I am the Exotic One

something about / javelinas and jackrabbits / growing up in your backyard / secret trails / connected to a mountain / scorpions / spiky plants / I did not realize / the sun meets the horizon / the silhouette of an old cactus / some may consider / cotton candy skies / queso smothered corn / far away / a sweet sip of imported water / when I am lucky / people call me Arizona / you see things / a spiny pot garden / a bull’s bony head / the one-legged roadrunner / maybe in a dream / or when I leave / the desert

/ my home /

I am never thirsty / no parking lot parties / pale all year long / dark grey skies /
no spikes / no swimming pools / no valleys
I have learned / the boundaries / my place
— Sophie Rabb

This Pair

This pair of shoes has seen it all,
From 7th Grade to college start

The dark sky electric,
With drugs and sound

Ample amps,
In whose bass I drown

The soles are torn,
The fabrics stained

Cheap pair of Levi’s
And my feet are pained

But for no cost would they be lost
$5 memories, gotta love Ross
— Jacob Blieu

Wet Paper

The truth soaked through
your scroll of unnecessary facts,
You placed the drenched parchment on a metal grate
and hope for the sentences to dry attached.

I’m going to be honest,
she doesn’t care about the things you write.
Ink will bleed through your paper
and change the words you tried to unite.

That’s the thing about water,
she mainly comes in peace -
But if try to stop her,
she’s a force you cannot beat.

— Sophie Rabb

Paper and Stones

As I sit in a cafe in the central plaza of Brussels, I try to imagine what it was like in its peak, when all these gold laced buildings were utilized for their original purposes.
A connoisseur of empathy, I close my eyes. I use images I saw at a museum the other day to visualize being born as a daughter of a filthy rich Flemish couple. I tried to imagine waking up, opening the windows, and welcoming a town hall meeting upon my day, or watching as people come to pick up their biweekly loaf of bread. These diamond glossed women carried out their lives only 30 feet above the spot I’m sitting in now.
I am trying to seriously grasp the feeling that I, or anyone, could consider it truthful that they deserved to own that much gold.
I cannot fathom holding such an elite status.

I don’t really need to pull myself that far back in time to feel such disbelief though. Even today, I cannot imagine owning a Prada purse, or having someone slip a diamond ring the size of a rock onto my finger.
First of all, my parents friends used to hide their valuables when I came over. Not because they thought I would steal them, but because I would probably break them. Despite that, I cannot even imagine thinking I deserve anything supposedly worth so much.

I don’t even desire these material goods, but I know how exciting it is when you find red Dr. Marten boots at a Goodwill for only $25.
And as I sit here today in the heart of Brussels, I am glad; I am seated in front of yet another palace turned into a museum over time. Maybe one day, a girl thirty years younger than me, hunting for interview clothing at a women’s resource center, will find a pair of Gucci pants that I used to own.
— Sophie Rabb

Adidas are too Comfortable

I wanted my butt to beg for softer cushions on all these bus rides. 
I wanted to hiss at all these slimy men as they pointed at their lips, asking me to smile when I walk by. 
I wanted to wear this outfit for the ninth time in a row, without going through a single wash. 
I asked to wake up with itchy skin, to run down the stairs and yell at the receptionist for all the nocturnal rice-sized critters sleeping under my bed.
I asked to get stuck in the rain when we had no place to stay and the train station was closed during the sleepiest hours of the day.
I asked for these painfully quiet walks with my autistic little brother in all of these city parks; we can’t afford anything else.

I fear one day I’ll wake up, stuck to my bed, married to thoughts I met twenty years before. 
I am scared that if I stop carrying my feet forward, no matter how much they hurt, they will become so heavy I cannot march against all these ugly societal storms. 

Sometimes, I pick up the pace of my movement and I start to run. And I don’t mean jogging in Nike sweatpants around Central Park. I mean, breaking further away from my parents’ roots. I mean, sprinting with a sprain in my ankle even if it gets infected. I mean, sprouting out of the pond I was born in, trying not to be picked up and carried away to another one. 

This past year, my parents got me Adidas sneakers for Christmas. They look so clean and so comfortable, but I cannot wear them.
— Sophie Rabb

Self-Inflicted Delusions

I have done and seen some things
That makes me wish I could believe
In a god,
In a Jesus,
Or those little pieces of cheeses
That the mice run to -
Before the trap snaps them in two

It’s true that I’m a fraud
A person lying to himself
About what truly makes him happy
Or even begins to help

My health is in decline
Because my spirit has started to dim
I know I’m moving forward
But I feel I stay right where it is
And by it,
I mean the past
And all my old mistakes
The lies that I’ve told
And the lives not theirs to take

But they ripped away regardless
And I only cried for one day
Sometimes I fear that I’m heartless
And cannot be changed,
But other days I know
I’m just sad and alone
And by not crying
I can pretend they’re still at home

Which is why,
I don’t go to funerals
— Jacob Blieu

Polaroid Seance

Polaroid Seance

Polaroid Seance is both a question and an answer. The question that I was striving to answer was this: does love have to be requited in order for it to have been real? I think that unrequited love is something that everyone experiences at least once and when we are finally released from its grips we look back and ask ourselves if what we felt existed or was simply infatuation. That's the reason why this story is so vague. The only pronouns I used were "I" and "you" and there is no gender specifically specified. I wanted anyone to be able to fit themselves into it, whether they play the role of "I" or "you". The question is something that I never answered in the story, and I leave it up to the audience to determine. If you click the title of this post, it'll lead you to the full story and you can decide.

What I did answer though was my own question. For three years I had been stuck in limbo about my feelings for someone who couldn't feel the same and there were many times that I thought I was over it but then I'd see them and my heart would say: oh shit here we go again. The process of letting go was unnecessarily long and painful and I would wonder when I'd finally be over it. It happened when I wasn't even looking and one day I simply didn't feel the same. Had the time come for me to really be done? I wrote Polaroid Seance and the answer was yes. Nothing lasts forever, especially the way we feel now. Emotions are fleeting, just like the moment in a Polaroid snapshot.

- Lana