Category: Poetry 2023


by Rianna Cruz

The colors of summer are a beautiful sight
They make so many things look better in the light,
And though summer is a short flight,
It can tend to feel like the time of your life:
From the soft summer breeze kissing your hands,
To my white painted toes feeling the sand,
Even the way I want to hold your hand;
Summer is sparks flying in the skies painted blue,
And even when the sky needs to cry,
It tends to not change the mood
Because the sun still comes out to take a dive
And gives us the summer – we thrive;
It’s full of beauty, hope, and happiness;
From the smiles of children when they see the ice cream man,
The way flowers blossom more into color,
Reflecting yellow, orange – a rainbow,
A rainbow of sunshine around us all;
Tender love and fulfillment,
Filled with the stickiness of ice cream and sweetness;
Summer reminds you to smile through the cold times,
Cause sometimes it’s hard to make the weather rhyme.
As long as we have family and each other,
It’s always going to feel like summer.

Rianna Cruz is currently a student at LaGuardia who will be graduating in 2023. Her love for writing has inspired her to keep going not only in school, but also in life. She will be the first to graduate college from her family and will continue the legacy of being the poem writer in her family and doing what she loves the most.

Image credit: “Coney Island,” simplethrill. Flickr CC BY-NC-ND 2.0.

Loving a Soldier

by Franchesca Cuba

Again, in my window
Waiting for his return

Engrossed in my pain, the moon takes the floor
Yes, the moon
She tells me that he will return
Let me prepare a place and go to meet him
I still could not believe that the moon was talking to me
But yes, the moon
My amazement increases when the stars intervene singing a love song
I wipe my tears and run to the mirror reflecting my radiant face
Suddenly the illusion enters through my window
Yes, the illusion
She brings with her a hope green dress and she tells me again, he will return
He comes; yes, he comes,
The boisterous rain accompanies it and between drop and drop it wets my whole body
Gardenias, sandalwood and roses permeate all my skin
The seagulls of love insist on combing my hair
Yes, the seagulls
My heart beats so fast
Passion paints my lips crimson red
Yes, passion
I go out excited to meet him
The wind blows through my hair
Between rose and rose
I run to meet him and suddenly the sea screams my name
Stops me and adorns my neck
A white and brilliant pearl necklace
In the middle of my joy, I turn around and tell him, I will live with my love by the sea
I continue on my way to see my beloved.
Yes, he returned
Still dressed in uniform and with a firm step, he approaches
I stop and see his face,
He looks loving, tender and dreamy, but even his gaze reflects pain and the ravages of war
He takes me in his arms and my heart surrenders
It is my lover and partner who returned
Suddenly a noise breaks the silence.

Everything is cloudy around me
Awake and in my window, the moon still, pale and without speaking
I can’t escape this reality
I run to the mirror and there lies white hair and wrinkled skin
I only look at an old woman still in love
waiting for a soldier who is her love, who has already died
because an absurd war took him away.


Franchesca served as co-editor in chief for The Lit. She is a student at LaGuardia College. She is a full-time journalism major. She is from Perú and has lived in New York for three years. Currently, she is a math tutor in SGA Tutoring Lab at LaGuardia. She is a lover of poetry, literature and math. She aspires to continue her education after LaGuardia and major in Journalism and dedicate herself to journalism, which she is passionate about. Her hobbies include learning to play the violin, reading, listening to music and spending time with her family.

Image Credit: “Locas noches veraniegas de luna llena (I),” Miquel González Page. Flickr CC BY-NC-ND 2.0.

Cold Show

by Matthew Pacuruco

[CW // suicide]


Film. Broadcast. Edit.
Work is almost done. I slouch when it’s already dawn.
I can feel his presence from here. Noises from his footsteps make me want to look over there.
A perfect evening to sit on the bench while it snows. Nature’s beauty is on display.
Memorizing every snowflake.

I am in a bubble.
Around my bubble is snow
And I am happy.
For it’s terrorizing him.

Questions. Questions. Questions.
Answers are invalid. I am freed.
Down those busy streets. Shivering teeth of mine. Filled with excitement.
I am flying on top of those busy streets.

My head turns left.
It’s automatic.

Red. Blue. Red. Blue.
Under me are those lights above me.
I Lose control.
I’m Losing the loss of this world.

