Quetzal | University of Waterloo’s Online Arts Magazine2019-11-17T16:01:16-05:00


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Poetry & Prose



by Varun Batta

Just a moment, a sight, a thought
Of just one person, one feeling, one dream
Always leads to a physical reaction
In core muscles throughout my being

Da‐dum, Da‐dum, Da‐dum, Da‐dum
Heart is beating normally, until I view
Just a few letters change beating to racing
When the origin of those letters is my darling, you

Just a wait, a stay, a longing
For just one event, one time, one instant
Always seems to take forever
Time just passing, seeming distant

Tick‐tock, Tick‐tock, Tick‐tock, Tick‐tock
The clock is bidding the moments adieu
Moments last forever, they never fade
When they are the moments I share with my dearest, you

Just a check, a swipe, a peek
To see one source, one view, one block
Always I am sending and receiving
Just a few words, to reply and talk

Da‐ding, Da‐ding, Da‐ding, Da‐ding
Notifications continue to come anew
Only one of which curves my lips
When from the love of my life, you

The Dam

The Dam

by Karin

I can take so much

But like a door to a dam

All that water

Has to go somewhere

I’ve come to burn your kingdoms down

I’ve come to burn your kingdoms down

by Krys Kazik

I am constantly learning relearning to learn,

breathing in smoke 

that fills the air around me.

I have sought high ground before,

when the blood tides get a little too overwhelming

and you decide to let me drown.

My darling dearest darling,

you have kept your word about biting

the hand that feeds you

but remember that wolves are impossible to teach.

I will leave footprints on your doormat

and empty glasses in your sink,

like small particles of dust that float around your eyes

I am to be visible only when you look for me.

I cannot live with the notion of being a temporary

belief or idea.

I am more than the cosmic soot that builds me up and 


breaks me down.

I am breathing in smoke my dear,

from all the hopes and dreams you helped scorch

so all that remains are bitter bones of who I 

used to be.

But live,

prosper and grow through the stars that surround you.

I am not a teacher nor a helping hand in 

how to train wild animals.

I have become smoke that cannot be captured nor contained

in your jars of plenty.

Bring yourself happiness in all the ways I could not,

allow the fire to consume you whole so I can 

set tracks in the ashes.

May the bridges I burn,

light the way.

Begin Again

Begin Again

Shruti Pankaj Bagmar

A Stranger’s Summer

A Stranger’s Summer

by Jacob Kechichian

It was the first summer night of the season. I stood against the railing on my balcony and gazed upon the small city. Faint sounds of laughter and music flowed through the air and the soft warm breeze kissed my face. It was a cloudless sky that evening and a full moon, which shone bright, stared back at me as I to it. The stars, hidden behind the city’s immense lights, pushed through and radiated unto the sky. Nights like these were ones I lived for, where I could sit and silently observe the city; a self-deified stranger to a godless city.

Diamond Promises

Diamond Promises

by Khadeeja Sajid

My Dear,

“I promise I’ll change,”

is a diamond promise.

And I wonder if you know

that diamonds can be found

in abundance.

There are many myths about diamonds:

that they are the most valuable gem;

that they are precious, rare;

that they are the most refractive.

No. The only true thing

about this gem is that

it is the hardest on our earth.

So, when you make 

your diamond promises,

remember that I’ve seen this promise before.

The world has seen it in abundance,

the promise is not sacred,

nor special, nor healing.

No. Unfortunately,

the only thing this promise is,

is hard.

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Visual Arts

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Short Stories

Summer in the Suburbs

Summer in the Suburbs by Erin Taylor I‘m on my leadoff from second base when a girl shows up and leans against our dugout fence. I pause, trying to make out who it is, before I hear the scuffle of the backcatcher's shin guards as she jumps up and my coach screams, "Morris! Down!" So I dive face-first under the sweeping glove and slap the tips of my fingers on the bag. Our cleanup batter brings me home. Coach Jen hesitates, tells me to look, then run. She knows I have a good slide. I scoop up the bat and hustle back to the dugout, grinning and dusting off my batting gloves on my shorts. Annette is standing on the other side of the fence, behind my teammates, the fingers of her left hand hooked in the chain links. I shriek and jump on the bench. There’s a commotion by third and my teammates all rise. I reach her through the fence. I’m shouting, "You're back!" She’s laughing and nodding, and then she looks over my shoulder. "They need you out there, Sarah." I look back. Everyone has taken the field. "Can you stay?" "I'll be here." [...]

