June I Issue: Poetry Roundup

Each issue we feature pieces of prose and poetry from Asian women, nonbinary, and other gender minority writers around the world. Here are this issue’s pieces!

“A Lonely Soul” by Priya Talluri

A lonely soul wandering around the empty streets,
Searching for peace!
Thinking about the miserable me,
Lost in the beautiful yet painful night.
What am I supposed to do?
Wander around the streets,
(Or should I)
Listen to the silence of the beautifully sad night,
Lemme get out of this
I’m surrounded by the dark

Walking slowly on a lonely road
Hoping someone would accompany along the way…But in the end,
The pitch dark night, the empty roads, the beautiful trees, the fresh breeze said
“We’ll be with you no matter what it takes to stay by your side”
Yeah stay by my side forever and ever
Our bond continues till the eternity.

My fragile heart couldn’t hold this anymore…
I’m tired of crying every night,

Haven’t I not cried enough in my past life?
May be it’s not enough…
My pillow has always been through my odds and ends.
Yet it never questioned me for being so…
It gave me comfort and company throughout the sad teary night..!

Will those days comeback,
When my smile was as pure as an innocent kid.
It’s slowly fading away
Can it be found again?
May be never…!

“No Matter” by Sabaitide

It don’t matter
What I think
Or say or do
What I like
Or share or don’t
I could post it
But I won’t

It don’t matter
What I see
Or I believe 
What I read 
Or I perceive
If I can’t take it
I can leave

Well it don’t matter
I don’t matter
It don’t matter
No matter what 
I do or don’t
The world won’t
Ever change

I’m overwhelmed 
If you could tell me
Exactly what to say
To they, to WHO
And maybe you
That only you
Can change and 
That’s what matters

Yeah you matter
In a world
So big and small
And all at once
‘Cause you baby
Are like the world
What it was

And just because 
You missed the cut
Don’t mean you’re
Not enough
No matter what
You matter and
We’ll figure
This one out

It don’t matter
How much money 
Or how many 
That you have
What matters is 
That you keep trying
To do the best 
You can

Beyond all our 
Attention spans
Just wonder
What it matters
And what matters
Is what’s happening
And what will happen 
Shortly after

While the stars
Are all out up there
Is something more
Grand than there is
And no matter 
How it happens
You can make 
The most of it

While the world turns
Only time will tell
The universe that
We all feel
As it unfolds
Just break the mold
From what you thought
That you’d once known

‘Cause the grand 
Unfolding of the 
Will be told in 
Social media posts

And the story told
In hashtag mode
And other kinds
Or digi codes
Might not show
What matters though
Of what’s above
And so below

Don’t worry much
About it though
Even if you feel
You don’t
You matter and
You’re not alone

“Poly” by Kaitlin Kaiyah Howard

Squirming in my seat 
As the smoke cascades out your mouth 
I wiggle around subtly to soothe the ache in my crotch 
Watching you laugh at my Jokes 
And sit across from me 
I know it’s wrong to fantasize 
And I feel the guilt when I imagine the color of your nipples 
But the sound of your voice makes me melt 
And I mindlessly open my mouth to flirt 
An endless heap of rainbows plummeting out of my mouth 
Starry eyed and aimless 
I can always fall for the girls 
Imagine a rom Com scenario 
And disarm them with my talents 
How can I like you and three other people? 
It’s all for different reasons 
I held the socialist for hours 
Through the sweat and exchange in body heat 
And felt him hold my arm closer to his chest as he slipped away to sleep 
Gazing thoughtlessly at the gorgeous mass resting against my body through the light in the window We could talk for hours about our connection to change 
Our attraction to the world of the unlikely 
And liberated lifestyles 
I stroke the soft and beautiful hair of another lover 
While dreaming of our partnership 
Leaning against each other for understanding 
And slipping further down the hole with every day apart 
I write poems about one person 
Falling deeper At each sight of him 
Waiting for the moment to come that I see him again 
I only wish that I had gotten to you first 
Noticed your tears through the window 
And swept you away from the chaos 
But it’d never work 
My lifestyle is different 
And you exist inside the security of affection and understanding 
Leaning against the sweetest person for support 
Which pains me of my wrongdoings 
And appeals to my culpability 
Why couldn’t I have noticed sooner 
Let our eyes lock without a break
And spent the nights when you wanted 
I should have held you tighter 
And noticed your affection despite being with him Maybe you were attracted to the unattainability Of coveting a wanderer, so In love with being in love How could I not have felt it before? 
Now I’m falling 
Sneaking glances at your photos 
And Noticing things I never did before 
I held you the other night for so long 
you brushed the hair from my eyes 
pointed out my freckles 
I have real feelings for you now 
And I can’t escape that 
It complicates things