Everyone now looks over here.
As I am losing blood.

My head turns right.
It’s tragic.

Ambulance and cops around me.
Near and cluttered around my satire.
I look up at the glass window I shattered.
And then realized on the big screen,

“This just in! LIVE! A citizen jumps out of an office building! Reports about the citizen suffering from a severe mental episode. More updates soon, after these messages…”

Check out our questions for Matthew Pacuruco.

Matthew Pacuruco is a recent LaGuardia student pursuing an associate’s degree in Creative Writing. He wishes to become a writer in the future to share his stories with the public. Coming from an Ecuadorian-descent background, born in the borough of Queens, NY, he ignites pride and dignity to keep and share his experiences living in a Latin family/community. He writes various types of writing such as short stories, poetry, fiction, essays, autobiography, etc. He welcomes you to the vision of his world, and with dear consideration, he hopes you will connect to it as well, in any way possible.

Image credit: “Stadtbaß,” Kai C. Schwarzer. Flickr CC BY-NC-ND 2.0.

Senses Of Grief

by Melony Hodge

Butterflies, corner eyes, reflections on dark screens.
Quick looks,
Red, red, red, red, red, and red again.
Mickey Mouse and vivid dreams.

Loud noises, unexplained.
Cackling laughs, mischievous baby girl.
So many songs from our past.
Thunder claps, theme songs.
Baby-girl knowing words none of us taught her.

Strong scents of cigarettes, weed, and your cologne.
I close my eyes, breathe in deep,
Knowing when I return to sight, you’ll still be gone.

Alone in tears, lost in my grief,
A firm hand on my shoulder,
Company while I weep.

Don’t cry Melon
I hear you say.
I’m here Melon
I know J, I can sense you all the time, it’s just not the same.

Your absence is so heavy.
My grief, it runs so deep.
Without my brother, my best friend,
I’m left

 Melony Hodge is a full time mom and wife. She loves to read, write, and learn. She spends her time working on her writing and teaching her toddler daughter sign lauguage while also preparing her for pre-school. she has a creative soul that is expressed through sewing and other craft hobbies. family gatherings are her favorite events to attend. she hopes to one day be a published author of poetry and a memoir as well as other genres. she hopes that her writings will one day inspire someone like the many characters and books she has read have inspired her throughout her life.

Image Credit : Pop H  “coeur brisé / Broken heart,” Flickr, CC BY-ND 2.0. 

I Pledge Allegiance

by Dom Glover

[after Danez Smith]


You remember how
in school they used to make us recite the Pledge of Allegiance?
Each morning our young undeveloped overstimulated selves
would be giddier than a motherfucker to announce our undying devotion
to a country that couldn’t give a fuck less about people that look like me
But what if I made a more properly fitting rendition?
One that more accurately describes what I call home
It would go a little something like this

I pledge allegiance
To those working two jobs to only barely afford that month’s rent
To those who sacrifice food in their belly to be able to put it on the table
To those too tired to function yet find the strength to do it anyway
To those who make instead of break

I pledge allegiance
To the ones fighting invisible battles
To the ones who feel they’re forced to live in the shadows
To the anxiety and ADHD gone undiagnosed
To those who feel like closure is nowhere close

And I pledge allegiance
To those who sit in remedial classes, dreams of Howard undeterred
To those who would be eye-level with Yao Ming if they stand on their student loan money
To those who use education to avoid being another statistic

I also pledge allegiance
To the aspiring rappers only getting 27 plays per song on Soundcloud
To the drivers blaring bachata music out of their cars so loudly
it would make Jesus bust a move
To the congregations of hookah smokers and dice rollers right outside of a barbershop
And, yes,
to the $20 shape-ups that’ll have a brother feeling like Michael B. Jordan for the next 2 weeks

I, of course, have to pledge allegiance
To the single mothers
The fathers that actually do stick around
The young child watching LeBron drop 30
A gleam in his eye, inspired to reach for the sky

I pledge allegiance
To the basketball courts with conspicuously missing nets
To the full-court 5-on-5’s like it’s game 7 of the Finals
To the Nike apparel adorning our outfit
To the “yo check up”, “AND ONEEEEEE” and eventually, the “ayo run that back bro”

