Leeor Margalit is a 22 year old from southern California currently living on a kibbutz in the south of Israel. One of her poems, ‘Fragments From a Junior’s Thoughts (Part 1)’ has become quite popular on Tumblr and elsewhere across the internet and her work has recently appeared in Rigorous.
Something about the ocean
makes me feel like I’m being born again.
I rise and suddenly, all my scars are birthmarks.
There must be something
about the cold saltwater ocean
mixing with my warm saltwater tears
that turns all my sharp edges
into sea glass.
I don’t like the phrase “just be yourself!”
What is “myself”?
I did not come to be as the universe did;
a big bang and there it was in all its glory:
countless stars and an immense blackness that grows and grows outwards
until it will collapse and retract and be nothing once more.
I am a mosaic in the making
colorful pieces coming together to form a bigger picture.
Do not tell me to “just be myself”
as if the idea of me could fit into a cereal box
that boasts in bright colors:
“All new! No additives or artificial flavors!”
Get rid of the notion of complete originality.
I am not original.
I am every poem I’ve read,
every smile I’ve witnessed,
every flower I’ve smelled,
everything and everyone and nothing and nobody.
Adulthood felt like a party that I was invited to when I was 15.
I was supposed to RSVP by age 16
but at 17 years old I still hadn’t responded
because I wasn’t sure if I wanted to go or not.
When 18 rolled around,
I realized I didn’t have a choice.
It felt less like a birthday
and more like I missed the deadline
for dying young.
I say, “I wish I were somewhere else. I wish I were better.”
They tell me that the grass isn’t greener on the other side –
that it’s greener where you water it.
They don’t know that this body is wasteland.
It’s been in a drought for three years.
There’s no water here.
I wish I were somewhere else. I wish I were better.
I’m not quite sure how to explain love –
but I just wanted to tell you that
I feel more full when you have the last slice of pizza
and I feel warmer when you’re wearing my jacket
and I feel beautiful when I compliment you
and I just hope that’s enough.
From the Editor:
We hope that readers receive In Parentheses as a medium through which the evolution of human thought can be appreciated, nurtured and precipitated. It will present a dynamo of artistic expression, journalism, informal analysis of our daily world, entertainment of ideas considered lofty and criticism of today’s popular culture. The featured content does not follow any specific ideology except for that of intellectual expansion of the masses.
Founded in late 2011, In Parentheses prides itself upon analysis of the current condition of intelligence in the minds of these young people, and building a hypothesis for one looming question: what comes after Post-Modernism?
The idea for this magazine stems from a simple conversation regarding the aforementioned question, which drew out the need to identify our generation’s place in literary history.
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By In Parentheses in IP Volume 7
32 pages, published 1/15/2022
By In Parentheses in Volume 6
80 pages, published 10/15/2020