One Dance

One Dance She’s fucking Alexander, Theo reminded himself. He was standing by the bar, waiting to order a rye and coke. His gaze was directed towards the dance floor where he spotted Lily and Emma in the crowd. The rest of the crew seemed to have disappeared into the pulsing array of flesh, the other guys each on their own personal mission to get some. Usually, Theo would be on his own personal mission to get some, but whenever Lily came out with them, he couldn’t help but not care. For some reason, he just wanted to be around her. He didn’t want to think about it too deeply beyond that and he made sure to remind himself every now and then that she was sleeping with one of his closest friends. Theo finally inched his way to the front of the line. The busty bartender gave him a sultry smile and asked, “What can I get for you, sweetie?” “I’ll have a shot of whiskey and rye and coke...make it a double,” Theo replied. She punched in his order on the register. She poured the shot of whiskey and handed it to him. He took the shot [...]

A Spoken Word

A Spoken Word by Muhammad Zaid Bin Amer Hey My name is Muhammad Zaid Bin Amer. You may have heard of me And to be quite frank I’m not always 100% sure I’m spelling Muhammad right. Is it M u, M o, I don't know- it's confusing. I was born on June 21st 1999, in some ghetto army base within Peshawar, a small city in Pakistan. This is widely been regarded as a terrible idea Now see the reason I wasn’t born in a regular hospital is that we were on the way to the airport, leaving Pakistan as refugees because of some bad business my parents have never went into because they just love keeping secrets This just goes to show, people wanted me dead even before I was born I’m often terrible at staying quiet, being loud and shattering the solid silence, I mean what can I say I was born sleeping and have been messed up ever since I like coca-cola Alot I go to The University of Waterloo I’m in first year and I still don't have my drivers license And for as long as I can remember I’ve loved cheap food... and bad [...]

Understand Me

Understand Me By Eunice Adubea Owusu Amoah Was he dead? Or was he alive? His skin felt warm and flushed all over. Was he dying? Or was he still in love? Something warm and sticky was in his hand. Blood. His? Hers? A face appeared before him. Someone screaming his name. Or maybe just screaming. Screeches of fear. Or pain. Or surprise. Was it her? Was she beside him? Screaming for him to stay alive? Or screaming at him to just die? He didn’t deserve to die, he thought. She was the one who broke him. He thought of the day they met. “Boo,” she whispered. He quickly spun around to face her. His chin brushed against her short, wet, spiky hair. He looked down at her and she looked up at him. Two complete strangers who had fatefully met in a cemetery on a rainy night.   There was an ambulance. His thoughts begged for the siren to be shut. He was trying to remember. What had she been wearing? Had she smiled? No. She’d laughed though. Yes she’d- The siren. The stupid siren. Too fucking loud. She’d laughed. He’d stared at her in that beautiful [...]

New Beginnings

 New Beginnings by Edward Liu It was a troubling time. Seventeen years into life; too many left until the end of my days. “Too many indeed.” What was that voice? “It’s me! You’ve known me for awhile now.” What were those thoughts I didn’t want circulating through my head? “I have feelings too, you know?” What were those disheartening memories? “She only broke up with you a few months ago! You couldn’t have already forgotten.” I hadn’t forgotten, but I had tried to. “I miss her.” I missed her too, but I could not afford to miss her. I could not afford to think about her any longer. “That’s impossible. We will practically see her everyday. With him.” It didn’t matter. I had to work my way around it. I willed myself to, “Yeah, okay. Good luck with that.” I had to somehow make it through my final year of high school with two unwanted parties tagging along with me, holding me back. It was a difficult task, and I attempted to accomplish it through willpower alone for a small while. “You tried your best for two months. It just wasn’t meant to be.” Two months was approximately [...]

It Started with a Whisper

It Started with a Whisper by Edward Liu Why are you still alive?” I remained silent. “You didn’t jump that day. Why didn’t you jump?” “Because I was afraid of not dying,” I said. “You didn't choose a tall enough building.” “There's always a slim chance of survival. How would I jump again if I somehow survived with every bone in my body shattered? Repeating the task would be near impossible,” I said, but that wasn't all there was to it. Thinking about suicide is simple. Initiating the act was a whole other story. At least for me. Why was I still alive? I wondered that myself. It was almost a year since the lowest point of my life. What had I accomplished since then? ■ ■ ■ It started with a whisper almost four years ago, a small voice in the back of my head. “This is bad,” it said softly as I stared at my score on the math test I had just been handed. “I’ll make up for it,” I said. Mathematics was my best subject growing up. I liked math. It was the only thing which I felt like I excelled in. My [...]

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