My Scrawny Nightmare

My dear love is scrawny and a nightmare,
Glowing eyes like knives cutting the darkness,
Appeareth grey shadow with matted hair,
Why she cometh from the trees such a mess?
A lion’s roar quieter than her cries,
Begone meowing feline vagrant pest!
What is this dancing bear before my eyes?
Persistent, unwelcome hobo houseguest.
Yet, her wails pluck my delicate heartstrings,
Caressing my leg with whiskers and love,
Purring motorboat sprung from its moorings,
Precious, fuzzy gift sent from up above,
This unexpected present on my door,
Barbed thorn now beloved forever more.

James Bowie High School


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If childhood had a flavor,

It would not be this: Scraping
shards of glass into a dustpan
Dim lightbulbs
spit out a
warm light. Sticky, sour,
fermented lemonade
mixed with sweat,
a bottle shaped dent
In the dirt-brown tile.
It would be: Blue
buttercream frosting
sticking to your tongue, swallowed
sodapop still fizzing,
fingerpaints still staining hands,
even after three or four washes,
like the faded glow
of a nightlight
you’ve already turned off.
Still, I can’t get
the bitter citrus out of me,
Even after three washes.

James Bowie High School


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There’s something
no one ever talks about when
they’re in suburbia.

It’s supposed to be a
flawless middle class union, half
metro, half marsh,

but steel edges
of silver silos and skyscrapers
teeter on tearing

the fragile fabric
of the starless almost-city sky.
You hear it most

nights when the
street racers wrench through
pitch highways

and the crickets
punch the identical houses’
plywood shutters.

You hear it when
there’s yelling next door, one
half matrimony,

one half the
inescapably loud swarm
of change.

James Bowie High School


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I don’t want to pray for forgiveness
like I’m pinned by the wings
to God’s corkboard.
But when the iron in my blood
is towed toward the magnet that is
her in her
sunny Sunday best, I don’t stop myself
from choking on the
Lord’s Prayer.
I indulge my shame.
Like a sleepy child
I’ll never want,
it yawns
for frivolous things,
like fragrant rose bouquets,
or monotonous love.
I ignore the tired requests that
I need to answer.
Only I can unearth up my roots, hidden
in the tangled churchyard.
Only I can sever the rubber bands
that I tentatively snap against my heart,
but I have lost both
the shovel and
the patience.
Trying to dig gets me nothing
but dirt under my nails and
empty hands. Stubborn
(or maybe even divine)
say that if there is
anything left
of who I am inside,
it is years
from being covered
by wedding gowns and
tiny, blue swaddling clothes. Still,
what I wouldn’t give for a frivolous thing,
like a sham love,
or a heart
that didn’t want to hide.

James Bowie High School


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A trip to the Ocean 4.2/5 (5)

A trip to the ocean
By Gaél Quintanilla

At the ocean,
I had no idea what I’m getting into,
Watching the sea,
In one split second,
My head Was in the in the water.

Watching a school of fish ,
That’s when i saw it .
A moving motor,
Faster than a jet,
Right next to my head.
I started to panic,
Was nervous and afraid.
Thought it was the end.
In a moment of zen,
They hoisted me up,
So relieved,
Safe again.

Zilker Elementary


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Observe how he
presses his hand on
her lower back,
guiding her through
their shared workspace.

See how she hands him
her tattered sweater and
he stops shivering,
even though
it’s filled with holes.

If you squint,
you can see it in him,
carrying her
bobby pins in the front pocket
of his shirt at a party
while she dances
with someone else.
Think about these things.

Feel their weight:
the gentle palm,
the striped sweater,
the copper pins.

Feel their weight
and know:

Love is not things,
you do not carry it with you.
Still, find this
secondhand embrace in
the memorabilia of
someone else’s love.

James Bowie High School


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The Look

O dog
don’t give me that look
that look of sadness
that look of desperation.
The look…
Like you’re all alone
and nobody loves you

Aren’t I the one who feeds you
who takes care of you
aren’t I the one you love

But no
You’re doing the look
you’re acting pitiful
but I see through you dog! ha
I know your game
your ideas
you’re trying to toy with my emotions.
But you can’t
you can’t
you can’t do it.
And now see what you’ve done
you’ve made me give in
and you’ll do it again

O dog



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Like Elephants

Like elephants
forcing themselves into cardboard boxes,
a vessel desperate to be filled with belonging
snags its fluttering spirit
and plucks away the wings,
consulting society’s step-by-step handbook
for cutting away passionate errors,
slicing off rebellious streaks,
stitching on content and blinding unbiased sight
and throws the corpse
up, up, up,
expecting it to sprout wings and fly.

Bailey Middle School


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books 5/5 (1)

open a book and you will find
people and places of every kind;
open a book and you can be
anything you want to be;
open a book
and you can share
wondrous words you find in there
open a book and i will to
you read to me
ill read to you!

bailey middle school


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