Natalie Chyi

anxiety depression emotions

Ask me about my depression.
Ask me why I look so tired all the time.
Ask me why my smile doesn’t reach my eyes.
And I’ll tell you,
it’s nothing,
I’m fine.

I’m not.
I lie, because let’s face it,
you don’t want me to answer.
Truthfully, you can’t help me.
My depression is not like a broken arm,
I can’t put my brain in a cast.

My broken being is invisible,
and since seeing is believing,
you won’t believe me when I scream that I am sick,
that I’m broken,
that I need help.

You’ll just tell me to smile.
That I have so much to be grateful for,
because there are kids starving in Africa,
and my little demons aren’t really there anyway.

So on second thought,
don’t ask me about my depression.
I’m fine.

 

 

 

 

Sarah Kirshner is an 18-year-old girl with a love for anything that can make people think. Her favorite classes are Psychology and English. She loves comic books, music, and TV shows based off of comic books. Sarah is always in the middle of a book — whether it be one she is reading or one she is trying to write. Currently, she is co-writing a book with one of her best friends and is stressing about what will be in store for her once she finishes high school.

Photo (top of article) courtesy of Natalie Chyi: an 18-year-old from Hong Kong who has recently moved to London, where she will be studying law for the next three years. She started photography to capture moments and pretty things/people/light/scenes as she sees them, and that idea is what continues to fuel all of her work. Find more of her work on nataliechyi.com, Facebook, or Tumblr.

Natalie Chyi
Photo courtesy of Natalie Chyi

Yeah I’ve got a backbone that can’t decide between

being its namesake and being a wishbone.

My whole life I’ve been pulling the shorter end,

bringing home more men than my mother has ever known

in her entire life, up the stairs and into my bed

until she finally falls asleep.

Yeah the bottle is a heavy draw

but sometimes the wine is just what I need

to go soft beneath a man’s palms instead of holding this body

like a bundle of spears.

When was the last time I didn’t wake up wishing my lungs

had been carried away by a flock of birds

in my sleep? Or that the tooth fairy

had stolen silently in through my window

and plucked out my heart,

mistaking it for a bloody tooth lodged in my chest cavity?

My mother warned me against everyone I take to bed

but loneliness is a hard bullet to dodge.

 

 

 

 

Meggie RoyerMeggie Royer is a writer and photographer from the Midwest. Her poems have previously appeared in Words Dance Magazine, Winter Tangerine Review, Chanter Literary Magazine, Literary Sexts Volume 1, Hooligan Magazine, and Rib Cage Chicago Literary Magazine. In March 2013 she won a National Gold Medal for her poetry collection and a National Silver Medal for her writing portfolio in the 2013 National Scholastic Art & Writing Awards.

 

Natalie Chyi is an 18-year-old from Hong Kong who has recently moved to London, where she will be studying law for the next three years. She started photography to capture moments and pretty things/people/light/scenes as she sees them, and that idea is what continues to fuel all of her work. Find more of her work on nataliechyi.com, Facebook, or Tumblr.

They loped up to me

Natalie Chyi
Photo courtesy of Natalie Chyi

‘Baby, hold yourself
together, they can
smell your fear.’
I grew up warned,
always held my breath
and willed my fluttering
heart to still
when they passed by

grinned wolfishly at
my startled gaze,

‘Baby, don’t fall apart,
they can sense weakness.’
she was waiting
when the door slammed,
showed me thick scars
across both wrists
said a nasty dog had given
them to her
when she was my age
and he tried to mark
her as his own

laid low long enough
to get me to trust them

‘Baby, keep going
when they bark at you.
They see the moon
in the way you walk,
but keep going.’
hungry for the magic
in my blood
they snap at my heels
howling as I pass

it started out as tug-of-war,
ended with me
on the floor

 

 

 

 

Nicole DeardorffNicole Deardorff is a 19-year-old queer actor, dancer, and writer. She began writing poetry as a way to stay sane. She isn’t sure how well that has worked, but she is at least still alive. Her writing has won multiple awards from Scholastic Art and Writing Competition, the most notable of which is a National Silver Metal in 2014. In 2013 she won the First Annual Mudsock Poetry Slam, and her poetry was recently featured on the online magazine Twenty-One Pearls. Check out more of her work at thewingedones.tumblr.com.

