once upon a time,
there was a princess running through a darkened wood
and she couldn’t tell if her feet were touching the ground.
she met a knight in shining armor on the trail
and he told her he knew a safe place,
so she followed him back to a glimmering tower.
she didn’t see him lock the door.
as the days wore on into winter,
he nailed boards to her windows
to keep out the cold, my princess
but it kept out the sunlight as well.
as spring came, and the windows remained shut,
she realized the shining armor
was not hiding a warm touch beneath
and there was nothing to her hero
but cold, hard metal.
the princess bloodied her fingers
scratching tally marks into the walls,
and so he told her her hands
were too dirty to touch him.
the blood couldn’t wipe away the tears,
and the tears couldn’t wash away the blood,
and the princess knew that the woods were never so dark
as that lonely tower in the dead of night.
as the last sliver of sunlight came through the window,
she broke through the boards and,
with bloody nails and bruised knuckles,
- i know it feels like falling now,
but i promise babygirl,
freedom smells better than roses
Eve Jensen is a sophomore at New York University, following a creative writing track. She began writing at the age of four in a the backseat of her grandmother’s car in a Target parking lot, and has not yet found a way to stop. She published her first book, the girl who bled ink, in August of 2017 and is currently looking to enter the publishing industry post-graduation. She is always down to talk art history, philosophy, books, or just about anything. She is also a major TikTok addict and will repeatedly clap her hand over her mouth, but don’t worry, she’s seeking help about it.
Helen Liu is a seventeen-year-old Chinese-American from Basking Ridge, New Jersey. When she isn't swamped in schoolwork, she likes writing late into the night, playing piano, trying her best at watercolor, and spending time with friends. Also, at any given time, it's more likely she's listening to music than not. Though her stories and poems are often focused on her personal passions and struggles, she also takes inspiration from her favorite pieces of literature and important current issues.