Rigorous
Volume Five, Issue 2



Trinity Carlbom


Check your shoes for centipedes first

Check your shoes for centipedes first
my mama would always say
grab your shoes by the toes and
hit them face down
shake and if nothing comes out
maybe stick your hand in and wiggle your fingers
just in case
then slip them on
if you see a centipede, however
lay a newspaper on it
and when it freezes in place
smash it as hard as you can and
cut it up with a knife
even while it wriggles still
sprinkle holy water on it
and you’ll see the devil fly out




hapa mija

my mama,
always spoon-fed her children
her dandelion-breath hair,
whispering across my cheeks
her white hands,
fanning to hold me up
her apron for domestication
clicking her tongue
and calling me her,
dirt-skinned
hapa mija


* hapa is a Hawaiian term for “half” or realistically “mixed”
* mija is a Spanish term of endearment for “daughter”




Ants can art too

ants can art too
their exoskeletons carrying
the pressure of
five-thousand their weight

working to tunnel
their way to art
and move as one body
to form bridges and rafts

ants art, even while
carrying their dead
“necrophoresis”
it’s called, to contain the
death, and burrow them
in their graves

ants art too,
by turning and
aerating soil
letting us eat,
by eating and
cleaning the dead

ants can art too,
and they call it,
life



Trinity Carlbom: “I am currently a senior at the University of Chaminade of Honolulu, studying both English and Psychology. I, however, like to call myself an ongoing student of life and the creative word most fittingly. When I’m not expressing myself through poem-ing, you can find me trying to convert nouns into verbs, arguing about the legitimacy of certain words during Scrabble, and navigating young adulthood as best as I can through way too much coffee and not enough sleep. I hope that through my poetry, I can educate the world a little more, leaving behind diversity, connection, and equality.”




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