Sophomore Slam Poems

Poems from runner-ups

Eternal Gray

by Jalen Daniels

Grey is the stay-at-home rain dropping color

Grey is the funeral, memorial sky when the clouds seep in blocking out the yellow eye

Grey is that “Shhhhhh” that you see on the television

A mix of black and white that grabs attention like a fight

Grey what you see when you envision the past

Take a trip down memory lane think slow not fast

looking at these grey pictures wondering if life was colorless cause earth ain’t hitting no more it just seems like another miss

Factories polluting all the air we breathe in and dudes beating women that their child’s conceived in

The earth is getting more grey by the day or by the hour

It’s been months since that hurricane, does Puerto Rico even have power?

Grey is what I feel when I wake up to the news

Just to see another tragedy that seems to always sadden me, cause what’s a good news story if it ain’t about catastrophe

These days get more grey than my camoflauge jacket

And there’s more hate around than high school homework packets

For now, this earth and probably our eternal stay

And if we don’t fix it now

We’ll be living in Eternal Grey


By Declan Collins


The bright lettering on the back of his coat that I stare at.

The colors intimidating me, the brightness unapologetic.

But the room explodes with color when our eyes meet from across the room.

I had never seen a sweater with orange stripes before.

But he owns the exquisite pattern

Walking with him, my hands restrained to my pockets when I want to be grabbing his, I notice yellow flowers.

He would love them.

But I do not pluck the pigmented petals out of the ground, for fear of his refusal outweighs the possibility of his admiration.

Green was his favorite color.

And it became mine too.

But he never knew.

I feel his hand latch onto my shoulder and I spin around.

I’m too focused on falling into his blue eyes to hear him.


The ink that marked the Birthday Card I write him.

The folded piece of paper featuring a lyric yanked from an Andrew Lloyd Webber songbook

My hand keeps moving, even when the card is done.

The feelings tumble out of the swirls of the pen gliding across the note.

I watch as the letter is shredded by my fear and then my hands

The pieces of paper that I make with each tear drift into the recycling bin.

We’re just friends.

Nothing more.

A letter to the only shade of red I care about

by Bridget Pierce


Okay but seriously

did you really have to splatter yourself across my face

like my favorite strawberry skittles right in the middle of 6th grade

when I had that crush on “you know who”

The crush that made me use the revolutionary technique

Of imaging a stop sign in front of his face

before I could say anything that would leave me cut up

and with a river of wine colored embarrassment


You did not help the situation

I should have decided not to count how much I am worth

by the spots and specks on my face

Instead, I got bangs

you know so that way people can’t see the puberty pixels on my forehead

in the end, those bangs made me look less like Zooey Deschanel

And more like Spock

But that could have made me radiate like someone


who falls in with the Nebula, and

Twirls into planets only dreamed up by NASA

But I was just sad

I let an hopeless standard of beauty blister into my mind

Beauty is a zombie

It eats your brain until there’s nothing left

But your ugly body

Or maybe it’s easier for magazine covers and beauty supply stores

To simply say

Being imperfect is a parasite

and the first sign you’ve been bitten are red dots

Glittered across your face

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