Etchings Magazine Vol. 33.1

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Etchings 33.1 Literary and Fine Arts Magazine of the University of Indianapolis Fall 2020

1400 East Hanna Avenue Indianapolis, IN 46227 Copyright 2020 by the University of Indianapolis and individual contributors Cover design by Hope Coleman and Zoe Wilkinson Cover art by Riley Childers Printed by IngramSpark Ingramspark.com


Etchings Editorial Staff Editor-in-Chief Hope Coleman Managing Editor Bronwyn Getts Design Editor Joe Raymond Interview Editors Grant Boyer McKenna Tetrick Staff Editors Noah Fields Danielle Shaw Zoe Wilkinson Olivia Williams Faculty Advisor Liz Whiteacre


Table of Contents 2020 Art Awards Letter from the Editor Dorlis Gott Armentrout Award 2020 Prose Chapbook Winner 2020 Poetry Chapbook Winner 2020 Novella Winner 2019 Whirling Prize Winners

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Poetry Your Thinking Putty— | Savannah Harris Haiku | Olivia Williams Did You Have Your Conversation with the Moon? | Mackenzie Hyatt Crimson Black Night | Joe Raymond El Reloj de la Noche | Kensington Eiler Give Me a Try | Rochelle Bauer I am the 1% | Joe Raymond Childhood, Childhood | J.W. Surface The Bird Waited | J.W. Surface Sonnet One | McKenna Tetrick Sonnet One Point Five | McKenna Tetrick The Bees Can Stay – If They Keep Away | Abigail Asher The Gates | Olivia Williams Kama Sutra at Barnes & Noble | Olivia Williams Ask: | Mackenzie Hyatt Impressions at the Half Dozen | Kathleen Hacker As a Young Girl | Stephanie Gibson Transformation | Cory Pickett A Prose about My Boyfriend Who I Think Is Hot | Whitney Wilson Charlottesville, 2017 | Sarah Reynolds Iowa Harvest Ritual | Joe Raymond Life Sounds | J.W. Surface Manners | Kathleen Hacker Modern Woman | Rochelle Bauer Rainy Gray Day i | Joe Raymond See You Soon | Rochelle Bauer In the Market of Spare Feelings | Mackenzie Hyatt Rayos al Miedo Blanco | Tylyn K. Johnson Krannert Memorial Library, University of Indianapolis, 2009 - 2013 | J. W. Surface

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Prose The Cashier | Chelsea Keen Algunos Consejos en Apoyo de Cambios Sociales | Tylyn K. Johnson Porque Yo No he Juntado las Marchas | Tylyn K. Johnson The Aging Process of a Mermaid | Lindsey Henderson

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Visual Art Between Your Goddess Fingers | Olivia Thompson Obscure Gray | Tatyana Gray Reach | Kami Spear Out the Window | Olivia Thompson Pancakes | Victoria Miller Lone Flower | Kami Spear The 6th Amendment Poster | Adam Fernandes First Date | Victoria Miller Dyslexia Interrupted | Joe Raymond Blooming | Riley Childers Momma | Riley Childers Pressing Matters | Joe Raymond Letterpressed KJU | Joe Raymond Overshadowed | Kami Spear Perfection | Victoria Miller Space Figure 3 | Patrick Handlon What’s Left Unspoken | Riley Childers The Bean | Joe Raymond The Kiss | Patrick Handlon The Unknown | Victoria Miller Sunglasses at Night | Patrick Handlon Untitled | Kami Spear Vino in the Garden | Joe Raymond Waterworks | Karen Newman Olympia | Patrick Handlon Untitled 2 | Kami Spear

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Audio Compositions Fish Music: White Opal Betta | Luke Garrigus Song for the Rain | Chloe Crockett

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Contributors’ Biographies Recent Publications Colophon Call for Submissions

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2020 Art Awards The recipient of the UIndy Anna Elizabeth Gott Memorial Art Award was Leah Diekhoff. This award, honoring an outstanding senior art and design major, was endowed as a memorial in 1978 by Anna’s sister, Mary E. Gott. Anna Elizabeth Gott had traveled widely in her career with the federal government and, in doing so, developed a deep interest in the great masterpieces of world art. This contest was judged by Art and Design faculty. The recipient of the UIndy Mary E. Gott Award for Excellence in Art was Adam Fernandes. This award, honoring an outstanding junior art and design major, was endowed in 1984 by UIndy Professor Emeritus Robert Brooker and his wife, Ruth, as a tribute to Mrs. Brooker’s aunt, Mary E. Gott. Mary, like her sister Anna, held a government post in Washington, D.C. and loved art. This contest was judged by Art and Design faculty.

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Letter from the Editor Welcome to Volume 33.1 of Etchings Literary and Fine Arts Magazine! This semester has been quite different from others in the past, as our editorial staff has worked on the magazine remotely due to COVID-19 precautions. With an almost entirely new batch of editors, we were excited to bring some fresh ideas and experience into this issue. Though we had some experience with remote learning and production of the magazine from the previous semester, it was certainly a new experience having the whole process be a digital one. Despite the issues with Wi-Fi, mismatched schedules, and technological errors, our team of editors persevered to bring the issue to life. I would like to give a special thanks to Bronwyn Getts, our Managing Editor, for her hard work, organization, and altogether optimistic and spirited outlook. Her presence brought a sense of life to our weekly Zoom meetings and helped keep us on track during the daunting weight of the submission process. Thank you to Joe Raymond, our Design Editor, for his hours of hard work creating the master file, spending time alone and on Zoom calls with the other editors and me as we proofed the magazine from a social distance. This publication would not have been made possible without the continual support and efforts of our faculty advisor, Liz Whiteacre, who was there beside us for the whole process. Her help in keeping us on track as we all worked together online this semester was invaluable and truly one of our greatest assets. An additional thank you to our publisher, IngramSpark, who has helped us bring this magazine, and the amazing work published in it, to life in a physical form. This volume of the magazine, as well as previous volumes can be found for free at our website, etchings.uindy.edu. As there will be no physical release or launch-party this year, the magazine will be made available for purchase through Amazon.com. As my final semester with Etchings Press ends, I am proud to have had this opportunity to lead the production as Volume 33.1’s Editor-in-Chief. I would like to take this final moment to thank the amazing staff of the magazine who I was fortunate to work with this semester. Their hard work, dedication, and creative spirit have made this publication possible. As I move on from the press and the magazine, I feel as though I am leaving it in good hands of the next batch of editors. Finally, readers, thank you all for your dedication to the magazine and for sticking with us through this journey. Signing off with hopes of a brighter tomorrow, Hope Coleman Editor-in-Chief fall 2020

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Dorlis Gott Armentrout Award Winner: “Did You Have Your Conversation with the Moon?” by Mackenzie Hyatt (page 44) “This poem is a beautiful example of using metaphor to communicate something more intimate and personal. We all know the moon, it’s universal, so it immediately feels relatable. Then the author has you thinking about your own past flings and romances. Using different names to refer to the moon feels like pet names for it and further supports that relationship feeling. The descriptive language is delightful and pairs well with the narrative arc of desire and loss.” - Tracy Richardson, award judge Runner-Up: “In the Market of Spare Feelings” by Mackenzie Hyatt (page 99) “This poem uses this device of pricing and value that we so often come across in our everyday lives to communicate the supply and demand of our emotions. It’s an effective structure and through that we start to think about what’s in stock in the storefront of our own minds and the marketplace of the world. The author doesn’t go into much detail about why these emotions are priced and arranged the way they are, but we don’t need them to. The author leaves it sparse and lets us fill in the blanks. Good poetry gives you just enough and then our imagination does the rest. Gorgeous simplicity.” - Tracy Richardson, award judge

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Award Judge - Tracy Richardson Tracy Richardson is the author of the young adult series The Catalysts, including Book I, The Field, and Book II, Catalyst. The Field won the Eric Hoffer award for young adult literature and was a Bronze Medalist for the Moonbeam Children’s Book Award. Catalyst was a Finalist in the American Fiction Awards Young Adult category. Tracy has a degree in biology and her science background plays a significant role in her writing through her incorporation of both true science and science fiction. Her books are set in real Earth time with both a science fiction/paranormal theme and an environmental theme. Tracy lives in Indianapolis and enjoys crafting, cooking and being outdoors. Learn more at www.tracyrichardsonauthor.com

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Interview with Tracy Richardson The excerpts below are from an interview that was conducted by Etchings Press editors, Grant Boyer and McKenna Tetrick, over email in October 2020. Grant Boyer and McKenna Tetrick: How long have you been writing, and how has your writing evolved over time? Tracy Richardson: I’ve been writing for about 15 years and I’d like to think that I’ve improved! My publisher, Brown Books, is re-releasing my first novel, Indian Summer, which has allowed me to go back and revise it. The story arc and character development are the same, but I was able to polish up the prose quite a bit and I’m much happier with it. Indian Summer is for a middle grade audience while The Field and Catalyst are young adult. My children were in elementary school when I started writing so I gravitated toward that age group. My books are part of a series but can be read as standalone novels. As my characters age, so does the audience for my books. Marcie, the main character in Indian Summer, started off in middle school and is a junior in high school in Catalyst. GB & MT: Do you have a process for writing? TR: There are generally two types of writers—those who work from an outline and ‘pantsers’ or those who plunge in and write by the seat-of-their-pants. I tend to do a little of both. I start with a story idea and begin doing research to flesh it out—I LOVE research! Once I have a beginning and an end, the story arc and ‘hero’s journey’, I’ll begin with actual writing. I work from a very rough outline that I add to as I write. The story always changes somewhat as I build it. I tend to write in scenes, and once I get started writing, the plot seems to unfold organically. It feels more like I’m uncovering the story and writing it down and less like I am making it up in my head. And of course—revision, revision, revision!! GB & MT: What is something you’ve always wanted to write? TR: I read a lot of different genres, but I would say my favorite is young adult fantasy. At some point I’d like to try my hand at that, but the world building required feels a bit daunting. I’d also like to share my personal family stories dealing with anxiety and depression either as a memoir or in fiction. I think it’s important to talk about mental health.

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GB & MT: Do you have a favorite author? TR: Madeleine L’Engle’s novels were ground-breaking science fiction and helped shape my writing. I especially loved A Wrinkle In Time and An Acceptable Time. I read a lot of YA fantasy and really enjoyed The Thief Series by Megan Whelan Turner— she’s masterful at hidden agendas and plot twists—and The Green Rider by Kristen Britain. GB & MT: If you could give a piece of advice to aspiring writers, what would it be? TR: Writing is a discipline and requires that you put in the time. When fans at my book events tell me they want to write a book I always say the same thing—BIC— Butt In Chair. A lot of people want to write a book but until you actually DO it, it’s just a dream. Also, you have to write because you love writing AND you have to be good at shameless self-promotion. Getting published isn’t easy, and it’s only the beginning. Marketing and connecting with readers are a big part of being an author, which doesn’t always come naturally to writers who spend a lot of time in their heads. I love meeting and talking with readers as I’m naturally extroverted, but that isn’t true for all writers. It comes down to discipline and perseverance.

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2020 Prose Chapbook Winner

Three in the Morning and You Don’t Smoke Anymore by Peter J. Stavros Judged and designed by student editors Hope Coleman, Carrie Long, and Erin Taylor Dark humor and gritty reality meet in a small, dirty apartment belonging to a man trying to escape his past. In this collection of intertwined, nonlinear short stories, Stavros depicts the ups and downs of life and the pain of trying to move on when everything is a reminder of what life once was. With a protagonist that is perfectly flawed in the way any person can be, the journey of this collection is one that leaves an impression as the author puts us directly into the mind of this down‑on‑his‑luck man. Three in the Morning and You Don’t Smoke Anymore is a story that doesn’t shy away from embracing the highest of the highs and the lowest of the lows, and shows that life doesn’t have to be a white picket fence and a perfect family to be important and worthwhile.

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About the Author: Peter J. Stavros is a writer in Louisville, Kentrucky. His work has appeared in literary journals, anthologies, newspapers and magazines, including The Saturday Evening Post and The Boston Globe Magazine. Peter is also a playwright whose plays have been produced across the country, garnering Audience Choice accolades at a number of festivals. He earned a BA in English from Duke University, where he received the Newman Ivey White Award for Fiction and studied creative writing on a graduate level at Emerson College and Harvard University. More can be found at www.peterjstavros.com Etchings Press: What was the inspiration behind the collection? Peter J. Stavros: One evening my wife pulled up this picture on Facebook of some friends I had been close with at an earlier point of my life, but we hadn’t kept in touch—and it was a picture of this smiling happy family on a beach somewhere, who I hadn’t seen in a few years and hardly recognized at first by how much they had changed (or “moved on” would be a better term). It occurred to me then how with social media you can never really escape your past. So I thought of writing a story, which then became this collection, about someone who, despite his best efforts, could not escape his past because his past, like really everyone’s past, can generally be accessed with just a few keystrokes on a laptop. EP: What do you want readers to take away from reading this collection? PJS: I want the readers to see the humor in this. It can get heavy as the readers go through this journey with our character, with the anxieties and uncertainties that he is experiencing. But there are moments of dark comedy as well. I especially like the image of him pushing this terrible squeaking desk chair down the hallway as he’s being escorted out of the office by security. As someone who has been escorted out of an office by security, I wish I had had the nerve to pull off something like that. Also, I hope the readers appreciate the interconnectedness of the individual pieces, with the callbacks and slow reveals, particularly since these stories were written over a period of a few years. And lastly I just want the readers to enjoy reading this— and maybe read it again—and perhaps it’ll spark some creativity in them.

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2020 Poetry Chapbook Winner

Vaginas Need Air by Tori Grant Welhouse Judged and designed by student editors Hope Coleman, Chelsea Keen, and Maxine Miles Welhouse’s poetry chapbook, Vaginas Need Air, explores and celebrates the love, rapport, and affinity found between mothers and daughters throughout the many stages of life. Her poems capture the relationship between the two in private moments with an impeccable sense of clarity and insight.

