The NY Literary Magazine

A Distinguished Selection of the Finest Modern Literature

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sad poems about life

“A Plea by Lamplight” Dark Poem by Nina Athena Radke

She sleeps in a past that lives in her gaze
blurring in brightness and dulling the haze
longing still to escape the deaths
of life that fades away

please touch, please reach through
worlds, and rescue, grasp, tease
hold firm and wrap yourself
around these vacant needs

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The Refugee by Sohail Dahdal

In a new town walks a man
His name is Bisan but they call him Dan
All alone in this world
His house for freedom he sold
But the key in his hand he still holds

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My Beauty by Mary Newcomer

My beauty walked out of the door
Without saying good-bye.
My passport photos are my proof.

My precious ally has found a new face
Not touched by grief, lack of sleep
And broken dreams.

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Water and Sand by Amelia Ann

hot tears spring out, teasing
peeling skin with the broken promise of cooling
as she waits
to be pumped full of salty brine
and then discarded, debris
carried by the waves until she
washes up on some strange, sunbaked shore, a
sea-scratched corpse, the
refuse of murder, or perhaps,
suicide

she bobs up
and down, violently
tossed by the waves, frantically
snatching rapid half-breaths-half-gulps-of-ocean before she’s
plunged ten feet
under, then
propelled back up, an insignificant
buoy caught in a
cyclone’s raging passion. his arms
grasp at her as
forcefully as a prayer expands out against
her chest, calling
for ocean to swallow the
naked groans and shrieks yanked
out into the unforgiving air—
each scream,
a plea that she might
die this moment, escape
the body convulsing and writhing,
possessed

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