Somber and Blue

by Connor Zimmerman on January 30, 2020


by Kiley McMahon ’20

My face, Covered, Somber,
And blue.

A sad girl
Photo courtesy of

My eyes, Glossy, Puffy,
And red.

My thoughts, Jumbled, Intertwined,
And incoherent.

My watch, Ticking, Quickly,
Black and white.

The paper, Handed, To me,
Soon with tears.

The hour glass, Shattered, Grainy,
And white. 

My heels, Loud, Clanky,
And black.

Me, Not ready, Somber,
And blue.

My watch, Tries and tries, Its hands,
Are stuck. 

The class of 2020,
Ki Ash Strolls off.

Black pavement, Yellow lines,
And only unknown times.

To the Salty Body

by The Cowl Editor on April 4, 2019


by Kiley McMahon ’20

It rubs against the whole of my mouth,
covering my perfect teeth,
and my palat struck tongue.

It continues downward,
moving rapidly into my lungs,
which are already weak,
as they have collapsed,
once before.

A woman drowning in the ocean
Photo courtesy of

It lines the whole of my rib cage,
and then is excavated out of my small intestine.

It tastes salty,
and my head feels dizzy,
as my thoughts revolve,
in a centripetal acceleration.

As it caves inward I gasp for air,
and then,
I let it lay me down peacefully,
as I float on by.

my years of suffering are over,
as the salty body has won the battle.

It continued to creep,
down my lean and stern body,
until it took hold,
and I let it take control,
of my limp and hopeless body.

That is the best way,
to describe,
my losing battle,
to this salty body.


by The Cowl Editor on March 21, 2019


by Kiley McMahon ’20

I lure my lonesome body into the bathtub,
Which is prepared with soul sucking creatures.

I dial three magical numbers,
And let the animals take control of my body,
Just as you once did,
While you undoubtedly thought of her.

While they finish the job,
I let the pungent smell of smoke and dirty lingerie,
Linger in my nostrils.

Your limpless body is hopeless.
Your eyes are wide open,
And a knife filled with your remnants,

The three years that we have spent together,
Experiencing the thresholds of life,
And reminiscing on past and future times,
Must come to an end.

You will always love her,
And I will always be devoted to you.

You can watch over her,
And we can be devoted to one another,
As she is on Earth,
And we are not.

A knife with blood on it
Photos courtesy of and and Graphic design by Julia Zygiel’19

As My Eyes Quiver

by The Cowl Editor on March 3, 2019


by Kiley McMahon ’20

The smell of alcohol lingers on his breath,
and the cup that he has just poured is caffeinated.
The two will wire him up to the greatest extent,
not that he needs to be any more excited.

My eye quivers,
it is still black and blue,
and the back of his fist,
remains of purple descent.

I have a disposable phone,
and my children,
ready to go.

He leaves for work,
drunk and caffeinated,
one final sloppy kiss,
and a grinning remark,
that I can no longer understand.

My final goodbyes,
are a blessing in disguise.
I move on my merry way,
away from black eyes,
and away from bloody,
purple fists.

Black eye
Photo courtesy of Pavel Ševela


Love Advice Haikus

by The Cowl Editor on February 14, 2019


Stethoscope with a heart
Photo courtesy of

Love Advice Haikus


Flowers, lovers, greed.
Never had it but a dream.
Smoked, woked, make believe.

by Jay Willett 20


If you are unsure
with what to do. Trust yourself,
And follow your heart.

by Sarah Kirchner ’21


Someday near or far,
I know that I will find you,
somewhere close or not.

by Kiley McMahon ’20


Did eyes connect? Blink.
Time, skip validation, think.
Love wields the senses.

by Sam Ward ’21

Upwards of Ten Thousand Feet

by The Cowl Editor on February 8, 2019

Creative Non-Fiction

by Kiley McMahon ’20

As we continued upwards of ten thousand feet,
the vehicle’s engine roared loudly in my ears.
The GoPro stuck to his head recorded my every motion, reaction, and feeling.
My fingers turned to ice through the tips of my gloves.
Thoughts of loved ones raced through my mind.
What would happen if something went wrong?
Would my soul care for my loved ones if the worst occurred?

My future was in his hands.
Why was he being so nonchalant about the possibility of death?

As we climbed to the edge,
butterflies danced in my stomach.

As we jumped,
my thoughts escaped my mind upwards of ten thousands beats per second.
My heart raced and my palms sweated through my gloves.

I flew through the air,
just as an eagle,
searching for its prey.

As I stared in utter disbelief
at the Swiss Alps,
which I had learned about in class,
but never dreamt about flying over,
my palms sweated through my institute given gloves,
upwards of ten thousand feet.

My life is a fantasy,
and I am just living it.

Upwards of ten thousand feet.

Memory—Two Halves

by The Cowl Editor on April 19, 2018


Couple dancing
Photo courtesy of

by Kiley McMahon ’20


As I flip the pages of the torn up scrapbook,

I remembered the moment like it was just yesterday.

my mind boggles as I envision him and I,

I looked into his eyes lovingly and cautiously.

modest, humble, and conservative attire of gowns and suits,

The silk and leather which flowed from our shoulders to our toes,

in a perfectly attuned manner.

dancing flawlessly to the beat of the music,

Our bodies meshed instantly to the generational tune of the Beatles,

as the heavy metal music alarms our minds and meticulously floods our hearing,

as its tune rang in and out of our gill-shaped eardrums.

Blackout Poem

by The Cowl Editor on April 12, 2018


by Kiley McMahon ’20

Dear Freshman

by The Cowl Editor on March 15, 2018


People walking in front of Harkins Hall
Photo courtesy of Nicholas Crenshaw ’20

by Kiley McMahon ’20


A prospective student

Who wants to feel

Comfortable and warm,

And confident and excited,

About coming to her new school.


I know how it feels

To be a nervous freshman,

Hesitant to show off her true self

To the rest of her family

For the next four years of life.


I also know how it feels

To be a comfortable and warm,

And confident and excited,

Sophomore, too.


It gets better,

As you grow and evolve,

And someday you will be

A comfortable and warm,

And confident and excited,

Sophomore, too.


Patience is key,

Involvement is key,

And making the best of each opportunity

Is key.


Good luck to you,

I am rooting for you;

College is amazing and crazy,

Dear young evolving freshman.

It Looks Like, Feels Like, Sounds Like

by The Cowl Editor on February 8, 2018


Two people watching a sunset
Photo courtesy of

by Kiley McMahon ’20


I have never been in love,

but I know what it looks like,

feels like, and sounds like.


It is appealing on the outside,

sweet and content on the inside;

nobody can compare

to the one true love of your life.


Your two hearts beat harmoniously and in unison,

as if they could jump out of your synonymous chest

at any given moment.


Your palms sweat and your stomach fills with butterflies

when your love enters the room;

nobody can compare

to the one true love of your life.


It sounds like, “For you,

I will live eternally,

through good times and through bad,

through happiness, and through illness.”


“I love you” is a statement often implicit on the first date,

not thinking twice about whether or not you truly love

your one true companion, that is for life.