And I pledge allegiance
to the box of fried chicken wings for $6
The bodega on every corner
The manager that roams around, licking his paw
And to the ock, ready to whip me up a baconegg&cheese on a roll, salt pepper ketchup

I pledge allegiance
To the Nike tech sweatsuits
To the Yankee fitteds and North Face windbreaker
An Ethika logo can be seen along the waistband
While a fresh pair of Jordan’s complete the fit

I even pledge allegiance
To A-Boogie, Lil TJay, the drill scene, and yes, Ice Spice
To 1520 Sedgwick Avenue, that’s my MoMA
To our dance moves, ayeeee ayeeeeee as we get sturdy
To the one and only Big Woo, you cannot say Pop and forget the Smoke

Now that is my nation
With liberty
We’re still trying to get justice for all

Listen to Dom Glover read his poem “I Pledge Allegiance” here:

Dom Glover was born and raised in the Bronx. Dom has always had an affinity for storytelling. One of his favorite pastimes during his formative years was drifting away into his notebook, writing fictional tales about cartoons and pro wrestling that served as exercise for his creative muscles. Eventually, he was able to channel that into making music, a career which is still only just beginning. Dom’s biggest strength is his vibrant personality and sense of humor which shines through in his creative works. It’s clear that he has a lot to say, and his mission is to spread his message worldwide. Follow him on Instagram @domglover.ny, on Twitter @DomGloverNY, or on TikTok @domglover.ny. 

Image Credit: “BLACK LIVES MATTER PROTEST, JUNE 2, 2020. (BROOKLYN, NEW YORK),” by Andrea Murguia Dajbura, The Lit 2022.


Remembering When

by Melony Hodge 

Home. It’s still there.
Even after all the other addresses
878, where it all began.

I remember When
Holiday traditions bled into growing up
When love and magic kept us fed
Cookouts, cream of wheat, pancakes
Thanksgiving turkeys, Christmas hams.
All made by grandparents’ hands.

Holding those hands
though our neighborhood blocks,
On our way to
P.S 16,
Yogi Bear Stops.

When summer gathering turned into
Night time hang outs, lit by street lights
Grownups sitting on the stoop,
Watching us play.
These nights felt endless,
The air smelled like togetherness.

When long hallways led to bubble baths,
And night lights lit the way to family time,
Jeopardy and Wheel of Fortune.
A window chair for Grandpa,
Wearing his signature hat and scarf.
And bedtime was ushered in with the sound
Of Grandma’s slippers down the hall.

When Christmas felt like magic,
With Our tall tree surrounded by gifts.
Excited to see which ones are for me,
New bike, Giga pets, tea party sets,
Casio keyboard and new clothes.

The record player spun
Unforgettable by Nate king Cole,
While my grandparents danced away,
Until I joined in standing on
Grandpa’s toes.
The Christmas lights like a warm hug,
My dog Coco asleep on the rug.

When every milestone was celebrated
With cheers.
And school work was taped to the wall
With pride.
When my family was a family,
When my childhood was alive.

I remember before
The sicknesses and the pain.
Before the world broke down our door
And everything became wet with rain.

The moments that shaped me into
Who I would become
The good memories I try to
Recreate for my daughter.

I remember it all.
Good, Bad and in-between.
It all lives inside me.
It’s what makes me,

Melony Hodge is a full time mom and wife. She loves to read, write, and learn. She spends her time working on her writing and teaching her toddler daughter sign lauguage while also preparing her for pre-school. she has a creative soul that is expressed through sewing and other craft hobbies. Family gatherings are her favorite events to attend. she hopes to one day be a published author of poetry and a memoir as well as other genres. she hopes that her writings will one day inspire someone like the many characters and books she has read have inspired her throughout her life.

Images Credit: tux0racer, “IMG_0368,”  Flickr, CC BY 2.0.

