Zoe F



I always hated the taste of wasabi,

I believe it tastes like something close to death or dying,

Bitter and cold,

Green like mold,

I like fresher things,

Things like fresh artichoke my mother uses on early sky-stained sherbert mornings,

When the sun has just barely risen,

The light just barely peeks through the kitchen windows covering the walls,

And she will conjure  her artichoke spinach dip,

Or her guacamole, which she brews in tiny plastic tupperware containers,

Leaving the giant classic avocado seed in the middle to keep it fresher,

Just how I like it,

But to say the least,

These shades of green,

They will bring back memories of a hopeful child devouring all sorts of mother’s good eats,

And a foolish older brother whose silly so-called “mistakes” of feeding an 8 year old wasabi,

telling her it was only ice cream,

I gagged as I took the glob of pale green and swallowed it whole,

Didn’t taste like any ice cream I’ve ever eaten.



I Want to Scream the Words (a slam poem)

I want to scream the words to you so maybe your ears will split open from their seams sewn shut and hear them

Because when people scream, they are heard

But when I attempt, I cannot speak even a single word

I am shaking and earthquaking in my own skin



I am hurting


If I could tell you, I would, but my fear holds me down like an anchor on a boat

I am unable to swim, I am unable to float

I cannot breath under 50 feet of what seems as though it is an ocean, but my dear, it is my own emotion


And I go through the motions


Wake up, makeup, go to class, arrive home, in the confines of my room, in the confines of my mind, in the confines of my racing thoughts, “I want to die,” I want to scream, “I want to die,” as if it will end the wanting feeling


I want to scream the words


I want to scream the words and I don’t care if anyone or anything hears them

I just want to scream to know that I can

I feel my hands tremble and shake under my skin, I contain an earthquake

I do not understand how or why I feel this way and even if you asked me, I could not begin to fathom

I feel as though I am a raging hell-fire of emotion,

Please let me sink back into that ocean,



And then I’ll begin to feel myself suffocate

And as my emotions dissipate,

I sink back into the ocean

I’ll fell the shadow of my depression run up my spine and begin to swallow me whole,

And I’ll remember every word I plead to forget, but,

Do I really want that ?


What do I really want?


What do I really want?



Ode to Stephanie


“No,” I’ll hear my mother say over the phone, “it’s Mrs. Flinn,”

Yet another person on the other line thought my mother was, in fact,

A man,


“Zoe, if you don’t go to school today, you’ll fail the whole year!”

Mother, I highly doubt that,

And I do, in fact, believe my migraine feels like a 12 year old shooting a bb gun repeatedly

through my forehead,

But I’ll go to school, I guess,


“I could make that at home, ya’ know,” I’ll hear my mother say to my brother,

And my father,

And my sister,

And basically anyone else who says that something really satisfies their tastebuds,

But I know it’s probably true,

And it will probably taste better, too!


No, my mother is not a man,

She is, in fact, the most beautiful 60 year old in my life,

Even though I don’t know that many,

She’d still be my favorite,

And even though she’s not the most elegant driver,

She gets me where I need to go,

Whether it’s another therapy appointment or just a day out with her!

And yeah, I’m not the happiest when my head is actually probably killing me and I feel like I am

going to vomit and she makes me go to school anyway,

I will refrain from dirty words and try to keep my cool (try),

Because I know she just cares about me,

And yeah, I should really be home more often because her cooking?

It’s freaking amazing!


This is an ode to Stephanie,

My wonderful mother,

Though you may drive me crazy,

And I may say some nasty things sometimes

And I’m not always the best at keeping my room clean

I really do love you, Mom!


Act of Kindness


She read my mind when she said, “you can come, if you want!”

Because who likes sitting alone when you’re somebody like me anyway,

In my head,

Just before she turned her head to speak to me,

I thought, “it’s okay, I guess, I can just sit here, ya know, pretend to write,”

But she inspired me with a simple, kind gesture of something that rang in my ears as something

Like, “come on, you’re always welcome!”

Of course, my nervous voice probably cooed something along the lines of, “oh, really? okay!

Thank you!” but I can’t remember,

All I can remember is the feeling,

That feeling of truly fitting in somewhere, for once,

Which is hard when you have blue hair and half your head shaved!


Though he sat next to me just in need of a righty desk,

We talked all those 10-12 minutes and shared interests and stories like sacred treasure that we

were keeping forever,

It wasn’t so hard after all,

A simple smile and my voice saying, “hey, dude, there’s a right handed desk next to me, I


followed by him walking over and assuring me that talking to me would be just fine,


“Mind if I join you guys?” she’ll ask, and I can here the assurance in her voice when she says it,

She knows she won’t be denied,

“Yes, of course!” they’ll bellow out, grins on their faces, heads turned, welcoming her to their

group willingly,

And as they sit by the fountain and dip their feet in to the crystal water,

I’ll watch and think to myself, “this place isn’t a place for writing and clapping for others just to

be polite, it’s a place to relate, to share feeling and emotion with people who feel the exact

same. This place is a place where you can be exactly who you are with people who are being

exactly who they are.”


((dedicated to all my friends and people who have smiled at me, hugged me better, and

welcomed me like family at the Young Writers Institute, each and every one of you made my

last year a great year and I could not have asked for anything better))