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About the Author: Tori Grant Welhouse’s poems have appeared most recently in The Write Launch, Into the Void, and Crab Creek Review. She has published two chapbooks, Canned with Finishing Line Press (2014) and Stashed: A Primer in Lunch Poems (2019). She won Skyrocket Press’s 2019 novel-writing contest for her YA paranormal fantasy The Fergus, which released Summer 2020. She is an active volunteer with Wisconsin Fellowship of Poets and lives in Green Bay. Find more at www.torigrantwelhouse. com. Interview Excerpt: Etchings Press: What inspired you to write this chapbook? Tori Grant Welhouse: I lost my mother on Black Friday 2017. As we made preparations for her celebration, my father, sister, brother and I shared memories of her. I’m the oldest, and it was clear that the three of us had three very different mothers. The book is my attempt to capture my version. EP: What would you like a reader to walk away with after reading this chapbook? TGW: Life is lived moment to moment. People are complicated, and their complications cascade to all kinds of interactions, especially mother and daughter. And “love CAN exist in the same house as disaster.” EP: What advice would you give to aspiring writers? TGW: Create or join a community of writers. Seek out craft talks and experiment with your writing. Read. Read. Read. EP: Do you have a writing process? TGW: I try to write every morning. I revise or work on submissions in the afternoon or early evenings. I give myself observation prompts. I keep poem ideas in an Evernote journal, along with notes on what’s occupying me at any given time.

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2020 Novella Winner

Under Black Leaves by Doug Ramspeck Judged and designed by student editors Riley Childers and MacKenzie Estrada In his novella Under Black Leaves, midwest author Doug Ramspeck delves into mental health, the interplay between love and loss, and the arts through the eyes of an art professor (Luke) and a Dance major (Hannah). Memories flood Professor Luke Horn as he returns to the Chicago College of the Arts campus for the new semester. After losing a charismatic student, Luke wonders if he should confess what he knows or keep it hidden. He quickly learns that you can’t always hide your past. When the sister of the late student registers for his design and color course, will he be able to keep his composure and his secret? Will his guilt drive him to insanity? With a mix of romantic passion and realism, Under Black Leaves invites readers to ponder how grief and mental health affect human emotion.

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About the Author: Doug Ramspeck is a professor of English at The Ohio State University at Lima and the author of seven collections of poetry and one collection of short stories. His short fiction has appeared in The Southern Review, The Georgia Review, Iowa Review, and many other literary journals. His story “Balloon” was listed as a Distinguished Story for 2018 in The Best American Short Stories. Interview Excerpt: Etchings Press: What was your inspiration for Under Black Leaves? Dough Ramspeck: Much of my professional life has been focused on teaching writing. With Under Black Leaves, I wanted to write about creativity and craft, but I didn’t want to write about writing. Art and dance seemed a perfect substitute. As for the plot of the story, I once heard a colleague say that male professors in MFA programs hit on grad students with discouraging frequency. I was stunned when all the women around the table nodded at once in agreement. I wanted to write about this form of sexual harassment and its potential for psychological harm. EP: Did you outline the whole novella before you wrote it or did it develop over time? DR: At AWP in Tampa a couple of years ago, I attended a session about the importance of outlining novels before the writing begins. The presenters made a strong case, but I don’t, in fact, do this myself. I like to know what sets the work in motion, but beyond that I want to discover the story as I write. My goal, often, is to let the story tell me where it wants to go. I am not “deciding” the direction of the piece; it decides. EP: How long did it take you to write this novella? How many drafts? DR: In my first draft of Under Black Leaves, the project was novel length. By the time I completed a couple more drafts, it was a novella. Cutting is often my favorite form of revision.

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2019 Whirling Prize Winners Unmanned by Jessica Rae Bergamino Unmanned provides a tantalizing story woven throughout the poetry collection that will keep readers engaged and enthralled by Bergamino’s tale of space, voyage, femininity, and the human experience in light of it all.

Eating the Sun: Small Musings on a Vast Universe by Ella Frances Sanders Ella Frances Sanders’ book Eating the Sun: Small Musings on a Vast Universe is a breathtakingly lyrical take on the universe, its inner workings, and the connections that exist between it and the very nature of humanity.

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Olivia Thompson

Between Your Goddess Fingers Solicited Illustration for "Your Thinking Putty—"

This photograph was in response to the poem “Your Thinking Putty” by Savannah Harris. I was fascinated by the verb choices in this poem and showed hands to represent the act of crafting, cramming, mashing, molding, etc.

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Savannah Harris

Your Thinking Putty—

The Winner of the 2020 Lucy Monro Brooker Poetry Award

It’s intrusive when You find a stranger’s partial crammed in the side of a sphere You’d worked so hard to mold. You craft it just right, just round enough, set it down / think it is finished & then

oh God—

there’s something never-perfect about them, each one You craft, with little regard to the last one You’ve mashed for not being good enough between Your goddess fingers

& when You return to rectify the lumped form, Your makeshift earth, thickets of swooping greens wrapped about themselves in an obscured Eden— like all edens closed for repairs / each equally flawed—

a new snake, slicked in the venom of a danger-promise, appears like clockwork— each adam sent in rescue only bows at the sight of Your sparse cuppings of foliage

& falls for apple tricks until You become bored, Your fury burning new paths through vines / scorch marks marring a man-god’s design in a man-god’s world for men who think themselves gods. oh God, Jesus, Adam, Satan himself— Who fucked it up this time? One evening, I could not for the life of me muster inspiration. A friend passed over a container of Thinking Putty, and as I instinctively rolled a ball of it , the speaker of this poem leapt from within me, and so I wrote her story—how she feels about the men in her life, religion, and the world. It came together before I really realized what I had, which I believe is a very relevant take on some timeless concerns regarding the human condition.

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Tatyana Gray

Obscure Gray

Solicited Illustration for "Your Thinking Putty—"

With this photo, I wanted to emphasize the act of intrusion, while one’s space being was invaded.

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Kami Spear

Reach

Solicited Illustration for "Your Thinking Putty—"

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Olivia Thompson

Out the Window Solicited Illustration for "The Cashier"

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Chelsea Keen

The Cashier

The Winner of the 2020 Roberta Lee Brooker Fiction Writing Prize

The only kind of real human contact she got everyday was when her hand brushed against a customer’s as she placed their change into their hand and told them to have a nice day. Around the first week of her job at the small convenience store, there was a young woman around her age who couldn’t stop talking about her trip to Greece. She had purchased bags full of little carry on things for her trip. The woman laughed nervously about it, running her fingers through her dark locks before getting stuck, realizing she had her hair pulled back into a lazy clip. She had admitted rather bashfully that she might have waited until the last minute to get what she needed at the store. The cashier chuckled and said she understood, that she’s been in her shoes before when she went to Florida for the first time. The woman grinned and started talking about Greece again; the food, the plane ride there, the weather. Feeling a fluttering in her gut, she told the woman about the weather in Florida, about how she had been there recently to visit her mother. “Are you going to visit her again next year?” The woman asked, helping her bag her items even though she’s not the cashier. The said cashier didn’t pause in her movements, but the question made her eyes sag to her hands as she rang up the woman’s luggage tags. She said no, she wouldn’t be going next year. The woman left too quickly, taking with her her conversation of passports, planes, and travel. The next customer took her place and the world faded back to scanning items and asking for coupons. When she got home after work, she quickly changed into something comfortable, something without zippers and buttons, and waited for a guy she had met online to pick her up in a nice-looking car she’s only ever seen in commercials. They went back to his place and she was glad she didn’t wear any buttons because it’s faster when she took her clothes off. Later, the man fell asleep cuddling her with each hand on her breasts and she let herself enjoy his heat for a few more minutes before forcing herself to get up. She never left right away, sometimes she sat on the bed and looked around the bedroom she’s in, taking in every detail she could to try to figure out who she had slept with really was. This time she watched a movie she had been wanting to see on his Netflix account with one of his dogs laying in her lap. When the movie ended, instead of watching another one, she turned off the TV and headed out. She had work in the morning.

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She met Kyle soon after, one of the fellow cashiers there out of about four of them. One day she had walked into the store to find her standing at the second register next to hers that had always been closed. The other greeted her with a head nod before turning back to play on her phone and that’s the only explanation she had gotten for Kyle’s sudden appearance. Since then they’ve worked together every single day, minus their days off. She quickly noticed Kyle didn’t do much unless she absolutely had to. Often, she found the woman reading one of the magazines from the racks set out for the customers, chatting with every patron like they were old friends, or bantering back and forth with the regulars. The first real conversation they had was when Kyle had dug out a packet of gum from her back pocket and popped two pieces into her mouth. When she caught the cashier looking, she placed her index finger to her lips and made a ‘shhh’ sound. She smiled, explaining, “We aren’t allowed to chew gum.” Then she held out the still open packet, “Want one?” The cashier had felt herself smile too and slipped out a stick of gum from the packet, placing the piece of gum into her mouth. Blowing a spicy, red bubble and enjoyed the tingling sensation on her tongue, she thanked Kyle. Kyle threw her a wink and moved to show her an article in one of the magazines she had plucked from the rack. From there, she guessed the other must have decided she was worth talking to. One day, during a nine am shift, an elderly man in an electric scooter rolled up to her. He had on one of those old man hats that her grandpa used to wear when he went fishing and the years sagged under his eyes, making his ocean irises a dark, murky blue. He was absent in spirit, but pleasant as he placed his few items on the conveyor belt. When she finished scanning his purchases, he held up a PayDay to her. His hand was shaking, making her quickly take the candy bar from him and ask if he wanted it out of a bag. “No,” he sighed, his voice was low, like he couldn’t manage to bring it higher. “I don’t want it. I don’t like them.” She had wanted to ask why he had grabbed it if he didn’t even like them, but she simply nodded instead, tossing it into her white bucket underneath her cash register where all the items customer changed their mind about go. Her confusion must have been on her face too long, because the man said, “I used to get them for my wife, but she passed away last week. I don’t need to get ‘em anymore.” She startled like she had been struck, blinking down at the scrawny little man in the scooter. He stared back at her, letting her see everything in his murky ocean eyes. The sadness, the tiredness, the lost. The pain. She swallowed down her emotions even if she suddenly felt like she couldn’t breath and all of her thoughts of how she got off in twenty minutes flew out one of the giant store windows. She struggled to make her mouth form words and shakenly tell him her mother used to like them too, that she had a big sweet tooth. Sometimes she thought about her when she saw KitKats or Oreo ice cream. fall 2020

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She wanted to tell him that her mother died recently too, in Florida, and she died when they were on bad terms. She’d never be able to take back what she said. She’d never be able to get her mother to understand that she never did anything wrong and just wanted to be— “Sometimes I feel like I died with her,” he mumbled, but then shook his head. “How much, sweetheart?” She fumbled reading out the small total on her register’s screen. He didn’t have to buy much for one person. She put all of his bags in his cart connected to the scooter without asking if he wanted her help. When she went to hand him his receipt, she paused. He paused too, holding out his hand. She tried to find the right words in that moment, something to say, to give the man something he can leave with to his empty home. Something maybe someone had said to her. She couldn’t think of anything, so she let the paper go and told him to have a nice day. “You too, honey. Thank you,” he said and rolled away. She watched him go and it wasn’t until he was out the doors did she start crying. She was supposed to wait until five minutes before her shift ended to close her lane, but she flipped her light off when she still had ten minutes left. Ms. Wright, her elderly Cuban boss who happened to be there for once, scolded her for it after work. Kyle had stepped in for her, surprising both of them. She said she asked if the cashier could close her lane early to mop the bathroom before leaving, that it was her fault. Ms. Wright didn’t seem to like anybody, being the bitter widow that she was, but she never raised her voice at Kyle. At first the cashier thought she just had a soft spot for Kyle like everyone else, but she quickly realized that wasn’t completely the case. One night she caught the two talking in the back office, Kyle had been reading papers to her and explaining what each paper meant, switching between Spanish and English every so often without stumbling. She hadn’t realized Kyle was bilingual until then. Ms. Wright had huffed and waved them off, wobbling back into her little office. The cashier was still crying after the old woman slammed the door and Kyle had patted her shoulder sympathetically before leaving her alone. Later, during her last 15 minute break, she almost called Alice, but paused at the screen with her contact picture when she remembered she couldn’t call her about bad days at work anymore. Instead she strolled through Instagram to pass the time, looking at the posts of ghosts she used to know. Never commenting or liking, simply staring, simply scrolling. When she got home, the first thing she did was take her uniform off and collapse onto her bed. She rolled over onto her side and stared at the empty litter box she still hadn’t gotten rid of. She used to have an ugly brown and white cat named Scraps, one that she used to let outside for a few hours every day and around the time she went to bed she’d stand on her porch and shake a bag of cats treats. Every time he would come back at the sound of the treats jumping around in the bag and she’d let him back in, giving him a treat for it. Until one day he never came back and after twenty-eight more days of searching she decided he really was gone.

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Alice had gotten her Scraps for their three-year anniversary and didn’t take him with her when she had left. She wondered if he went to go find her, if that was why he left her too. Rolling onto her other side, she closed her eyes and decided that it didn’t matter. He had probably either gotten stolen or was ran over somewhere anyways. She never saw the old man again, either. She had been working at the store for over a year, long enough to know that Kyle, in all of her lack of work ethic, was never late even when returning from breaks. So, when she was five minutes late from coming back from her last break of the day, it didn’t go unnoticed. Making sure there weren’t any customers dragging up and down the aisles, she heads out the exit door through the backroom, she quickly found Kyle squatting behind one of their trash cans, her hair pulled up in a messy bun and a joint in her mouth. Kyle stared wide-eyed up at her, taking the joint in her fingers and away from her mouth. She blew the smoke into the air, eyes never leaving the cashier. “Hey,” she greeted, stubbing the joint out against the cold ground. “Need something?” The cashier slowly blinked down at her, eyes flickering from the rolled up weed to Kyle’s unreadable expression. Kyle had always been attractive; she wasn’t blind not to notice. Looking at her today; however, she took note of the dark rings around her gray eyes, her lips lacked the never smudged lipstick she always sported, and her eyeliner didn’t have its wings. She was still attractive, she thought Kyle was the type to never not be attractive, but the lack of brightness and life looked wrong on her. Her stomach churned and she wondered what or who made someone like Kyle lose her spark. Kyle frowned and got to her feet, brushing off her rear even though she hadn’t been sitting on the ground. “Look,” she began, firm but not mean. “Don’t tell anyone, okay? I don’t normally do it during hours, I’ve just been stressed lately. This stays between us, okay?” She pulled out a packet of gum, shoving two pieces into her mouth. Without a word, she offered up the opened packet. Looking at the mint flavored gum, the cashier took a piece and Kyle started to grin. Blowing a white bubble and enjoying the taste of her favorite flavor of gum, the cashier nodded in agreement to keep quiet. After their shifts ended around the same time, Kyle shyly asked her if she could bum a ride. The cashier checked the time on her phone and decided that she had time to do so. Which is what led to Kyle climbing into the passenger side of her car, buckling up and adjusting the seat. She asked to turn the radio on and sang along to every 90s song that came on, nudging the cashier to join her. fall 2020