 

Natalie Chyi is an 18-year-old from Hong Kong who has recently moved to London, where she will be studying law for the next three years. She started photography to capture moments and pretty things/people/light/scenes as she sees them, and that idea is what continues to fuel all of her work. Find more of her work on nataliechyi.com, Facebook, or Tumblr.

School has taught me more about trying

to fit in

rather than getting to second period on time,

and being picked last for dodgeball

made me feel more like the walls of

the gymnasium

rather than your fucking classmate of four years.

Sometimes we’re only friends with people

because we have to see them

5 times a week;

backpack school
Photo courtesy of Natalie Chyi

or maybe we just try to convince ourselves that we

aren’t as lonely as we

actually are.

Mornings have become about crowded hallways

of lifeless bodies

pushing down energy drinks and

small talk.

Education is more about memorizing thirty definitions

than actual knowledge

and that has fucked me up just as much

as my elementary school bullies did when I

was 13.

School has taught me more about ways

to get out of it

rather than wanting to learn.

And that’s sad.

 

 

 

 

Carissa Cicchini2Carissa Cicchini is an 18-year-old from Canada who loves to write, and she hopes to inspire others with her words. She’s nothing of the simple sort, but poetry makes her feel at peace. She hopes her writing is enjoyable to all who read it.

 

 

 

Natalie Chyi is an 18-year-old from Hong Kong who has recently moved to London, where she will be studying law for the next three years. She started photography to capture moments and pretty things/people/light/scenes as she sees them, and that idea is what continues to fuel all of her work. Find more of her work on nataliechyi.com, Facebook, or Tumblr.

window cat emotions
Photo courtesy of Natalie Chyi

It’s cloudy here, and I’m not sure I feel real.
Coffee never tastes the same twice, and there
is always a part of my body that smells like Fritos.
(Today my belly button. Yesterday the backs
of my earlobes.) In the mornings is when
I want you most. I didn’t not major in English
to be sitting here on a Sunday morning
Reading a badly translated version
of Rainer Maria Rilke, where the words
are stilted and out of order, For Going To Sleep
I lay my eyes upon you Wide, you come to me
and Let Not Go. I should be writing, always,
I should be writing and I should not want
to want you.

 

 

 

 

Karen Draper grew up in Knoxville, Tennessee, went to college in Missouri, and now lives in Los Angeles. She writes poetry to procrastinate working on her young adult novel manuscript. Find her on twitter and instagram @kurenable and at betweenthemap.tumblr.com.

 

Natalie Chyi is an 18-year-old from Hong Kong who has recently moved to London, where she will be studying law for the next three years. She started photography to capture moments and pretty things/people/light/scenes as she sees them, and that idea is what continues to fuel all of her work. Find more of her work on nataliechyi.com, Facebook, or Tumblr.

sad emotions kneeling sitting depressed
Photo courtesy of Natalie Chyi

No black hoodie and sunglasses.
No lurking shadow.
No dark alley.
No knife in the back.
No middle of the night.
No in the closet.
No under the bed.
No Witch of the West.
No witch in the forest.
No forest.
No America’s Most Wanted.
No horns.
No hoofs.
No howls.
Cross legged little girl.
Kitchen floor of my heart.
Whispering
“No.”

 

 

 

 

Megan Waring graduated from Virginia Tech with her BA in English with an emphasis in Creative Writing. Since then she has lived in China, North Carolina, Virginia, and currently, California. She often teaches children but more often finds them teaching her. Her work has been published in The Silhouette, The Legendary, Germ Magazine, Aegir, and is forthcoming in the Used Furniture Review. She was the 2010 recipient of the Virginia Tech Literary Award. She blogs occasionally at mmwaring.tumblr.com.

 

Natalie Chyi is an 18-year-old from Hong Kong who has recently moved to London, where she will be studying law for the next three years. She started photography to capture moments and pretty things/people/light/scenes as she sees them, and that idea is what continues to fuel all of her work. Find more of her work on nataliechyi.com, Facebook, or Tumblr.

measurement stomach
Photo courtesy of Natalie Chyi

Every week I step on the tired scale
wondering why I want to lose
parts of myself.

I open the refrigerator door just to look:
It’s yellow light shines on my neat rows
of sleeping children.

The other people at the party
indulge in their red velvet and wedding cake,
as I admire my lonely plate of self-control.

I ask the waiter for a to-go box,
even when my stomach is
still singing its ravenous song.