“The Great Cicada Serenade” by BC Likely

Don’t you think it’s absurd,
That some voices are heard,
Only once every 17 years?

Yet the Great Eastern Brood,
Now with millions of dudes,
Brings long-absent tunes to our ears.

After four squared plus one,
Their journey’s begun.
Awaiting the ground temps to warm.

When it hits 65,
Their limbs come alive.
They emerge and are ready to swarm.

The Brood X Cicada,
Not sure why God made ya’?
Your days have finally arrived.

Since two thousand and four,
You’ve slept under Earth’s floor.
How is it that you have survived?

It’s all about timing,
And careful tree climbing.
They pop from their shells and they part.

Their eyes red and buggy,
While some say they’re ugly.
Their wings are like small works of art.

They’re just looking for mates,
No apps for their dates.
The males have to woo them in songs

So the guys vocalize.
To attract female sighs.
The rest doesn’t take very long.

While serenading subsides.
The eggs hatch and hide.
And before you know it, they’ve gone.

The Brood X Cicada,
I am glad that God made ya’.
But now you must go underground.

We will miss your din,
Though you will come again.
And I’m hoping I’ll still be around.

Author’s note: I have to give credit to my brother for inspiring this poem. He and I were discussing the Brood X Cicadas. He lives outside of D.C and I live near Princeton. Both of our backyards currently sound like the “War of the Worlds.” I mentioned the song Bob Dylan wrote about these bugs in 1970, when he received an Honorary Doctorate from Princeton. It was a year the Great Eastern Cicadas were active. My brother complained that Dylan called the song Day of the Locust, not Cicada. He is a stickler for scientific accuracy. I took it as a challenge and did my research. While the rhymes are not perfect, the verses contain cicada facts to appease my brother. I hope you enjoy the serenade.

Poems by Ouanessa Nana

“This Is Where It Ends” 

There are girls
that don’t know how 
to scream when 
faced with clenched fists, 
dirty fingernails digging into 
sweaty palms, sticky blood 
trickling down sturdy wrists, 
so they whisper 

This is where it ends for them. 


Tangled up in throbs and aches. 
Her sore limbs were fastened with a sequence of abnormal heart vibrations. Maimed as a consequence of a few bad decisions. 
Suffering from a burning mind. 
A dull ache that reminds her of her sins, 
The one that refuses to let her go, 
Taunts her biggest failures, rubs her insecurities in her face.
They pull her into the darkness with constant replays 
Sends her down the rabbit hole 
Stuck in a state of not moving, just thinking herself over the edge As her youth wastes away she feeds on her unfortunate circumstances Always ends up flat on her back, convinced that she is worthless
People talk, their comments hold more power than they know Hourly breakdowns, losing her sense of self. 
Struggling to scale booby trapped walls 
If you blink you’ll miss the next time she falls.

“Don’t Forget To Breathe”

Gave up her peace with the stipulation that no one would get
hurt Let’s face it, her courage is just pretend, what about her? 

Chasing tranquility, can feel her steady heartbeat through swollen fingers
Their presences slices up her insides, dismantles her comfort 

The past few months have been atrocious, no need for lungs
Sometimes it’s okay to let herself spin 

So pathetic, after all that she has faced?
Chest strains, standing in place 

Getting all caught up in not wanting to mess things up 
Big mouths with tiny hearts have pushed her life around 

She held her breath as debates unsettled slip through her fingers Even to this day she’s still trembling.

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.

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