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“Thanks for this,” Kyle said, after telling her to take a right turn. “I’ve been struggling lately with classes and my dad passed away a few months ago. It’s...it’s been hard.” Too busy staring out the window, Kyle didn’t notice the way her companion’s grip on the steering wheel tightened. The cashier’s eyes flickered to Kyle briefly before looking back at the poorly lit road with a lump in her throat. She struggled to find her words, growing uncomfortable with the silence between them. With a wavering voice, she told Kyle about her mother. She told her about visiting her mother in Florida, about her mother’s illness, about her mother’s narrow-minded views. Once she voiced what had been festering inside her out loud for the first time, she felt like a busted dam. She couldn’t stop herself, like a gushing waterfall of words and emotions, even when she started bringing up Alice, who broke up with her after she came out to her mother, who left their stupid cat with her after they broke up even though Alice was the animal person—not her. Alice, who she couldn’t stop thinking about, who probably already forgot about her. Alice, who her mother had hated, who wasn’t there for her when her mother died because she had already dumped her like yesterday’s news just weeks after Alice had brought up the word marriage one night when they were sitting in a McDonald’s parking lot. Alice, who reached over and wiped the ketchup that had been on the corner of her mouth before kissing her and telling her that she loved her and sometimes she wished she’d have the confidence to ask her to marry her. Alice, who, if she actually had asked to marry her right there in the McDonlad’s parking lot at one am when she had ketchup on her face and they were both still in their uniforms, would have gotten a yes. She would have said yes and then Alice broke up with her weeks later for reasons she’ll never know. Alice, who doesn’t talk to her anymore. Alice, who’s gone. Once she was done, the cashier realized she was shaking and had been parked at a stop sign for who knew how long. She felt her eyes water and reached up to wipe the streams of tears away. The only noise after she was done yelling was some rock song on the radio, but no one was singing along anymore. No one was laughing and a heavy pit started to grow in her stomach. She exhaled a wavering deep breath, wishing the car seat would come alive and swallow her whole. She heard herself apologize in a voice she couldn’t completely pinpoint as hers, and she wasn’t able to meet Kyle’s eyes as she collected herself. She shouldn’t have exploded as she had done. None of her issues were Kyle’s business, she shouldn’t bug the woman with her hot garbage mess just because Kyle’d been nice to her. When she reached over to pull the car out of park, arms wrapped around her shoulders, causing her to freeze in her spot. Kyle sniffled into her collarbone, squeezing her tighter. “Fuck, I never knew,” she cried. “Why didn’t you tell me?” Numbly, she shrugged, feeling strands of Kyle’s brown bangs tickling her neck. “I’m so sorry,” Kyle continued. “That must have been so hard for you.”

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The cashier’s heart fluttered at her words. She heard them before, at her mother’s funeral, in calls to her relatives. She read them in letters, cards, and messages. For some reason Kyle’s lips made them sound softer, more genuine. Before she could stop herself, she bowed her head and cried into the other’s shoulder, wrapping her own loosely around Kyle’s waist. Half an hour later, when they both had nothing left to cry about, they pulled away with knowing smiles. She watched as Kyle wiped her face with the sleeves of her jacket. For the first time, her heart felt light and the world didn’t seem out to get her. “Let me give you my number,” Kyle said when they pulled into her driveway. Without waiting for a response, she plucked the cashier’s phone out of cupholder and swiped to unlock it. She punched her cell number into the contacts, sending herself a quick message. Her own phone dinged in her back pocket. The two shared another grin. “Text me some time,” Kyle told her, hopping out of the car. “It’d be nice to talk with you when we’re not having to baby customers.” Her heart skipping a beat for the first time in months, the cashier leaned over to the passenger’s window to tell Kyle that she would. She watched Kyle tread up her walkway to her front door, the other turning to give her a small wave before closing the front door. She sat in her car a few minutes after Kyle’s front porch lamp turned on, her body feeling like it was floating. Her phone buzzing snapped her out of her thoughts. She looked down at her cell, checking who messaged her. It was Kyle. She had sent her a picture of a german shepherd with a green bandana around their neck and the caption of ‘This is my bby Chewy.’ Sitting back in her seat, she watched new messages pop up, one right after the other. She got a few more pictures, all of Kyle posing with her dog in different angles that she must have taken throughout the years. With a moment of brief hesitation, she sent an old picture of Scraps that Alice had taken with her phone. ‘This was Scraps, he was an asshole,’ she typed, then tucked her phone away. When her phone vibrated again a minute later, she didn’t look at it in favor of keeping her eyes on the road, but the sound still made her smile. She started giving Kyle rides home regularly after that since she found Kyle mostly walked everywhere and their shifts tended to end around the same time anyways. A few times they’d hit up fast food places or hung out at Kyle’s house for a few hours. One time Kyle offered her a hit from the joint she had been smoking. They had been sitting on Kyle’s brown couch she said she stole from her parents’ garage years back. A thick blanket was thrown over their laps and a horror movie was playing on the tv screen. Chewy, who turned out to be nine years old, laid at their feet, happily taking a nap like the old man that he was. fall 2020

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“You ever smoked before?” Kyle had asked, holding up the joint in offering. “Yeah,” she had lied, leaning in to press her lips to the rolled up paper and inhaled as much as she could. She jerked back seconds later, gagging and trying to catch her breath. Kyle had startled, reaching over to pat her back as she whispered soft encouragement to calm down and breathe. Minutes after she finally calmed down, they exchanged looks; her's bashful, Kyle’s smug. Seconds later, the two had burst into fits of giggles. “So you’ve done it before, huh?” Kyle smirked, laughing again when she got a not so friendly shove for her teasing. The cashier watched the other lean back, noticing the way Kyle’s eyes crinkled when she smiled. Kyle had offered the joint to her again later that night, she sourly said no, but enjoyed watching Kyle blow smoke circles. The memory made her smile, she didn’t even notice the young woman outside the store’s doors until she started banging her fist against the glass, making the cashier jump at the loud thuds that echoed off the walls of the little convenience store. She paused mid-wipe, having been cleaning off her register. Even Kyle looked up from her magazine to watch Ms. Wright stomp towards the door to yell at the woman that they were closed. “Please! You’re the only place within walking distance that’s still open!” The young woman pressed. Which was true, most stores closed around midnight due to the crime rate in the neighborhood. Though, the cashier thought to herself, that made the fact the young woman was out by herself at midnight concerning. “No, we are close!” Ms. Wright scowled, making a shooing motion with her hand at the girl. The door was already locked. They locked it when they started to clean up each night, only to unlock it so they could leave after turning off the lights, and lock it back again. The cashier turned to give Kyle a worried look, one that made Kyle grimace. Like Ms. Wright, she didn’t want to stay after any longer for any straggling customers, but the cashier’s concerned expression must have won out because she let out a defeated sigh. “Hey, Ms. Wright,” Kyle intervened, turning her head to the store owner and causing the elderly woman to jerk her attention to Kyle instead of the young woman outside. “Maybe we should let her in, just this once? Por favor? We still have to clean the bathroom anyway.” Ms. Wright’s face pinkened with anger and the cashier braced herself for the small Cuban woman’s wrath, but the elderly woman only huffed and wobbled back into her office. Before she slammed the door, she jabbed a boney finger at them, warning, “If she make a mess, you clean it up!” The cashier nodded while Kyle gave her a salute as she threw the magazine down onto the counter and made her way to the door. The young woman stumbled into the store when the door was unlocked and opened. “Thank you,” she rushed out, speed walking somewhere behind the store. Kyle raised her brow and let the door go, it slowly closing on its own as

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she moved back to her original spot next to the cashier. She had already closed her lane down and had nothing left to do, but instead of cleaning the bathroom, she picked her magazine back up and flipped to the page she had previously been on. Minutes later, the young woman was racing to the register, an arm wrapped around notebooks and packages of pens and highlighters. “Coffee drinks,” she fumbled out at the cashier, pointing at the back of the store. The cashier blinked, confused. Kyle flipped a page of her magazine. “I mean,” the woman reiterated, “do you have any coffee or energy drinks?” Finally understanding, the cashier nodded and left Kyle to her reading to show the young woman where they kept their refrigerated coffee jars and energy drinks. The young woman followed behind her every step, looking around at everything on the shelves and inside the fridge doors, as if trying to see if she could spot what she was looking for before the cashier could show her. The store had a few shelves of chilled coffee and energy drinks in the very corner, each being off brand. “I’ve never seen these kinds before,” the young woman muttered, looking warily at the drinks, as if they’ll come to life and bite her. The cashier looked at each of the drinks, remembering how Alice used to pluck out can after can of the energy drinks every night or so, wanting to try every single one the small convenience store had on days where she needed to stay up to finish off a heavy school load. When she started working here, the cashier would use her employee discount for her and later Alice would share whichever drink she had decided to get when they were sprawled out on their apartment floor with their textbooks and assignments. After a few months or so, the two of them had tried every energy drink in the store at least five times. The reminder of Alice made her throat grow tight in a way she hates, because cheap energy drinks shouldn’t have the ability to make her so upset. She shoved the memory away, forcing it back into the depths of her mind for when she’s alone in her apartment. Grabbing a can from the bottom shelf, she handed it to the young woman and explained that the ones on the last shelf, the Extreme Wonder brand, whose flavors consisted of Purple, Red, Green, and other various colors, was probably the best she was going to get here. When the young woman was ready to be rang up, she had placed three cans of Extreme Wonder on the counter with the rest of her items. Kyle glanced over at them, having grown bored of her swiped magazine. “Mid-terms?” she guessed. The young woman let out a groan as she fished out her debit card. “They’re killing me this semester,” she frowned. Kyle pulled out a package of gum, automatically handing a piece to the cashier after popping two sticks into her mouth. “I’m in the same boat as you. I doubt I’ll survive anthropology.” The young woman winced in sympathy, “I hate science courses too. What are you studying?” fall 2020 UIndy 31


“Right now Communications and Fashion Merchandising, but I’m planning to get into Fashion Design, partially for wedding dresses,” Kyle responded, blowing a green bubble. The cashier listened intently as the two went back and forth, but remained quiet as Kyle and the customer talked. She suddenly felt small, having nothing to input on the subject. Not that her silence was noticed as she stood rigid at the counter, slowly moving aside so Kyle could better see the young woman and started wiping down her register again. She numbly chewed her piece of gum to give her mouth something to do, letting the conversation in front of her fade into background noise. After a few minutes, Ms. Wright marched out of her office and made the young woman leave before doing the same to Kyle and the cashier. Name tags crammed into their jacket pockets, the two quietly piled into her car, buckling up without a word until Kyle broke the silence. “I’m sorry,” she said when the car started. The cashier looked over at her, bewildered. “I didn’t mean to leave you out like that,” she explained, tucking a brown strand of hair behind her ear. “I forget that you had dropped out.” The cashier’s body felt heavy, drained of energy. She shook her head, not wanting to think about any of it, and she told Kyle that it was okay. “College is overrated anyways,” Kyle continued on, frowning. “And it’s not for everyone. Don’t feel bad.” The cashier only gave a short nod, but her shoulders relaxed against her seat. The man she met up with nights after bought her a slushie at a gas station along the way to his house. He talked about a lot of things and she listened as much as she wanted to, but every so often she’d check her phone to see that Kyle messaged her. A smile lit up her face at the fimlaur ding and she checked her messages to find another photo of Chewy. “Your hair looks nice,” came the man beside her. Looking up from her phone, she turned her head over at him, touching the end of her lazy braid. She watched as he drummed his fingers along the steering wheel, his eyes flickering over to her face, her cleavage, and then the road. She thanked him and looked back at her phone, responding to Kyle’s photo. He didn’t say anything else for the rest of the ride. When they got to his house, one that makes three of her apartment, he offered her wine and a movie. Sitting back on the black leather, she noted the way everything looked new and worth three times her paycheck, which was impossible for a college undergrad who lived by themselves. As he came back from the kitchen, wine in hand she deduced he was the groomed rich boy type, the ones with parents who’s got money. The explanation made sense. She stared at the way the bright red liquid poured into her glass from the black bottle that’s too expensive to ever be bought from her store. She was already

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going to have sex with him, she decided that the moment he picked her up and his face matched his profile pictures. He didn’t have to sweeten her up. She didn’t let him know that though, and quietly sipped her second glass as he went on about his classes. He was a senior, he told her, apparently the top of his class and destined to do big things. She remembered thinking something like that too once, when she had been in college studying psychology and sociology. She thought she could help people with their problems, give them someone who could listen, but reality caught up to her and she dropped out. Who needs another psychiatrist anyway. She was cut from her musings when a gray cat jumped into her lap, almost causing her to spill her wine on the man’s nice couch. “Finnigan!” The man scolded, ready to push the feline off, but paused when she started to pet the cat. “Sorry about him.” She shook her head, telling him it was fine. Finnigan was really soft and warm. He curled up on her legs like he owned them and stared at the tv in front of him as if he was actually watching it. “You really do look nice tonight,” the man said suddenly, moving in closer to tuck a red strand behind her ear. Sensing that pleasantries were over, she downed what was left in her glass and maneuvered Finnegan off her lap, ignoring his loud protest. Taking her hand, he led her into his bedroom and sat her on his king sized bed. She watched him start to slowly strip, wishing she had more wine in her system, when her phone buzzed. Making sure she could get away with it, she opened her messages, clicking on Klye’s contact to see the picture she was sent. Reading the caption, she felt her heart sink and all of the butterflies in her stomach simultaneously died. She reread the words, ‘This is my nerd, Benjy’ and she zeroed in on the way the two were pressed close together, the way a tall, handsome man with a clean shave, dark curls, and thick glasses was kissing Kyle’s cheek as she grinned at the camera. The image made her sick and angry, like she didn’t know if she was going to throw her cell against the wall or throw up. “Are you seriously on your phone right now?” She blinked up at the man she momentarily forgot was there. He was standing in front of her, arms crossed and in his gray boxer briefs. She thought he looked like a ruffled, wet kitten before his scowl fell and his expression shifted into something more uncomfortable and alarmed. “Shit, are you okay? Why are you crying?” he asked, arms raised to reach out to her as if he could help. She opened her mouth to tell him that no, she wasn’t crying. There wasn’t anything to cry over, but she suddenly felt something wet on her cheeks and rushed to wipe away the tears she didn’t know she had been shedding. She rubbed her face until her eyes stung and she felt her face burn. “Do you need me to take you home or...?” The man looked around, for his pants she guessed, but she shook her head. She uncurled her fists, fury trembling fall 2020

