future histories literary magazine
letter from the editors Hi: We Really Exist! Only last semester we were reviewing submissions in Tisch’s shadowy corners, not yet recognized as an official club, hoping no one would come kick us out of the classrooms we did not yet have the power to reserve for ourselves. Despite a one month time-frame, no budget, and no precedent, Issue 0 of our literary magazine was a success. This year, we faced an altogether different challenge — our friends, and the founders of the magazine, were going abroad. That’s where we (Ales and Isa, two tiny first-years) come in. We sincerely hope we did Hunter and Sarah’s vision justice. All of us on the FH team have put lots of time and love into Issue 1 this semester, and we know the pieces in this issue will delight, inform, and inspire you as much as they did us. Now, our first published collection of Tufts’ latest and greatest literary and visual art lies in your hands, ready to be taken in by your eyeholes. Printed, weighty, glossy, inky. Future Histories publishes creative writing of all kinds, in any language, alongside beautiful studio art and photography. Our community is brimming with creative talent, and we hope that this litmag serves as the stage, gallery, or megaphone that can give exceptional student art the platform it deserves. Printed issues will be around campus once a semester, but we encourage you to explore futurehistoriesmag.wordpress.com year-round for exclusive, web-only content like short films, multimedia, and more writing! We are aware that, in the past, literary magazines have tended towards a very specific kind of person —which has resulted in the stodgy, academic tone of many a publication. Our goal is to put together exciting, innovative work, use our platform to amplify marginalized voices, and play a part in shaping the future of creative history by showcasing work inspired by a wide variety of experiences. Our endless gratitude goes to everyone who made this issue possible, and to our readers for doing what you do best: reading. Yours, M. A. Waskow and Isabel Fernández fh 1
sarah walsh co-founder
hunter silvestri co-founder
margaret (ales) waskow co-chair isabel fernรกndez co-chair
jeremy caldwell sr. content editor
may hong copy editor
elisa sturkie treasurer
zack mintz jr. content editor
nicole cohen design editor
web team: emma resor kristen schretter
design team: alex eliasen jeremy caldwell claudia arbona cece rosenman events coordinator
Chicago, a Whirlpool | Sarah Walsh
M.P.D.G | Isabel Fernรกndez
Minimum Wage | Ella Brady
Nail Households | May Hong
Threads | Hannah Kahn
A Farewell to Legs | Jeremy Caldwell
A Trunk, Full | Nicole Cohen
The Infinity Springs | Hunter Silvestri
My 1st Kiss | Jay Dee
Tea Party | Ethan Resek
table of contents
15 fh 3
Meet Me by the Water | Skylar Brown
The Aquarius | Aminata Dieng
In the Summer | Abigail Raymond
Just Not Hungry | Anonymous
Mansplaining | Hannah Kahn
Untitled | Jamie Hattler
DisociaciĂłn | Claudia Arbona
Beach Haiku | Jaanvi Sant The Village | Nasrin Lin
Prometheusâ€™ Theft | Alex Eliasen
A Common Scribe | M.A. Waskow fh 4
table of contents
photos | alex eliasen - see full photo series on future historiesâ€™ website
Chicago, Each stanza begins with a word and ends with the original meaning of the word/words it originates from (e.g.. Checkmate comes from “shah mat,” Arabic for “the king is dead”).
Chicago, we could swallow. Pick and eat its flowering leaves like a wild onion, disaster always the air freshener hanging from the rearview mirror on the drive up, sick scent hounding us like an ill star. Apostrophes stare from breath-fogged glass, try to put themselves between our names. I press the defroster, turning away.
Oxymoron: no matter whose comes first it’s all the same. (Whispered) This spectrum of feeling exists between sharp and dull.
Checkmate, TigerGrin. 134°F, 282 feet below sea—that’s sharp. We’ve got nothing to lose—our assets are burnt, the king is dead.
Vodka, then, is sharp. Apostrophes are obvious, look at their shape. We’ll forsake them, Chicago, anyone. We only need a little water,
Mortgage and desk jobs, forget them. Forget apostrophes, I’ve set the car on fire, too. Us two will live forever, that’s our death pledge.
quarantine ourselves in Death Valley, walk like gods forever without any worry, put to shame Jesus’s forty days in the desert.
