Windows

by Portfolio Co-Editor


Poetry


by Marelle Hipolito ’21

Staring out this window
Watching the world pass by
I can’t help but wonder
If you’ll be fine

I’ve done this before
I’ve known this hurt
Everyone walks in then out of my sight
But with you I’m not sure

a window left slightly ajar
Photo courtesy of blog.sevenponds.com

People staring into this window
I have never known privacy
A rule I have to accept
In this harsh world’s reality

But somehow, you got through
You saw from the outside
While everyone turned and moved on
You chose to come inside

Staring at that door
I’m nervous, I’m scared
I’ve never needed to lock it
But to open it­—no one has ever dared

Make sure you’re ready
Don’t be one to runaway
I’m one hell of a roller coaster
Please hold on and stay

Love To Hate

by The Cowl Editor


Poetry


by Marelle Hipolito ’21

I hate being sensitive to normal things because of abnormal situations
And I hate looking deeper into what’s meant to be surface-level interpretations
Jokes and side notes, thinking every mirror has smoke
Every double take and I go a little bit more insane

I hate that my friends don’t hear me laugh straight from my heart
And I hate that they’re being cut from all my broken parts
The friendships gap, then snap; another whiskey bottle uncapped
More than just the pain I want to ease and sedate

I hate that the windows are closed until further notice
And I hate that those light conversations are being left unspoken
“We’ll patrol the loopholes, we’ve got it under control”
I know the difference between coal and gold

I hate having nothing else to talk or write about
And I hate that I don’t smile and whisper, I only cry and shout
All this confidentiality about my reality
Help me please, I’m on my knees

But I love that I hate calling the assembly of the troops
And I love to hate that they’re behind me, all the way through
After all this exposure they embrace me in closure
And they put their hands on mine as I turn the page over

But I love to hate to pay for gas on runaway trips
And I love to hate reaching the bottom of a bag of chips
Ukelele singing out of tune, laying in bed until after noon
Deeper friendships and memories to swoon into

I love that I hate all of this, and not any part of me
And I love to hate the wind, not the apple that fell far from the tree
Wide-eyed at the bright side, swimming through both high and low tides
I hate that it’s not now, but I love that eventually, it’ll be alright

Pondering girl staring at sky
Photo courtesy of blog.peacerevolution.net

Summer Changes

by Portfolio Co-Editor


Poetry


broken heart
Photo Courtesy of getdrawings.com

by Marelle Hipolito ’21

It was many summers ago
Never forgotten, always remembered:
gut feeling of the end coming
before the snap
crack
and cry of pain, landing on impact

an injury so defeating there was no game to play
no win or lose, just over
a broken bone, a broken heart
impossible to put the pieces back together

It was many summers later
Thus set to the side, lowered of importance
Focused grit of beginning again
After the pick up
Put together
And laughs of love, standing and brushing off the dirt

An injury so defeating, yet defeated
Rematch
Healed bone, healed heart
Achieved through tape, tears, and friends

I Heard You Quit The Team

by The Cowl Editor


Poetry


Upset soccer player
Photo courtesy of mentaltoughnesstrainer.com

by Marelle Hipolito ’21

 

I heard you quit the team

I didn’t think you would, and I didn’t think you could

but you gave up your childhood dream

 

I heard that it was a long time coming

people weren’t surprised, your priorities were compromised

but you didn’t end up with nothing

 

I heard you two started dating

Even though I ghosted town, word still got around

It became official when you stopped playing

 

So, you quit the team, you quit the dream

And instead chased something that won’t be everything it first seems

Through all of this, did you ever think of me?

Respect The Wood

by The Cowl Editor


Portfolio


 

Cork coasters
Photo courtesy of vandysafe.com

by Marelle Hipolito ’21

 

“Respect the wood,” you joked. “I always hated the little rings the cups made, it ruins the wood.” We were buying souvenirs, and we came upon a whole wall of coasters. There were different kinds: cork with quotes on them, cloth with hearts hand-sown in, and ceramic with little chickens painted on them. You opted for the ceramic squares, and I got the cork circles. We bought them, and then went on our way through the village, back to the bus that would bring us back to the hotel.

When you use those coasters now, does it bring you back to that month? All those deep talks in the middle of the night, and all those crazy last minute decisions and adventures we decided to take? Because when I use my coasters, from then until now, that’s all that I can think of.

