When the gasp of tears
gets the best of you
and you’re rocked by the
impending loss and chasm,
when you’re undone in the parts
where it counts and torn
at the knees and throat,
bleeding into the folded
corners of roadmaps and photographs,
my love, I promise you’re
still heard. It’s not alright,
and I won’t tell you it is,
but here in this moment
where our hands collapse
together, and the prodigal
sunlight settles in your hair,
palms outstretched
to pull you up from the gravel,

breathe in;

You’ll make it that much farther
and just a few steps more-


To the one who needs to hear it most. Hang in there, dear one.



Homeward Bound

Promise me these things, because I can never see it in myself,
the girl I weave through the lines you love so well.
Tell me again so I can sleep tonight,
in the attic where they put my cradle when my toes touched the end
and my dollhouse when I could buckle my Sunday shoes.

Sing to me through the floorboards, because though I can only sleep alone
your voice makes it not quite so. A numinous hum woven
through the sway and glow of this weathered demesne.

Promise me these things, because I need to hear it again;
that my chapters are innumerable pearls rolling through your fingers
that my thoughts are silken strings woven into Arachne’s holy imbrication
that my words hold galaxies, prayerful stars, and planets with iridescent moons.

Inverted Spring

We lay there with leaves drifting down
shriveled little curls of brown
whispering It’s our time as they fell
from autumn’s aureate canopy
golden veins in folded bodies
with some precious secret in the hollows.

I dreamed in rhyme
and of colder times merely hoped for
you and I among the greats
hand to hand
and eye to eye
for the second time in our life-

and he breathed in, sleeping leaves in his hair
eyes fantastic blue, and mused
you can’t change the past, y’know?

I know,
or if I forget
then the vacuity in my dreams reminds me
there’s no you in my past or present fall
or any future I can see
there’s no drifting, dazzling, sempiternal

will keep turning midair
sunset shining through our edges
caught in a persistent wind
a great skyward heave of clotted air
and spectrum-hued trees-

Simple Graces

They weave blue ribbons into my hair
whisper in notes of amber
and I shine with beauty from
outward adornments

all the transient radiance
proverbial vanity of an inner kind.

Amidst their whispers I ask the quietest
But what of it all?
I dream of smooth exhales and easy minds.
I dream of replete hearts and an overcome of love.
Eyelashes of sun drifting in millionary wishes.
The simple grace of folded hands.

My fingers untangle the braided thicket
hair undulating in blue-tinted locks
mind cleaves open
spilling spectrum dreams.

Unspilled Ink, and the Coming Year(s)

It’s 3:27 am, and I’m in bed hoping the light from the screen or my fingers on the keyboard aren’t troubling my roommate’s sleep (if you’re reading this Hong, and I did in fact wake you, I owe you cereal). A deluge of thoughts is keeping me up tonight, and though they are not the belletristics I usually post, I feel as though I have enough kinship with all of you to share them.

This is my first year in college; however because of a high school credit program (AP anyone?) I’m set to graduate Spring 2016. This anomaly of my first year being my penultimate one means I’ve less time to become qualified for the workforce through internships and campus involvement. To say nothing of the fact that I don’t even know what I wish to do in the professional sphere. I’m 18 so I frequently hear “well, dear, you don’t have to know yet- no one does at this age!”- but this doesn’t sit right with me. I’ve learned with intentionality since my freshman year of high school, when I enrolled in courses with scholarships and college credit in mind. I knew there wasn’t a way for me to pay for my secondary education, so I decided that if I pushed hard enough, won scholarships, and exempted out of enough pre-rec courses, I could do this without wrecking my financial stability. It worked, I’m here, and in another year I may be graduating…what??? I’m a Global Studies major/French minor, heading this August to a French university to work and study, and perhaps get a clue as to what the hell I’m supposed to be doing. All I’m certain of is that I wish to commune with people around the world, speak different languages (Spanish and Arabic- you’re up next), and above all give love as deeply and proactively as I can throughout my life.