A Whirlpool photo | jeremy caldwell
Manic pixie dream girl New and shiny gleam girl A touch of quirk, good looks and laughs Of course she’ll do anything you ask! Teaches you to live a little girl A shoulder to cry on girl But girl,
But she’s your rainbow-haired-cream girl Of course she’s here to help girl! Now get on your knees girl. Fuck all your dreams girl.
art | jacqueline enderle
She’s eggshells vomit blood Silent angry messy teary Young beyond her years Weary
If I could just find some time to write I would tell you about our fight in CVS and how neither of us were right and how it reminded me of Joyce’s “The Dead” where the wife is struggling because of something that had happened before she met her husband, I think If I could just find some time tonight I would tell you about what I find enticing about train cars in a way that is actively not a cliché I would explain what it means to me to have a brother and how love has moved through my life like water taking different shapes sometimes it is a gas or a cube or a river and I never expect it I would tell you about all the time I spend alone and what I think about innovation and why I hate French but I have no time to write it, because life becomes more of a play every day and I am not only the the actor, I am the director and I am incredibly underpaid and undervalued
Nail Households An 800-year-old ghost town, home to eleven thousand pairs of weary eyes, dark irises against eye-whites against mildew splotches, no electricity or running water.
Most units don’t have all four walls intact, in fact most look like they’ve been sliced down the middle, like a party cake, or a doll house for little girls to play. They’re called “nail households,” as in nails stuck in wood, resistant to the pounding hammer of demolition tractors, progress in the name of national interest. Headway can’t afford to wait, so the city lights march on, around the holdouts, carving out temporary spectacles before eventually plugging those holes too. Some are literal islands of protest, solitary castles surrounded by moats ten feet deep, or highways three layers thick.
How many of these lone warriors stand today, before the teeth of big machines just like Tank Man once did, awaiting his fate, wondering, how many gallons of displaced blood, will it take to dye this country’s flag. fh 9
art | grace littell
Xian Cun is a shrinking black body of prey, encircled by glaring towers who rule Guangzhou with a reinforced concrete fist.
s d a e r h T ah Hann
I liked to look for loose threads of love Spilling out of your body, helpless to your tidy ways, But your heart is woven too tightly To come undone for me now. How will you ever unravel in love When you are always so goddamn composed?
art | nicole cohen
A Farewell to Legs Jeremy Caldwell you know how sometimes when you were a kid you would trap a bug an ant or some shit in the dome of your intertwined hands
that feeling you felt it wasnâ€™t quite joy, was it? not rage or euphoria some emotional gray area the rush of making something smaller than you feel even smaller
peer through the cracks in your baby-fat fingers and watch its tiny brain struggle to comprehend this otherworldly wholly human hemisphere you had locked it in
that chaotic thrill of hurting with no consequences or, at least no consequences to a life that you gave a damn about
and then something in your innocently devious sadistically underdeveloped mind would tell you to hold it down and start plucking legs
i wonder sometimes that feeling, that pulse in your thumbs as they ripped away limb after limb after limb bidding farewell to legs
one by one so many to choose from the thorax offering up a bouquet of appendages for your juvenile digits to pick
maybe, on a good day maybe even an opalescent wing that feeling i wonder if maybe you felt that with me fh 11
art | emily van milligen
A Trunk, Full Nicole Cohen If you didn’t already know, there are no highways that can take you across New York State into Vermont. Vermont does have 91 and 89, which snake up to Montpelier and Burlington, but if you want to go west, you’ll be on un-painted country roads and backways until you hit the Green Mountains. And the only people that live out there are lifers and townies, different kinds of drug addicts (meth or prescription), and my family. The quickest way to get from here to there, if you are so sure that you want to go there, is to take US-4 East, a two-lane road with so few opportunities to pass the vehicle in front of you that you could be stuck behind a U-Haul going 30 for hours. Of course, the whole drive doesn’t take more than an hour and a half. A good daughter accompanies her mother on a trip from New York State to Vermont in the dead of winter to do the following: see her sick grandmother, who has lost all feeling in her feet from chemotherapy; visit her mother’s aunts, uncles, and cousins, whom she hasn’t seen since the fifth grade; and curate the perfect driving playlist to distract her mother from thinking too much about both the completed and impending familial interaction. We arrive in Rutland, VT, at 3:00 in the afternoon. I have been sick with a cold for the past two days, and it has been getting progressively worse. My head is underwater, and I have a miserable taste on my tongue radiating hotly from the fh 13
phlegm in my throat. I have been chewing mint-flavored gum continuously, hopelessly encouraging my mouth to do anything else besides rot. We drive through the entire town in two minutes. Obligatory New England houses, wrap-around porches, and tiny white churches. Adirondack chairs by the dozen. Our back seat is overflowing with things that my grandmother preemptively gave us from her house. My mother doesn’t want any of it. We’ll be making a stop at Salvation Army before we go home. “Most people hoard the stuff from their childhood,” my mother says, sighing at the filled car. She points out a chair that used to sit in the corner of her bedroom, jewelry that she’d be afraid to lose if she ever wore it, all sitting on top of a pile of sallow towels and bedsheets. We drive by a small frozen lake on the edge of Rutland, and next to it is my great-grandmother’s old house, with a big window in the attic that you can sit by and
We say goodbye and get back in the car. My mother backs out of the driveway, careful not to hit an Adirondack chair painted green with small yellow flowers on it. Directly across from Nora’s driveway, on the other side of the road, is a long, snaking driveway curling up to the top of a hill, with a small pile of logs sitting patiently at the bottom. *** It’ll be another hour before we hit the main roads. It has started to snow lightly. One small town after another. I’m in the middle of deciding what song to play next when my mother points out a big, bright purple house. Five minutes later, in the next town over, there’s another purple house. And another, about three miles further down the route. We start finding many more, sometimes lavender, sometimes grape-colored, sometimes almost magenta. We make it a game for the rest of the trip, at least while we’re taking the backroads. Every town has a purple house. Find it. And we always do.
