Beyond Words Literary Magazine, Issue 31, October 2022

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Beyond Words Issue 31October 2022 A r t w or k : El i zabeth M ed r an o


Bey on d W or d s ? I n ter n at i on al L i t er ar y M agazi n e I ssu e 31, O ct ober 20 22 Ed i tor : Gal Sl on i m Ed i tor i al B oar d : Kel ly Sar gen t

Cop y r i gh t © B ey on d W or d s Pu bl i sh i n g H ou se, B er l i n , Ger m an y

K el l y Sar gen t ?s p oem s an d ar t w or k , i n cl u d i n g a B est of th e N et n om i n ee, ap p ear ed or ar e f or t h com i n g i n m or e th an th i r ty l i t er ar y p u bl i cat i on s. H er d ebu t p oet r y ch ap book en ti tl ed Seei n g Voi ces: Poetr y i n M ot i on i s al so f or t h com i n g (Kel say B ook s, 20 22). Sh e h as ser ved as Cr eat i ve N on f i cti on Ed i t or of T h e B ooken d s Rev i ew an d an assi stan t n on f i ct i on ed i t or f or N ew f ou n d . Sh e al so r ev i ew s f or a l i ter ar y m agazi n e d ed i cated to m ak i n g v i si bl e th e ar ti sti c ex p r essi on of sex u al v i ol en ce su r v i vor s.

Fi r st p r i n t i n g, Sep tem ber 20 22 I SBN 978- 3- 948977- 48- 1 h ttp s:// w w w.bey on d w or d sm ag.com


T h e Gr i ef o f Gr av i t y Ed M cM an i s T h ey say i t r ai n s d i am o n d s o n Ju p i t er , Sat u r n t o o , an d b l ack h o l es ar en ?t r eal l y b l ack . Gr av i t y ?s r eal , t h o u gh , u n l ess y o u ?r e i n o r b i t o r d o n ?t b el i ev e. Rem em b er , sci en ce h as al l t h e an sw er s y o u n eed ex cep t f o r t h e o n es y o u w an t . I h av en ?t p r ay ed i n y ear s, b u t l ast n i gh t I gazed i n t o t h e A p r i l ev en i n g, w o r d s a m an t r a? ?Pl ease? o n t h e f r o n t ?Go d ? at t h e en d . C o n st el l at i o n s scat t er ed l i k e sal t l i k e d i am o n d s i l l u m i n at i n g a co r r i d o r f o r a j agged , h u r r i ed p r ay er r aci n g f o r a b l ack h o l e, o h so d eep , d eep en o u gh t o sw al l ow al l t h i s gr i ef .

O r i gi n al l y ap p ear ed i n C at h ex i s N o r t h w est , Feb r u ar y 20 21

A r tw or k : A l ber t Rock

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I T h r ew a Ro ck t o D i st u r b Yo u r Peace L ea Rabar on I th r ew a r ock d ow n by th e r i ver w i th y ou r n am e on i t , en gr aved i n si lver ? t r ee. N ot sh i n y l i ke st er l i n g, bu t gr een i sh l i ke y ou r sk i n w h en y ou ch ased th e r ai n bow f i sh u n d er th e t i n ge of t h e m u r k y w at er .

I t san k , th e sam e w ay y ou d i d , bu t bett er becau se I ex p ect ed i t t o, an d n ever d i d i t r ol l back u p on sh or e. I w i sh y ou cou l d h ave seen m e th r ow th e r ock , d ow n by th e r i ver .

T h e toss w as f or cef u l , th e l au n ch w as bi tter , becau se y ou alw ay s cl ai m ed to be th e bett er sw i m m er . Bu t w h en t h e cu r r en t s r ose, I saw y ou v an i sh an d go u n d er , w i t h t h e an gel f i sh . You w er e n ot t h e bett er sw i m m er ; y ou w er e th e bet ter si ster , an d al l I h ave l ef t i s t h i s r ock th at I th r ew, d ow n by th e r i ver .

Previously published in the 19 th Edition of AX I S Creative Arts M agazine

A r tw or k : Bobbo By r n es

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A M an C al l ed C o l o r H ay l ey Stod d ar d At a l i ttl e, d u st y gas st at i on t u cked aw ay i n a t ow n cal l ed Si lver f or k , t h er e w as a m an w h o sol d ti e d y e. T h ey w er e i m p ossi bl e to m i ss, t h ese p oly ch r om at i c r i ot s, ex p l od i n g cobal t, cattl ey a, jasp er , an d m i n t r ol l i n g i n th e w i n d , a sh ock agai n st th e gen tl e cl ou d - gr ay of gr an i t e ston e bou l d er s, i n a f or est of d am p en ed gr een p i n es an d tan d i r t r oad s. H i s w i d e f l ags of col or h u n g h i gh f l ap p i n g on th e PVC stan d , sp i r al s of w i l d ver m i l i on , ver d i gr i s, an d bi tter sw eet or an ge w r ap p i n g, m el t i n g, sp l ash i n g i n acci d en t al ti ti an acr oss t - sh i r ts, t an k t op s, sh or ts, sh eet s, sock s, ban d an as, scr u n ch i es. Ever y y ear w e saw h i m as w e d r ove u p th e h i l l to th e l ake, t o col l ect ou r su m m er ou t f i ts f r om h i s w ar es, ou r f avor i t e tr ad i ti on . H e k n ew al l ou r n am es, saved h i s best p i eces f or u s, h i s ch eek y sm i l e sp ar k l i n g as h e f l i r t ed w i th m y m oth er , an d I d o th i n k h e l oved h er a l i t tl e. Sh e l au gh ed an d f l i r t ed back , bu t w ou l d n ever bel i eve h e l i ked h er , even as h e w i n ked at h er w i t h i ceber g bl u e ey es an d gave u s f ar m or e t h an w e p ai d f or , jok i n g th at th ey m u st be sou l m at es w i t h si m i l ar l ast n am es, h er Ray to h i s W r ey. I can ?t f or get t h ose ey es, as gen tl e an d u n assu m i n g as th e sk y, t h i s sw eet , sm i l i n g, r ecover i n g al coh ol i c w i t h a l on g br ow n p on y tai l , h an d s r ou gh an d stai n ed w i t h d y e f r om w r ap p i n g l i ttl e cl ot h bu n d l es w i t h r u bber ban d s, soaked th r ou gh w i th h i s m agi c. O n e y ear , h e w asn ?t t h er e w h en w e d r ove p ast . A n d th en an oth er . A n d an oth er . Fi ve. T h en ten . W e n ever f ou n d ou t w h er e h e w en t , or w h at h ap p en ed to h i m . I t w as so st r an ge, t h e d ay I r eal i zed I ?d n ever see h i m agai n . Bu t ever y t i m e I d r i ve p ast th at gas stat i on , m y ey es st i l l see sp l ash es of col or f l oat i n g th er e, t h e w ay y ou r ey el i d s st i l l car r y sp l ash es of f i r e af ter star i n g t oo l on g i n to th e su n .

