathe, nor do you sleep.

You’re kept in my mind, locked from the world to see

“How many times must I tell you?? YOU CAN’T LEAVE THIS HOUSE”


I want you to leave, escape from this place but you won’t go

(what is reality)

But really, I’m the one who doesn’t want to let go

You’re still here with that beautiful smile plastered on your face

The sweet smell of your hair every time you walk past me

“Why are you smiling at me?”

“Nothing, you’re just beautiful”

“Beatrice, you smile even when you are angry. Why can’t you smile for real this time”

I’ve gotten used to you being around

I’m getting sick of you

How could you so effortlessly be so happy all the time?

In reality, you never were happy. You existed for me.

Smiling and dancing the night away, not a worry in the world

Come Elizabeth, it’s our favorite song, remember? We danced for hours with this playing in the background”

Hopping on to new adventures, wanting me to tag along

You stared at me and told me to not be late again. We have a boat ride to go to.

I told you “to just let me get ready in peace.”

The more I started to dislike you, the more you faded away

Into this creature, whatever the hell you are

“What happened to your face Beatrice? Why are you so bruised up?”

You happened. Your thoughts of wanting to get rid of me, yet you still hold on to me. You hurt me in ways you can’t imagine”

Oh you,

Is this what love has gotten us?


You’re lying to yourself Eliza. Like you always have been.Drifted us apart till there is no longer an us?