If The World Were White

by The Cowl Editor on January 18, 2018


black and white stick figures standing beside each other
Photo courtesy of juniaproject.com

by Marelle Hipolito ’21


If the world were white, you would have no jokes.

You would just talk about the weather, who won last night

The guy or the girl, the couple in a fight

That is, if the world were white.


If the world were white, you would have no jokes

You would ask what I want to eat, what movie I’d want to see tonight

What dream car I want to buy

That is, if the world were white.


But, the world is not white. I am not white.

And we are not alright.

When I talk about the weather you ask how hot it was in my sweatshop

When I ask what happened last night, you ask if I saw the Border Patrol lights

Because the world is not white.


When I say I want to eat, you say you don’t like dog meat

When I want to watch a movie, you ask if my eyes are open, if I can actually see

When I describe my dream car, you say I’m an Asian girl, that I won’t even know how to drive

Because the world is not white.


I admit it, I do

Sometimes it’s innocent and funny, and I’ll laugh too

But a million pokes of a finger will turn into one stab of a knife

You laugh for a minute, I live with that stereotype my whole life

Because the world is not white.

Red and Green

by The Cowl Editor on December 8, 2017


two red orb ornaments dangle precariously from a bottom branch of a christmas tree; on the ground lies a broken ornament
Photo Courtesy of hearstapps.com

by Marelle Hipolito ’21

red. green. green, red.
what was once alive is now dead
red. green. green, red.
all because of something that should’ve been left unsaid

him, and his little bitta whiskey
me, and my now little brittle heart
why’d he have to open his mouth, and tear me apart?
now the chestnuts are cuts
the candy canes are pains
white Christmas, he drunkenly stained

red. green.
he wasn’t what he seemed.
red, to grinch green.
I became equally as mean.

broken ornaments and cold fireplaces, empty with no wood
blown out candles, no carolers in the neighborhood
dimmed star on the floor by the tree
unopened box of the nativity scene
why did he have to be so mean?

but, you glued the ornaments back together
made the embers spark, and fight back the cold weather
you sang songs of carolers down through the streets
lit the candles, and placed the star back on the top of the tree
next to a table where we set up the nativity scene
and you warmed my heart again, back to its size three

green, red.
you’re sweeter than gingerbread
green, to love red.
you’re the merry to my Christmas,

the end.

Your Majesty

by The Cowl Editor on November 30, 2017


Photo courtesy of wikimedia.org

by Marelle Hipolito ’21



are in the ocean.

they stay in the background.

give all their life to

the surrounding ocean, and there is


nothing left for them to uphold.

everything to love about them: gone.

Unless, of course, they are for the ocean.

They are beautiful when wet, with the ocean salt

They are loved when skipped, in the ocean

Only remembered and found, in the ocean.

moving with the flow, they agree to choices,

choices that they do not make for themselves.

These are choices that benefit the tide of the ocean

The wave of the ocean

Everything for the ocean

sacrificing their existence for the other.

colored gray, weathered by rough environment

harshness on their surfaces:

it makes them weak—dependent.

You made me YOUR PEBBLE.

Your life, YOU were the great wondrous ocean, and I, I!

I was merely a crumb under your fingernails but when you. needed. me—NO!

I, then, was so much MORE IMPORTANT.

you would not be ANYWHERE without me, the small, gray pebble that you molded into your slave

I used to be my own rock, confident and proud, but you seduced me into your waves

into the shriveled up person that I am now


this is how you REPAY ME?

you weakened and minimized me into this small

shy pebble that needed your approval for everything

YOUR MAJESTY—what should I do for you next?

Where do you want me to sit, where do you want me to stand?

what kind of tide should I flow with now?

What kind of wave should I bear with now?

High, low, it’s up to you! I am for you, only you, there is nowhere else to go to

whatever will appease you, great ocean king of my life

you put me down so you could step up on my shoulders so you can be at the great height you are at now

I used to be vibrant, full of life and joy and excitement then you pulled me with your crystal clear ocean waves and it was only then, when I became your pebble that I saw myself

STUCK in the swampy muddy waters of yours polluted with your deepest darkest secrets that I kept. for. YOU!

I HOPE YOU DROWN in your own ocean,

and become your own pebble

that will stay in the background.