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A r tw or k : Con stan ce M cCoy


A r tw or k : M i a H ol ber g

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Sh e T au gh t Yo u t o Fal l A sl eep Ev en W h en Ex ci t ed Sar a Pr i m o Sh e h as a book of p h ot ogr ap h s sh e cal l s People I D on?t Want to Lose. I d on ?t w an t t o be l ost ei th er . So I ask h er w h at sh e l oves abou t m e, to p u t m e on a m ap . Sh e say s, ?You r l au gh . A n d h ow y ou ?r e w i l l i n g to l ay i t d ow n .? I t m i gh t h ave been a test . Sh e st i l l p asses. A n d w h at d o I l ove abou t h er ? Becau se i t i s sacr i l ege i n ou r f am i ly to say t h at w h at I l ove m ost i s al r ead y gon e, I k n ow I am su p p osed t o ch oose som eth i n g th at w i l l st ay t r u e n o m at ter w h at . N ot h er sh ar p br ai n ; n ot w h at sh e d oes w i th w h at I ?ve sai d , w h er e sh e takes m y i d eas, h ow sh e keep s m e toget h er . I am su p p osed to say sh e i s a bal l of l i gh t . Sh e i s l ove. Bu t I br eak f r om m y f am i ly an d m ou r n , star t i n g n ow, w h at ?s al r ead y gon e. Real ly w h at I l oved h ad to d o w i t h a sp ar k . A su bver si ve n on sen se d r i ve f or sh en an i gan s. W h en I sm oked a ci gar et t e on h er bi r t h d ay th i s p ast A p r i l , I k n ew ol d h er w ou l d h ave l oved i t as a n ew tr ad i t i on . Ru l e- br eak i n g w i t h n o on e w atch i n g. ?L et?s r ol l d ow n th e w i n d ow s,? sh e h ad excl ai m ed i n th e car as a t een ager beh i n d th e w h eel , m ak i n g i t i n t o t h e w i l d est i d ea. I r em em ber the on e ti m e sh e cam e d ow n st ai r s an d asked , ?D o y ou w an t t o p l ay M y L i t tl e Pon i es or som eth i n g?? I m agi n e bei n g seven

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w i t h a si x teen - y ear - ol d si ster . I m agi n e h av i n g w on th e l ot ter y th e on e ti m e sh e w an t ed to p l ay w i th y ou . I m agi n e th at sh e h as a p er m an d w ear s ey el i n er even th ou gh i t?s n ot al l ow ed . I m agi n e sh e can d r i ve sti ck sh i f t an d takes col l ege- l evel m at h at th e u n i ver si t y on W ed n esd ay n i gh ts. I m agi n e h er p i er ced ear s. T h er e i s n o on e w i th m or e statu s i n y ou r h ear t . I m agi n e Ch r i stm as Eve, w h en y ou get to sl eep on th e secon d tr u n d l e bed m at tr ess u su al ly r eser ved f or h er f r i en d s sl eep i n g over . Sh e teach es y ou to f al l asl eep even w h en exci ted , by n ot m ov i n g y ou r bod y even w h en y ou w an t to. T h i n gs ch an ge i n col l ege. H er f r i en d s ar e d evoted to y ou an d sh e som eh ow f ol l ow s th ei r l ead . You sl eep over an d ar e tr eat ed w i th i n ter est an d th ey w r i t e y ou l ett er s w i t h sti cker s. You r f eel i n gs ar e h u r t w h en y ou w at ch h er as a n ew m om . Sh e i s so ten d er an d so p r esen t. You ?ve n ot m et th i s ver si on of h er , d i d n ?t k n ow i t w as i n h er . A n d w h er e th e f u ck w as i t w h en y ou cou l d h ave u sed i t back i n 1987. W h en y ou n an n y f or y ou r n i ece h er f i r st su m m er , y ou r ol l er bl ad e f or h ou r s an d y ou r si ster w or r i es l i ke a m om ; sh e?s i r r i tated . You ?r e th e teen ager n ow, i n y ou r m i d - tw en ti es.


Sh e v i si t s y ou r ap ar t m en t i n N YC an d i t?s r eal f r i en d sh i p . Sh e m ay h ave even sai d on t h e cou ch th at y ou ar e h er best f r i en d . N ow th at y ou k n ow y ou ?r e n ot gr ow i n g u p t o be h er , y ou ?r e i n t er ested i n al l t h ese w ay s y ou t u r n ou t to be sep ar ate. T w o l i n es n ot d i ver gi n g on a ch ar t . Sh e d oesn ?t w an t to be r ad i cal ; sh e w an t s a f ai r ly cl assi c su bu r ban l i f e w h er e sh e l ead s th e n ei gh bor h ood i n an an n u al East er egg h u n t. T h i s d i sap p oi n t s y ou u n ti l i t d oesn ?t h ave t o. H er h ai r i s so st r ai gh t an d sm oot h an d n ever i n a p on y tai l . You ju st w an t to bor r ow i t f or a w h i l e, to w ear i t i n a m essy t op k n ot. Sh e l ear n s h ow t o be d evoted to y ou . Sh e r ep en ts h er d ead beat f i r st ten y ear s of y ou r l i f e; th e gr u d gi n g baby si t ter y ear s. Sh e becom es y ou r p l u s on e i n l i f e, th e p er son y ou cal l i n th e sp ace betw een t h i n gs. Sh e h el p s y ou m ake sen se of y ou r l i f e. I n th i s al l , sh e begi n s t o see y ou as a d i f f er en t sp eci es f r om h er sel f , an d on e sh e l i kes. So w h en y ou cal l af t er y ou r th ir d m i scar r i age, d i sast r ou sly h u n gover af t er a n i gh t of d esp ai r bou r bon , sh e n u r ses y ou r br u i sed h ear t. Sh e i s f er oci ou s i n n ot l etti n g y ou h at e y ou r sel f . Sh e i s t h e ten d er est . M on t h s l ater , on th e p or ch i n M ai n e, t h e su m m er of h er d i vor ce, ever y on e

sh el l - sh ocked , sh e l ay s u n d er a f l eece bl an ket w atch i n g f or sh ooti n g star s an d m ar vel s ou t l ou d at y ou r gr ace. I t sti l l m ean s th e w or l d to y ou th at sh e?d see y ou th at w ay, as y ou tr y to f i gu r e ou t h ow to take car e of h er , l on g bef or e i t even got com p l i cated . I ?ll k n ow h ow to take car e of h er f ar t h er al on g. I k n ow h ow to sh ow a gr an d m a sh e?s sti l l bel oved , an d I ?ll take h er to th e beach an d h ol d h er h an d . Bu t m ean w h i l e, w h o d o I cal l i n th e car , betw een th i n gs. W h o i s goi n g to p u t th e gu ar d r ai l s ar ou n d al l th e d i f f er en t th i n gs car een i n g ar ou n d . W h o w i l l tel l m e to stop ask i n g w h at?s n or m al . W h o w i l l be m y p ar t n er i n cop i n g as ou r p ar en ts f ad e bu t r em ai n , star t i n g m u l ti p l e w ater gl asses an d l eav i n g th em al l ar ou n d th e h ou se. W h en p eop l e Googl e ?Si st er Ear ly O n set ,? I w an t som eth i n g to com e up ot h er th an th e tw o m i d d l e- aged si ster s i n th e U K w h o l i ve toget h er n ow i n a cot tage an d al l th e sw eet sacr i f i ces an d v i d eo bl ogs. I w an t th ese googl er s to see th e w or st p ar t too. T h e p ar t w h er e I or gan i zed a l i f e ar ou n d th e i d ea of a d u o. Sh e l ear n ed to l ove m e an d I l ear n ed to be m y ow n p er son . A n d n ow I ?ll h ave to bel i eve bot h ar e tr u e l on g af ter I h ave p r oof of ei th er .

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W h at Yo u L eav e B eh i n d L i sa D el an a gh o st o n t h e m at t r ess f u zz i n t h e l i n t t r ap t h e w i n d b et w een w o r d s a w at ch b i r t h d ay car d s i n a f i l e a C ov i d b o o st er i ce m el t i n g i n a St ar b u ck s cu p a cl o set f u l l o f h an ger s y o u r m o t h er 's ey es i n m y f ace a cr ack ed i Ph o n e t h e ach e o f al l t r av el er s w h o se h o m e i s f l eet i n g a p eck at b ed t i m e an u n eat en k n i sh a so l i t ar y d r u m st i ck an d a t r ov e o f st o r i es I can n o t t el l .

