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NO WAR by Elizaveta Kalacheva

Universes with you by Reese Mitchell

I remember when I first came into that classroom.

I had been bruised, buried, and bled dry.

I used all of my love on her like coin-slots at a casino, burning away what I had for the promise of more.

There was never more.

And when the haze faded I realized I was left broke.

I don’t want to say you're different.

I don’t want to brand you with the promise of infinity, and have you mark me like a scrape on hard concrete.

I know that feeling all too well.

I just want to say that when you look at me, leaned against the chair, your liquid caramel eyes dig into my soul.

You teeter, not trespass.

When we talk I do not garble, stumble, or trip like my legs do.

You feel like walking never could.

But here’s the catch:

I imagine so many universes with you.

There is a universe, somewhere, in some time, where you like me.

We go on dates, I take your arm, you hold the door.

Your caramel eyes well when you call me beautiful.

They well again when you see my scars, I put my shirt on again, our backs lay on the mattress, we say nothing.

There is a universe where I hear you play, the sweet vibrato sound.

There is a universe where you see me write.

I love you’s could be thrown, catched, and broken.

Slipping out of your hands once you realize what I’m really like.

There are so many universes where you hate me.

Hate my skin,

My clothes,

How you have to remind me that pain isn’t supposed to be chased, and ask me why I keep running.

So, yes, universes.

How much mess could we make?

So, I’ll sit here for another Tuesday, look at those liquid eyes, and wonder if somewhere, in some time, we could love each other.

But they’re just universes.

What a fickle thing.


About the Writer

Reese Mitchell attends Duke Ellington School of the Arts in Washington, D.C. which specializes in training young students in the performing arts and preparing them for the art world.

About the Artist

Elizaveta Kalacheva is Russian and her and her family immigrated to the United States. The field pictured was inspired by Van Gogh's last painting, where he did not know what path to take in life; stuck at a crossroads, and in her version, that depicts the directions the war in Ukraine can take in. Слава Україні, Героям слава!

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