I wish I was moonstone,                                     I am ash,

drawing sparks inward                                       found through oblivion

an inspiration to look to                                     a self-destructive grayness

a pioneer to follow                                             an entity to flee

I wish I was a columbine                                    I am a weed,

purity in the filth                                                displaying grotesque posteriors

a natural Vermeer                                              a bile to humankind

a concept to adore                                            a plague to the eyes


I wish I was a golden finch,                               I am a vulture

preaching poetry sweet                                    striking with slack talons of lead

a vocal liberator                                                 a nightmare shrieking

an artist in their craft                                         a pickpocket of hope


I wish I was a professor,                                     I am a false prophet,

altruistic rewarder of reason                             indulging himself with lies

a light in dark negligence                                 a scourge to the earth

a hero to the thinker                                          a fool to the world


I wish I was composure,                                     I am regret,

tranquil with vigor                                              slitting my mind’s wrists

a testament to willpower                                   a pitiful shadow

a figure so towering                                           a sin of the past


I wish I was a man                                               I am but a boy

(everything right to everyone)                           (lost in self-sorrow)

Imposter Syndrome





He said to go past the whoops. We are supposed to meet his truck just past it.                               

                                                  Whoops?  What in the hell is a whoop?

                                         You asked this question over. Over. Over the wheels of the car,

             gravel churned. 

A rough road turns damning when one does not

                                                      understand the terms used by the traverser.

            We heaped the bed of metal over unevens, the other you states

Are these the fabled whoops?

                                                            Seeing the red glaring eyes of taillights,

                 I take a stab and say, must have been the whoops- as a notion (an idea)

                                                                                                           Whatever the fuck that is. A whoop. 




Are trees supposed to stare at you in the dark? I guess the fire keeps it from being dark, so

                                       no? Faces lick their bleeding branches of cardboard as I hear-

     Sharing is caring man! So, like, you know, pass me the bong.

                                                                                                 Oh gods his laugh reeks of self-centeredness. I look

                                             I am alone, where are

                 my friends?                                                                                     My protectors.

                                                                        Oh, there are the adolescent adults,

                with you asking me, with your auburn eyes containing flames from stems and wood,

you ready to head out- Hell yeah let’s go.





You keep talking about the paranormal.

                    I used to want to be normal

        Aliens, spirits, ghosts I guess are just spirits. Seems like I have a ghost or seven,

                                          because that damn scent bottle keeps

 like doing shit, and

                                                                                           I don’t want to think about it driving back.

                                                It is closing hours. For my eyes

                               but my medaling mind is the drunk that sleeps at the bar

                                       with the bartender, that is you, keeping me

    awake. I guess I am back to the massive monument to college,

                                                                                                                                 debt. In the form of,      a dorm.




            Goodnight strange noises from the corner, I say to no one in particular.

                                    I head into the soft glow like child cartoons

Well what I just did,

                                                                                                                       it’s definitely not planned.

                                                Homework, but what fun is that

                                                                 when you have nature, friends and assholes

to toy with my



                                                                 whatever that really means.

Alexander Lehman

Alexander Lehman is an undergrad at Northern Arizona University who is majoring in English with a certificate in both creative writing and literature. He enjoys writing fiction and poetry whether in or out of academia. He is inspired by fictional narratives in videogames, film, music, and literature and hopes to continue his passion for storytelling on the way to gaining an MFA in creative writing. This is his first publication in The Tunnels
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