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in her veins. Taking his wrists, she turned the two of them around and pushed him onto the bed, watching him fumble down onto the mattress. His momentary look of shock stretched into a grin as she pulled her shirt off and dropped her pants. Climbing on top of him, she made herself focus on his lips and his touch. She told herself she didn’t care about Kyle’s boyfriend as the man’s hands trailed over her body. She didn’t care about Kyle and she didn’t feel any sense of loss. Because you couldn’t lose something that was never yours. When the man was finally spent, she sat on his bed and looked around the room. For the first time she noticed he had a varsity jacket thrown over his desk chair and trophies on his dresser. The bedroom was of a man who was going somewhere and the cashier felt a pang in her chest at the realization that this really had been her once. She used to have textbooks stacked on her own desk and Alice’s clothes scattered on her bedroom floor when no one bothered to pick them up. Now everything had been shoved away for years and the only thing that laid on her desk was trash she forgot to throw away or the occasional empty bowl of whatever she microwaved for dinner after work before falling asleep. The cashier looked down at her body, protected only by her underwear that she had slipped on after they were done, and at places covered in bite marks and scratches. She used to be more subtle when showing her curves. She used to take pride in what she wore. Swallowing down a bad taste in her mouth, she wondered if Alice hadn’t left the person she was, but the person she had been becoming. She felt like crying all over again, but she had nothing left to give so her eyes stayed dry. The cashier suddenly felt something soft brushed against her legs, causing her to jump. She looked down at Finnegan, the gray cat meowing at her for attention. She reached down and ran her fingers through his thick, short fur. Listening to his rewarding purr, her heart squeezed itself in her chest as she remembered Scraps. The cat had been a pain and his litter box stunk, but there were times where he’d curl up on her chest when she got home late and went straight to bed. He was always someone to come home to and his constant whining filled the empty house with noise. She stared down at the cat and Finnegan’s own green ones met her gaze. Biting her lip, she glanced at the man sleeping on the bed before looking back down at Finnegan. She missed having someone to come home to. She called an uber to take her home without waking the man up. The driver gave her a funny look but didn’t seem all that bothered. When she got home she showered quickly and threw on clean clothes. Not caring enough to dry her hair, she collapsed on her couch and watched as Finnegan explored her cramped apartment. The cat ended up finding a toy mouse that had been kicked under a piece of furniture at one point or another and played with it for a few moments before getting bored and scurrying off somewhere else in her apartment. She thought he might be a bit younger than Scraps was, the old cat had never played with any of

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the toys Alice and her had gotten for him and they’d end up either thrown away or under places neither of them ever bother to look. Without Finnegan in the room, her eyes lacked something to focus on and she gazed around the room numbly. Without Alice’s things, the place looked empty and bare. There wasn’t anything on her walls, no fuzzy rugs Alice had bought, and she put away most of her picture frames of her mom or Alice, people she didn’t need reminders of, into a box along with anything else Alice hadn’t wanted to take with her. That box was shoved into her closet to collect dust just like her textbooks and whatever else she doesn’t know what to do with. Months ago, when it arrived in the mail, inside a small care package from Florida, she shoved her mother’s urn inside her closet too. Her spiralling of thoughts suddenly snapped to a halt when her phone vibrated on her coffee table. Hesitantly, she reached for the device and unlocked it, putting the cell to her ear. “Hey, sorry to call you like this,” the man said from the other end of the phone. “I’m not going to make this a thing, but you must’ve not closed the door all the way on your way out, because it’s wide open and Finnegan got out. I’ve been looking for him, but I haven’t found him. Have you seen him at all?” She glanced at Finnegan, who had returned to play with a shoelace on one of her sneakers by her front door, and told him no. The man cursed, sighing, “Figured, but it was worth a try. Can you tell me if you see him or anything? I got to go.” The call ended with a click and she lowered the phone from her face, feeling panic rise up inside her chest as the gravity of the situation weighed down on her. She scrolled through her contacts, looking for someone to help but no one from her list of old college peers and high school friends seemed right. She couldn’t just message them after years of strained communication and tell them she stole a cat from a man she had sex with, whose name she never bothered to remember, because she had been feeling more lonely than usual. For a moment she thought of calling Alice, but the idea passed her mind soon after. Best case scenario was she wouldn’t even pick up, the worst being she would. The dawning realization that she no longer had anybody haunted her and she shakenly sat her phone back down on the coffee table. She spent the next few hours in a daze, occasionally watching Finnegan if he was in the room. Some time later, she ended up passing out on her couch, the lights in her apartment on and her still without any idea what to do. Finnegan ended up staying. She took the time to think about everything within the last couple of years as she bought more cat litter and cans of food for him. He still wasn’t Scraps, but he made the place a little less lonely. Finnagen himself didn’t seem to mind any of the changes and made himself right at home. The couch was his throne and he ruled over her apartment like a king, making sure to remind her of this by shedding everywhere. The first few days, she ignored the feeling of displacement, the wrongness fall 2020

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of it all, and if she ever thought about if the man missed Finnagen like she did Scraps, she brushed the thought away minutes later. She stopped hanging out with Kyle with the excuse she wasn’t feeling good lately. Which wasn’t a lie, everytime the other offered for her to come in she’d remember the picture of Kyle’s boyfriend and then Finnegan who was waiting for her at home and she’d feel sick to her stomach. By the end of the week, after the third time she cancelled on Kyle in a row, she got a knock at her door. It couldn’t have been much later than two pm, but Kyle still showed up in her pajamas and her eyes were a bit hazy in the way they got after she smoked. “Hey,” she said, hands in the pockets of her jacket. The cashier swallowed and repeated her greeting. “You seem to be feeling better,” Kyle observed, and the cashier couldn’t ignore the underlying anger and hurt in her words. “It’s like you never were even sick.” Looking away guiltily, the cashier mumbled out an apology, but even she knew that it wasn’t even scratching the surface of being enough. Kyle’s frown and the way her face darkens was proof enough. The truth was there, on the tip of her tongue, sworming so much in her mouth to get out that she had to bite her lip to keep it down. Before either of them can say another word, a meow cut them off. The two looked down at their feet and, to the cashier’s horror, there was Finnegan, brushing up against Kyle’s legs. She watched as Kyle furrowed her brows and asked, “When did you get a cat—” The cashier had been quick to cut her off, blurting out the entire story before Kyle could get another word in. When she was done, she had to take a few glops of breath to keep from getting light-headed. Kyle stared at her wide-eyed, mouth slowly closing after a moment or two before she finally said, “Well, shit.” And as unhelpful as her answer was, the cashier felt her response deep in her bones. “Okay, okay,” Kyle took a deep breath. “You stole a cat. Is this why you were avoiding me, because you thought I’d tell?” The cashier watched as Kyle bent down to run her fingers through Finnegan’s fluff and could only muster up the energy to shrug. Kyle hummed and scooped the gray cat up, holding him like a new born baby. “You’ve had a lot on your plate, I get it. We’ve all stolen something or another. Want to get some breakfast and talk about it?” Her eyes flickered to Kyle’s pajamas before drifting back to her easy smile. Kyle would always be something she would never understand. “Well?” The other sat Finnegan down and he bolted back into her apartment for his safety. The cashier noticed the way Kyle’s brown hair caught the sunlight through the upstairs hallway window at a perfect angle, giving her a halo around her head. Etchings 33.1 36


The cashier’s heart didn’t skip a beat like it would’ve a few days ago, but she found herself smiling back. “You okay?” Kyle asked when the two of them made their way down the apartment’s stairs. Watching the way Kyle turned back to her at the bottom step, the cashier thought about the people she left behind, wondering if they’d respond if she reached out. Most of them she never cared to lose, but some of them had been there when Alice hadn’t or had sent their sympathy texts about her mother. She thought about going through her closet on her next day off, dragging out everything that had been shoved there. The idea of pulling out her mother’s urn made her sick. She’d save it for last until she figured out what to do with the jar of ashes. Her old textbooks and Alice’s abandoned stuff would be the first step over anything. “Paige?” Kyle nudged her again. “Hello?” The cashier, Paige, smiled and nodded her head. As she jumped off the second to last step to catch up with Kyle, she wondered how much she could give away to thrift stores.

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Victoria Miller

Pancakes

Solicited Illustration for "The Cashier"

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Kami Spear

Lone Flower

Solicited Illustration for "The Cashier"

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Tylyn K. Johnson

Algunos Consejos en Apoyo de Cambios Sociales Yo soy un escritor que escribe y disfruta del diálogo sobre los problemas sociales e historia oscura de nuestra sociedad. Soy también un estudiante del trabajo social, aprendiendo más sobre estos temas que afectan al mundo, como la muerte del medioambiente, el uso de redes sociales para sembrar mentiras a la gente, y violaciones de derechos humanos. Como muchas personas, joven y mayor, de color y blanco, de varios generos y sexualidades y niveles de habilidades y economicos, yo quiero cambiar estos problemas de nuestra historia y encontrar una carrera mejor y mas saludable a todos, la que no le repetiremos. Las protestas contra racismo y discriminacion sistémico en los Estados Unidos por el movimiento de Black Lives Matter durante los últimos siete años, y muchas generaciones anteriores de activismo, nos han mostrado el compromiso de individuos diferentes que se unen para ganar justicia verdadera. Aunque no estoy seguro de mi camino específico en aporte de mis causas sociales de interés, he usado los medios de escritura y conversación para enseñar y empoderar a otros cuando sea posible. Infortunadamente, sea difícil a saber cómo podemos aportar la creación de soluciones a estos problemas. Yo ha proveído solamente tres problemas amplios en nuestro mundo, mientras existen muchos otros problemas. Y ellos pueden parecer demasiado grande para nos. Afortunadamente, hay muchas organizaciones no gubernamentales y organizaciones sin fines de lucro que están haciendo algo ahora, que trabajan en áreas pequenos y maneras grandes. Creo que hayan unos negocios que ofrezcen aportes importantes al trabajo también, aunque muchos otros toman de estos esfuerzos significativos. Aquí, deseo listar algunos consejos para empezar tu carrera en este trabajo importante. Estos consejos vienen por mi experiencia, los cuentos de las personas que yo conozco, y las cosas que yo he leído durante toda mi vida. 1. Debes participar con las organizaciones en su escuela y aprender de ellos. 2. Si usas redes sociales, es importante que crees conexiones con gente haciendo el trabajo, ¡y tenga preguntas! Y no termines aquí, porque los problemas sobre los que estamos hablando existen en nuestras vidas reales, no solamente en línea. 3. Es mejor que ganes habilidades y conocimientos por las clases que hayan en su escuela, por artículos, y otros individuos. 4. Puede ser útil que escribas un blog y compartas tu voz en línea. Si tienes una meta para tu activismo, debes hablar sobre ella.

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5. Recomiendo que hagas trabajo voluntario. Si existen lugares que necesiten ayuda, ¡unirlos! Una hora cada semana/mes es un buen comienzo. 6. No tienes que ser un activista que participe en marchas a fin de hacer el bien. Todas las personas tienen papeles diferentes en las luchas actuales y futuras que afrontamos. 7. No olvides el posible impacto de las artes. Poesía hablada, música activista, y cuentos de verdad pueden inspirar cambios como marchas, pólizas, y dinero. Los artes proveen una manera donde podemos mejorar nuestras culturas propias. 8. Necesitas tener conversaciones difíciles. Si no estamos dispuestos a estar incómodos con la realidad, no lo afrontaremos. 9. Aprendas cómo cada sistema de nuestra sociedad se afecta, y por lo tanto, la gente por dentro. 10. ¡Uses tu voz político y votes! especialmente en las elecciones locales. Ayudes a las personas cercanas a registran a votar y entender sus opciones. Si quieres unirte a una causa social, ¡espero que los consejos susodichos sean útiles para ti!

Given everything I have seen with the impact of COVID-19 and the increased attention being given to the traumas inflicted upon Black folx, as well as the historic injustices suffered by indigenous peoples and so many other areas of discrimination and disenfranchisement, I want to remind people they can help. It might not be anything “new,” but it is certainly important for people to understand and engage. Community growth isn’t just about social media engagement or political activity, it’s also about using your resources to support others and being willing to be uncomfortable to fight for real, sustainable progress.

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Adam Fernandes

The 6th Amendment Poster

For our Typography class, Professor Julia Taugner assigned a project that took a Constitutional Amendment and promoted it through a type-dominant poster. My project took the 6th Constitutional Amendment and portrayed it in a way that sympathizes with those who were falsely accused, and even imprisoned, for crimes that they did not commit. This idea is promoted by the redacted text that represents the hidden undertakings of those with ill intent.

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Olivia Williams

Haiku I. Calendar Image 2020 March 1st the forest is green it lays a path, a journey, breathe, will you take it? II. Calendar Image 2020 March 31st the forest is green a path just for you; what a shame, you’re quarantined

I. & II. are Haikus that I made during quarantine. Due to COVID-19, I only got out of the house to go to work and to occasionally go for a walk outside. The beginning of March had very different meanings to me compared to the end of the month. In a minor break of sanity, I looked at my calendar and I saw the image, the dates, and writings of the things I was supposed to do and I broke down. I am very happy that I was taking safety precautions and taking the virus seriously, but that doesn’t mean I didn’t struggle with it in different ways. These short haikus hold too many emotions to try to encapsulate but the writing shows the opposition within.

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Mackenzie Hyatt

Did You Have Your Conversation with the Moon? - Tweet by Ada Limón, July 4, 2020

or: Why Lesbians Love the Moon so Much Grant me your penumbral kiss, Miss Lune, and I’ll trade you some earthly bounty. I’ve seen you pull at the oceans, Old Stone, but that surely can’t be all? I bet if you tried, sweet Cynthia, you could rip the seas from the sands yourself. You could fill your craters, Mistress Luna, bring the fish too and have mercy. I can’t be the one to do that, Dearest Daughter of Theia, what rocket do I have? What giant eyedrop? You, original streetlight, Queen Selene of the Mean Streets, could find a were-thing more fitting for your prayer. If you did, Lady Moon, I’d miss your conversation. But I’d be fine, Orbiter, just a little sad. I promise, Mother Night, just a little sad.

"DYHYCWM" was inspired by a tweet by Ada Limón, a penumbral eclipse, and finding companionship with a space rock.

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Victoria Miller

First Date

First dates are different: some happy, some not so happy. This picture represents a date that went well. Each person can see the future with the other. The bright, warm colors represent this idea. Different elements throughout the image represent both sides, creating a connection with the viewer. This photograph is 8 in x 12 in.

