cover of 2022 spring issue

Broken Hinges

GRACIE ROWLAND
I slammed the door in Hope’s face and told Her / I was better off alone, my pride too brazen to realize that good intentions / Matter more than harsh words spoken over late night calls. / I was too ashamed to apologize back then, too ashamed of the broken hinges I left. …Continue Reading Broken Hinges

Untitled

MARIANA RIVERA-DONSKY
She got in the car at half-past two in the morning. / It didn’t really matter to her where exactly she was going as long as it was away. There was only a certain amount of time that she could ignore the steadily growing pressure in her chest – right underneath her collarbone. Right above her lungs. She had lain in bed for hours doing absolutely nothing productive….Continue Reading Untitled

“Till Some Blind Hand Shall Brush My Wing”

drawing of a person kneeling in a briefcase

JOE SWEENEY
I wasn’t thirsty anymore, so when I heard him calling from over the belts it was ok. Part of it, too, was his voice, which sounded like it had finally decided being exhausted wasn’t worthwhile. TSA workers (agents?) don’t seem to have time for anything. But really that’s only true about the ones behind the belts–at the gates they’re always waving me through. Go on ahead. For some people it’s easier to imagine behind their mask than it is to see, their smile….Continue Reading “Till Some Blind Hand Shall Brush My Wing”

Untitled

RACHEL HENDRICKSON
Amongst the curved cutlery, puzzles missing pieces, and books with yellowed pages, a vase held a collection of costume jewelry. When the sun hit it just right, the glint seemed to capture the attention of every customer who entered the front lawn of the Church. Lou was no different. Unable to ever resist a good sale, Lou turned off Route 11 as soon as he saw the posterboard scrawled in sharpie on the side of the road….Continue Reading Untitled

Doe, a Deer

drawing of a bridge in black-and-white

GABBY AVENA
When I am thinking of what to write, I pick at the skin on my lips. I hold the cracked bits between my nails, pinch, and pull transparent flecks of thoughts as a snake peels off its skin, exposing soft flesh underneath. This, too, is an act of translation. I wonder–if I picked, and picked, and picked, maybe I would have a story for you. Maybe I could trade my mouth for the fullness of the world. Maybe this is what the world would say:…Continue Reading Doe, a Deer

Doom Creek, AZ

DUSTIN COPELAND
Death removed from his mount, and spoke: To remove thee I am come, and send thee from the garden forth, to till the ground whence thou wast taken, fitter soil. And it was certain that she did not want to die. But she knew, more certainly still, that she did not want to step down the mountain. To Death, therefore, she replied: How shall we breathe in other air less pure, accustom’d to immortal fruits?Continue Reading Doom Creek, AZ

It Will Pass?

drawing of a humanoid tree underwater

A’CORA HICKSON

There’s a difference / Between being alone and being lonely / You can crave to be alone / Crave to be still / In the room / In the space / In the world / But being lonely hits you like a speck of dust / Falling on your arm / It sits and waits on the ledge / Praying / Planning / Its next attack / It goes unnoticed / In the room / In the space / In the world…Continue Reading It Will Pass?

Homecoming

abstract drawing of ocean

GABBY AVENA
Ever since the Nabisco factory closed, you can no longer smell the cookies in the air. My Lola keeps telling me this, once as we pass through colorful concrete tunnels on our way from the Newark Airport, again as they are replaced by the tall trees that tower over the road, and a final time as we pass the empty corpse of the factory, its darkened neon lights welcoming me to my hometown: Glen Rock, New Jersey. She tells me that when she first arrived from the Philippines, she wondered how the neighbors could have so much time for baking, day-in and day-out. …Continue Reading Homecoming

In Focus

blurred image of girl standing in front of framed picture

TARA ALAHAKOON
I adapted to life out of focus. // My world was an impressionist painting: earthy hues blended the landscape as swaths / of grey streaked across the sky. // Silouettes danced in and out, / their edges fuzzy. // Like an artist, I played with light….Continue Reading In Focus

Reunion

TAPTI SEN
Please come sit next to me- / I want to lay my head in your lap and / whisper about the boy you love / as you braid flowers in my hair. Once, / I knew you like I knew myself, and / now, I wonder if history is all we / have left….Continue Reading Reunion

Strangers

image of someone's features through blurred window

SARAH WU
I see you on the bus first. Or maybe, it’s you who senses me, turning around just enough for our eyes to meet. Somehow, past the friend I am talking to, past the earbuds pressed tightly against your ears, our eyes lock. You are skinnier than I remember. Age has sharpened your cheekbones, stolen the roundness from your cheeks. The nest of brown pine needles on your head has softened, curling gently at the tips. It is hard to imagine them as the same rat hair your mom used to comb through, her fingers gently untangling the knots, the burrs in your curls….Continue Reading Strangers

Fall Relapse

image of yellow and black person sitting

ZOE ALARCON
As the leaves succumb to a coral shade / You’re reminded of your own freshness / How with each summer comes as naturally a deep renewal / A solidifying of insights / But its fragile underpinnings are also suddenly more visible / And the trees’ tactless, rapid shedding / rekindle your sympathy for your own dead leaves…Continue Reading Fall Relapse

If I Let It Happen

photo of a green field with sun

QUINCY SMITH
The inside of my palms are dirty / From the concrete blocks I sat on // The concrete was pressing against my palm / Creating a print in shape of pebbles // I look down and see the shape this concrete drew on my hand / My fists clench and unclench // Almost as if its searching for feeling / Almost as if i’m not feeling and I need to move to feel…Continue Reading If I Let It Happen