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A r t w o r k : W h i t m an C r ai g


V i o l et N ei gh b o r h o o d Ky l ee W eb b I. T h er e?s a v i o l et n ei gh b o r h o o d w h er e I d ar e n o t go . Ev er y t i m e I p ass by, t h e w i n d f i l t er s t h r o u gh m y ear . I t w h i r l s ar o u n d m y cr an i u m , t h en p et er s o u t t h e o t h er si d e. I t w h i sp er s o f t em p t at i o n , o f l i l ac h ed o n i sm . o f l av en d er ad u l t er y. N o n e o f w h i ch i s m o r e p al at ab l e i n p u r p l e. II. T h er e?s a v i o l et n ei gh b o r h o o d w h er e h e r esi d es. Ev er y t i m e I p ass by, m y k n ees t u r n t o ch ow d er . H e b o o m s f r o m h i s w i n d ow , h i s v o i ce a p o u n d i n g d r u m . H e scr eech es o f l ?ap p el d u v i d e, o f l at i n p h r ases. o f l azy sen su al i t y. I p r o t ect m y scar l et h u e at al l co st s.

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A r tw or k : K at h l een Ph al en Tom asel l i

III. T h er e's a v i o l et n ei gh b o r h o o d w h er e t h e f i r es co m e l i ck i n g. Ev er y t i m e I p ass by, M y ey eb r ow s h i ss. H e cr ack l es l i k e b aco n . H e r eek s o f st al e ci gar et t es. I cr y / l au gh ab o u t i r o n y, A b o u t f i ck l e f ai t h f u l n ess. A b o u t f i ck l e ch an ce. T h e v i o l et n ei gh b o r h o o d p r ov es i t ?s n o p h o en i x .

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A r tw or k : D i l l an L ad n er

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Per co l at o r Stacy Pen d er gr ast I n t h e ju n k sh op , i t sh i n es at m e. A n el ect r i c p er col at or cof f ee p ot. "St i l l w or k s! $25,? t h e h an d w r i tt en tag sh ou t s. I h ear a n oi se f r om f ar aw ay ? a gu r gl i n g p ot on a stove f r om m y ch i l d h ood k i t ch en . Back w h en M ot h er w as M am a. I con ju r e a m om en t i n t h at p er col at or k i tch en , on e t h at r ep l ay s w h en ever I r ecal l th at r oom . M ama and D addy hug. T hey kiss, their lips lingering. M ama?s back is to me, but I can see D addy?s fluttering eyelids. H ow ol d w as I ? Tal l en ou gh th at m y ey es ju st cl ear ed th e f au x- w ood l i n ol eu m cou n t er , w h er e M am a ser ved m y n i gh tly p l asti c cu p of m i l k . I t w as t h e ear ly 1960 s, th ose y ear s w h en M am a an d D ad d y w er e m ak i n g babi es. A ti m e of br ew i n g. Per h ap s on th i s r em em ber ed m or n i n g, D ad d y p u t on his br i m m ed h at an d l ef t f or w or k . M ay be M am a d r op p ed a w h i t e sacch ar i n p i l l i n t o h er cof f ee cu p , th en t u r n ed t o th e baby bot tl es boi l i n g on t h e stove. M ay be I backed n oi sel essly aw ay f r om th em to th e y ar d t o m ake m u d p i es w i t h h ose w at er an d d i r t. I h ave n o ot h er m em or y of m y

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p ar en ts k i ssi n g. * ?I t ?s r eal ? n ot a r ep r o,? th e m an beh i n d th e cou n t er say s, jol ti n g m e. I p i ck u p th e p ot, i n sp ect i n g f or f l aw s. I ts cl ear gl ass k n ob gl i n ts i n th e ar ti f i ci al l i gh t. I r em em ber h ow a p er col ator w or k s. I t p u m p s i ts d ar k l i qu i d u p , l i gh ti n g u p i ts bu bbl e- top , an d p u l ses w i th i ts steam y sou n d : wish- dunk, wish- dunk. I op en m y w al l et. * ?I bou gh t a v i n tage p er col at or tod ay," I tel l M ot h er on th e p h on e, a th ou san d m i l es aw ay. D oes an y on e say l on g- d i stan ce an y m or e? M ot h er an d I of ten ch at abou t ou r p u r ch ases, som eti m es p r od u cts ou r gr ocer y stor es car r y ? a br an d of gl ass- bottl ed w ater or a r ar e br eed of p otato. Som eti m es w e br ag abou t ju n k- sal e f i n d s. A f ter sh e tel l s m e I p ai d too m u ch f or th e p ot? th at sh e can f i n d a ch eap er on e on eB ay ? h er qu est i on s com e tu m bl i n g: W h en w er e p er col ator s i n ven ted ? W h at w as t h e best k i n d ? W h y ar en ?t th ey ar ou n d an y m or e?


"Googl e i t ,? sh e say s, or d er i n g m e. M oth er w an t s h er qu est i on s to be m y qu esti on s. ?W h at d o I n eed t o k n ow abou t an ol d cof f ee p ot ?? I ask , an ed ge i n m y voi ce. ?H ow to u se i t , w h at ?s bett er abou t i t ? O l d i s alw ay s bet t er ,? sh e qu i p s. H er p h on e bat t er y i s d y i n g, sh e say s. Sh e m u st go. Sh e con ven i en t ly get s t h e l ast w or d . M y cel l p h on e cl i ck s of f , an au d i o ju m p - cu t t o n ot h i n gn ess. I m i ss t h at on e- n ot e d i al t on e w e u sed to h ear , a d r on e t h at absor bs a p er son ?s ex i t. A f ew h ou r s l at er , I get an em ai l f r om M ot h er . T h er e i s an attach m en t , a p h oto of a squ atty - l ook i n g t i n p ot, a vessel l ack i n g t h e st y l e of t h e con tai n er I ?d ju st bou gh t.

?T h i s i s l i ke th e on e w e u sed to h ave,? h er on e- l i n e m essage r ead s. I sk i p over th e gap betw een ou r tw o i m agi n at i on s of a k i tch en i t em f r om ou r sh ar ed p ast. I p i ct u r e M ot h er , l ean i n g i n t o h er com p u t er , h er w i r y gr ey h ai r i l l u m i n ated by th e bl u e scr een . Sh e squ i n ts at f u zzy i m ages, sear ch i n g f or a p i ctu r e of an object f r om ou r l i ves f i f ty y ear s ago. I w on d er w h at goes th r ou gh h er m i n d , w h at sh e f eel s, w h o an d w h at sh e w i sh es sh e sti l l h ad . Som et i m es M ot h er ?s qu est i on s ar e m y qu esti on s. Som eti m es m y qu esti on s ar e ju st m i n e. I k n ow w e w on ?t? can?t?? tal k abou t th em . Bu t w h at I k n ow : T h e i m age M oth er sh ar es of a l on g- ago object i s h er w ay of p u tti n g h er h an d on m i n e.

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A r tw or k : Jen i f er Fox

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i n t est at e d ebor a Ew i n g th e sou n d of m y h ai r br u sh i n g agai n st t h e cu r t ai n i s th e sam e as a ket t l e p u t on an d f or got i n t h e k i tch en bu t on e i s p r ep ar at i on an d on e i s u r gen cy tw o w or d s on m y ar m w ai t f or m e t o qu esti on p asser s- by I w r i te t h em on l egal p ap er scr atch i n g ou t t h e ey es of each l i n e p l an s w i t h er ed bef or e th ey f r u i t bl i n d w ai ti n g i s f or m i cat i on even th e an t s ar en ?t r eal th e sou n d of a bi r d on w i n t er ?s br an ch ou t si d e m y w i n d ow i s th e sam e as t h e sou n d of a bear i n g i n m y t r an sm i ssi on bu t on e i s p r ep ar at i on an d on e i s u r gen cy

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A r tw or k : M ar y M or gan

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A r tw or k : Geor ge L Stei n

Doors The following works are the winners of our 250-word Doors-themed creative writing challenge!