hen art | nicole co
watch the otherneighborhood kids play at the little gray beach. We are only able to visit my mother’s older cousin Nora. Her house is new but cluttered, and it smells like fecal matter. We chat about travelling even though she can’t leave. She is tied up to a lot of tubes. Her colostomy bag hangs out of her shirt as she reaches over her walker to give me a hug. She needs rides to the doctor, so her ex-husband Don drives her. He is also here, chatting away about Florida and Mexico. They have a son, named Bobby, who won’t talk to them. She can’t even send him birthday cards anymore. My mother shakes her head up and down. Nora also has a brother, Michael, who hasn’t spoken to her, or anyone else in the family, for a decade. He lives in town, but if you ever drive past him walking on the road, he just keeps his head down like he doesn’t know you. On very cold days, Nora has Don bring him extra firewood. Don has to unload it from his truck at the bottom of the long driveway and then leave without trying to see Michael. After he leaves, Michael uses his own truck to bring the firewood up and around to his backyard. “But enough about Michael. How is your brother doing?” There are hundreds of books in Nora’s bedroom that she tells me she is going to read, but she offers to let me borrow any of them. I consider taking one out of politeness, but they all smell just like the house, like waste.
art | mckinzey torrance
The Infinity Springs Hunter Silvestri Go due north for a month if you’re walking by foot, and by foot is the only way there. Walk past the oceans, the maples, the soot; walk through the crisp desert air. Then you will come, at the end of your trek to the house made of lilies and ice. You will feel your own sweat as it drips down your neck and you’ll knock on the heavy door twice. “Enter” you’ll hear and you’ll shake like a leaf but this is what you came to do. Inside will be black as the Deep underneath, so blindly you’ll feel your way through. “Give me what you have!” you will scream at the void, “You know what I came here to seek!” “Give me my life! It is death I avoid!” “Wrench from me what makes me weak!” It will move through the space like a dove on a nest and you’ll feel all your blood leave your flesh. It will use it tonight to paint skies to the west and the air will smell lifeful and fresh. You, for your part, will walk back towards your home emptied and weak but still whole. It will call after you: “May your curse now be known:” “To wander the world pole to pole.” “You may never rest, you must know and surround yourself with folks of all types.” “Your fate is to watch them all turn into ground,” “To watch them all rot like fruit ripe.” Your laugh will be glad as your lifetimes unfold, for fruit are not just dying things. November is cold but brings March colors bold: Your curse is infinity springs. fh 16
And then she goes in like there’s a “Welcome” sign placed on my lips fh 17
My 1st Kiss Jay Dee
We stay after school for the theater club which Most of our friends are a part of i don’t remember game we were playing but i do remember How we both got chosen to be “it” first, which meant we had to Leave the room while the rest of the crew deliberated on What they would have us do But little did they, or i, know that “us” would be doing the unthinkable Precious, the finest sista in 8th grade The girl with the angelic face and the voice to match With the luscious lips always coated in lip gloss Who looked like she was made of brown sugar and best believe i had a sweet tooth Hell, if i was D’Angelo i woulda sang to her to let her know how i feel This was the girl i had been crushing on for forever but was too afraid To ever approach her because we were friends and while i Thought i had game, the last time i tried to holla at a girl she quickly reminded me that i was never good at sports So anyway we’re waiting in the hallway and talking as per usual then next thing you know we switch into some PG-13 romcom mode Looking deeply into each other’s eyes, biting our lips and shit She approaches me, then pauses for a second, then a “fuck it” expression Comes across her face and she continues forward Puts her hands around my face like it was meant to be Held by the tender touch of her fingertips And then she goes in like there’s a “Welcome” sign placed on my lips And if you woulda seen my face you woulda known i was eager To greet her fh 18
Soon our lips begin to get comfortable with their journeys as They explore each other to find the treasures that be our tongues Our tongues be so brave, all naked and touching and giving Of their saliva to each other to quench our middle school thirst She was kissing me so good that her tongue rolled the words Right off of mine and that’s damn near impossible We give our mouth a second to rest to make sure Nobody is lurking the hallways cause We ain’t tryna get caught and get in trouble Good, the coast is clear, so this must be a sign that The classroom is not the only place where you learn About the applications of, let’s say, chemistry So now we back to gettin busy with the kissy i must still be sleeping because i didn’t wake up this morning Expecting to kiss my crush but i guess sometimes “dreams do come true” We are eating each other’s faces like they’re dessert She be sweet like chocolate, i’m loving her Hershey’s kiss It’s my first kiss and my 7th grade self feel some like a man now But by that logic i guess she already a woman then She’s already had her first kiss, already got some experience And now she gave me the gift of my first experience It ain’t come in no box with a bow doe But it was indeed a surprise Who woulda thought that i would have my first kiss With an “older woman”? And with Precious of all people? Shiiiid you couldn’t tell me nun after that! fh 19