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Joe Raymond

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Joe Raymond

Crimson Black Night Absentee, alcoholic, womanizing father, angelic mother, fighting into the night. Twice her size, on his back, his face raked bloody red, as she, angelic mother chose fight, not flight, her choice, defense instead. The boy, paralyzed by the sight of crimson combat chose flight, not fight. The boy, cut too by what he saw through that sliver of light, never speaking to anyone of his feeble retreat into the ink black night. The boy became the man by doing the things a man is expected to do, seldom thinking of the crimson spatter on that onyx-black night & after half of one-hundred years have passed, in the occasional stillness of his nights, he remembers and questions what might have changed if he had acted instead of slipping back into the darkness midst his crimson black fright.

This sculpture & poem are elements of a developing installation sculpture. If this piece invokes some discomfort, then we have connected. My motivation is to draw attention to the enduring nature of domestic violence and that observed as well as experienced events can continue for a life time.

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Joe Raymond

Dyslexia Uninterrupted

This began as a letterpress project where individual letterforms were inked and printed in violet. The production was interrupted by sheltering in place. I scanned each letterform and converted them in photoshop to change color and make them transparent. They were layered & merged to visualize the blockages I experience as a dyslexic / dysgraphic. When words in my head become unstuck, it seems like a faucet spilling out, therefore Uinterrupted. The dark areas represent a faucet and a bowl. The tumbling typeforms represent the shower of words as the faucet opens.

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Kensington Eiler

El Reloj de la Noche ¿Puedes oírlo? Tictac Tictac Tictac Pienso que nunca para Puedo oírlo en la noche El sonido resuena Tictac Tictac Tictac Pero, hay muchas cosas que yo quiero hacer Quiero aprender muchas lenguas Y volar a una lugar Tictac Tictac Tictac Y escribir un libro Y coser un vestido Y manejar un helicóptero Tictac Tictac Tictac Y correr una carrera Y crear una pintura Y comer mucha comida Tictac Tictac Tictac ¿Y por qué? ¿Por qué el ruido incesante? ¿Cuándo terminará? Tictac Tictac Tictac A veces me siento Y escucho No hago nada más Tictac Tictac Tictac I wrote "El Reloj de la Noche" in response to the increasing pressure I put on myself. I feel like there is always a clock ticking and I will never do all of the things I want to do before I die. Sometimes the time limits I set for myself overwhelm me, rendering me unable to get anything done at all. This poem is my attempt to capture the eternal haunting countdown.

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Rochelle Bauer

Give Me a Try Show me your bad poems and I’ll show you mine. Let me inspire yours the way you do mine. I’m sure we’d be the best pair of pathetic poets. You would write about how green eyes are your least favorite and how I’m not your dream girl but I do make you laugh. The stars say Taurus and Gemini aren’t compatible, anyway. That’d be fine though because I’d probably write about how I absolutely hate brown eyes but still, you do make me laugh. And, lucky for us, I don’t even believe in astrology like you do. When I washed my baby blanket, I checked the dryer in distressed intervals because I was afraid I’d come back to a pile of thread. You thought it was adorable. Now darlin’, if you know that I took care of a blanket that well and for this long, imagine how well I’d take care of you.

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Riley Childers

Blooming

“Blooming� was a photo that brought my photography full circle. When I first started my photography journey, I would only take nature photos, but over time I grew into different areas. This photo allowed me to bring my past experiences and interests into my current photography.

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Riley Childers

Momma

“Momma� is a photograph created with a scanner. Scanography sparked my interest about a year ago, and it allowed me manipulate the scene of an already captured photo and create something new. This piece is for my mom who inspires me to do what I love every day.

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Joe Raymond

I Am the 1% I am not binary, nor gay, not gender fluid I am violet not purple Almost imperceptibly so, different looks back from my mirror I am neither He, nor She yet I am both―Me I am not blue because bad boys took mine from me when I was young nor am I purple after being unacceptably untraditional finding love I have always been a violet They, or Them I just didn’t understand that They could be Me for so long it was a crazy, confusing way to be If you see He, that’s perfectly okay with me but I see more She than He looking back at me and I’m finally okay with all that is Me I am not drawn to your slot A or tab B, that’s not where it starts for me I fall in love with your heart, your character, your aspirations and I worry...will you hurt me? My sisters have always been my brothers, they are the most like me. and I am the 1% Mine is more of a coming clear than a coming out. Nothing has really changed except that I have become more comfortable in my identity. There are six major alleles in the human DNA, not two; we are not simple binary beings. Therefore, I choose to be who I was meant to be, that 1% in the middle.

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Joe Raymond

Pressing Matters

Holding wooden type is lovely in the hands. These typeforms were likely produced by craftsmen using hand or man powered tools. I have been a printer of various methods nearly all my life. This and other techniques were shelved when the world changed around them. Letterpress is enjoying a revival as a useful and appreciated artform...my metaphor for life.

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Joe Raymond

Letterpressed KJU

The background of this letterpress project is printed with wooden type purchased in the UK 20+ years ago. I don’t know the birthdate of the larger characters. In letterpress every character is hand picked, aligned and manually inked making each print unique. To bring this type full circle and print with it was more mission than project and personally very satisfying to “press” it back into service. The poem "Kju" is my work and is my response to being questioned about my favorite letterform. "Kju" was published previously in Etchings volume 32.2 Spring 2020.

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Kami Spear

Overshadowed

The way the leaf lays perfectly on top of the flower caught my attention in my side yard. In a world where we give most of the attention to the bright, flashy objects, this reminded me to take a closer look at the smaller, less noticeable details because they are just as important.

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J.W. Surface

Childhood, Childhood Give me a bowl of ice cream. Carpet, Warm and soft between my toes. Hours of that one cartoon. That box of action figures, With a never ending evening, Free from homework. And, that old familiar thirst, To feed the imagination.

With all that 2020 has brought us, I have to admit, on many occasions I have wished to go back to simpler times. Calmer times. This poem does that for me. It brings me back to nostalgia, comfort and simplicity. But, this poem also helps me appreciate the past, and all that is has done for me.

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Victoria Miller

Perfection

This, to me, is the perfect picture: I am in a place I love fishing and photographing. The sun sets on another great day by the water. My friends and I had a great day in the sun fishing for dinner. This picture captures that day, from the beautiful colors in the sky to the back lighting from the setting sun. This is pure perfection.

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J.W. Surface

The Bird Waited In the perfect of June he came to inspect the HVAC; modern man’s comfort. I said a little prayer that he would not have a death sentence. He attached his hose, the spout squeaked, and water flowed. He began his process of cleaning and examining. Assessing its quality of life. Hearing the water, a bird perched on a nearby rose bush. Watching and waiting for the water to bring up the easy meal. “How long you been doing this?” I hoped my question wasn’t too obvious. “Fifty two years this July,” he said, limping around the machine. Noting the bird, he let the water run into the dirt. The bird chirped its approval, hopped to a lower branch, and waited for us to leave. Its color, worn with years. His grey hair and wrinkles matched the faded and ruffled feathers. Both, old and weathered. But not done.

Doctors and Veterinarians often utter this horrible phrase, “quality of life.” They say it as if it’s a politically correct and sensitive way to say that someone or something is near death, and now the remainder of their life must be measured. The number of ‘good days’ must be measured. There’s a lot things we measure like this. Too often we focus on such things, instead of focusing on the little things in life. Like a perfect day in June.

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Tylyn K. Johnson

Porque Yo No he Juntado las Marchas Pienso que yo he oído convocatorias a protestas para toda mi vida adulto, como muerte, los impuestos, y alegría y dolor, la necesidad de protestas queda inevitable. A mí, la manera en que mi mamá me enseñó la importancia de la preservación del yo, mientras ella estaba agobiada con cinismo de todas excepto sus hijos, estas cosas ha aportado a mi vacilación a juntar con las protestas—a pesar de como yo veo la importancia de las luchas contra los problemas que causan las marchas. No le culpo a mi mamá de mi miedo de protestas, porque ella hizo la cosa que sintió mejor para la sobrevivencia de sus hijos afroamericanos. No recuerdo un tiempo de mi juventud cuando mi mama me enseñó sobre los problemas historicos que han afectado comunidades de color, especialmente comunidades de la diaspora africana y pueblos originarios, por muchas generaciones. Ella me puso en una programa para enseñarme cómo “ser un hombre bueno,” que me proveyó lecciones en la historia de las gentes africanas en los Estados Unidos; la supervivencia contra esclavitud, la terminacion de las leyes de Jim Crow, el activismo contra brutalidad policial, y muchas otras batallas entre estas cosas. El conocimiento que no ganamos en escuela. No recuerdo las conversaciones entre mi mama y yo sobre racismo y otros problemas sociales en mi niñez, probablemente porque ella me quería disfrutar mi niñez sin estar cansado. La mayoría de mis memorias de la niñez son sobre luchas con mi hermanos maternos, la pérdida de contacto con mis hermanos paternos, y mis sueños para el futuro. ¿Cual es mi punto? Mientras muchas personas de color sufrian racismo durante edades jovenes, muchas otras tienen el privielgio de proteccion contra conocimiento sobre racismo hace un poco mayor. No podemos hablar sobre racismo en niñez sin hablar sobre experiencias diferentes con la introducción de jóvenes al racismo, y cómo este problema se cambia. Por consiguiente, los sentimientos y las respuestas a las condiciones que afecten estas gentes marginalizadas por sus razas pueden variar mucho. Cuando era un niño, mi mamá apoyaba mis sueños a sería un abogado que mejoraría el mundo. Hoy, yo soy un estudiante de la universidad. Yo estudio trabajo social en una carrera que no siempre está clara. Yo deseo que sería un activista, quien pueda poner toda la lucha en cambiar el mundo. ¡Pero es más aterrador que infierno! A ella no le gusta mi especialización en trabajo social porque es un área donde los trabajadores no ganen mucho dinero y puedan sufrir una falta de equilibrio entre la vida y el trabajo. Y también, ella se preocupa que yo voy a desperdiciar mi tiempo y energía en trabajo que nuestra sociedad no valora. Pienso que ella habla la verdad.

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No obstante, creo que debo aportar al activismo y trabajo para la justicia y la creación de cambio social que durará por las vidas después de mi propia vida. Infortunadamente, no tengo el espíritu para caminar y hablar en las marchas, ni tengo la energía para ser un abogado. Y no pienso que puedo buscar por estas cosas. Sin embargo, yo he encontrado que mi destino requiere el uso de las herramientas de trabajo social—diálogo, educación, conocimiento de recursos, y cosas importantes similares—al fin de que construya caminos diferentes a vidas mejores por otras personas. Mi carrera está pocos años en el futuro, y los movimientos de cambio, como Black Lives Matter y Me Too y grupos indígenas y personas queer y muchos otros necesitan apoyar hoy. Es verdadero. Por lo tanto, intento compartir información para educar y atraigo el diálogo necesario sobre los temas de importancia a estos movimientos. Y también, con suerte, te muestro como los caminos de otras personas pueden influir el futuro de estos problemas de nuestras comunidades. El activismo de base es muy muy muy importante, y por lo tanto, ofrezco algunas razones que previenen esta forma de activismo por muchos individuos afroamericanos, aún si tengan el tiempo para hacerlo. Digo, penses sobre lo. Yo soy un hombre afroamericano gay, me crió por una madre afroamericana de barrio pobres y difíciles. Me dijo mucha los mantras de mamas afroamericanas a sus hijos: "Te enfries tu cabeza y quedes vivo." "No estés a ninguna parte donde que alguien pueda lastimarte." "Ellos pueda llamarte una bestia, pero nunca no pongas a prueba una hombre blanco que este loco." "El diablo es un mentiroso y también es la ley. No tengas las mismas derechas de gentes blancas." Cuando estas palabras están escritas a través de los pasillos de su mente, como las citas inspiradoras de mala calidad en casas suburbanas, deja de querer a poner en peligro toda para cambiar el mundo. Especialmente cuando hay un niño que te respeta mientras se crece, ¿arriesgas tu vida cuando él se depende en ti? ¿O cuando tu madre moriría si murieras en una protesta donde la policía abrieran fuego, o cuando el poli solamente mirara mientras antorchas tikis encendieran tu melanina, y terroristas blancas plantaran signos de condenación por tu corazón, derramando la sangre del arco iris? Infortunadamente, cada de estas imágenes me muestran que yo no seré nunca un activista en las marchas. Claro, mi propia historia no representa los cuentos de todas las personas que tengan ascendencia africano. No obstante, yo existo como un ejemplo del trabajo de una generación nueva de jóvenes adultos que trabajarán en medios que nuestros antepasados no hicieron. Por muchos, el activismo de base—en línea o en las calles—es solamente el principio. La supervivencia y la esperanza de prosperidad personal de nuestros padres no son bastante para nuestras almas. Especialmente como una generación que miro fall 2020

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videos llenos de los asesinatos gubernamentales de personas afroamericanos, y las ficciones de Avatar the Last Airbender, The Hunger Games, y cuentos similares, y la elección de Trump mientras éramos adolescentes justo después Obama era un símbolo importante en nuestras niñeces. Para mi, en lugar de la forma de activismo en los medios, usare mis palabras para inspirarse a cargar esta responsabilidad necesaria. Para otras personas, estarán en una escuela mostrando a un joven los caminos que no puedan ver en los barrios llenos de balas y casas desgastadas. Hablarán en salas de juntas para dar estas ideas a la gente en poder quien no sepan las familias que se afecten. Revisarán literatura académica y hojas electrónicas llenas con los datos de investigaciones que informen las pólizas que se cambien los modelos de nuestras comunidades. Tenemos acceso a más información, y más estrategias de cambio social, que nuestros antepasados, y usaremos sin pena. Es un derecho natural que vino del trabajo de personas como Fannie Lou Hamer, James Baldwin, Crystal LaBeija, Malcolm X, y muchos otros líderes. Cuando era un niño, yo creía que cambiaría el mundo en la sala del tribunal. Y hoy, deseo que mi carrera de trabajo traería a las marchas de los movimientos actuales, a las luchas que yo estoy mirando por las redes sociales. Sin embargo, ninguno de los dos es parte de mi camino. Mi trabajo como trabajador social y un escritor serán mi camino. Y aunque nunca yo no camine el césped ni comunique los cuentos importantes de las noticias, pero ayudare cortar el césped y aliviaré su trabajo, o trabajaré bastante en el fondo que el ciclo de noticias cambiarse por el mejor, en una manera real. No debe requerir las vidas ni muertes de afrodescendientes para inspirar cambio, sino este seguro que muchas voces afrodescendientes habrán forzado los cambios necesarios a ocurrir. Yo no soy el único, porque miles, millones, se están preparando para crear un futuro mejor para— nuestras gentes, por todos medios necesarios.