D oor Ch i sel M cFar l an d T h e on e t o m y r oom . T h e on e th at h ad bl u e d u ct tap e on i t. T h e on e th at ch an ged . T h e on e th at m y D ad sw u n g op en v i ol en tly to w ake m e u p f or sch ool . T h e on e th at I sw u n g cl osed v i ol en tly w h en I w as i m p l od i n g. T h e on e I d i d n ?t sl am an y m or e af t er th at, becau se I got i n so m u ch t r ou bl e. A n d , becau se w h en I h ear d h ow l ou d th e sl am w as, I f el t bad . T h e on e m y M om op en ed sl ow ly w h en m y h ead w as sh oved i n to m y p i l l ow. T h e on e m y l i tt l e si st er op en ed ti m i d ly becau se sh e d i d n ?t w an t t o bot h er m e. T h e on e I sh ou l d h ave l ef t op en , to sh ow m y l i tt l e si st er , sh e d oesn ?t bot h er m e at al l .

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A r tw or k : Pau l K r am er W ater s

T o d ay, T h e D o o r I s O p en Rau l H er r er a T h er e ar e th ose w h o l eave t h ei r scu f f s on th e f l oor boar d s an d som e w h o com e to d o gr eat p atch w or k . A f ew w h o r ef u se to v acat e. Rar ely d o w e f i n d a good r oom m at e. Som et i m es w e bu i l d h om es i n sel f - d estr u cti on an d som et i m es w e bu r y t h e m oon i n th e back y ar d . Tod ay, th e d oor i s op en t o w h at ever y ou i n v i te. T h e p i g w i t h m u tton ch op s. Ceci l i a an d h er f avor i te p en , even y est er d ay ?s sh ad ow. D o n ot l et an ap ol ogy becom e a d oor h an d l e. L et y ou r p ast alw ay s be a p ost car d aw ay. B ar r i cad e th e bom b ti ck i n g i n t h e t r ee tr u n k of y o u r tr au m a. D o n ot d estr oy t h i s n ew h om e, too. M ake n o m or e r oom f or f ai l u r es. Ev i ct th e p eop l e y ou p r ef er as st r an ger s an d say to th ose w h o d em an d y ou stay i n si d e: H ello old enemies I love your disguise. Tod ay th e d oor i s op en to w h atever y ou i n v i t e an d l et y ou r f u tu r e gu est s en ter w i t h a gen tl e boom .

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Si n i st er v i o l et o f t h e d r eam - f l o o r T . M . Ch al k I cou l d n ot w ai t to sl eep an d sl i p t h r ou gh th e d r eam - d oor . Each n i gh t, th e cr eak an d w h i n e of th e d r eam - d oor m y f oot , an gelw i n g, scar cely above th at f i n e, f r en et i c ear th . T h er e?s a car p et of v i ol et s w r ack i n g t h e d r eam - f l oor . I s it I who treads through the violet? I , sm al l p ar t of al l sof tn ess, sm al l p et al ! I , som e sm al l w om an i n t h e v i ol et sof tl i n ess? Each n i gh t , bey on d th ese d r eam - v i ol ets, th e an gel 's gar d en i s i t I , si n i st er sof tn ess? T h er e's a t r ead u p on th e v i ol et th er e, l oom i n g sh ap e d i scer n ed ou t si d e t h i s qu i et v i ol et, see! th e gar d en 's i t s f r esh , d ecei v i n g m ean s I s it I , petal? N o bi r d s si n g h er e i n t h e st on e- an gel 's gar d en . Bey on d al l sof tn ess, on ly th i s gr eat , ap p ear i n g d r eam - h ou se! ou t th r ou gh t h e d r eam - d oor n o sk y i n t er r u p ti n g th i s con cep t of th e l i m i tl ess! O n ly t h i s gr eat , em p ty gar d en - h ou se t h at m u st d r eam i ly be st eal i n g i n t o m y sof t ey es f u l l of sl eep h ow i t r at t l es t h e sp or es r i sen f r om ai r or an gel - ear t h !

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A n d on ly I , sm al l p etal , to 'h ol d th e si gh t t h i s sol e season ! as v i ol et s r i d e r am bu n cti ou s th r ou gh t h e d i f f i d en t sn ow. I s i t I , th at f el t a gr eat m ovem en t, sou l 's tr em or t h at ' w aked th e sl eep i n g d r eam - f l oor ? U n t h i n k ably I h ear a tr ead u p on th e gr eat sof t v i ol et, gr eat sp el l of th e ear th ! y et i t i s I w h o can n ot sl eep ? I , sm al l p etal , w h o d r eam s of th e d r eam - d oor , f or n o bi r d s si n g h er e, acr oss t h e gr eat v i ol et ear th or i n th e sof tl i n ess of t h e an gel 's gar d en .

A r tw or k : Eszter Tak acs

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A Pictur e I s Wor th a T housand Wor ds... W e i n v i ted ou r r ead er s to w r i te p oem s i n sp i r ed by th i s p h ot o, taken by Stu ar t Ter m an .

M r . Ter m an cal l s th e p h oto, "Au gu st Bou qu et", an d tel l s u s: while driving, I thankfully avoided hitting this plant that was quietly greeting people rushing by, likely 'planted by mother nature'. W himsical picture that I stopped to take before just continuing on my way home. Ter m an i s a p h y si ci an , p r ev i ou sly on th e O p h th al m ol ogy staf f of th e Cl evel an d V.A . H osp i tal , as w el l as sever al ar ea h osp i tal s an d h i s O p h th al m ol ogy p r acti ce f or m an y y ear s. H e h as h ad ar ti cl es i n a n u m ber of m ed i cal , p l asti c su r ger y an d p ed i at r i c jou r n al s, an d i n ad d i ti on , sever al p u bl i sh ed l i ter ar y w or k s i n p ast ed i ti on s of Bey on d W or d s M agazi n e. H e i s n ow r et i r ed . You w i l l f i n d a sel ecti on of cr eati ve w r i ti n g based on Ter m an 's August Bouquet i n th e n ex t p ages.

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A M ean i n gf u l B l o o m San L i n T u n I f i n d y ou r gaze l eav i n g m e sp eech l ess f or gr eeti n gs, I am ju st st an d i n g besi d e th e h i gh w ay ?s cu r b. M y su r v i val m i gh t be qu i zzi cal to y ou , Esp eci al ly, t h er e i s n o com p an i on besi d e m e.

Bu t, I bel i eve i n m y sel f th ou gh I am ju st a si m p l e, sm al l en ti ty, I am n ot ju st f or p i ck i n g u p or ad or n i n g, I k n ow t h at I h ave str en gt h to r esi st an y th i n g i n m y w ay, I w i l l gr ow u p an d su r v i ve.

M y p r esen ce i s to sh ow : h ow p r et t y I am , h ow r esi l i en t I am , h ow br i gh t m y l i tt l e p etal s?y el l ow col or i s.

I am ju st a n on en ti ty. Bu t, m y bl oom i s to say : l i ve f u l ly, br eat h e f r eely.

You r ex i sten ce w i l l be v al u abl e, A n d r ecogn i zabl e, N o m at t er w h er e y ou ar e, W h er e y ou gr ow as i n si gn i f i can t ly as y ou can be.

