Session Three Anthology

MENTOR: Paul Tran

What Was Left Instead of Standing

Dedicated to Desmond Crafton

Can’t believe he’s gone. Can’t believe you’re going. Can’t believe this family
died. I never talked in past tense until I realized we went through a lot.
Heather agreed. We all walked off. Sammy, you never talked about Afghanistan. Still
haven't heard anything new. Des knew and was okay. I froze. Heather's tears
dropped. You left. We walked off. Family became circuland. We talked
a week before. Death ate us whole. I wish Des had infinite lives like Pacman.
This was supposed to be a safe space. Speechless. I didn’t talk for two days.
Nobody wants to see you go. He knew. Heard The Army calmed you down. Check
methods became check ins. Circuland. Can’t believe this family died. It’s true
You were his; not mine. Put panties on all your cards. They only read
my punch. We couldn't bring liquids onto the floor. Tears dropped anyway. You put
the world into his pocket for me. I thank you for that.
It’s true. I haven’t heard anything new. Red is still your familiar.
It’s true.Tre tells me he doesn't
live in the past.You told me it's going to hurt regardless.
It’s true. Christian moved where the preacher sung.You never talked about Afghanistan.
It’s true.Angel and Grace froze: love.Fort Benning, Georgia dried your tongue out. I
haven’t seen.
It’s true I don’t live. Tuesdays are past tense. Heather showed adulthood.
It’s true. Can’t believe you’re going. Came back. Circuland.
It’s true. You’re going. Heather agreed.FAM. You left. I Loved You.I almost wanna cry. I
cared so much I didn’t save myself. Des knew that sleep would be infinite and was okay.We thank him for that.

Kendall Sharita Roberts.jpg

Kendall Sharita Roberts s an 18 year old born and raised south sider of Chicago.She is an activist,artist,and teaching artist. Growing up in the poetry community she has had the experience of being a Louder Than A Bomb captain,coach,and participant for the past 5 years. Published and freelance writer for Young Chicago Authors,In June 2016 she was published in 826Chi’s chapbook A Record in Space, 2017 published in the Hyde Park Art Centers Zip Zap Zin. Since 2014 A teaching artist for the non-profit R.O.Y.A.L  Revolution of Young Artist as Leaders in the Auburn Gresham neighborhood at Cook Elementary School, and as of 2017 a teaching artist for Hyde Park Art Center Arts and Restorative Justice program.

Kendall has been interviewed for websites like DnAinfo and has done multiply Q&A’s for Student teachers at Illinois State University.


In May the poet threw himself into the river & choked
on his own spine.

When the fish gnawed his bloat it is said that commoners wept
rice into his sacred bones,

told the fish to keep blackened mouths
agape, turned flesh into wanting. Turned flesh

sweet with sugar. Any body as long as there is taste. Any body
as long as it’s not mine to hold. I wonder

how the rice felt, how she became an offering to the lesser
gods of the river. How even fish are holy when there is something for them to eat.

In May I sweep sticky rice out from under rugs, watch it cling to my bones as if it knows the
name for corpse­-substitute, flesh-­imitation. I wonder if it knows we are one & the same,

loose skin a bored god sang life into, a tethered world gorged on its own desperation.
I wonder how long we have until sacrifice no longer is remembrance, & neither are enough.

I wonder if anything can be
divine if it has a mouth big enough to eat.


Eva Gu.JPG

Eva Gu is a Chinese-American undergraduate student at New York University, and an alumna of the Kenyon Review Young Writers Workshop. She is a San Francisco Bay Area native. Her work has been published in the Eunoia Review and the Kenyon Anthology. When she is not stressing about writing, she spends most of her time missing her cat at home or exploring the muted metropolis of New York City.