Cycle

Grace Noonan, M3, Class of 2024

December 2017

            It’s Christmas morning. Her eyes flash open, a result of adrenaline from what’s downstairs. Not the presents or the smell of pine and peppermint, but the screaming. She hears Annie yelling and instantly knows what’s happening. She listens for a while, processing. She knows the cycle is starting again. Being the most observant of the family, she expected this was coming soon. She saw his pupils, the way his hunch was worsening, and even the rattle of the pill bottle in his pocket that she knew he stuffed with toilet paper or cotton balls.

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Middle Grounded

Middle Grounded

Simon Longhi, M2, Class of 2025

Sometimes I wonder if I’ve just been wishfully thinking my entire life.

“… so that’s why I want to work in the foreign service… because… well, the world is cool!” Scrawny, bright-eyed 18-year-old me actually spoke these words out loud, introducing myself to my Honors Ancient Civilizations class, a freshman international relations major. It became a playful, mocking mantra often recited by my friend group –in startlingly accurate high-pitched tone– every time I expressed a sincere affinity for some sort of unique culture or geographical quirk. I mean, in truth, I kind of liked it; I took it well and it suited me.  As a youth, if I ever met someone from another country, they had some sort of accent, some wild backstory – whatever that ‘foreignness’ was, this new person scored mega points in my naïve head, they were automatically ‘cooler’, and I default-admired them.

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Twin Violets

Twin Violets

Vinamaratha Rao, PhD Candidate (G1-P3)

Beyond this door lies a forest

deep in the quiet riot of autumn.

The silence disrupted by the crunching of leaves

underfoot a team of interlopers, of which I trail behind.

In a clearing beyond the shadows of the thicket,

we approach two trees towering as one.

Two trunks bowed like backs to wrap their branches in an embrace.

 I blink

 In their place, Two women appear.

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I am free

I am free

Kakra Boye-Doe, M4, Class of 2022

I didn’t think I would ever get to this point in my life, if I am being honest. I have hated a major part of myself since I was eight years old. I remember, as I am sure anyone who was raised in a Christian family would, praying to God that he would take this feeling away from me. The feeling I was describing was having an attraction to the same sex. I ran away from these thoughts and feelings as much as I could, but I could only get so far. I remember hearing people in church describing the abomination of homosexuality — destined for an eternity in hell. Hell ain’t it for me so I decided that wasn’t an option. I needed to suppress my attraction to men so I could be chilling in heaven. Suffice to say that didn’t work — and I am glad it didn’t work. What resulted out of this attempt was years of hating a part of myself; begging to God to take this away from me and trying to come to terms with how a merciful, loving God could have no mercy on individuals simply for something they have no control of. I now reject that notion that homosexuality is a hell sentence. If you believe homosexuality is a sin, fine — but a sin is a sin. Which makes my “sin” no better or worse than yours. But Christians choose what “sin” takes precedent over another. I reject that notion on the basis of love. I believe that it is not the case that homosexuality is a sentence to hell and I would implore “Christians” who are spreading that message to do a great deal of introspection — why does this bother you so much? Additionally, you “Christians” are doing a great disservice to the religion that you so fervently claim is about love — this isn’t love. This is hate. Full stop.

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We still aren’t free

We still aren’t free

Kakra Boye-Doe, M4, Class of 2022

To this day, the promises of Juneteenth have yet to be actualize. In 2021, over 150 years after the Emancipation proclamation and two years after, when all salves heard of their “freedom”, we still are not free.

Earlier this week, President Biden signed into law a bill that recognized Juneteenth as a National holiday. Juneteenth is the commeration of the day when federal troops took control of the state of Texas to ensure the freedom of slaves, June 19th, 1865, two years after the Emancipation Proclamation. The Emancipation Proclamation, itself, was a performative gesture. It only freed slaves under Confederate control.

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