However in the past year or so, writing has evolved into an integral part of my life and my identity. I don’t leave campus without an anthology nor a notebook and pen (I recently made the mistake of biking to a bookshop without either, and promptly purchased a miniscule pad of paper and 4-inch pen that I could put in my shoe on the ride home. I had found inspiration among the bookstacks). Writing alleviates pain, rejoices in the beautiful minutiae, inspires change, and so much more; it has become my hope that my words can achieve these ends. But I have so much growing to do. A kind reader recently urged me to consider classical forms, and I promptly realized I’m utterly ignorant when it comes to anything but free-verse. There is so much I want to know and study, but it’s too late in the game to change my major. Professors have urged me towards graduate school for creative writing, but the idea of spending more money that I don’t have terrifies me. The thought of losing out on the chance to grow as a writer terrifies me even more. So I’ve been doing the cost-benefit analyses in my head, factors in which include time, providing for my future family, career, job experience, etc., and if I finish my undergrad at 20- why the hell not? I am young and should not limit myself by something as transient as money.

I also realized today that my gifts and skills are independent of anyone else. For a couple months now I’ve been inadvertently seeking validation from a couple writers I know and admire, and comparing my own style to their very different ones; this is folly. I create on my own terms, and my work should not be dictated by another’s. This should have been obvious, but I was enamored with the new thrill and blessing of knowing other people with word-shaped hearts, and got lost in comparing the phrases within. (Okay, so maybe a couple belletristics.)

It took me skipping class yesterday and getting lost on my bike for me to come to these tenuous epiphanies. It took me receiving the kindest, most encouraging email I’ve ever read for me to realize that I no longer have a say in the past- but what I say about it can be everything. This past year I’ve been recovering from PTSD and a few other related disorders caused by traumas that I will not elucidate upon. My recovery has been colored by a spectrum of emotions- hope, rage, hate, despair, resolve, to name a few- and each of these feelings has brought with it a new way to say what’s in my heart. What I write may not always be easy to read, but it will always be honest- and I believe there is beauty in truth.

So I would like to offer my sincerest gratitude to all of you who have helped me along the way, reminded me why I write, or read my work. Thank you for sustaining me these past months and in the ones to come. I am inexpressibly thankful for all of you. With love, M. Alden

To Be Determined-

Someday I’ll write about you in a different light.
You can read the curves of my hand
that trace prosaisms
draw prayers for us
two stars drifting in slow leagues of time
till we untangle and understand
that the end has justified our tremulous journey.

Under the Grotto’s Arch

Our sun-blessed hour follows
me into the night, inverse shadow
a cape of light that holds its warmth.
You, proximate
tender and unfolding
with all the shyness of a new-fledged
butterfly that landed on my shoulder.

I wanted to turn my head
delight in the artistry of your wings,
but I was scared
to crumple the velveteen folios
So I closed my eyes and sensed
the tremulous wing-beat
and was glad wanderlust
long enough for you
to mistake my skin for an erythrismal blossom.

Words strung carefully, gently
with almost-selfless intention
and sorrowful inflection
they are ill-fitted to this time.
Confessionals hung on
my tongue but I bit down
because God forbid the sound
rattle your veins and urge you away.
Hope bloomed in
my throat but I swallowed hard
because for all the reason
we have to sing, those petal-faced glories
are out of season.

There is a time for shared silence
a time for abundant thoughts aloud
a time for sun-blessed hours
to hold both in the golden stretch.


After the Rain

I see the world through refracting windows with raindrops glistening on the edge, a surrealism in which I can reside. The resplendent colors prick at my iris, that melanic kiss of sensory wisdom, and I see in new shades. How beautiful, to live in a perspective that shifts and has its terminus in the periphery of a kaleidoscope.
I want you to see it, too. I’ll show you that if you tilt your head or heighten your gaze so that the sun can bless the landscape, the world may not be so treacherous, may resound with pulsebeat miracles. If you must close your eyes, I will lead you on till the shadows hush, light capes of grey silhouette, and remind you that even the darkness bows to our form.