The Fried Chicken Song

by The Cowl Editor on November 9, 2017


fried chicken on a plate
Photo courtesy of gobankingrates.com

by Marelle Hipolito ’21


i ate some fried chicken yesterday

it tasted good to eat my worries away

i saw my friend in the hallway

but i hit a locker and it took my breath away

i went to stats we had a happy frappy

made me realize that my life was so crappy


but it’s alright

and it’s okay

cause i ordered chicken and it’s on the way


i love the fried chicken delivery boy

he’s got a look that could bring me some joy

but i don’t even pay attention to his face

just the chicken he’s holding that’s good for my plate


fried chicken tastes so good

it always brings up my mood

it’s the only reason for me to run

because eating chicken is just too fun


i met a boy a few days ago

worth a million boxes of cookie dough

i found him on instagram, oh lord god bless

i tried to follow him but he ignored my request


but it’s alright

and it’s okay

cause i ordered chicken and it’s on the way


my friend caitlin and i were parking i thought we had some space

but i’m blind and we hit another car like a slap in the face

later in the shower i tried to change the song

lesson learned: phones and water don’t get along


had a physics test where i was barely alive

legit i didn’t study i got a 25

it’s okay though cause i took a nap

and found peace in a chicken wrap


but each night when i went home

i was never ever alone

because i ate fried chicken all those days

and my worries went away


by The Cowl Editor on November 2, 2017


hand loading a pistol
Photo courtesy of wikihow.com

by Marelle Hipolito ’21


Ava crouched by the bushes. This is it, this is the time, she thought to herself. She wanted to go slam open the store door, saunter over to the middle aged woman, confront her for her crimes, and punish her for them.

But some part of Ava wanted to keep watching her, studying her. The past few weeks, her target went about the small Virginia town as an ordinary person, living a simple life on the East Coast. It was as if on Thanksgiving night she never set a house full of Ava’s family on fire, as if she had never been a lifelong assassin for a secret European communist government. It was almost as if the woman had never ruined Ava’s life, leaving her with nothing.

Ava shifted between the bushes and the trees in the night. The side street was quiet, only crickets could be heard in the distance. The cracked pavement reflected the moon, full tonight. Usually, the places the woman went to drove Ava nuts with how boring they were. The grocery store, the pharmacy: Ava thought it was useless to watch her target at those places but she knew she didn’t have a choice. It was either watch her all day, or lose her in a second. Ava’s target wasn’t just some civilian, she was an assassin. She knew how to disappear if she wanted to.

Ava wanted to watch this woman as closely as possible. But this was Ava’s favorite place that the woman went to: the town’s first and only bookstore. Every Thursday night, Ava found herself between the thick trunk of an oak tree and the stiff leaves of the bushes, looking across the street to the books through the glass window, more than looking at the woman herself. She couldn’t help but remember her father, who used to take her to an antique bookstore one block away from the Brooklyn Bridge every month.

Ava shrugged off the thought. She rarely cried, especially after the fire. After that night, she had nothing to lose and nothing to care about. This Thursday night, spying on the woman in the bookstore, was no exception. But this Thursday night was one she would remember. No more mourning, no more helplessness—only justice. Ava let out a big sigh. She got up from the grass, brushed off her coat, and began walking toward the bookstore.

Tonight is the time, this is it, Ava kept repeating to herself. She looked up, and froze. The woman was gone. The front door to the bookstore was still swinging open and close, the bell at the top still chiming. Ava scolded herself, Of course you lost her, now she could be anywhere. She looked up and down the pavement, but there was no trace of the woman. Ava started her way back to the woman’s townhouse. She walked down the street only a few steps before she heard the click of a handgun off safety mode behind her.

“Hello, Ava.”

Ava’s heart began beating so hard that her chest throbbed. Her adrenaline rushed, her head began to pound and shake with anger. She turned around very slowly, with the barrel of the gun still cold on her skull. Ava looked into the eyes of the woman she had been tracking the last two months. Of course she’d find out, she’s been a trained assassin her entire life. Ava narrowed her eyes, and clenched her jaw before she spoke.

“Didn’t see you there, Mother.”

Ava’s mother laughed. “No, Ava, you were just within 50 feet of me the past seven weeks without even knowing.” With the gun still at Ava’s forehead, the woman looked behind her. The bookstore was now closed, with the lights off. The entire street was now empty except for the two of them. 

“Oh honey,” Ava’s mother pouted. “The bookstore remind you of someone, dear?” She cocked her head curiously at Ava.

Ava was taken aback. The reality of her mother’s heartlessness slammed into her like a ton of bricks. How can she just… Ava’s thoughts went wild; she didn’t know what to say. She was absolutely disgusted at this woman, standing so shamelessly in front of her.  What kind of….?

Ava closed her eyes. Suddenly, all of Ava’s strength broke. Why do I even bother? Her walls were stripped down, revealing another side of Ava. It was the weak, helpless side of her. The Ava that watched her father and uncle die in the house, trapped by the fire. The raw, emotional, fragile Ava.  Her adrenaline dropped to nothing, her body slacked. She didn’t want answers anymore. She wanted out. Ava suddenly became exhausted with herself, her meaningless empty life, and her monster of a mother.

“Go ahead, Mom. You eliminated the rest of the family, finish us off tonight.”

Ava positioned her head so that the barrel of the gun was at the center of her forehead. “I’m done watching you, trying to figure out why you did it, or why you didn’t finish me off. Just do it and finish what you started now so, we both won’t have to worry about anything anymore.”

Ava’s mother looked at her curiously. “Really? I thought you’d last longer. I didn’t raise you to give up, Ava.”

“Shut up!” Ava screamed. “Just do it already! I’d rather be dead with Dad than breathing the same air as you. Go on, finish it!” Ava was shaking with tears. She didn’t know what was going to happen next, and she did not want to know. Ava didn’t really care at this point. She just wanted her life back. And since that couldn’t happen, she thought she might as well not live.