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H o p e o n t h e Si d e o f t h e Ro ad Patr i ci a Can n on D an d el i on s gr ow i n g i n si d e a cr ack w h er e t h e asp h al t m eets cem en t aw aken h op e i n si d e m e as I w al k u n d er a gr ay an d f or ebod i n g sk y. T h e y el l ow f l ow er s ar e a cl u st er of su n s t h at d r aw m e i n to a ch i l d h ood m em or y w h en I w or e th em l i ke n eck l aces an d bl ew t h ei r f l u f f y w h i t e m oon s i n t o a st or m of sh i m m er i n g star s. N ow, I t h i n k of al l t h e h eal i n g p r op er ti es i n si d e t h i s p ack age d el i ver ed by n atu r e as m y f i n ger s f eel t h e ou t l i n e of i t s l eaves w h i ch ar e sh ap ed l i ke l i on 's t eet h ! T h i s l i t t l e p l an t t h at t h r i ves i n an i n h osp i tabl e sp ace, w h i ch som e p eop l e w ou l d d i sm i ss as a com m on w eed , i n sp i r es m e t o p r ess on i n m y jou r n ey t h r ou gh f ear an d u n cer t ai n ty.

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D r eam Sow er A m y Jasek T h e d r eam ti p t oed th r ou gh m y r oom at n i gh t p eek i n g f r om betw een cl oset sl ats w h i l e I sl ep t sp r i n k l i n g seed s th at I p i cked u p m or n i n g af t er m or n i n g, h al f aw ake, h al f absen t on e f oot on ei th er si d e of th e m oon l i gh t h al f f or gett i n g m y d ai ly h ar vest f r om sl eep's p l an tat i on u n t i l l on gi n g n i bbl ed a h ol e i n m y p ocket an d w i t h each step of m i n e d ow n th e r oad m ad e m e an u n con sci ou s sow er p l an t i n g l i tt l e bi ts of h op e al on g th e w ay t o t ake r oot, sp r i n g u p , an d r em i n d m e l ater h ow d r eam s alw ay s m an age to f i n d a w ay

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t h er e w i l l b e p r o gr ess, y o u 'l l see L i z Bax m ey er I t seem s as i f t h e r oad ah ead i s bar r en , a si d ew al k , cr acked an d w or n ben eat h can t an ker ou s sk i es, l i ke t h i s n ew r eal i t y y ou ?ve been gi ven , so voi cel ess an d f r agi l e com p ar ed t o w h at i t on ce w as.

Bu t on an ot h er d ay n ot f ar f r om n ow, r ay s of i n can d escen t su n w i l l f i n d a w ay t o eke ou t ear th ?s tr easu r es; gol d en bl oom s f r om bl ack cr ev i ces, an d st r an d s of sh i m m er i n g em er al d h ai r w i l l p ave t h e p ath u n d er f oot, an d y ou r f al l s sh al l be sof ter f or th ei r d esi r e t o en d u r e agai n st al l n at u r e?s od d s.

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W i sh M ar i am Sai d an I t st ar t s w i t h a m ove. A baby m ove. N o i n t er ven ti on . N o f at h er , r el ati ves. A p au se. A sh or t on e. T h i s baby w on ?t n eed to be w ean ed . I m m or t al , i t com es w i t h a f eed i n g m ach i n e an d a gu n (on ly f or d ef en ce, of cou r se). T h i s baby i s col ou r . M el od y. N ot a br eath i n g l eg, h ead . I t p l an t s m y h an d s an d w at er s m y l i p s, car ef u l an d gen er ou s, i t seem s. A bal l of l i gh t th r ou gh m y th r oat d ow n a f l i gh t of stai r s i n t o m y toes. I ?d n ever h ave m i n d ed br east f eed i n g. I t t al k s t o m e: ?Ri se to th e su n , d r ow n th i s w h ol e tow n an d take m e w i t h i t , i t ?ll be f u n m oth er i n g m e th i s m agn i f i cen t , y et - t o- be- bor n W i sh .?

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Gi r l w o r (l )d Ju l i e Ben esh Been ever y ver si on of th at gi r l : f i r st as an u r ch i n I 'd , f u r ti ve, tw i r l a cu r l of h ai r an d p oke i t i n m y ear : w ei r d an d i m p u r e. N er d , cu r m u d geon , h er m i t , l u r k i n g jer k , w or k i n g on cu r bi n g, p u r gi n g h er absu r d est qu i r k s, bu t f or t h t h ey bu r st , m ak i n g i t w or se. I 've l ear n ed (an d l ear n ed an d l ear n ed ) i t's best t o sp u r n atten ti on , l est I h u r l , i n sp i r i n g y ou r so- cal l ed m er cy - m u r d er s, or i n cu r som e ot h er , si m i l ar , f am i l i ar , cu r ses. So th ou gh I 'm ver bal , i f n ot ver bose, n o ver ses (p l u r al ) I 've u n f u r l ed h ave gon e v i r al or cu r r i ed an y f avor abl e f u r or l et al on e com m er ci al f er vor , an d I r em ai n an d ever r etu r n , al er t, i n t h at aw k w ar d sp i r al of w or d s h ear d an d u n h ear d . So I en d u r e y ou r u r gen t bu r d en s as th at h u r d l i n g, h u r l i n g, h u r t- l i n g gi r l : ar d en t , l ear n ed , u n d eter r ed by th ose bu r n i sh ed p u r gator i es of y ou r m ak i n g

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Si d ew al k Fl ow er s L au r en M i l l er Ch r y san t h em u m s gr ow t h r ou gh t h e cr ack s i n t h e si d ew al k , an d I th ou gh t t h ey w er e beau t i f u l ? l i ke h er ? u n ti l I step p ed on a d ead bee w i t h th e sol e of m y f oot, bar e l i ke u n p ai n ted w al l s. Bees can st i l l st i n g y ou even af t er d eat h . I d r aw h er cu r l s w i t h bl u sh col or ed p en ci l s, th e k i n d y ou can er ase w i th bu t n ever f u l ly er ases, an d th en I sp r i t z t h e p ap er w i t h th e l aven d er p er f u m e sh e sai d sh e l i ked w h en I w or e i t t h at on e ti m e, an d ever y t i m e af t er . M y h an d s sh ake w h en I get to th e cr escen t m oon cu r ve of h er h i p s, an d m y f oot i s sl at h er ed w i t h bak i n g sod a an d w at er , an d th er e ar e ch r y san t h em u m s i n a v ase on m y d esk . Sh e m akes m e w an t t o si n g Fr en ch l ove son gs even th ou gh I d on ?t sp eak t h e l an gu age, so i n stead I p r act i ce d r aw i n g sh ad ow s i n sh ad es of ver m i l l i on , bu t th e sh ad ow s l ook on ly l i ke h er si l h ou et te i n su n sh i n e. I can see t h e r oof of h er h ou se f r om m i n e, an d I u sed to f i n d f ou r l eaf cl over s an d t el l m y sel f th ey m ean t th at sh e w as th i n k i n g of m e, too. Bu t I step p ed on bees getti n g to h er h ou se y ester d ay, an d m y d r aw i n g i s sm u d ged becau se I can on ly d r aw h er w i th m y l ef t h an d . I m ad e a r ai n bow w i t h m y p en ci l sh av i n gs. T h ey ar e i n t h e t r ash n ow, bu t I sti l l sm el l l i ke l aven d er an d si d ew al k f l ow er s.