All our friends that you also ghosted have been telling me the same thing, from then until now. “Forget him,” they all say. “Forget he exists, forget that he was ever part of that trip. Separate and drop him from all the memories of that trip.” Each time they say that, I just sigh and shake my head slowly. They’re never going to understand who you are to me. They’re never going to get that in fact, you were the trip I took, that you were the adventure that I went on, and that you are the memories of it all. So when I bring out the cork circles for their drinks when they come over, and they sigh, I just look to the small picture frame, hiding on the end of the bookshelf. It’s the first photograph I took on that trip, and the best. Your back was to me, and you were looking at the sun. Although your figure was a distinct outline against the sun, it was bright enough to be a part of the sunlight. I take in the memory of the time I took that picture, and look at the wooden frame surrounding it. “Respect the wood,” I say.

Our Song

by The Cowl Editor


Poetry


Notes with music elements as a musical background design
Photo courtesy of pinterest.com

by Marelle Hipolito ’21

 

I was looking out the window

Humming to the radio

When suddenly it came on

My heart skipped a beat

I leaned forward in my seat

and pressed the button to turn it right off

 

I sat back and looked away

So I didn’t have to explain

Why that song always made me ache

I wiped a tear from my cheek

I didn’t move, I didn’t speak

And I drifted back into space

 

To the time when we had it all figured out

Thought we knew what life was about

And our plans were set in stone

I didn’t want to remember

Way back to September

But the memories came, all too well known

 

Everything was perfect

Sleepless nights were worth it

every drive with the windows down

You always greeted my father with a handshake

Helped my mother make pancakes

never would’ve guessed you’d ghost our town

 

You texted me sorry I have to leave

Was I really that naive

To expect closure through that “goodbye”

I kept searching for explanations

asking if this whole time I was just mistaken

Cause I still didn’t understand why

 

You came and went just like that

Like a finger and a thumb, in a snap

made and changed my whole life

You made me find my strength

To find love through my pain

If only we could’ve also found more time

 

But here I am in April

Still hurt, but grateful

That although you’re gone, you were at one point here

so I turned to put the radio back on

Held his hand, and at end of the song

Listened to the music, like you, bittersweetly fade & disappear

One, Two, Three

by The Cowl Editor


Poetry


One, two. three
Photo courtesy of mybookkeeper123.com

by Marelle Hipolito ’21

 

One, two, three

Minutes late to the bus stop

I sigh with relief, the bus driver waited because she knows me

 

Four, five, six

Times I fell asleep in class

But it’s okay, I have lunch after this

 

Seven, eight, nine

People ahead of me

At least it’s usually a fast line

 

Ten, eleven, twelve

Weird and loud sounds,

What are they? My friends and I ask ourselves

 

Thirteen, fourteen, fifteen

Million thoughts

Through my head as I run, cause I now realize what they mean

 

Sixteen, seventeen, eight—

I feel a pain, a pinch, and I fall

I can’t go any further, can you keep going for me?

The Empty Crowded Room

by The Cowl Editor


Poetry


hands bound by iPhone cord
Photo courtesy of readersdigest.ca

by Marelle Hipolito ’21

 

Dear boy in this crowded room,

Do I dare sit next to you?

Will you pause your video, and say hi

Or will you refuse me a second of your time?

 

Dear girl in this crowded room,

Do you see me looking right at you?

Will you pause writing that post and look up

Or is my gaze not strong enough?

 

Dear mister in this crowded room,

Do I dare say hi, and nice to meet you?

Will you be impressed by a face-to-face introduction

Or will you be too worn down by your device dungeon?

 

Dear miss in this crowded room,

Do you hear me compliment you?

Will you remove your blasting headphones and say thank you

Or is your music too loud for my voice to break through?

 

Dear people of this crowded world,

Do you hear my screams, do you hear my hurt?

Or is the light of your screens so bright

You didn’t see me give up, and wave goodbye?

