Julianna K

Injustice in the Ocean

Puerto Vallarta, México. A pinpoint for relaxation. That is, until, a curious little creature wanders too close to the shore. I was splashing and having fun with Alex until a sudden, sharp, pain wrapped around my arm. It felt like a vine of thorns had been stuck into my skin. I raised my arm out of the salty water to find a jellyfish clinging to me for dear life. My instinct was to throw my arm forward to try and get it off, but it wouldn’t move. So then I began sobbing and violently shaking my arm until the jellyfish flew off. I ran up to our cabana screaming “I GOT STUNG BY A JELLY!!”

Three aspirins, 20 minutes of some random stranger rubbing vinegar into my arm, and 30 minutes of my arm being submerged in warm sand later, the stabbing went down to an electric sensation. Not the best day for me. Then, three days later, I was swimming in the waves with Alex again. A ginormous wave came and took us both under.  A stabbing  sensation occurred on my cheek, much like one when I got stung. I soon realized, “I was stung again!”  A little tentacle whipped past my cheek when we were under. Thankfully, this time it was much more tolerable. I still have the battle scars on my arm, telling this story on how my vacation was almost ruined.

A Fragile Love Story

My first day here, I hated you. I would cry and cry, hours on end, until I gave in. I couldn’t avoid you; within a minute upon calling your name, there you were, ready to comfort. Over the years we became closer and closer, to the point where I was in love. The more homework and activities, the desire for you became stronger. But lately, you’ve been later and later, some nights not bothering to even show up at all. “Please, I need you”, I would beg for what seemed like a century.

I eventually started thinking that there was something wrong with me. This is the kind of relationship I just cannot end. Not emotionally, but physically. Then people started noticing. “You look terrible”, they would say. “What happened to you?” Being weak, having no energy, and walking around with a cloud of exhaustion hovering over my head was the result of his absence.

I now look back at the good times when we could see each other day or night, at home or out. I miss you. I miss us. I miss my crazy, complicated love with sleep.


My name is Julianna. At church and in Greece, my name is Ulianie. Among my friends, my name is Jules. With both sets of grandparents, I am “the baby.”  My name in Hebrew is youth. To adults who just met me, I am “Juliana.”  To my enemies, I am either “she” or “it.” To siri, I am Master.  To my dogs, I am, “Human who feeds us.”  To my parents and teachers, I am either “Angel”,  “JULIANNA!”, or “sheeeeee.”  My birth certificate may only say one name, but I am a girl of many.



She seems daring and bold to some

To others, compassionate and caring

Haters say she’s selfish and rotten

But the most important perspective, mine,

Says that she’s crazy, weird, loving, and funny

And no one else’s perspective can take that away from me



The baby goes on the swings for the first time. His mom, who had been pushing him, pushed her precious child too high for his liking. The baby cries. His mother jumps high, attempts to grab the swing, and misses. The cry is now at a scream. She frantically tries to grab the swing again, and succeeds.  The swing slowed down, and the baby is safe in her arms. Those tears were unnecessary. He should’ve saved them for something bigger.


In a couple years, the baby is now 10 years old. He can’t find his collection of priceless baseball cards. His mom helps him search the entire house, tearing through the drawers and cabinets until every square inch has been scoured. They had no luck.

He cries, thinking he put those tears to good use. He was wrong.

In a couple more years, he is 19. His girlfriend of two years breaks up with him. He cries. His mom drives up to his college dorm with ice cream and his favorite movie on DVD. He spent the night sobbing in the arms of his now only woman in his life. Those valuable tears were wasted.

When he is 40, his wife serves him divorce papers. Thinking the tears are needed, he cries. He sobs and sobs, until he physically can’t. His mom, being aged, immediately drives up to his house 3 hours away to comfort her baby.  Once again, she stays the night, holding him in her arms, saying “she was never any good.”  He should’ve saved those precious tears for what happens when he is 60.

His mom dies. The woman who helped him control his tears when the most valuable relationship ended,when his girl at the time couldn’t take it anymore,when his work of four years went missing, and when the Earth was too far to the ground. The woman who spent her nights comforting and helping him is gone. Tears are being forced out of his eyes. He tries to weep tears for his uncontrollable sadness. But he can’t. His tears are gone. Wasted on all these silly things. Things that in the moment, seemed like a good time to cry. An appropriate time to spend his limited tears and sobs. But in the long run… were they really?


When the Sun Comes Up

When the sun comes up,

the ghouls go back to their graves.

The demons are lured to their tunnels,

The grotesque beasts back under your bed.

The suffocating fog dissolves into the air,

And the killers back away into their alleys.

The still starving wolves limp back into their dens,

And boogey man hides in your dreams, thinking his long, grey thoughts, that sneak into yours.


However, when the sun comes up,

The snakes emerge from under their rocks.

The hungry bears trot out of their caves.

The tectonic plates could start to shake any minute,

And the storm over the ocean could get stronger.

Another day, another chance of a stroke or heart attack.

But the reassurance, the hope, that daylight brings us,

Can shield us from any worries.


Like the flamingos dancing in the Amazon.    

Like the hibiscus blooming in the painted tropics. 

Like the perfectly round bubblegum cotton candy at the carnival.

Like a newborn puppy squirming around like a worm for warmth. 

Like a vibrant lip color for a night out.

Like the satisfaction you get when your hours of studying pay off. 

Like sweet and tart southern lemonade in a hammock on a hot day. 

Like a deer frolicking in the colorful meadow.

Like the first flutter of a butterfly’s wings. 

Like a baby’s first laugh of joy. 

Like the amazingly perfect color pink.



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