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A r tw or k : M atty H ei m gar tn er

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M ad e a M ar k I an L ax an ol d em br oi d er ed cou ch , h e sat st ai n ed jean s an d a ci gar ett e gl asses cr ooked , ben t L azy ey e an d a bl an k star e a sh el l sh ocked sol d i er or i s i t th e u n com p r eh en d i n g gaze of t h e com atose H e an d I ar en 't so d i f f er en t both of u s f l esh , bl ood , an d w i t h ou t m ed i cati on w e ar e h ar d ly h u m an som eti m es l i gh t n i n g str i kes tw i ce m y m oth er 's br oth er an d h er son a v i ct i m to i l l n esses f r om th e h an d s of a cr azed Z eu s I w on d er w h at i t m u st be l i ke t o l ose som eon e tw i ce an d i f i t com es easi er w h en y ou ar e con d i ti on ed t o l et go

A r tw or k : Ch r i s D 'Er r i co

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M ar o o n ed D i ck A l tm an

A r tw or k : A r ati Red d y - D evl i n

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A r tw or k : A l ex x M ay es

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Sh e sl i p s on h er h ap p i n ess jean s ? h er h ap p i n ess sw eat er ? i n th e m i r r or ? h er h ap p i n ess f ace l au gh t er f i n i sh es th e l ook ? i t l et s h er w or k a r oom ? th e w or l d ? as i f bor n to i t ? an d n ot el sew h er e elsewhere?s h er sel f - m ad e i sl an d of on e ? sh ar k- r i d d l ed / squ al l - r aked m et ap h or ? cu t of f f r om m e/ al l th ose ar ou n d m e t i d es r i p / l ash th e sh or e ? sh e tr i es to sw i m / escap e ? on ly to be th r ow n back ? sh e p aces t h e san d ? su n l ost i n cl ou d s?u n d er tow d ay s/ w eek s p ass ? som et i m es season s ? u n ti l on e m or n i n g ? y ou r l i p s ? p ai n t ed i n l au gh t er ? n av i gate seas to m i n e w h er e h ave y ou been ? w h en I w ake y ou ? h ow d i d y ou su r v i ve th e cr ossi n g ? w h o w i l l y ou be w h en y ou r ey es op en to m i n e t h e m y st er y ? w i t h each su n r i se ? r ep eats I l ay a h an d on y ou r sh ou l d er ? bu t n ot bef or e I st u d y ser en i ty ?s f ace ? i t s f r agi l e p eace aw ar e ? over th e h or i zon ? elsewhere i sl an d s i n a cl ou d ban k of sl eep ? si n gi n g/ beckon i n g/ u n y i el d i n g ? to an y ly r i c of m i n e

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A l l th e A p r i l s to Com e D an a Fol ey I n th e f i r st y ear , gr een v i n es gr ow l u sh on t h e br i ck ou t si d e an d en gu l f t h e f i r e escap e. You catch sp i d er s, r el easi n g t h em ou t t h e w i n d ow an d w e w atch th em f l oat aw ay l i ke seed s cau gh t i n a br eeze.

I t i s al l m y h ear t can take t o see y ou r ey es f l u t t er sh u t i n t h e T V scr een l i gh t . To f i n d sl i ver s of y ou r f i n ger n ai l s i n t h e si n k , l i t tl e cr escen t m oon s.

W eek s scu ttl e by as qu i ck ly as a squ i r r el acr oss a t el ep h on e w i r e an d m y m oth er tel l s m e to be car ef u l n ot to tr u st agai n so soon ? an d I t r y.

I am bou n d by r ati on al i ty, an d y et h ear i n g y ou r key tu r n i n th e d oor f eel s t h e sam e as h on ey coati n g m y th r oat.

W e en d u r e th e w i n ter sw al l ow i n g sm al l t easp oon s of t h e w or l d ou t si d e. T h e cei l i n g l eak s. B l u ebel l s gr ow on th e l aw n i n A p r i l . . M y Cath ol i c r oots r em i n d m e t h at f at e can n ot be con t r ol l ed , al t h ou gh cu p p i n g y ou r f ace i n m y p al m s i s as cl ose t o a p r ay er I can m u ster .

I n th e f i r st y ear , I can ?t f i n d t h e cou r age t o ad m i t y et t h at I can h ear al l t h e A p r i l s, al l th e bl u ebel l s to com e p l ead i n g ?

M ake me yours. M ake me yours. M ake me yours.

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A r tw or k : M ar kel l a L ou si d i s

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A r t w o r k : Sam u el B ar t l et t

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Gl i m p ses o f Yo u Ton i Ken i ston T rigger warning: abortion, miscarriage, bleeding I. I n m y d r eam , y ou h ave ch est n u t h ai r t h at h an gs over y ou r f or eh ead st i ck i n g t o a sw eaty br ow. I n m y d r eam , y ou h ave a t oot h y sm i l e w i t h a l i t t l e gap i n t h e f r on t . Sk i n n ed k n ees an d d i r t stai n on y ou r ch eek . You ?r e ol d er th an m y son . A boy, t oo. Sw eet an d n ot y et si x t een . I n m y d r eam , y ou l ove m e; I am y ou r m ot h er , af t er al l . I h el d y ou t h r ou gh ever y stor m an d y ou n u r sed f r om m y br east . I h ave h eal ed ever y w ou n d w i t h a k i ss. Pu cker ed p i n k scar s al l al on g y ou r ol i ve sk i n t o r em i n d u s of al l t h e f al l s w e?ve t aken t oget h er . I n m y d r eam , y ou r i d e y ou r bi ke u p t h e r oad an d I w ave good by e. I t ?s ok ay. Everything is okay. I can l et go n ow. Bu t i n m y d r eam ? n ow m y n i gh t m ar e? y ou n ever com e back .

II. I n r eal i ty, y ou w er e t oo scar y. For som eth i n g so ti n y, n ar y a gr ai n of r i ce, y ou w er e t oo bi g. M y w h ol e l i f e u n f u r l i n g at on ly ei gh teen . W h en I h aven ?t t ast ed l i f e or t ou ch ed t r u e l ove. I n r eal i ty, I h ave n oth i n g t o of f er y ou . I am st i l l a w ou n d ed d au gh t er an d I d on ?t k n ow y et h ow to be a h eal ed m ot h er . I w i l l , som ed ay. I ?m sor r y I cou l d n ?t be f or y ou . I n r eal i ty, y ou ar e r i p p ed f r om m y bod y w h er e y ou w er e saf ely gr ow i n g i n a st er i l e r oom w i th too m an y w i t n esses. I w i l l cl u t ch m y st om ach an d gr i eve f or y ou f or y ear s t o com e. I w i l l d r eam of m y bel ly bei n g cr acked op en l i ke an egg as I p an i c, t r y i n g t o h ol d th e br oken p i eces of m e t oget h er . I n r eal i ty, th e ev i d en ce of y ou i s soaked i n t o m ax i p ad s so t h i ck t h ey cou l d be bl an ket s an d stu f f ed i n to gr ocer y bags so n o on e w i l l ever see. I w on d er i f I w i l l ever see y ou agai n . Becau se at 18, I am su r e y ou ar e goi n g t o h eaven , an d I ? I w i l l su r ely r ot i n h el l .

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I n r eal i ty, y ou ar e th e f i r st m i scar r i age, bl ood p ou r i n g d ow n m y l egs as I sob i n a bath r oom beggi n g f or h el p . I n r eal i ty, y ou ar e th e secon d on e, t oo. T h e baby w e t r i ed f or m on t h s t o con cei ve, gon e w i th a si n gl e cr am p an d t r i p t o t h e bat h r oom . M ay be t h i s i s m y p u n i sh m en t , I t h i n k . Tai n ted . Cu r sed . Bar r en . Bu t th at can ?t be r i gh t becau se t w o beau t i f u l babi es do com e. T h ey ch an ge m y w or l d . Ever y th i n g i s th em . T h ei r t i n y t oes an d t oot h y sm i l es. T h ei r ch est n u t h ai r t h at sti ck s to sw eaty f or eh ead s. I h ol d t h em th r ou gh ever y st or m . I n u r se t h em at m y br east . I h eal ever y w ou n d w i th a k i ss. I l ook at th em an d f eel l i ke a m on st er f or sen d i n g y ou aw ay even i f t h at w as th e best gi f t I cou l d h ave gi ven t o y ou . I n r eal i ty, y ou ar e m y th i r d m i scar r i age. T h en m y f ou r th . I n r eal i ty, I see y ou i n so m an y f aces? I t's ok ay, I th i n k . I t?s been so m an y y ear s an d I am beau t i f u l ly h ap p y. Everything is okay. I can l et go n ow.