Ava’s mother was still holding the barrel of the gun to her daughter’s forehead. She said nothing.

They stared at each other for another minute, mother and daughter, silent and crying, motionless and quivering, until Ava’s mother broke the silence. She sighed.

“Anything for you, dear.”

Ava’s mother blinked when she heard the bang, and the body of her daughter crumpled to the ground. She turned the other way, her heels echoing with every step.

She never looked back.

Tick Tock

by The Cowl Editor on October 26, 2017


Clock at midnight with hands trapped behind it
Photo courtesy of businessinsider.com


by Marelle Hipolito ’21


Tick Tock. 11:42. Henley stared at the computer, impatiently waiting for an idea to come to her mind, waiting for an idea to turn into words and those into the story that she was supposed to turn in by midnight. Usually inspiration came to her like a flood, but tonight there was nothing.

Tick tock. Henley looked at the time on her computer screen. 11:43. She tapped her feet stressfully, recalling things from the past week that would help her begin to write. Nothing interesting had really happened to her that week, but then again, nothing interesting really happened to Henley at all. After her brother’s car crash, Henley shut herself out. As she withdrew from the rest of the world, no one checked up on her, and no one noticed. Henley didn’t mind, though. She figured that if her “friends” couldn’t ask a “How are you?” or nod their head “Hey,” they weren’t worth keeping around anyways.

So she joined the local newspaper. She was supposed to write a heartwarming story to set the mood for Thanksgiving. It’s only the beginning of November, Henley noted. She always felt contained to a specific mood by the holidays, and more so after Johnny died. There was no way she could come up with a good storyline. There was just nothing to write about.

Tick tock. 11:52. Henley saw the time and suddenly slammed her hand against the desk in frustration. She got up and started pacing back and forth. She had nine minutes to submit a heartfelt story, yet here she was walking through her room racking her brain for some sort of idea. Henley stopped, and leaned her forehead against the wall. I can do this. I can. I just need an idea to get me started. I just need something to start on. Henley breathed deeply and sighed. 

Tick tock. 11:55. As she turned back around to her desk to sit back down at the sound of another minute passing, she suddenly stopped. Her chair was already occupied. Wearing the sneakers that their dad bought as a graduation present, with legs crossed in the same faded jeans that he wore every day, in the same green shirt that Henley wore to sleep for months after he died, was her brother. Henley looked for the St. Christopher chain around his neck, but she quickly realized that where she was looking, she only saw her computer screen. There wasn’t a neck to hang the chain around. Or a head to attach it to. Leaning back in her chair, headless, like how they found in him the car wreck, was Johnny.

After what seemed like eternity of standing there speechless, Henley found herself frozen as her dead, headless brother stood up and slowly made his way to her. Once he was standing just inches away from her, Johnny reached for Henley’s hand and dropped something inside her palm. Henley opened it. It was a small clock. Henley watched as the long arm of the clock moved forward a notch. Tick tock. 11:57. Henley looked up, and saw that she was the only one in the room. She held on to the clock tightly, and made her way to the chair that her brother just got up from. Henley clicked the computer back onto a new document, and started typing:

Tick Tock.


by The Cowl Editor on September 28, 2017


silhouette of walking couple
Photo courtesy of yopriceville.com

by Marelle Hipolito, ’21


I woke up, and I already knew you were there

I felt you before I saw you

I knew you before I heard you

Like how I loved you before I met you

The weight of your body on the edge of my bed was so familiar

Like how the sun spills in through the window every morning

And drowns my room in its light

I turned around and I fell into the little indent where you were sitting

I sunk into the warmth of your body

You were looking on me patiently, waiting for me, as always

To get up and go with you, as always

You told me, let’s go, and we did

Everything that we wanted to do

Walk down the street

Through the shops

Run through plaza fountains

Drive around the city

With the windows down

Blasting our songs

Everything we wanted to do

We did

But then

the clock sounded

It blared through air

Rang in our ears, making us cower in its presence

and panic struck our hearts and minds and told us what to do but not what we should do and what we wanted to do but not what we needed to do

And the vibration of its dreadful roar

The bite in the forbidden apple

Made an overwhelming split in between and destroyed


My best friend

Half of me

All my heart and soul

Was now

someone I could touch but couldn’t feel

Could meet but never know

Could look at but never saw

and could never love

The clock ended its howl

But the apple fell on the ground, rotten

And the ripples of the water remained


We went back in time.

Everything we did

Was undone

We walked up the street

Out the shops

Drove back from the city

With the windows up and

In silence

And back onto my bed

Where you got up, told me you were going to go, and you did

You didn’t even wait for me

You didn’t even look at me

I pulled a blanket over my body

Because it was cold without the heat of yours

And I turned back around from the empty edge of the bed

Since there was no indent of you to fall into

It was so unfamiliar

Like the tension of the last five months

My eyes wet because of you

Like my heart breaking when you told me it never would

The sun set, draining my room of the light it drowned my room in

Like you, draining my life of the love you drowned me in

And knowing I was alone, I went back to sleep

With the dream of what was supposed to be

With the dream of what if it was you and me

With the dream of our meant to be

With this dream

I went back to sleep