Emma Hill is a writer pursuing her undergraduate Creative Writing degree at Stephen F. Austin State University in Nacogdoches, Texas. She has been recognized by various literary journals including Applause, ANGLES, and Route 7 Review for her fiction, nonfiction and poetry work. Long ago, she sent a potato to space.
I think my mother is afraid.
Whys remain obscured
from where I huddle in the backseat, stomach
sick from seeing you laid out on the turf.
When it happened, all the shouting
hushed, and pants stained
when players knelt to you, but they didn’t know they knelt
to you: you, afraid that this would be your last
time to swallow knocked teeth
you, who’s sobbed
into my purple sweatshirt,
like, every Friday, holding me
extra-tight before the game, because
it’s not a game anymore. Something
You won’t be back in class for a week,
but I think my mother is afraid that I care.
Stomach Pings: A Submarine
Curled in shared bed with propellers and periscopes, maybe
you will sleep now; you will ignore
the hunger of bubbles trailing in our lungs
and the deep blue sea seems
hollow to me, even when the bioluminescent
dragonfish begin to glow.
We are dragonfish and submarines,
instruments built to communicate
light into lies
as the pressure builds and plastic
apples stick to the chained man’s
does anyone else know what it’s like to spend
the night with someone
5,000 feet down?
I’m Sorry I Laughed the First Time You Told Me about Robot Grandpa
It came out of left field. I thought
you were reaching for the ball
when your fingers stretched like shadows to the screen,
but then you said,
and your tendons shuddered.
“And he would click.
I didn’t think
he existed, or, if he had,
they’d replaced him long ago.”
Outfield’s emeralds flashed in your eyes
as if you had seen things children
were not meant to see.
your skin second period, wet
safety scissors against cardboard
walls guarding rotten
opened up and pinned;
test on Friday.
Letter to your future self: stop seeing
everything in black-and-white and danger
red and blood and grimaces. Anxiety
is just a game you can beat. Be stronger.
But they all hate you off the field. Black-and-white,
Friday night lights illuminating plots
and decades-old schemes that at just the right
moment will hatch. That moment will pivot
on your awareness
no one else lives like this
you can’t stop. I’ve tried.
This you only I see: shattered vibrance,
desaturated world hued in violence.
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