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A r tw or k : J. N i kol ou d ak i s

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WRITERS Ed McManis is a writer, editor, erstwhile Head of School, and father—not always in that order. His work has appeared in more than 50 publications, including The Blue Road Reader, California Quarterly, Cathexis, Narrative, Lascaux Review, etc. He, along with his wife, Linda, have published esteemed author Joanne Greenberg’s (I Never Promised You a Rose Garden) latest novel, Jubilee Year. Lea Rabaron is a second-year English major at Miami Dade College, and is currently working towards receiving her AA in English. She is an editor of AXIS Creative Arts Magazine, where she was recently published. She won first place in the Alive in the 305 poetry competition and was awarded the grand prize in the Fredshaw Poetry Contest. Hayley Stoddard lives in Colorado. She completed a Bachelor of Arts in Communications from the University of Colorado. She has been inspired by such writers as Billy Collins, John Keats, Emily Dickinson, William Wordsworth, Anne Lamott, Mary Oliver, and Leonard Cohen. Her work has been seen in or is upcoming in several publications, including Parley Publishing, Oberon, After the Pause, Eris+Eros, Drunk Monkeys, Button Eye Review, Sad Girls Club Lit, Beyond Words Magazine, and Eunoia Review. Sara Primo grew up near Niagara Falls, NY. An educator for twenty years, she now lives in Maine with her family, growing zinnias and running a school. Lisa Delan is classical soprano specializing in American Art Song; performing, recording, and commissioning musical settings of an expansive range of poetry. She has recorded extensively for the Pentatone label and can be heard on Apple Music, Spotify, YouTube, and other streaming platforms. Her own poetry appears in Beyond Words Literary Magazine, Mill Valley Literary Review, Wingless Dreamer, Viewless Wings, Tangled Locks, Cathexis Northwest Press, Lone Mountain Literary Society, The Pointed Circle, and Drunk Monkeys. Kylee Webb (she/her) is Editor in Chief of Last Resort Literary Review and Treehouse Literary Review. She graduated Summa Cum Laude with a major in English from ASU with a double minor in Spanish and Political Science. Her work has appeared in volume three of Allegory Ridge's Archipelago fiction anthology, Maudlin House, Tangled Locks Journal, On the Run, Fatal Flaw Literary Magazine, and will be appearing at Drunk Monkeys and Exposition Review. Stacy Pendergrast writes creative nonfiction, memoir, haiku and haibun, and screenplays. Her work has been featured in Memoir Magazine, Sliver of Stone, Blue Mesa Review, and elsewhere. Currently, she is studying film and TV screenwriting from in the professional studies program at New York University. Artist, writer, freelance editor, poetry peer reviewer for Consilience Journal, and ruiner of peace for the greater good, debora Ewing stands at a crossroads of her own making. Find deb's work at Jerry Jazz Musician, Dodging the Rain, Beyond Words, Shot Glass Journal, ConsiliARTe, and Plainsongs, among others. She blogs at Igneus Press and at debnation.com. Chisel McFarland was born and raised in Central Oregon, and is now in Utah for college. He's a skier, a runner, and a maker upper of things. He's never been published before, but was encouraged by a writing teacher to try it out. He's thankful for the encouragement. Raul Herrera is a Latinx playwright, educator and spoken word artist. His writing is featured in Coiled Serpent published by Tia Chucha Press, Get Lit Rising which is the winner of the 2016 Silver Nautilus Book Award for young adult non-fiction and, in 2017, wrote Dante, a modern Hip-Hop


adaptation of Dante’s Inferno produced by Tim Robbins and The Actor’s Gang Theatre in Culver City. In 2019, Raul was featured as a writer and performer in the film Summertime, directed by Carlos Lopez Estrada, which premiered at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival. T. M. Chalk is an Indian-Canadian writer. She works in the women's rights sector while pursuing her literary and artistic endeavors. San Lin Tun, a Myanmar writer who writes mostly in English and author of over ten English books including his two poetry collections A Shirt and Other Poems and Waves and Other Poems. He is currently a reader for Prism International. Yangon, Myanmar (Burma) is his hometown. Patricia Cannon has been a Registered Nurse at UCSF since 2001. She has worked in cardiac critical care, neuro intensive care, hemeoncology, school nursing, and currently, in research. Her passion is her faith, photography, and the written word in all its forms. Her poetry has appeared in several magazines and books. Film photographer and poetry enthusiast Amy Jasek is based in Texas. When she isn't photographing or writing, she can also be found making cyanotypes, playing the piano, or busily being a mother. Liz Baxmeyer is a writer, musician, and visual artist living in Sacramento, CA, but originally from England. Her words are forthcoming in Wild Roof Journal and BTS Books' Ghostly Challenge Anthology, and her art has been featured in Beyond Words Literary Magazine, WIld Roof Journal, Green House Literary, and more. Mariam Saidan is a Specialist Advocate for Women’s Rights and has worked as a Children’s Rights Advocate, studied Human Rights Law at Nottingham Universality and Creative Writing at Kent University. She was born in London, and has lived in Iran, France, and the UK. She wrote her first journal at 8 years old while travelling with her family in Iran during the Iran-Iraq war. Her most recent publications can be found at ink sweat & tears, The Bombay Review and Literally Stories. Julie Benesh has published work in Tin House, Crab Orchard Review, Florida Review, Another Chicago Magazine, Hobart, JMWW, Maudlin House, New World Writing, Cleaver, Sky Island Journal, and elsewhere, and her chapbook About Time is forthcoming from Cathexis Northwest Press. She is a graduate of Warren Wilson College's MFA Program and recipient of an Illinois Arts Council Grant. Read more at juliebenesh.com. Lauren Miller is a poet, novelist, and teacher who is committed to sharing queer stories with the world. Ian Lax once walked the line of disbelief, writing about his fear. He now finds comfort in truth and healing. You can find him wandering around singing praise with one shoe on. Dick Altman writes in the high, thin, magical air of Santa Fe, NM, where, at 7,000 feet, reality and imagination often blur. He is published in Santa Fe Literary Review, American Journal of Poetry, riverSedge, Fredericksburg Literary Review, Foliate Oak, Blue Line, THE Magazine, Humana obscura, The Offbeat, Haunted Waters Press, Split Rock Review, The RavensPerch, Beyond Words, Sky Island Journal and others here and abroad. A poetry winner of Santa Fe New Mexican’s annual literary competition, he has in progress two collections of some 100 published poems. His work has been selected for the forthcoming first volume of The New Mexico Anthology of Poetry, to be published by the New Mexico Museum Press. Dana Foley (she/her) is an avid writer and reader from Ottawa, Ontario. She received her English degree from Carleton University with a concentration in creative writing in 2021. Her short stories


and poems have been published in Existere Journal of Arts & Literature, Montreal Writes, Coven Editions, and others. Toni Keniston is a BIPOC writer, creator, and coach living in Raleigh, NC with her two wildling children and wonderful husband. By day, she works to help women unleash their creativity and chase down their wildest dreams. By night, she keeps her hands busy with all forms of art and creation. You can usually find her in the craft aisle or at your local Starbucks. She has created and published Modern Divinity Oracle Deck and founded Diabolical Woman™, a coaching modality designed to help creatives turn their passions into their paychecks. In her literary work you can find deeply flawed but quirky characters with a lot to lose and something to prove.

