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
by Trevor Conway
Image: Enda Conway
Now that we take these streets together,
this city buds with fruits to savour.
Before, its bland mysteries
were dense as the voices we heard. Continue Reading
by Timothy Day
Image: Timothy Day
When Jane visited her parents on her 26th birthday, she found them stricken with a persistent wetness. The three of them sat on the towel-covered couch and Jane listened as they told her about work and the cats and holiday vacation plans. They asked how she was doing and Jane did her best to inflate the recent small victories. Jason was starting yoga; the car was running fine; that mould that had been on the wall of their apartment when they moved in? Gone. Continue Reading
by Daniela Olszewska
Image: Caitlin Sacks
I’ve got trees. Tiny trees. I wear them in a bracelet.
Everyone comments on how clever I am.
I am not clean. Nuclear energy disgusts me.
My intestines glow in the dark. It’s embarrassing. Continue Reading
by Riley Vainionpaa
Image: Riley Vainionpaa
I needed them to exist. I set the table for the ritual, spread a yellow sheet filched from the hall closet over it and placed an element in each quadrant. Fire was a tea light, plucked from the bag in the cabinet where my moms kept the bone china platter with the painted lilacs and their collection of limited edition Peter Pan plates. I always chose Tinker Bell. Water was the conch shell from that time we went to Mexico and the whole trip all I did was search for aluxes in the gardens outside our hotel, convinced the knee-high tricksters could get me out of the dance contest that night. Air was a feather I’d found at school, probably dropped from one of the Canada geese that liked to shit all over the soccer field. Randy Ayzer said it was dirty and said I was dirty for touching it. I told him everything in Sudbury is dirty, even if you can’t see it, because of the refinery fumes. Earth was a pebble from the driveway. Continue Reading
by Chelsea Margaret Bodnar
Image: Devon Christman and Chelsea Margaret Bodnar
After the flood, white caskets poked out from the ground like strange impacted teeth; your face and hands are real, your thoughts placed in your head meticulous by ancient aliens or ghosts. That must be it; the only way that anything makes sense. This one they gave you only ties you down, makes you recite the dictionary backwards. Good witch insists you’re capable of much more than you know, kills you with kindness, tearstained and stuck at the x’s, your hair held back in vines, an old house with tinted windows. An old window, the panes held back in lead, curved out to the street below. Continue Reading