Three Poems

by Paris Armstrong

Existential Sex

The sweat at his brow slides down, then up, following touch
Gasps and laughter start and stop haltingly
Quiet now, be quiet. Too loud or they might hear

Her lips purse with great effort, and form a sweat moustache
Air escapes crevices with gauche noises
Everything is covered in sweat
Even the linen, especially the linen

Cells combine and someone 200 miles away declares it life
She shakes, he shakes
They were there, and now they were gone


Scraped Knees

The past is filmed in sepia
and there’s no care of pain
things happen because they can
and because they haven’t
and because it was all for you
written and dreamed and pondered
of you, for you, by you
but the world isn’t as full
as you once thought


The Meat Interrogates Itself

Closer than imagined, yesterday meets tomorrow,
the space between accelerates, linking joy and sorrow,
In that fleeting moment, we glimpse and lose each other,
unraveling our stories, we seek as we discover.

Awareness ambles gently down the path of time,
lured by distractions, a swift descent we climb,
Yet, you never truly vanish, even as you turn to stone,
thoughts of gods and wheels and farms, and gleaming cellphones shown.

Are we the future you foresaw, or have we strayed far,
blind to the precious gifts we hold beneath the same night’s star?
Do you ponder our existence, as we ponder yours too,
will we neglect to cherish the legacy passed from you?


Paris Armstrong is a young writer and poet with a penchant for procrastination. Born in England, raised in Antigua, and having moved to NYC at a young age, Paris likes to incorporate many different aspects of his identity in his writing. He studies at LaGuardia Community College as a Creative Writing Major.

Image Credit:  A.P. Photography, “Romance”, Flickr, CC BY-NC-ND 2.0.



The Cardboard Piano

by David Garate

(Within the confines of a shoebox, amongst a vast crowd of paperfish).

He is laborious,
The one on the cardboard piano.
One of many who climb the stairs
And waltz on stage.
Like the many he appears dandy,
Ready to impress the stands.
And like the many he impresses no one.
So, without wasting more time,
He glides swiftly off the stage.

Another one then climbs.
He is frantic on the cardboard piano,
Erupting the keys into a shower of ecstasy,
Pinching garnish for those who drink,
Confetti for those who dance.
But on the floor is it a repellent
For whom the crowd had just encouraged.
Without keys, without tune
He is crushed by a mountain of keys.

Another one rises again to the occasion.
He proclaims to the bartender:
“Change the mood of blue so dreary;
We will sing orange, the crowd will cheer me!”
The mood is changed to a warm hue,
The keys are returned.
The crowd of paperfish light thin tapers in their drinks.
And the glasses gleamed bold,
A constellation of joy and suspense.
His fins hover above with tense precaution
But his fins chop between every key.
Clanking a foul racket of knives upon the cardboard.
There are no keys on the ground to repel him off the stage,
So the crowd, in agony, bellows his name.
He flaps his fins, wiggles his gills—encore!
It’s an encore!
Thus, he resumes playing until the shrieks meld him to the ground,
A carpet for the many who will later climb the stairs,
A coaster for when they are repelled out.

David Garate is an English major, born and raised in Queens.

Image Credit: “Playing Piano,” Nayuki,CC BY 2.0.

My Best Friend

by Juan Paredes


Some days I miss you dearly
On bad days you consoled me
On good days you celebrated with me
When reality gets too much you embrace me
No matter where I’m at, you’ve always been by my side
And when I am lonely, I’d meet you like it was a routine
Ever since I was a teen
I’ve missed you my best friend


Juan Paredes is a student at LaGuardia Comminuty College.

Image credit: “Smoke,”  Paul Bence. Flickr  CC BY-NC 2.0.

Childhood Fragments

by Favi Olmedo

Chaotic mornings. Shoes scattered across the living room floor.
Missing hairbrush, untamable bedhead.

Blurting things out at random times.
At the wrong times.

Being carried
after a bath,
to bed,
just because.

Rubbing lotion on the dog for fun.
Getting caught, acting scandalized.

Falling onto the train tracks
a recurring nightmare.
Mom’s hands, calloused but warm.

Eternal nights, full of possibilities.
Yearning. For nothing. For everything.


Listen to Favi Olmedo read her poem “Childhood Fragments” —

Favi Olmedo is a 17-year-old, first-year student at LaGuardia Community College. She is majoring in veterinary technology. She writes mostly for pleasure and is especially fond of writing poems, which sometimes draw upon her personal experiences and other times are a mix of the world around her.

Image Credit: “Empty Childhood,” Chris Bellerophon Dotson, Flickr CC BY-SA 2.0.