Once I’m alone, I finish my food in the car.
Sometimes I eat to feel something
going in that doesn’t expect anything back.

 

 

 

Lori Werner is a poet from Savannah, Georgia. She graduated from Armstrong Atlantic State University with a degree in History. Her influences are southern gothic literature, anything Americana, and Joanna Newsom.

Natalie Chyi is an 18-year-old from Hong Kong who has recently moved to London, where she will be studying law for the next three years. She started photography to capture moments and pretty things/people/light/scenes as she sees them, and that idea is what continues to fuel all of her work. Find more of her work on nataliechyi.com, Facebook, or Tumblr.

after Bon Iver
stress emotions haze mountains back
Photo courtesy of Natalie Chyi

You hold a book in your hands:
oven-baked pages. home-stitched spine.
handwritten print. You daft songbird,
if you didn’t know a sharp confession
when you held it, played it yourself,
you didn’t deserve one anyway.
The door opens. There’s a quartet
on my back porch in Maine in March.
One violin croons you are a catch, Miss
while another sends me bad poems
via text message. You are 90 miles away,
and for a moment I hope you hear me
harmonize with another man’s strings,
you asinine stripling. My knees grow cold
as the first violin wakes, bones sharp in my bed.
The temperature drops. I open my eyes
and discover his neck is not yours
though the night had told me so.
Imagine my heartbreak — an arpeggio
sang for me, forever ago. The door opens.
I am seventeen and you’re singing my name,
so apropos. The temperature drops.
I find another lover and sing to him
the futile songs you played for me.
In the middle of the night I wake
spewing hymns and hoping you feel them,
though I tell my friends your existence is trivial.
In another reality I come to you pure as Eden
with a cross around my neck. You think of me
as a pretty enough addition to your Christian
mother’s dining room table. She pairs me
with her finest china and tells you I remind her
of Mary: immaculate. decorative. The temperature
rises when my mouth opens. The door closes.
Your voice becomes
all my strings

break.

 

 

 

Emma BovillEmma Bovill is a New England goddess of coffee, cat noises, bagel egg sandwiches, 90’s and 00’s r&b, Parks and Recreation references, and you know, girl stuff. She curated the poetry reading Bring Your Own Poems in Southern NH for two years and has been published by Wicked Banshee Press. She writes poems a lot but drinks coffee more.

 

Natalie Chyi is an 18-year-old from Hong Kong who has recently moved to London, where she will be studying law for the next three years. She started photography to capture moments and pretty things/people/light/scenes as she sees them, and that idea is what continues to fuel all of her work. Find more of her work on nataliechyi.com, Facebook, or Tumblr.

man boy guy
Photo courtesy of Natalie Chyi

I compare your freckles to galaxies and your eyes to pools of sapphire.
I compare the dips between your ribs and hip bones to the valleys of Pakistan and the dimples in your back to the craters on the moon.

I compare your entire existence to that of Greek gods and powerful men, because those men hold a place in history the same way you hold a place in my heart.

I compare your cupid’s bow to majestic mountains and your rosy cheeks to blossoms on a spring day.
I compare the curls in your hair to the way a nautilus shell curls over itself, and the way light shines through your chest hair to the way the light shines through our window.

I compare the way you walk to the way a deer runs through a field — magically and gracefully because that’s how you made your way into my life. But the sad part is, that’s the same way you walked out, like a deer running through a field.

 

 

 

 

Natalie Chyi is an 18-year-old from Hong Kong who has recently moved to London, where she will be studying law for the next three years. She started photography to capture moments and pretty things/people/light/scenes as she sees them, and that idea is what continues to fuel all of her work. Find more of her work on nataliechyi.com, Facebook, or Tumblr.

girl sitting water relaxing emotions thinking pensive
Photo courtesy of Natalie Chyi

Beauty, brook with broken rocks

Wash away my wishes, stream.

Make me mindful of my dreams.

 

Who am I to hope?

Dancing on dangerous ground,

Singing for silenced souls—

 

God guide me home.

 

Rock me river bend,

Sway me south from wicked sin.

Let me live—teach me how to love again.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Natalie Chyi is an 18-year-old from Hong Kong who has recently moved to London, where she will be studying law for the next three years. She started photography to capture moments and pretty things/people/light/scenes as she sees them, and that idea is what continues to fuel all of her work. Find more of her work on nataliechyi.com, Facebook, or Tumblr.