The STEM Issue: Poetry Roundup

Each issue we feature pieces of prose and poetry from Asian women around the world. Here are this issue’s pieces!

Blue like the Aegean by Iris Orpi

It was the purest thing that
ever belonged to me
that even now there feels
to be no sin in remembering it.
A touch born out of ether,
the desire to align
almost elysian: you sought
a world of perfection,
of perfect beauty through
mathematics and armed rebellion;
you are like Thor over Bifröst.
That purity, oceanlike.
Somebody should tell the moth
there might be something
more worth its time
than the flame,
that one could be mesmerized
without fearing for her life,
that we could be old
and still be talking
about elliptic curves
and the ouster of fascists
and never have come close
to burning
but transcending
like a straight-shot arrow
skin to soul to dream to
the effervescent universe
and the flesh is nothing
but a philosophical construct
when the pleasure
is in discovering
not how deep you can go
but how deep you are,
there is no drowning
only getting lost, but the kind
of lost you’d love to be,
in a place where every
third left turn leads
to the sea

Art Installation, Steel and Natural Light by Iris Orpi

(on a car over Golden Gate Bridge)

With my side
pressed against the painfully
blissful soft gold of its sunrise,
I hum.
A sinuous tone
in lithe pursuit of messages
left for my soul to find
on corners of these Bay Area streets
by generations of California dreamers.
They knew someone like me
would come along. I become
a sieve for moments, for the letters
summer writes for the sea,
for the music made by headlights
splintering into vectors and vices
as they pierce the rolling fog.
The city stood silhouetted against
the blank canvas of
my open invitation to love.
Before I set foot on it,
it was only an imaginary place
in my mind, its name
a hallowed shrine to an aesthetic,
a shape-shifting ideal that paralleled
the evolution of my desires.
It turned out to be nothing like
my doll house Instagram visions.
This is a performance piece,
asymmetrical, hungry and gloriously
incomplete, reverberating
to a pounding heartbeat
reminiscent of the day when
I felt longing for the first time,
or when that same longing
let loose all my words
on the day it decided for me
that holding my peace
would never be enough

Unicorns by Michaela Brannigan

We were magic to lovers.
A wish dripping from their lips, but we were always more then a toy to fuck with.
Balance My halo
above my
perfectly h o r n s.
If God were a woman
They both were damned.
Lost their salvation due to a man.
What paradise could have been had if Lilith and Eve
found love in each other instead.
No matter how much soap No matter how much water No matter how hard I scrubbed I still felt you on my skin long after.
We were never two halves, but planets.
All these galaxies to get to us, we never once took this love for granted.
Having you by my side
I feel my heart has truly landed .

An immigrant’s child by Michaela Brannigan

Overseas and different lands. A story split in many strands. Weaved together and dressed on my back.
I wear it proudly
all that I am.
As a child I feared they were under my bed. As an adult I found they prowled in my sheets instead.
Baby’s breath
An empty garden.
A seed that would not bloom. A spring this heavy always stays with you.

Overachiever Magazine was started by Rehana Paul in October of 2018 to give a platform to all Asian women, non-binary people, and other gender minorities.

Our name is poking fun at the stereotype that all Asians are overachievers, especially Asian women, non-binary people, and other gender minorities. It’s also in recognition of all of us who have had no choice but to be overachievers: managing societal expectations, family obligations, and educational opportunities, all while fighting the patriarchy.

We have grown since then, putting out bimonthly issues (we are contributor powered: apply to write for our next one!), and weekly reviews of culture, and news that is important to us.

You can find announcements, more news, and get to know our staff on social media: give us a follow, and learn how you can get involved today!

We do not claim to speak for all Asian women, non-binary people, and other gender minorities. We are just here to give them a place to speak for themselves.

We hope you’ll join us.

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