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For anyone who can’t see the wounds

Art Class

How I imagine art class

I’m making art with

dried up blood and fingernails.

It’s something I’m accustomed to doing.

I hydrate the blood and paint red eyes and forced smiles,


A blank canvas is full of opportunities,

I’m making art with empty words

and so is a room full of children.

served by our pledge or of

the meaning I can’t hear, much less see.

I’m running out of things to find the sun in,

Lately I’ve been making art with outlined bodies

and bullet shells.

too much is going on and it’s causing the world to blur.

I’m making art out of empty magazine clips,

out of the different colors of

our skins.


This is only me filling the longing

I’m making art out of obituaries,

with thinking.


broken desks, and pictures.

Out of what is left of

students’ bodies.

ghost of my body

The ghost of my body

I visit my cemetery plot-

My dead are buried below me,

together we remember a common tragedy:


A drive that takes thirty-two minutes,

flashing lights,

cameras, cameras, cameras, and more cameras.

Shattered glass, people coming out of hiding,

and more people waiting for those that won’t.

A long pause.

A few condolences.


I walk through hallways,

hallways that lead to more hallways,

with locked doors,

items scattered everywhere,

the hallways never end.


The blood looks like letters,

the dead overlap each other, I stop-

this one looks like me.


Suddenly, I scarcely exist.

Amidst a blow of gas,

a flickering flame,

my pictures are covered in tears.


Obituaries tell useless information about me,

and my coffin is too clean.

The nuns in habit clutch tightly to

events that didn’t occur.


They try to contrast the stark evil of murder

against God’s own doing.


This cycle will never end,

and now I wish I was cremated.

E & M 1

Education and Morality: A Series Pt.1

The origin of this series came from something that was written on the side of the Supreme Court building in Ohio. I only remembered three words. The rest probably weren’t important, we aren’t living up to the first part of the quote anyways.


Which brings me to the three words: education and morality. There is no morality in education when our government is saying children of color don’t need to be recognized, that LGBTQ+ people are negatively affecting youths' mental health, and when this generation learns they can be openly killed in a school like animals in the wild. Then again, America is the wild.


Maybe the quote on the justice building was about something different. Maybe it could be interpreted many ways. At this point, I just think it’s ironic those words are etched onto a building that can’t provide people a safe education without making a school look like a prison.

a prayer

a prayer for my sisters before they go to school

Hello, God.

Here we are again, I thank you for this day. I know it’s been awhile, so I don’t know why you would listen to my prayer, but I beg of you to at least hear me out.


Please console all the families that lost someone. Console those who were scared for their lives and their children in the Nashville school shooting. Stand with them during these hard times, and help them heal, even if they don’t think they can. Send them a sign that things will get better.


And I pray that things do. Please guide this country to a better way. I am trying to understand why you would let these horrific events go on for so long, but I can’t. Slowly, my faith is slipping away. Maybe I am not supposed to admit that, but this is my last hope.


My last hope isn’t that my eight and thirteen year old sisters won’t die.


But instead, when they do, they know that their family loved them, that I cherished every moment with them, from waking up at 6 a.m. because Santa brought us presents to letting them steal all my Easter candy. I hope they know no matter what happens after death that I will never stop thinking of them, and that we will see each other again. I hope they don’t die with fear in their hearts.


Thank you God,


E&M 2

Education and Morality: A Series Pt.2

Before we can analyze morality policy, we must begin trying to understand sin.

Sin in the perspective of what we need to outlaw,

discourage, actions that violate religious principles, values.


The sin from firearm politics.


But it isn’t from the countless

bullet filled children, not from the damage caused by gun wounds,

but from a group of people that perceive that stricter firearm laws

threatens their basic moral values, as if


the lack of gun laws does not threaten schools and children everyday.


It is here we learns that morality policy is about the

government supporting one set of values at the expense

of another set of values.


The government supporting one set of people at

the expense of another set of people.


In which one side is less significant,

the side of children.


Education and Morality: A Series Pt. 3

I would run,

run, hide, fight, like my life depended on it,

because it does, it did-

it did for Parkland, for Columbine, for Sandy Hook, for Nashville,

for all the school children whose names I am slowly forgetting-

not that I want to forget, but

I can’t remember all of them,

no matter how hard I try.



Our mother lets God chew on us in the school courtyard.


