by Karen Breen
Image: Ambika Thompson
So, over the summer, I read that book by Descartes that you gave me.
He was wrong about a lot of things, I hope you know that.
Just like you trying to tell me that I couldn’t know you
and how it’s fucking easy. Continue Reading
by Kelly Craig
Image: Amanda Gibbs
Before they are friends Kyle asks her to go under the bleachers with him at the homecoming football game. She says no. Their team loses. She drives herself home with the windows down. It’s still hot. Las Vegas, late September. She wants to feel a chill but the windowsill where her arm rests has retained the heat of the day and she feels nothing but the stickiness of her thighs from sweating on the metal bleachers. She doesn’t talk to Kyle again until the next year, senior year, when their AP government teacher assigns them seats next to each other in the front row. She says hi to him, feeling her friends watching her in rows behind. She pretends she doesn’t recognize him as the guy who asked her to go under the bleachers. He tells her his name is Kyle and acts like this is the first time they’ve met even though they’ve been in school together for three years and she already knows his name. She doesn’t tell him her name and he doesn’t ask. She is never sure if he knows it. He never says it out loud. Continue Reading
by Simon Perchik
Image: Maya Bornstein
You read out loud the way this bed
listens for the makeshift seam
loosening each night down the middle Continue Reading
by Ted Shaffrey
Image: Kaitlin Ruether
Claire stood up inside the subway car and exhaled. Where is my dance partner? The train approached Bedford Avenue Station, triggering the brakes. Claire’s legs vibrated with the train.
There he is. She inhaled in time with the slowing train as it rattled and stopped. She sang, “Will you dance with me, my darling dear?” The doors buckled open. She exhaled, rocked back on her right foot and sprung out of the train and onto the subway platform. “I will. I will, so our hearts can be near,” she sang, answering her musical question. Continue Reading
by Janelle Cordero
Duality @ Janelle Cordero
i woke to birds my eyes / were open and i could still hear them but / this is january and the birds / left our city months ago so / i ask you what’s more real / birds or my thought of birds and you / would of course say birds because / my thoughts are not your thoughts but / to me i cannot choose because / the boundary between my mind and the world makes / less and less sense the more / i pay attention / Continue Reading
by C.B. Walshak
Image: C.B. Walshak
When I saw her for the first time, it felt like I had—not butterflies—but white owls flapping violently in my stomach. Helen’s on Main Street. She was dramatic and tipsy, a rainstorm contained inside olive skin and brown-sugar eyes. Now I understand why hurricanes are named after people. Her name was Lizz.
That autumn, rain fell in wet curtains across the city. The sky would scream with thunder and laugh with lightning. Inside, we were dancing to Springsteen, making love to The River. Lizz smelled like fresh dirt and wet leaves and big porches and tobacco.
She broke up with me in January. Black sharpie on a blue sticky note while I was asleep. Continue Reading
by C.B. Walshak
Image: C.B. Walshak
he had skin so tan it was almost brown
and a ponytail: grey and blond
he was sitting on a bench
while his dog licked its paws
in the restful shade below Continue Reading
by Alexandra Mae Jones
Image: Verena Spilker
The man running the fifth record stall in the flea market had pink beads in his hair. He was shaking them to the beat of the smoky thick drums coming out of the speakers at his feet, and the appearance of his unselfconscious joy had driven away three customers now. Only five remained: a middle-aged couple, a teenage girl and her father, and an elderly man. The woman in the couple was leaning heavily against the man for something more than support, the edge of her smile pushing folds into his jacket’s shoulder. He was muttering about the organization of the ‘80s records—“The Smiths next to Madonna? Might as well spit on their legacy,”—and ignoring the way she kept sighing, louder and louder, in a showily content way that slowly grew more pointed.
by Cameron Haramia
Image: Rahn Marion
A whole village of Italian chefs as baby
mobile above my crib. One of them,
they might say later, the most mischievous,
stoops down to caress my kindling chin. Continue Reading
by Kathryn L. Hall
Image: Samir Bhimji
When it starts, it may be hard for you to understand. Talking about it can be uncomfortable because these things usually stay hidden. It’s awkward, a hassle, and can confuse you. It might even cause you to act out. However, this is essential to talk about. It happens to everyone. A physical change that occurs when a child is ready to become an adult, one that is capable of reproduction, the basis of life. The years between ten and seventeen can be a lot of fun but also very puzzling. If you are reading this, it means you are about to or are already experiencing changes. This book is designed to help you through this challenging, awkward time in your life. It may not answer all of your questions or solve your problems, but after reading, you should know more about what is happening. It may seem like forever, but trust that this is a temporary state. Continue Reading