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Cora Lindholm Cora is a junior studying Photography & Journalism through New College. Ever since she was eight years old, her dream has been to work for National Geographic and travel the world. She currently works as a staff photographer for The Crimson White. She grew up in Portland, Oregon, and now lives in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. She is studying abroad at the University of Newcastle in Australia Spring 2014. Her favorite photographers are Peter Lik and Ansel Adams.
The Beauty of Slow Motion
The Beauty of Slow Motion
Alexandra Franklin Alexandra is a senior English major at the University of Alabama. She is a former Slash Pine Press intern and a co-founder of Chantepleure Press. In 2010, she received the Alliance for Young Artists and Writers Gold Portfolio award. She is the editor of Scholastic’s anthology Best Teen Writing of 2011. Her work has also been featured in The New York Times.
Arboretum I. The same thing that happens everywhere— chemistry. A history they will construct and reconstruct until it is the story they wish had been theirs: he will forget that he didn’t notice her until later. They will tell themselves and each other that they remember their fingertips brushing over the table. They will say they remember a train in the distance, or closer. It’s hard to say what is true.
II. A handful of sand close to your ear—the hum of the earth falling apart. The smallest parts of the body are most of what we are; broken things collected, a constellation held together. III. There is something about the way the trees grow here that seems to me like the tip of the iceberg— as though perhaps they keep growing down under our feet, into a hollow Earth. As though we walk on a crust above a tangle of sumac and oak and pine, knotted as the blue veins in my wrist. IV. Quercus stellata—a tree named after stars. Quercus montana—a tree named after a place full of stars. I am amazed that we find names for things so easily; everything can fit in boxes, including Montana. Including stars. Fractal It seems likely that the lace of our lives becomes a pattern. It makes sense that everything, living and not, stretches its arms and legs into this grande jete— a fall. Something rising. Light in the trees. Even a web—a death bed—is something predictable, a space we can map and know and swim through. The paths we follow shatter us; we break their patterned shards, broken words, things we left unfinished or unsaid. There is a rhythm to our breaking, a set of numbers for the ways we fail. Sunlight through your fingers. Tree shadows branching on your bare shoulder—split and splintered again until they’re thin as a hair. At night, invisibly, while we sleep, the sky stirs into a sweep of light, a bloom. A beginning, or an end. It’s hard to say. Sometimes it’s both.
Fragments I am blind, or could be. I am cold, or I am burning to death. There is the ignition of something white and hot, the seeping shatter of a silent ground, or sky. Rain, then snow. Fragments in the lungs. Glass breaking. Glass running to the windowsill like falling water. We believe it. We believe untrue things. Our belief makes it true. I am burning to death, or I am cold. I find the blue layer at the base of my thumbnail, its own flame. Breath is dust. Dust is in my eyes. The arcing flamingo-leg dagger of cold, curled against my body, pressed into my marrow, breathes and lives. Pulses. Creaks and cracks me. I am facing south. I am looking down, alone. We believe untrue things. Our belief makes it true. Like falling water. We believe it. Glass breaking. Water running to the windowsill. Rain, then snow. Fragments in the lungs. Devastating, the heat of being more in love than you are. The cold of your back. I am burning to death, or I am cold. Rain, then snow. Fragments in the lungs.
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