Celebrity Tinder Profiles

by The Cowl Editor


Features


The Contents of The Jar

by The Cowl Editor


Portfolio


Mason Jar
Photo courtesy of walmart.com

by Marelle Hipolito ’21

 

There’s a jar in your room. It’s on your shelf, by the window. I hid it behind a few books, the ones that you kept only as decoration. I knew you wouldn’t think of giving them a second glance, so I kept the jar there. It’s on the far left. Do you see it now? It’s a clear jar, but you can’t see what’s inside because of the confetti. It has a silver top on it. If you pick it up, you might hear clinks from the things inside moving around. And now, you’re wondering what’s making those clinks. Well, open it up.

If you shake the contents out of the jar, you’ll find a keychain, a necklace, an earring. Just in case you don’t remember what any of these objects are, and what they mean, let me remind you.

For Halloween, we went to the arcade and ended up with buckets of tickets. We were about to pick a prize when you saw a little girl crying, since the prize she wanted cost many more tickets than what she had. You looked at me, and I already knew what you were thinking. After getting the little girl the crown she wanted, we traded in the last 10 tickets for a keychain, with a tiny red seven ball on the end. We let it sit on the bedside drawer, as a reminder of that night. But to me, it was a reminder of your kind heart.

That Christmas, you and your family went to Hawaii. When you came back and were about to give me my souvenir, I joked about it probably being a corny, stereotypical surfer necklace. You paused for a moment, then pulled out a surfer necklace and quietly gave it to me. I put it on the drawer alongside the keychain in hopes that you’d see that I appreciated it, but you were still sad and annoyed at me. We didn’t talk much for a few days after, until the basketball game, which, coincidentally enough, brings us to the earring.

Although you were still bitter about the necklace, you still came with me to my little sister’s championship basketball game. It was a close game but they won, and you were going to take me and my sister out to celebrate, until some drunk in the parking lot made a very derogatory remark about my sister as we walked by. Of course, as the hothead I am, I turned to you and said, “Hold my earrings.” And you did. You let me get a punch in, but when the guy was about to hit me back, you beat him to it. Then you, me, and my sister hauled ass into the car and left the parking lot before any cops came. As we were driving away, I asked you for my earrings back. You opened your hand, to show only one earring. We figured that the other one got lost when you punched the guy and decided not to head back for it. Even though I couldn’t really wear the earring anymore, I kept it on the bedside drawer, along with the keychain and necklace. It reminded me that you wanted me to fight my own battles, but also that you would fight them alongside me.

That February, you were offered a position as a sportswriter, your dream job since you were a little kid. We threw a huge house party, celebrating your dreams coming true.  When we were cleaning up the confetti, you told me to not throw away all the confetti, but instead to keep it, for my party, for when I got my dream job as an archaeologist. I laughed, knowing it was a one-in-a-million chance. But I listened to what you said and put all the confetti in one bag, except for a handful, which I put in the mason jar. It was that night, when you pushed me to follow my own dreams, that I knew that I would love you forever.

Five months later, I was waiting for you to come home one night when I got a call. It was the vice president of the internship I had applied for, a three-year archaeological dig program in Greece. He was calling to congratulate me on my acceptance, on my dream coming true.

When I heard your keys in the door and you walk inside, I ran down the stairs and told you. Your reaction to the best news of my life…I’ll never forget it.

You didn’t hug me or say congratulations.

You didn’t smile or jump up and down, telling me that you knew I could do it, that I would have my dreams come true.

Instead, you quietly said, “But, I’m here. Our life is here. You can’t just leave.”

After all the love you gave me, all the beautiful moments and memories, I never would’ve thought that I would say, “But who would I be if I stayed?”

Looking back on it now, Jackson, I don’t regret leaving. Greece is a beautiful place, with beautiful sites and people. I’m growing to become the person I’ve always wanted become, and the person you’ve pushed me to be. Right now, my life is almost perfect. Almost.

I wish I could say that I wanted you to be here with me right now, but I don’t. I want you to keep following your dreams and become the great sportswriter you are meant to be. I hope one morning, I’ll read the newspaper on my way to an excavation site and see your name in the sports section. The way I see it, Jackson, we didn’t have a sad ending. Things didn’t go wrong, or bad. We just never finished our love story. It’s just there, hidden, unchanging unlike the rest of the world. You and me, we’re the contents of that jar.

Do me a favor. Put the keychain, the necklace, and the earring back in the jar with the confetti. Twist the silver cover back on top, and hide the jar back behind those three books you’re never going to read, on the far left of your shelf by the window. Keep it there.

And never open it again.