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VISUAL ARTISTS Cover art by Elizabeth Medrano. The world is constantly changing, updating, pruning, and adjusting to the many interferences and barriers. While listening to an internal dialogue with this world, Elizabeth’s collaborators - interactions with the news, relationships, work - bring their own encumbrances to the table demanding her attention and manipulation. This exchange takes her to her studio, which she maintains in SF, to make sense of all these encounters. Albert Rock, The Storm Inside. Albert is an Arizona writer and sometime artist who writes fantasy fiction, children's stories and a blog at www.bertrock.com. He graduated from Arizona State University with a degree in English Literature in 2005. Bobbo Byrnes, White River Junction. Bobbo likes to paint, well, likes to spill paint on a canvas, then watch the colours bleed into one another and become something more, colours and shades that couldn't exist on their own until brought together. Bobbo likes the flung spray and the blown spume of it all. Constance McCoy, Blue Moon #2. Constance McCoy (aka Granny C) is an abstract artist from San Tan Valley, AZ. Constance began her art journey very late in life as a hobby after retirement where she prayed for guidance, inspiration, and maybe a little talent. She is delighted with what she has created thus far because she never thought it possible or even dreamed it and can’t wait to find out where this all leads her. Mia Holberg, Only She Knows. Mia is a junior at Tomball High School. She participates in swimming, water polo, and, of course, AP art & design. Whitman Craig, Cellular Decay. Whitman works as a Facilities and Audio/Visual Coordinator for a Non-Profit in Portland, Oregon. His hobbies include writing, doodling, and absentmindedly strumming the guitar in his spare time. Kathleen Phalen Tomaselli, Border Crossing. Kathleen is an artist living on a small pollinator farm in Northern Maine USA along the New Brunswick Canada border. Her award-winning writing, photography, paintings and sculptures have appeared in newspapers, magazines and international literary magazines. She’s currently juggling several artistic projects while planting buckwheat, sweet peas and barley. Dillan Ladner, do you have games on your phone? Dillan is a first-year MFA candidate at the University of Alabama. They work within the ceramic medium and create intimate, small-scale works that explore playful environments and the interaction between viewer and sculpture. Jenifer Fox, Again. Jenifer is a self-taught watercolor portrait and figurative painter. She began painting in COVID lockdown and has painted over 500 paintings since 2020. She painted herself away from the loneliness she experienced. Mary Morgan, Icing on the Mountain. Mary is an abstract expressionist painter and a former art teacher. Her artwork is about her life's journey that expresses the joy of living through abstract form and color. Mary’s influences include: nature, spiritual truths, family and everyday events. George L Stein is a photographer from northern New Jersey (US) focused on art, street, urban and rural decay, alt/portrait and surreal genres. He has appeared before in Beyond Words as well as in Nunum, Fatal Flaw, Wrongdoing Magazine, and Tofu Ink Arts. Online, georgelstein.com and on insta, @steincapitalmgmt.


Paul Kramer Waters, Doorway Cryin’. Paul works in a variety of media including screen-printing, digital printmaking, public art installations, mixed media collage, found-object assemblage, and mosaic. Eszter Takacs is a visual artist, poet, educator and supportive housing assistant living in Denver. She is a PhD candidate of creative writing and is investigating the sociocultural impact of the #freebritney movement through the lens of docu-poetics. She is the author of the chapbooks The Miraculous Hysterial (H_NGM_N Books) and Together We Will Talk Right Down to Earth (The New Megaphone). Jennifer Costello grew up in Philadelphia. She attended Syracuse University in addition to receiving her M.F.A. from Boston University. She has a strong comprehensive knowledge of the Art Market: Modern and Contemporary Art with diverse and extensive Fine Art experiences such as Operations Manager, Fine Art Consultant, Design Associate, Adjunct Educator at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, and currently sits on the board as President and founding Exhibition Chair for National Association of Women Artists, Inc. MA chapter. Matty Heimgartner, Bella Summer, Watercolor and Ink. Matty is a visual artist and writer based in San Jose, California. His visual art has roots in surrealism, expression, and illustration. The creation process is a therapeutic experience for him. Chris D’Errico, The Psychonaut. Chris is an artist, poet and musician living and working the nightshift in Las Vegas, Nevada. Arati Reddy-Devlin, November. Arati was born in Natal, South Africa, and moved to the UK at a young age where she lived and gained her BA (Hons) degree in Graphic Design, a post-graduate degree in Fine Art Printmaker, and qualified as an Art and Design teacher, and later completed a Master or Education in Applied Linguistics. In 1986, Reddy-Devlin was awarded a British Council Scholarship to study Fine Art Printmaking at the Ljubljana Art Academy, Slovenia, where she gained skills in traditional printmaking techniques. Reddy-Devlin, lived in Croatia between 2009 2013 where she became fascinated with the flora and seascape from her home. Her current series of works fuse her long term passion for Sci-fi, robotics and mechanical parts and Medieval Art, interwoven with delicate natural forms to create other micro worlds. Alexx Mayes, Alcatraz. Alexx is a fine art portrait photographer, who recently earned a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Nevada, Reno with an emphasis in photography, cinema and art history. Alexx has specific interest in exhibiting the human psyche being altered by technological singularity using cinematic-style photography as a medium. Markella Lousidis, The Journey for Sama Series. Born 2004 in Athens, Greece Markella has been painting since before she could walk. She joined her first international Biennale (Chianciano) in 2015 (age 7), followed by the London Biennale in 2011 and returning to the Chianciano in 2015 just before a group show at the Venice Art Factory. Markella’s work has appeared in various international galleries and literary publications. More recently, she has joined group shows in London and is curating private art pop-ups in Athens, Greece. An independent freethinker, Markella is known for her diverse style and intense universal take on life. “Although I do not come from a family of artists, our walls have always been filled with friends – artwork collected during travels and many pieces from friends,” Markella Lousidis Samuel Bartlett, Meat. Samuel is a contemporary artist in northeast Florida, creating art since the 1990s.


J. Nikoloudakis, I Was in Love. J. Nikoloudakis is a multidisciplinary artist based in Brooklyn, NY. His work speaks to the dichotomy of the beauty in the mundane, and the horrors of modern society that we’ve come to know as the norm.


Contents 0 1 T h e Gr i ef of Gr av i t y Ed M cM an i s 0 2 I T h r ew a Rock to D i st u r b You r Peace L ea Rabar on 0 4 A M an Cal l ed Col or H ay l ey St od d ar d 0 7 Sh e Tau gh t You to Fal l A sl eep Even W h en Exci t ed Sar a Pr i m o 0 9 W h at You L eave Beh i n d L i sa D el an 10 V i ol et N ei gh bor h ood Ky l ee W ebb 13 Per col ator St acy Pen d er gr ast 16 i n t estat e d ebor a Ew i n g 18 D oor s Ch al l en ge i n cl u d i n g Ch i sel M cFar l an d , Rau l H er r er a an d T .M . Ch al k 22 A Pi ct u r e I s W or t h a T h ou san d W or d s i n cl u d i n g San L i n T u n , Pat r i ci a Can n on , A m y Jasek , L i z B ax m ey er an d M ar i am Sai d an 28 Gi r lw or (l )d Ju l i e B en esh 30 Si d ew al k Fl ow er s L au r en M i l l er 32 M ad e a M ar k I an L ax 34 M ar oon ed D i ck A l t m an 38 A l l t h e A p r i l s to Com e D an a Fol ey 41 Gl i m p ses of You Ton i Ken i st on

Beyond Words I nternational Literary M agazine

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