This is how we know flesh and bones,

            that we are not immortal.


Our flesh and bones have been tested with the prick of a needle,

sting of a slap, the scrape of an elbow, and slices of paper cuts.


Our flesh and bones were never made for the ricochet of a bullet

vibrating through the skin,

never felt the cool heat in sweat or

pressure of a heartbeat in palms.


But it’s perfect for creating a feeding frenzy of ribs and cartilage.

            We are being eaten.


Our Mother lets war weapons pick at our skeletons.


This is how we know our bones will turn to dust,

            that nothing can make us stay.


These bones have yet to finish growing, trying to root into skin and

be comfortable with the person it belongs to.


Shells of mass destruction will find bones and

lodge between joints.

Fractures in skeletons will

become the new modern art.


We are carcasses with no more pigment in our bodies.


Dear the United States Government,

it would be quicker if you

lined everyone up and executed us by firing squad.

you should BAN the shooters who took too long, the ones

who didn’t kill all the school children,

people who ASSAULT the constitution that

tells citizens we are nothing more but targets for WEAPONS.

ban anyone who tells old congressmen what to do, and anyone

who does NOT tell women what to do. most of all, ban the names

of innocents you have killed, scratch their existence from BOOKS,

newspapers, Instagram posts, the world.


only then will you have a chance to REGULATE this generation.

yet, we will not cower at your FIREARMS, and we will

NOT believe your empty lies, as empty shotgun shells make up school floors.

instead, OUR blood will paint politicians walls, the skin

of our BODIES will lay next to you in your grave.





Between My ABCs

Alyssa Alhadeff, 14 - Bailey Holt, 15 - Chris Stone, 17

I’ve learned to master my ABCs 

With names

Daniel Barden, 7 - Emilie Parker, 6 - Francisco Fernandez, 17

From start to finish

No letter left behind

Each with a meaning

Glenda Ann Perkins, 63 - Henry Lee, 20 - Isaiah Shoels, 18

Hopefully, people will realize

What life was lost this time

Instead of a name that’s gone

Jesse Lewis, 6 - Khambrel Manning, 16 - Layla Salazar, 10

There was never an issue

With a gun unloading
Let the clip occupy my body
Don’t leave one last bullet
No other kid shall be claimed
And when I go limp
I leave my body in your hands
It’s the only way for you to survive

Let me be a shield since I’m already gone

But before this event begins
The first lesson of the day:
Who knows how to detect the ring of a gunshot?

May Kieu, 15 - Nevaeh Bravo, 10 - Olivia Engel, 6

No one can hear pleas for help over

Growling stomachs and cheering of our nation

“We love the second amendment folks, no one loves it better than us”

These words cover our country as students leave school in

 Body bags instead of caps and gowns

And across states the bit of life some hang on to is

Less than the possibility of being saved

Now they’re weighing probability and suddenly

Odds begin to shrink

Partani Lumbantoruan, 34 - Quinn Glen Cooper,18 - Rojelio Torres, 10

The new oath states

We shall not let them steal our lives

Even when it seems better to remove the hand from the wound

And we will map out our exits

No matter what building

Being prepared is the number one thing people want to be

Also assuming who holds the gun is okay

Just don’t eliminate all options too quickly


Seth Bartell, 15 - Thurlene Stillday, 15 - Uziyah Garcia, 9

The rattling in my bones plays a symphony of screams

And it’s not a solo but an ensemble

Our tone perfect to fit the music of rapid-fire

Who knew so much harmony would come out of this?


Vicki Kaspar, 58

Parents will know that children in the U.S.

Are the new magazine clips and targets

William Dave Sanders, 47

The youth will have to accept they

Might bleed out from a gun wound and

The run hide fight protocol only prolongs

The death this country promised them

Xavier Lopez, 10

Words and names

Conquer my ABCs

From beginning to end

I’ve filled the in-between


No child left behind

So maybe then people will realize

Who’s life was lost this time

 Zoe Galasso, 14

A name that’s gone

Amaya Snapchat-131177190_edited.jpg


Amaya Serrano is a double major in creative writing and political science, with minors in public relations and race & ethnic studies at Otterbein University. She has won a Silver Key and earned an Honorable Mention for her poetry in the 2021 Scholastic Art & Writing Awards. Amaya is from central Florida and has been writing since middle school, where she found her love for reading and eventually writing.

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