The protests and marches for movements like Black Lives Matter and LGBTQ+ rights and women’s equality have been going on since long before I was even thought of. Generations before, even. And something I’ve honestly struggled with as someone who likes to think of themself as “communityminded,” as “justice-centered,” as someone with an understanding the complex intersections of our interactions, is the idea of me personally joining the protests. For me, I will always support this sacred form of activism that centers the voices, the humanity, of the most underrepresented and marginalized in our society. However, I have never been able to bring myself to join in those inperson protests and marches, simply because I never felt that it was “my lane” of work, so to speak. And so, this is my attempt to discuss and explore that more deeply.

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Patrick Handlon

Space Figure 3

This piece was an early exploration of a series I’m currently working on in which I photograph yard sale/thrift store finds as a commentary on our disposable society and the beauty of impermanent objects.

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McKenna Tetrick

Sonnet One it’s my first night away from you. the car propels itself towards a state without your name in its atmosphere. i know that every mile will feel like a mistake, every streetlight a reminder of your golden-brown eyes, the way you smile, teeth bared at the world that tries to separate us. the road stretches on and i try to stretch my arms back to where you are, sleeping so far away. i know when i roll over i will not be entangled with you. my love, miles tear us apart, but we’re still one. i’ll build an altar to you: soaked in moon­‑ light, i’ll kiss the memory of your lips

I have always loved the idea of loosely written sonnets and decided to write one for myself. This poem was inspired by the first long trip that I took away from my partner. I dedicated a sonnet to each day that I was away from them, but this one was my favorite.

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McKenna Tetrick

Sonnet One Point Five we number our years in revolutions. the count of every time we flip the world on its head. the sum of lashes hazing your eyes. every kiss hidden in closets, away from saints and into the twilight. each time i have named you mine without care of what i may lose. the total of hands held in fear of what may—will—be to come. we have flipped our world over, hollowed out the pangs of our upbringings, carved a place where i may number the freckles on your skin. it is there i will count my blessings. we have lived a thousand revolutions, though the sun may speak of little more than one.

I wrote this loose sonnet on my one-and-a-half-year anniversary with my partner. I liked playing with the idea of “revolutions” and the many meanings that word can have. As we were both closeted at the time, it felt like every act of love was a revolution in itself, though our love had only revolved around the sun once.

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Lindsey Henderson

The Aging Process of a Mermaid Ever since humans first discovered mermaids they have worshipped them for their beauty. They’re known for their long shiny hair, their flawless skin, and their strong powerful tails. Very few, however, know the legend of how these creatures obtain their beauty. If you’ve never seen a newborn mermaid, be grateful. It’s not a pretty sight. They kind of look like human newborns: bald with alien looking eyes. Except newborn mermaids are slimmer and covered in scales, with a tail instead of legs. Newborn mermaids are hideous and if you saw one you’d think: “How do these things grow into the beautiful creature we’re used to seeing?” The answer is their mother. Childbirth for a mermaid is painful enough, but it only gets worse as their child grows up. From the moment they’re born, a mermaid slowly begins to gain beauty. They do this by sucking it from the mother. It’s a magical connection between a mermaid and her daughter, and a natural process for them. The older the daughter gets the more beauty she sucks from her mother. As the daughter’s hair grows long, and her skin starts to glow, the mother loses her hair and gains wrinkles. The mermaid’s body begins to shrivel up until there’s almost nothing left. When a mermaid reaches the prime of their beauty which is on her twentieth birthday, the daughter will eat her mother and gain whatever resources are left. A ceremony is held, of course, so everyone can gather around and witness the mother’s last minutes alive. The last thing a mermaid sees as she looks into her daughter’s eyes is her daughter’s fangs growing and becoming visible, before a bloody feeding frenzy erupts and the water becomes red. It’s a cruel way to die, but it’s a mermaid’s natural way of life and the order of how things work. For Katalina her own expiration date was fast approaching, and she was terrified. In her youth Katalina had been gorgeous. She had long curly brown hair and eyes as blue as the ocean her people swam in. She was admired by everyone, and chased by multiple mermen. When she found a mate and became pregnant she knew what she was signing up for. Part of her wanted to fight him off to avoid it all, but it’s a mermaid’s instinct to reproduce, so Katalina gave into her natural desires and signed her death sentence. As soon as she gave birth and looked at her daughter, Katalina knew all she’d feel from now on was pain. Her daughter already possessed the deep blue eyes her mother had, and was already growing hair before she was one year old. Katalina named her daughter Luna and loved her with all her heart, even though she knew what was coming. Twenty years was still far away though; she had plenty of time to enjoy her life. Sadly her life would be filled with anything

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but joy. Luna was even prettier than her mother had been, and before she even reached five years old, Katalina felt her beauty being sucked out of her. It started out slow, she’d find gray hair here and there, a chin whisker would appear that she’d have to pluck. As soon as Luna turned ten however, the process sped up rapidly. Katalina began to lose her teeth, then her hair. Her skin began to wrinkle and not a day went by when she wasn’t in pain. Luna was sucking the beauty from her mother so fast that Katalina sometimes thought she’d die before they even had the ceremony. By the time Luna turned nineteen Katalina was bald, toothless, and close to being blind. Her once beautiful blue eyes had clouded over to where all she saw were shapes and blurs. Meanwhile Luna had grown radiant with beauty. Her hair was black as coal, her eyes the same deep blue shade her mother used to have, and her skin and tail glowed with perfect health. Her smile was filled with warmth, but when she looked at her mother it quickly turned to a look of scorn. She saw her mother as weak and disgusting. She didn’t remember her mother as beautiful, just this old sack of bones that had been holding her back her whole life. She was days away from her twentieth birthday and she couldn’t wait. Katalina, even though she was in deep pain, still loved her daughter, and tried to hold onto her. Even though her sight was slipping away she could see her daughter’s beauty and it reminded her of her own youth. She reached out a hand to touch Luna’s face. “You’ve grown into such a beautiful woman, just like I once was. You are my whole life, and even though I’m dying, it fills me with joy that I was able to give you such beauty.” Luna pulled away from her mother’s touch and sneered at her. “You were never beautiful, you are nothing. You think you gave me this gift that I should be grateful for. I took what is rightfully mine and there’s nothing you can do about it you old hag!” Luna swam away, and Katalina sat filled with hurt and shock. She had given her whole life and soul to her daughter, how could she talk to her with such hate? As nighttime came and Katalina laid awake, her feelings of pain and sadness turned to feelings of resentment and anger. Why should she sacrifice her life for her daughter? She wasn’t even grateful! It was her daughter’s fault she had become this withered, despicable creature and she didn’t even appreciate it! The next morning Luna turned twenty, and the ceremony took place. The colony gathered around the stone platform as Katalina and Luna were escorted down the aisle. Katalina had grown so weak she could barely swim. Luna had drained almost all the beauty and life from her, and now she was about to suck everything away. Katalina’s heart was filled with fear and a deep rage that had been buried so deep she didn’t know she possessed it until this moment. She didn’t want to die; she wanted to be young and beautiful again. Luna didn’t deserve to take her life. In that moment Katalina did something no mermaid had ever dared to do. Defying the natural order Katalina turned on her daughter and attempted to fall 2020

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strangle her. But she had grown so weak that she was only able to choke her for a few seconds before the mermen guards easily pulled her off and forced her to lay on the stone platform where they chained her down. Luna didn’t even have time to react to her mother’s outburst before it was handled, but once the realization hit her that her mother had tried to kill her, any guilt she had perhaps felt about this ceremony vanished. She swam over to Katalina and hovered over her. Her mother’s eyes were filled with panic now, and as Luna approached she made one last attempt to plead for her life. “Please Luna, don’t do this! I’m your mother!” Luna looked at her mother with cold, emotionless eyes and in their reflection Katalina saw herself and remembered her own ceremony. She too had eaten away at her mother’s flesh heartlessly without even batting an eye. She had been cruel to her mother, and now her time had come for the same thing to happen to her. She realized she was trapped in a repeating cycle of nature, and no matter how hard she might have tried, it was always going to end like this. Luna continued to look at her mother as she opened her mouth and showed her fangs. Katalina stared into her daughter’s eyes as she felt her child’s fangs rip into her throat and tear at her flesh. The pain didn’t last as long as she feared it would, and in moments her cloudy eyes faded into darkness as the ocean turned red with blood once again.

“The Aging Process of a Mermaid” is a folktale that tells what happens to a mermaid when it reaches old age. This story serves as a metaphor for how society and the economy treat our elderly.

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Riley Childers

What’s Left Unspoken

“What’s Left Unspoken” is one of my first self-portraits. This is one of the photos that allowed me to realize that I could also find ways to capture photos of myself and create something meaningful.

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Joe Raymond

The Bean

This particular fall day was chilly and brisk even though the mid afternoon sun was bright. This made "The Bean" seem all that more metallic and at the same time more liquid. In color the bean seemed foreign to the skyscape framing it. I chose to convert my image to sepia to warm and unify the landscape. I imagine the bean as a seed pod now from which a new building will rise into the skyline. This scene was photographed with a Samsung S9 Note Cell Phone.

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Abigail Asher

The Bees Can Stay—If They Keep Away I don’t like bees. I’ve never liked bees. I know they’re important to the environment. I know we need to save them. But. I still don’t Like them. They terrify me. As a child, bees, the big fat kind, carpenter bees, lived in the wood frames of the porches of my childhood homes. My mom would tell me how harmless they are. As if that was supposed to make me feel better. They’re big and loud and would chase me. Once, in a Walmart there was a small little bee He terrorized everyone waiting in line. He stung me. On the neck. And I cried and cried. I have a vendetta—a grudge towards them! I don’t like bees. I’ll never like bees. no matter how well they pollinate my flowers.

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Olivia Williams

The Gates open wide spread & squeak made of black iron & something even more melancholy screams & moans of death release My momma told me that the gates would move for me, that heavenly light would appear that I am the goodest girl she ever had seen surely I would be witness to the baby blue sky I would see the angels their beautiful wings I would hear the most glorious singing & be clothed in white with a ring of light, I would be given my own pair of wings & I’d learn to fly with the prophets my family the pets I’d lost along the way I shouldn’t blame my momma for what she didn’t know how would she have known? I never told her so she just assumed I still loved god and he me see I didn’t tell her and that was the real death of me I didn’t tell her about how when she wasn’t looking, my skin would shimmer in the rays of the sun I didn’t tell her that the color of the rainbow stained my heart & the feelings I have for My Love made it all worth it all of the secrets & silent suffering I endured she made it all worth it momma I am still in love & I always will be I’m sorry momma you didn’t know I wouldn’t be joinin you & daddy in that big blue sky you didn’t know that you were all damning me my whole life & that really isn’t your fault I didn’t tell ya what ya shoulda seen & shoulda known. the signs were there maybe, you just chose not to see when you look at a person

like me. “The Gates” is the journey I have experienced on the road to love and self-acceptance. This is one of the hardest and most taxing writings I have done—a beautiful, creative, and healing experience. The narrator goes from a place of feeling pressured and conformed to a realization that they only need to be accepted by themselves. This is a love poem that focuses on self-love, acceptance, and being true to oneself.

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Patrick Handlon

The Kiss

This image is part of a series I am working on where I photograph yard sale/thrift store objects to show the disposable nature of our society and the beauty of impermanence.

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Olivia Williams

Kama Sutra at Barnes & Noble in the cafĂŠ an elderly couple sit in the pea green velvet arm chairs. their legs crossed, facing toward one another. they read magazines. the woman looks at an issue of Southern Style, her face relaxed, and the man, at The Modern Kama Sutra. the woman looks over to the man, her white wavy hair landing on her silver, astronaut-like winter jacket, and smiles, her cheeks rising with it. the man wears a black beanie, glasses to match. his white hair peeks through the ends and down his back. her eyes widen and mouth shifts, Is that real?! It seems like it would slip out when it gets really intense. the man continues to show her the page, opening the magazine wider for the woman to see. she shifts softly in the seat and shoves the Southern Style over his pages, eyes back to normal but still red in the face. Look at this one! It would look great in the living room, what do you think? the man nods and twists the corners of his mouth, then gazes back to the Kama Sutra, he turns the page. the woman is taken aback,

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I don’t like that one at all. her eyebrows go from shock to a frown, he tries to explain to her, I think we should try that...it looks interesting. the woman looks at the page, she doesn’t like it and shakes her head no. her mouth small, fists clenched around the Southern Style the man then turns to the next page. they both stare at the scene in the magazine No, there’s no way… the man strokes his white face whiskers, obviously disgruntled, and shifts his body back into the seat and looks around. he pulls the magazine towards him until it is closed. his left hand bears no ring, the woman wears a ring but, on her right hand her left is empty… I don’t like that table by the way, it would be too big in the living room. And those curtains… absolutely hideous.

This poem was inspired by a couple at Barnes & Noble in the café talking and reading together. This poem is fun but also addresses other issues that are important.

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Victoria Miller

The Unknown

I was in an unknown place. You can imagine how scary that can be, but I knew I was surrounded by beauty. Even though the image is extremely dark, the colors in the fog are truly beautiful. Even being in an unknown place, there was beauty to be found. This photograph is 10 in x 15 in.

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Mackenzie Hyatt

Ask:

—for Tyler S.

If I could have dinner with anyone, alive or dead, who would it be? I hate this question. I say Jane Goodall or Emily Dickinson. Though dinner with Dickinson and I wouldn’t stay dinner for long. I always want to say you, though. But “friend from high school who ghosted me after moving halfway across Indiana” isn’t good for an icebreaker. I should have told you I was in love with you when I had the chance. Though I like girls now (I’ve always liked girls, I think) so maybe I wasn’t. I wish it was funnier than it is, but I realized I liked girls the same year you left. I wish I could have seen your face when I told you. I still remember your face when you said I was your best friend. I still remember your face when I told you a boy asked me if I was single. I don’t remember what I told that boy. I don’t remember what you said your new last name is. I haven’t had a best friend since. Don’t think I wasn’t happy for you when you moved away, I just wasn’t happy for me. Selfish, I know. I think I’ve always been a little selfish. Maybe we were selfish together when we finished those Thin Mints in a day by ourselves with my mother’s $4. $4 was enough to get four canned Cokes at dances and I always forgot mine so you got me one. You told me not to pay you back. I asked you not to worry about it when I bought the drinks and popcorn at the movies the last time. I remember the movie. I remember that a main character had your name. None of them had mine. I shouldn’t have told you to go home. I should have asked you to wait with me for the 20 minutes it took my dad to get there. I should have had my first kiss in the parking lot. I should have had a better sense of style. I think you’d like my sense of style now. I think you’d like the way I am. You know, I still look around for you everywhere I go. I pretend I see you and write the finale of our epic odyssey where we finally meet after 4 years and the curtain goes down to applause. I erase that draft every time. Thank you though. I haven’t gone off the deep end yet, but I was close that second half of sophomore year. Write me when you get this. You could probably find me anywhere. Sincerely, Mackenzie

“Ask:” is part poem, part letter, and part monologue. It’s inspired by the worst icebreaker question, love, missed opportunities, and loss.

