Session Five Anthology

MENTOR: Rosebud Ben-Oni

entropy conquers diamond hard pride

mother keeps calling me to pay attention / look, look what they are doing / i don’t want to / the image of a woman / sinking her pearly whites / into a man’s bare back / the tv blares the hourly night fare / she raises her voice / i twist around to look at the screen / but i don’t understand the graphs / only that the broadcaster’s voice sounds / like worn out gears wanting a break / but instead it continues grinding / look how scary their economy is, taking off like that. / i am bored and i try / blocking out the nerve-wracking symphony playing / it feels like we are hurtling straight for a cliff / on a vehicle with / free spinning wheels / we’ve made a cocoon inside / silk strong like our diamond-hard pride / beautiful arrangement of carbon / one disaster away / from being engulfed in entropy / no matter / how many balloons / we fill with helium / it cannot dredge / our sovereignty / from the grave / the image of a woman / sinking her pearly whites / into a man’s bare back / motivates me / for a second / hopeless rage / coils around me / like a halo / but i only pick up the remote and



Vanessa Tsao is a young emerging poet whose work is published/forthcoming in journals like Body Without Organs and Blue Marble Review. She enjoys figure skating in her free time.




i woke up & that is all that matters

i woke up with a friends borrowed blanket
tangled between my feet & the shower down
the hall already running & a roommate shaking
their hair out of their eyes, i mean

i woke up & no one had died yet

i woke up to an absent hangover
i named miracle & a body
i also named miracle & a bed
i had made for myself, i mean

i woke up & did not regret it

i woke up with a mouth holding my own
name & all of my housemates’ pronouns
in an apartment full of queer people & all
of us were still breathing, i mean

i woke up & i was trans with a heartbeat

i woke up, once, in a bedroom
in my mother’s house & wished nothing
more than to rid myself of myself & only
stopped wishing when i was two states away

i woke up, today, & there was sun in the window

i woke up wishing for nothing except that Lauren
made enough hashbrowns to feed the both of us & damn,
if i won’t name that miracle too, how i can love this body
enough to let someone feed it / to let me wake up



Lip Manegio