Presents to my past self

by Jan Ramos

There will be days you want to burn your cathedral down to flames

And days where you curse God’s name and change it to your own

You will drive your own ambulance with the sole intent of crashing

Your soul will ache and your bones will shake

But I promise that your mother’s creation is still a work in progress

It’s okay to feel lost and insignificant

Even stars are lost in galaxies

You are made of atoms sewn with good intentions

And stardust has no effect on your being

And rejection from a boy

from a college

or from your own father

won't force the stars to collapse

gravity is not influenced by emotion

no matter how hard you cry, you need to understand

that the only thing bringing yourself down is you

Single Mothers/Only Children

by Uma Samari

We lose all feeling in our fingers come morning 

After listening to our mothers 

Knocking at the doors of God 

All night praying and pleading for 

The moment to come when she could be 

But Mother and Nature, 

But Society and Upkeep. 


Our mothers bang their own heads against walls for they must figure out  

How to be Father and Manhood, 

Society and upkeep, 

All on their own.  


We lose all feeling in our fingers come morning 

As we listen to our mothers 

Plea and plea. 

There's nothing we can do,  

So we numb our fingers, doing tasbeh.

Nature's Ode to You by Jan Ramos

Thunderstorms are an earthly reminder

that even the sky screams and cries too

yet nobody doubts Zeus' power

And although it is the thunder that people talk about

It is the rain that keeps us alive.

Remember the valuable lesson from the sky

The numerous paintings of clouds

by people who were awestruck

with their ability to let go

Remember the sun and the stars

and their ability to shine

regardless of who's watching

And if nothing blooms all year long

don't expect to either.

A Love Mourned Weighs Heavy On the Heart

By Edel Ahmed 


I have gotten over many temporary loves, 

Kissed mouths with expiration dates etched in their cheeks, 

Swallowed the goodbyes creeping up my throat, 


When a love has died on your lips, 

Everything you say sounds like grief, 

Like lonely, 

It creeps into your bed, 

Leaving you empty, 

Your heart walks up and down the aisle of your rib cage,  

Searching for something it cannot replace, 


I am still mourning the taste of your tongue on mine, 

How our lips said a lot with no words, 

I haven’t been able to catch my breath, 

Ever since we said goodbye


by Ilsa Mir

i’ve seen the curves of the earth

and the mountains' lonely peak


i’ve seen the ground well up with tears

and not apologize for its oceans


i’ve realized the mountains are nothing

compared to the sky



By Ilsa Mir

and the world will listen

your burdens are not
your burdens

the world will not come to an end

if it knows
your lungs are a forest

how you have to untangle your veins [vines]
just to breathe

the world knows enough about oceans

to know
the worth of salt water 

oh God, teach me to love like the earth

always reaching for a glimpse of the moon

never forgetting

the sun has always risen

underneath this skin

Pray, Say & Slay Team