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Kathleen Hacker

Impressions at the Half Dozen 1. I am me and you are you let us walk this earth together or not each to our own destiny in equal yet different pathways envy has no place here 2. thumbs elevate our species when coupled with reason they allow us to reign supreme yet they work mindlessly behind that single-letter stream they have the power to take away our humanity the trouble with our thumbs 3. restless she sighs and repositions tosses papers and rattles pencils her breath makes her nostrils cold for what is she searching tonight beyond her present state it is her unending quest for the elusive new

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4.

night and doubt letters slip by unspoken as if they never existed in music the rest, the caesura are heralds of melody gone by You’re very quiet tonight he says and she at her most soundless remains silent, not wishing to break 5. my morning repose no people, no stream no birdsongs in winter just the firing of the furnace and cream filled coffee one hour before the relentless order of my day 6. I choose to clean off the night with a hot shower in the morning while you drown off the day cool and rest in new skin for dreaming what story does a preference tell must we assign meaning to it all I marinate my days in sleep while you come fresh to the darkness

I spend many hours musing over the smallest aspects of life. These details fascinate me and make the world so colorful to me. Here are a few of those musings and wonderings.

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Patrick Handlon

Sunglasses at Night

This piece is part of a series I am working on that explores the disposable nature of our society by showing impermanent thrift store/yard sale objects in a new light.

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Stephanie Gibson

As a Young Girl As a young girl, I would know it was time to come in from a holler so high pitched— I could hear it from two streets away. Her voice was so loud That it was ripe. Sometimes this sound is as clear to my memory as night and day. While some features, like the soft texture of her little wrinkled hands can slip away from my memory. Then sometimes I can hear your shrill AHHH— Stay away from my Rubber Tree plant!

I wrote this poem as a memory and how some memories are trying to fade.

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Cory Pickett

Transformation Your delicate wings flutter to take you from flower to flower. Your movements are erratic and graceful at the same time. Landing lightly upon your perch, displaying a variety of colors over the surface of your paper-thin wings. So much beauty in that small, delicate form. But your beginnings were neither beautiful nor graceful. You started life as nothing more than a chubby worm. Nothing spectacular to look upon. The transformation you make in your small lifetime is extraordinary! Therefore, you are the symbol I model my life after. No matter how bleak or awful a situation may seem; it will transform my life in a way that is more beautiful than I could imagine. I must make it through the transition in the dark cocoon of uncertainty.

“Transformation” is the first piece of work I’ve written about the loss of my daughter. This was not my first experience with grief. However, this grief grew into a beautiful love of medicine and science that fueled me to return to school at the age of 37 to complete my first undergraduate degree.

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Kami Spear

Untitled

I made this photograph on one of my first rolls of film I'd ever shot. Usually I would clean up the dust specks but I feel that it adds to the feeling of nostalgia.

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Joe Raymond

Vino in the Garden

Just for the fun of it. The flowerbed is in a friend's back yard. I’m not sure if her grafts will take but pruning the “flowers” before transplanting was a lot of fun.

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Whitney Wilson

A Prose about My Boyfriend Who I Think Is Hot The distance between us feels the farthest when I remember all the ways we don’t match, like two remaining socks found at the bottom of a dryer brought together by fate. Like how I have constant migraines piercing my skull and you can’t even imagine having a headache. Like how I describe my music taste to be alternativehip-hop-rock-folk and you are strictly Beach Boys. Like how I wake up mad at you over something you did in a dream and you have never been mad at me for a second in a conscious state, let alone a dream. Like how I started buying your Christmas presents at the end of September and how in March you were still claiming that mine were on the way. Like how fishing is your favorite hobby and how I’d rather be the worm on the end of the hook waiting to be devoured than to wait hours for a tug at a string. Like how you like your coffee black and I prefer an iced chai tea latte, two pumps of espresso, with pumpkin sweet cream. Like how you couldn’t care less about what others thought, and I couldn’t care more. Like how I can’t stand going to sleep without my retainer and you haven’t touched yours in years. Like how you play the Devil’s advocate any chance you can, even against proven facts. I could say the sun is a star and you’d argue it's a light bulb attached to a string. Like how you see everything in black and white and I see everything in neon. Like how you never forget our anniversary but I can’t remember it to save my life. Like how you’re a mountain, unmoving, and I’m a wave that’s constantly shifting. But when I’m with you none of this matters. I’d give up Hobo Johnson, Adele, and Cage the Elephant for you, forever playing Beach Boys on repeat. I’d become accustomed to black coffee and care less about people's opinions. I’d drive, run, or walk from Indy to Nashville a hundred thousand times. I’d even go fishing, and that’s saying a lot.

This was based on my favorite poem, “Mountain Dew Commercial Disguised as a Love Poem” by Matthew Olzmann. When I wrote this, my boyfriend and I were attempting long distance for about seven months and were very much in love, managing to make things work. We broke up during the pandemic in May when I realized “managing to work” was not the same as love. He never read the poem, and I never received my Christmas presents.

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Luke Garrigus

Fish Music: White Opal Betta

Scan the QR code below to listen to "Fish Music: White Opal Betta" by Luke Garrigus on Soundcloud:

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Sarah Reynolds

Charlottesville, 2017 I want to tell you that my country lies bloodied in the streets, lies there among the twisted metal and tattered remains of my people, in the shadow of where my brother sits trying to hold his head together, the blood soaking his hands from wounds delivered by the unholy, hate-twisted, inhumane beasts who descended upon that overrun town— But I’m afraid There was something too familiar In the shape of the hateful, Too much like my country Behind the wheel of that car, Too recognizable In that torch-flecked crowd. I used to think those were the sins of our fathers, Were ancestors’ failings in times long past. I thought we’d slain and buried these horrors In tombs dug too deep to disturb us again. I tried not to notice the cesspools still churning, Looked away from the cracks in the unsteady ground. Where I found dirt, I brushed it off briskly, And told myself there was nothing to fear. I was wrong. I want to help to rescue our common hopes from the rubble, to tend the wounds of bonds broken, stitch up the bleed of lost futures, and work together to revive the fluttering, last-gasping heart of unbiased love— But the truth is I’m also lost and I’m flailing, Covered and slipping in the blood-muddied grime, Here among the shards of bone shattered, I can’t find my vision, I can’t see our home.

Poetry now helps me process tragedies, especially the difficult juxtaposition between wanting to say something and feeling like words have little meaning. In the wake of the Charlottesville car attack, I kept thinking about Pablo Neruda’s “Explico Algunas Cosas (I’m Explaining a Few Things),” especially the first and last stanzas. This is my response to the challenge posed in his poem. Our poetry changes when we face horrors in our world, but it’s my belief that through poetry we also find our way forward.

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Karen Newman

Waterworks

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Karen Newman

My photography frequently explores the ways in which water exerts power over its immediate environment, carving and sculpting it, and leaving evidence of its monumental work in the past. I’m equally captivated by the relationships between animals, humans, and water—how it is harnessed, directed, exploited, and even used for pleasure. “Waterworks” (a wordplay suggesting both the work of water and works of art influenced by and/or reflecting water), portrays these interactions—with sand on a beach, with microbes in a geyser and on the sulfur-streaked mud of a volcanic landscape, and with mud turned to stone in primordial, layered cliff deposits. In a playful final photo of the series, an ancient Greek tribute in mosaic stone welcomes bathers to the water.

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Joe Raymond

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Joe Raymond

Iowa Harvest Ritual Rustic red paint flakes burnished boards trodden bare under maternal hooves— Wafting warm oats in the morning dew Flies always, always flies swishing tail next to my three-leg stool. Slightly amber, launched by practiced gesture ringing out against the metal pail churned into silken butter. Bountiful sun Heaven kissed stalk, only wind and luck to bless the union affirmed by paradise rains. Pearls of golden nutriment, delectable between the teeth, confectionary gestating quilted below husks of green. Kneading, rising, kneading, baking, wafting chestnut topped fragrant butter’s sponge. Freshest baked bread, richest hand churned butter sweetest corn just off the field hand hewn preacher’s table for sixteen Creamery butter slathered, hearth-baked-fresh-milled-bread cob-cradle threats of diabetic coma from the sweetest of sweet and that butter sopped bread, indescribable treat. I was a city boy who spent his summers on the farm with cousins. Getting up before sunrise, wearing hand-me-downs and hard work didn’t seem like much fun then. Now when I smell freshly turned earth or walk into a field and help myself to an ear of corn or think of any major holiday I am reminded of how rich life was. This is my expression of that lifestyle.

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J.W. Surface

Life Sounds In mid-July the heat breaks. Outside bedroom window, Clouds and wind bring rain. Like a day out of season. I take it as comfort. The world slows. She holds dying cat in her arms, Curled up like a kitten again. Purring so faint, We whisper so as to not miss it. Outside, life sounds: Birds chirp, Green leaves sway In the loud wind. Inside, the stillness is tangible. Death waits with us, Patient, Yet ready.

I never thought one day could hold such a strange mix of bitter sadness and complete calm. People often describe their pets as family members, and care for them as such. I used to scoff at this type of sympathy and behavior. Now, when people speak of their pets in such a manner, I think of this poem I wrote on that bitter calm day in July, and I stay silent.

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Kathleen Hacker

Manners Its piping hot navy bubbles explode with fresh baked aroma every person wants their own piece of her Magic Blueberry Pie five children and one ex-husband partake at her life-worn table the favorite son-in-law wins the penultimate seventh slice the last of her weekend sweetness nestled in an oven safe dish outlives aging, egg-brushed luster and takes on a yester-pie form daughter stops by Monday morning she must grab the laundry and go as she flies out the back door she deftly lifts a blue spoonful dutiful son shows up midweek to fiddle with the back-porch light he declines the pie she offers and heads out exactly five minutes later no one takes the last of something blame it on breeding or manners they shun its final breath of life truth be told it’s unappealing and there she sits on Friday night window watching wisp of a girl wanting family to break the fast or to share her non-blueberry days

This poem was written as part of my first chapbook. It touches on the loneliness the elderly can experience to which even caring, attentive family members are blind.

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Rochelle Bauer

Modern Woman I want to map the freckles on your face, on your body, just like Hipparchus did the stars back in 129 BC. Maybe I’ll use it to find my way back to Olympus. I can nearly picture your solicitous smile and the pointed slope of a nose that mirrors my own— a couple of Greek gods. Because I can be your modern Aphrodite, desperate to feel the sharpness of your hip bones pressed against my inner thighs. Rake your teeth down my body, don’t get caught on the curves. And in between nips of flesh, don’t be afraid to whisper my name.

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Patrick Handlon

Olympia

With these set of photos I wanted to emphasize the act of intrusion, while one’s space, being was invaded.

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Chloe Crockett

Song for the Rain Lyrics from "Sonnet for the Rain" by Shauna Sartoris: Tonight, as wind is whisked about the air, the solemn rains of earth are singing songs and I will still my mind and say a prayer for all the ways I’ve felt myself go wrong. I often wonder, as I sit alone, if I would be allowed to join the sound should I request to join this great unknown that lifts the dying crops up from the ground. Perhaps I ought to strive for greater things and whistling with the wind is for the birds but what if rain is what tomorrow brings and wind is better than a poet’s words? I want to join the rain just to escape until the day my life can take its shape.

Scan the QR code below to listen to "Song for the Rain" by Chloe Crockett on Soundcloud:

“Song for the Rain” was created for the 2019 UIndy Art Song Project. The lyrics originated as a sonnet, written by poet Shauna Sartoris, and came alive when set to the rain-like melody produced by pianist Chloe Crockett. The song’s chorus (“I want to join the rain just to escape / until the day my life can take its shape”) comes from the sonnet’s final couplet. The song is written for one primary soloist, a harmonizing trio, and a piano accompaniment.

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Joe Raymond

Rainy Gray Day i The sky is always painted with opalescent shades of silver oxide when we plant our loved ones in pots of steel and concrete. We fertilize the ground above them with rainbows of death bouquets and monuments of stone and the sunshine escapes and will not play come funeral day. perhaps it rains on funeral day when the collective arrhythmia of breaking hearts attracts heavens’ tears. Perhaps color drains from the world as our loved ones depart to prepare a brilliant lantern lighting their journey home. Perhaps these are reasons why the sky is always cold and gray come funeral day.

Funerals, in my experience, always seem to take place on rainy and gray days. I wrote this reflecting on a parent’s passing and looking for light shining through the mist of her passing.

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Rochelle Bauer

See You Soon We’d stayed laid up in bed all day that rainy Saturday. Sometimes, the thunder was loud enough to be heard over the television and the fan going in your room so you would fake being scared, hide under the blankets. And even when the sun began to set, you didn’t want me to leave. I didn’t want to either, but I needed to brush my teeth. If I had a dream guy, it would probably be you. You made me pancakes and eggs, even did the dishes right after. Plus, like you said, you’re the cutest 23-year-old in the state of Indiana. And you waited under the small awning of the porch in your gray shorts as the rain poured down, until I pulled out of your driveway in my little blue car. I could barely see through the veil of rain as I waved goodbye, but I’m glad. That means you didn’t see the ridiculous, goofy grin of a girl falling in love. But can you blame me? You kiss the bruises and kill the spiders.

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Mackenzie Hyatt

In the Market of Spare Feelings: Sadness is $4.99 and Despair is 8 and some change, but that change you gotta pay for with a bit of your soul, and that’s why it feels so empty. Anger is $2.45 and comes with a coupon for half-off Rage that you save because sometimes Rage is useful, but it expires before you use it and you have to pay full price. Fear’s only 5 cents each because the shelves are too full and no one wants any, (unless you’re the type to get a cartful) and Terror is free with every purchase of Love has its own aisle but is frequently out of stock, but the generic brand is 12 dollars even and goes by the name of Lust. Happiness can be bought, contrary to popular belief, but you can only get the rotten stuff, and Joy is kept in a storeroom in the back for emergencies.

"In the Market of Spare Feelings" was inspired by the idea of “money can’t buy happiness,” antidepressants and how they could be seen as trying to buy happiness, and how emotions could be synthetic or fake.

