Stew Murray

doodle of a friend, by Lauren Frame. Pencil on paper. Back of female head and shoulders with side of cheek and nose visible. Hair to shoulders wearing turtleneck and sweater. Colors of gray, white, and black.
doodle of a friend, by Lauren Frame

Wandering Hands ⚠️MA

Blue glow
From a phone
That isn’t mine

Illuminates my tired face
Shows videos that remind me
Of Her

Friendly banter
And jokes played out
For too long

A hand wanders
Where a hand is not

The attempts to push away
Are met with requests and desires to go

A mind

Is what was heard,

The hand wanders
Not stopped when

Fear of harm
Or assault
Or worse

Fear of you
And your body
And your smell

Thoughts of Her
Pushes away
All that’s known is fear

To escape
To sleep


I hate you.
I hate you.

Not only you
But what you did
What She said.

Lingering fingertips
Trace sides
Wander too far

Faces can haunt
Names can haunt
Smells can haunt

I’m not okay
But that’s not okay
So I’ll be okay

Wandering hands
Have gone too far
And that can’t be undone

Wandering hands
That made me hate myself
Are ingrained into my mind.

Wandering hands
Make the air I breathe toxic
And cripple my thoughts

Wandering hands
End me before I can even

Wandering hands
Hurt me and hurt me and hurt

Stew Murray is a fifteen year old from Rancho Cucamonga, California. His poem reflects his experience as someone who was sexually assaulted in late 2022. His poetry takes influence from creators such as Laurie Halse Anderson and E. E. Cummings and works as an outlet for not only his creativity but also the feelings he struggles with on a day-to-day basis.