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Kami Spear

Untitled 2

The way the shadows laid on his shoulder and curved his collarbone caught my eye. We have had these chairs for years, and I had never noticed the way the sun fell through the tiny openings. Little things like this remind me there are new things to find in my everyday life.

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Tylyn K. Johnson

Rayos al Miedo Blanco Con escrutinio de la aguila calva, y la antorcha de la señora de libertad, y las colores de la bandera en el cielo durante parrilladas de patriotismo, encontramos una paradoja, donde la gente puede que aclama equipos panameños en los Juegos Panamericanos, pero bosteza cuando la gente más allá de las frontera habla de historias de racismo y sangre, o blande antorchas y grita por la tierra pintado blanco encima siglos de la sangre de cuerpos marrones. La resplandeciente águila calva no tiene hinchas, salvo contra las bestias que se roban presa. Anglófono o francófono, la lengua contra gente quien no tiene piel blanca hace nada excepto atenuar el resplandor quisieron con escrúpulo por el fundadores de esta nación. Un país nació de desigualdad ahora desea ser el árbitro de los derechos humanas que llamado las mismas luchas para personas afrodescendientes e indígenas como nimiedades y que ha costado muchas vidas en estas luchas. La señora oxidada es la abanderada de libertad, hasta el medallero muestra el aumento de los quienes no son de Europea, porque gente prevé que una revolución se desplazará las caras blancas, cuando en verdad, la revolución nos aumentará de las Diásporas. Las nacionalistas apapachan con el diablo como si el queda un ángel, mochileando en las profundidades del infierno y disparando petardos blancos para resplandecer. Vete a la mierda y su ignorancia y su actuando estupefacto porque nos mochilas no llenan con estupefacientes, aunque cuando su gente trata de llenar a mis niños con balas.

This started as a “rant” with my friends about sociopolitical issues. It was fueled with this sense of rage regarding how white nationalism has used language such as “blood and soil” to “protect” statues of pro-slavery figures, attack Black Lives Matter activists, and act like white people are being erased, as if thousands of Black and Indigenous folks hadn’t lost their lives at the hands of white colonialism. That sort of fear-mongering, warmongering discourse has cost, and continues to cost, too many melanated lives. Thus, I wanted to create this distorted imagery of “patriotic symbols” claimed by white supremacists, which White Middle America has historically given passes to. I hope this inspires much-needed reflection on what led to the present ongoing conflicts against white supremacy and invoke action to meaningfully “right” that imagery in reality.

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J.W. Surface

Krannert Memorial Library, University of Indianapolis, 2009-2013 Before they raped you of your nostalgia, Hardly anyone came to the third floor. A sanctuary for those who sought stillness, sleep, and Intense stress induced study. The chairs, with orange tones from decades past: Worn, fabric stretched, ripped. The tables wore generations of graffiti. Practically their own work of art. Etchings in the study cubicles, From countless others, Like me, Seeking comfort in the solitude of untouched nostalgia.

When I reminisce, my time at UIndy always shines bright in my memory. My time there helped change me. It made me a better man, a better thinker, a better human. Some of the fondest memories of my time at the University, was spent studying on that third floor, on quiet afternoons.

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Contributors’ Biographies Abigail Asher is an undergraduate student at the University of Indianapolis majoring in history and creative writing. They live on the eastside of Indianapolis with their cat, King George III, and dog, Missy. When they’re not writing, they enjoy reading, playing video games, and annoying their friends and family with irrelevant history facts. Rochelle Bauer graduated in 2019 and hasn’t been up to much since then. Currently she is learning to sew and growing cherry tomatoes indoors. She lives with a roommate she met from Facebook Marketplace, and it’s actually going pretty well. Grant Boyer is a creative writing major at the University of Indianapolis. He is in his senior year, which has been entirely online so far. He enjoys writing poetry, short stories, and novels. He also makes use of the Internet for 52.9% of his entertainment. Riley Childers is an alumna of the University of Indianapolis who loves writing and photography. She enjoys exploring Indiana for possible photo opportunities and hopes to expand her adventures outside of her home state. Hope Coleman is a senior English creative writing major with a minor in studio art. She hopes to publish her work in the future and looks forward to a career in the editing or publishing field. Chloe Crockett is pursuing a music therapy degree with a concentration in composition and theory at the University of Indianapolis. She is an accomplished pianist and private studio teacher. She is a 1st place recipient of the Collegiate Original Composition award of the Young Hoosier State Piano Competition for her piano piece “In Memory of the Steinway.” Her compositions feature various genres with versatile instrumentation. Kensington Eiler is a senior with a double major in human biology and Spanish at the University of Indianapolis where she is a member of two choral ensembles. She spends her limited free time reading large books, writing lengthy stories, and stumbling through Russian lessons. Adam Fernandes is a junior studying visual communication design at UIndy. He strongly believes that design plays an essential role in everyday life and that it can elevate things to new heights in a way that is unmatched by anything else. He strives to make life better for the next guy in any way he can. It is called unusual by some, but math is one of his favorite subjects. If he could, Fernandes would play his guitar all day. Finding meaning in the little things brings him joy. fall 2020

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Noah Fields is a junior theatre major with a minor in creative writing. This is his first semester on the Etchings staff, and he is Feature Editor for the official student newspaper of the University of Indianapolis, The Reflector. In addition to his editing credits, he enjoys reading, writing, and performing whenever he can. Luke Garrigus studied voice, piano, and composition at the University of Indianapolis. Luke is an active musician in the Indianapolis area. He participates in Classical Music Indy’s Random Acts of Music and can be heard in numerous other gigs. In addition, Luke directs the choir at Salem United Methodist Church in Zionsville. Luke is an up-and-coming composer, and his works have been performed both locally and in Oxford and Falmouth, England as part of an international music festival. He enjoys conducting and singing in choirs, writing music, cooking, searching for bugs and other wildlife in local parks, keeping aquariums, and spending time with his wonderful wife, Charissa. Bronwyn Getts is a junior public health major with minors in communication and professional writing. She often finds inspiration in her fellow writers and their experiences. Working on Etchings Magazine this semester has been one of her most rewarding experiences, as she gets to witness first-hand the creativity and curiosity of those in her Hound family. Stephanie Gibson is a student at the University of Indianapolis, where she is working on her English creative writing major. Tatyana Gray is a graphic design major and photography minor at the University of Indianapolis. In her medium of photography, she likes to create compositions that have a nature of duality to them. Kathleen Hacker has spent her professional life, first as a freelance singer and then as university music faculty, interpreting the words of great poets, librettists, and songwriters. It is now her desire to make her own wordscapes in which others may choose to wander. She lives with her husband of many years in a pleasant house with a giant garage and works diligently to remain apace with their two daughters and one son-in-law who have not yet chosen to live right across the street. Patrick Handlon is currently working towards a master's in art with a concentration in photography. He would like to thank Professor Sarah Pfohl and Professor Katherine Fries for their support and help throughout the master’s program. Lindsey Henderson is a senior at the University of Indianapolis double majoring in English literature and creative writing with a minor in art. After graduating she hopes to work in publishing and travel. Mackenzie Hyatt is a junior at the University of Indianapolis and is double majoring in creative writing and anthropology. Her favorite book is A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini, and she is in the process of reading Mark Z. Danielewski’s House of Leaves. She would like to remind you that you are loved.

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Tylyn K. Johnson, a part-time writer with a mind for community, nurtures his passion for writing through the occasional spoken word. His work has appeared in the Parody Poetry Journal, Indiana Voice Journal, Rigorous, and other spaces. Tylyn is also a social work student at the University of Indianapolis. When he is not writing or engaging in intersectional dialogue, he is learning how he can help better his community and affect positive change. His handle on Instagram, Twitter, and Medium is @TyKyWrites. Chelsea Keen is an English major at the University of Indianapolis and is the winner of the 2020 Roberta Lee Brooker Fiction Writing Prize. Victoria Miller is a senior at the University of Indianapolis, majoring in Studio Art with a concentration in Photography. She grew up exploring and creating in Fort Wayne, Indiana. Miller decided to share her passion with others through photography when she captures life through the lens. She is constantly looking for new places and people to document her growth. Miller focuses on storytelling with her work as a means to connect with any viewer. She wants the viewers to be as engaged in her work as she is. Karen Newman is an associate professor in the English Department at the University of Indianapolis, where she teaches courses in TESOL, second language writing, literature, and the arts. Her research and service interests center on teacher professional development and international education. An avid world traveler, she has lived abroad for more than 20 years and visited 35 countries. She enjoys the healing powers of the arts and particularly enjoys writing creative nonfiction and experimenting with ceramics and photography. Cory Pickett is a non-traditional senior at the University of Indianapolis majoring in biology with a minor in chemistry. She will graduate in May 2020 with the expectation to start her new career in the summer of 2020. She took Intro to Creative Writing at the University of Indianapolis to fulfill an art requirement. Although familiar with drawing and painting, she never imagined how exhilarating writing could be as an art form. She has found herself a new hobby now that she is not working and going to school full-time. Joe Raymond is actively engaged in revivification. Creative writing and studio art are new explorations, developing directly from the freedom to recreate when one retires. While his previous experience underpins his current work, he believes that his developing creative voice is a byproduct of discernment. Raymond elected to take a gap year this year and is teaching work literacy to adults through Americorps. He expects to return for his senior year as an undergraduate In Art next fall. Sarah Jozina Reynolds is an assistant professor in the Department of Physics & Earth– Space Science at the University of Indianapolis. She earned one PhD in astrophysics and is finishing up her second PhD in the history and philosophy of science. As a result, she definitely owns way more books than are strictly necessary. In the wayback-when, she was a writer and assistant editor for her college literary magazine, and she enjoys writing poetry and creative nonfiction when she gets the chance. fall 2020

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Danielle Shaw is a English and secondary education major in her 4th year at the University of Indianapolis. She spends lots of time working and writing objectively “poopy” poetry. She also takes way too much pride in her dumb Twitter locations. Kami Spear is a senior at the University of Indianapolis majoring in pre-art therapy studio art. She likes to capture found moments—situations that may not be replicable—in order to preserve that instance. J. W. Surface graduated from the University of Indianapolis in 2013. Currently, he teaches mathematics to brilliant high school students during the day—and writes poetry and fiction at night. He is indebted to The Man Upstairs for blessing him with these two rewarding passions, and to his wife for putting up with his consistent, strange nonsense. You can follow him on Goodreads.com. McKenna Tetrick is an aspiring writer, successful parent-disappointer, and lover of all things weird. They spend their days reading books about Bigfoot and wishing that capitalism was fake. Olivia Thompson is an undergraduate student at the University of Indianapolis majoring in visual communication design and minoring in photography. She likes to take pictures and doodle. Zoe Wilkinson is a creative writing major and professional writing minor in their junior year at the University of Indianapolis. Their favorite genre of prose is fantasy fiction, and they enjoy creating digital artwork. Zoe also likes video games, and spends way too much time on their Nintendo Switch Lite. Olivia Williams is an English major at the University of Indianapolis, and they are graduating in 2021. They love to include imagery and emotion in their writing, and they hope to reach out to readers through the topics and themes of their poetry. Olivia loves reading and writing, but they also love art, music, and collecting rocks and fossils! They hope that their writing inspires other people and that the themes in their poems resonate with readers. Whitney Wilson is a sophomore communication major at the University of Indianapolis with emphasis in journalism and public relations. She is also in the middle of starting a small crochet business selling scrunchies and hats. Poetry is one of her many hobbies.

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Fruit Rot

Recent Publication

Fruit Rot by James R. Gapinski Designed by student editors Hope Coleman, Carrie Long, and Erin Taylor Fruit Rot is a captivating modern-day fable. It weaves aspects of pop-culture and allegory into a story that delves into the deepest understanding of human nature. Gapinski’s narrative gives readers a look at the beauty and ugliness that resides in humanity, illuminating what we become when faced with harsh, life and death choices. James R. Gapinski is the author of Edge of the Known Bus Line—winner of the 2018 Etchings Press novella contest, named to Kirkus Reviews’ Best Books of 2018, and a finalist for the 2019 Montaigne Medal. He is also the author of the flash collection Messiah Tortoise, available from Red Bird Chapbooks. Gapinski teaches for Southern New Hampshire University’s MFA program, and he’s managing editor of The Conium Review. Originally from southeastern Wisconsin, he now lives with his partner in Portland, Oregon. fall 2020

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Recent Publication

The Castles of Athlin and Dunbayne

The Castles of Athlin and Dunbayne: A Highland Story by Ann Radcliffe This student-friendly edition of Ann Radcliffe’s first novel includes illustrations and footnotes produced by University of Indianapolis students, as well as an introduction by Dr. JoEllen DeLucia who guides readers through this early Gothic novel. Set in medieval Scotland, The Castles of Athlin and Dunbayne explores revenge and features warring clans, imprisoned heroes and heroines, a shipwrecked Count, stolen inheritances, and many of the other hallmarks of Radcliffe’s later Gothic fiction. Though Ann Radcliffe’s 1789 novel, The Castles of Athlin and Dunbayne, was not an immediate success, her following works became more popular with time. Critics praised her rational explanations of the apparently supernatural incidents in her novels and her humor. Later, critics would refer to Radcliffe as “the great enchantress” because of her captivating and vivid prose.

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Colophon The cover-page title is set in Rockwell. The cover-page subtitle, spine, and back page are set in Rockwell. The title pages are set in Niagara Engraved. The contributor names are set in Niagara Solid. The body text is set in Candara.

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Call for Submissions Etchings Volume 33 Issue 2, Spring 2021 Submissions due at midnight EST on February 8, 2021 Guidelines for Submission: • All UIndy students, faculty, staff, and alumni are invited to submit. • All accepted undergraduate prose and poetry submissions will be considered for the Dorlis Gott Armentrout Award. • Up to three short stories or creative nonfiction essays, five poems, five visual materials, and five audio files may be submitted. • Visual submissions: flattened 300 ppi *.tiff CMYK 8 bit files, no more than 10" high by 7" wide. For best print results view in sRGB. • Poetry and prose should be in Microsoft Word format (.doc, .docx, or .rtf) We are limited to a maximum page size of 7" wide x 10" high with 0.5" margins for prose and print. Poetry should be single spaced and prose should be double spaced. Both should be set in 12 point type. • Audio should be in .mp3 format. Scores should follow the guidelines for visual submissions above. • Etchings has a blind submission process. Please do not include any personal identifiers in your submission documents. (This information will be provided to us through Submittable.) Submit work at etchings.submittable.com. We do not accept email submissions. Please create a free account at Submittable.com or sign in using Facebook. For questions, email us at uindyetchings@gmail.com. Follow us @uindyetchings on the platforms below:

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