But i couldn’t tell my boys that Precious was my first kiss AND that she initiated it and taught me how to do it Cause hell half of em claimed to have had sex, so i lied and said i did too Made up stories about some girls i supposedly fucked Just to make sure i ain’t get my “real man” card revoked Where i’m from, to be ghetto Black boy is to try and Quell the hunger for consuming girls As early as you can, so a kiss wasn’t nothin to them Thankfully they ain’t ever ask no hard questions about my sexcapades So i guess i was good enough at lying if they believed ‘em Or maybe they could sniff the shit in my stories because they were some lil liars too Anyway we were ghetto Black boys tryna conquer The people around us, maybe that was our way of coping With the world tryna do us the same way But here was this girl, Precious Who changed my life All by pressing her lips against mine Teaching me that i was just a boy, a silly boy Trying to be a version of a man that i shouldn’t be And she taught me that she is not to be conquered But she is to be respected, even if she is just a girl Who decided to kiss a boy in the hallway after school And shiiid! that was the greatest lesson i learned in 7th grade
Ethan Resek Though I sit in the family garden, many canaries sit among the ants crawling in the dirt beneath me, some decades below. I do believe theyâ€™re having a tea party, yet the ice in my glass seems too opaque for my liking. Are canaries the ones with the monocles? I must be thinking about something else. Really though I must be going, the clouds are beginning to roll in and I donâ€™t quite have the cover that those canaries do. Please though, consider my offer. It really is a small price to pay. A family is worth more than a certain four-letter word now isnâ€™t it?
art | mckinzey torrance
Meet Me by the Water
the water’s receding a moment is fleeting time is fickle and so are you waters receding the closer I get the less I am feeling it’s pulling me furtherfarther pulling me to you it’s you like a lighthouse water receding but not back to sea back to you waves break and crash and now I’m reeling head underwater the water’s receding you saved me I’m breathing but the water’s receding our moment is fleeting it’s not enough to keep holding on to receding receding my dear now I’m leaving I would have given the whole world to you
Aminata Dieng Oh thank god you’re here. Space-time’s accumulation has confused us into bad contracts with bad people but we need to make ourselves strong anyway. Every friday I pray for you pray for the sun to kiss you because I can’t. Pray that you eventually figure out how to update your phone without me or learn that protecting your heart isn’t pretending you don’t have one. Remember that even a crocodile has predators and when I’m ready to ask for it, everyone including the moon will give us privacy. We are all we have. I leave us to mourn colonial imprints and the times you’d take me to burger king when I got out of karate. Your half-lidded elliptical eyes lined with justice, deep as earth and edged with laughter. Matrilineal energy ushers time.
photo | claudia arbona
In the Summer Abigail Raymond I hear a voice sing In the stairwell. I hear you sin outside With the bees. “The night is sweating,” She says, sweating. And you are outside, sinning. But someone is still singing in the stairwell And I am tasting honey and Trying not to think of you while You are drawing Water from the well. She is drawing on a new face. The night is coaxing water from our skin but I am still hot Hot Hotter than the Steam that rises Rises Rises, and— The kettle whistles in the kitchen. Some would say it sings but I know better, I know Singing is the voice that echoes (No longer) from the stairwell; I hear someone coming down The stairs to taste my honey, No—to stop the kettle’s screaming—and In the kitchen they are singing Of the only sin You are committing, The sin of Loving me.
Just Not Hungry By Anonymous I unpacked with my curtains open and the Christmas lights on. It got dark early, and was a deep blue in my room for a long while. I went to the dining hall and sat under brighter lights and ate bad food. Jake showed up. He was trimmer than when I’d seen him last, and had shaved his beard, so the soft curve of his jaw was visible above his surprisingly skinny neck. His hair was cut with a short top, longer than the sides but barely, so that it seemed to stand on its own. He sat down with me. “How was break?” he asked, his voice taking on a concerned tone. “I’ll tell you all about it as soon as I get some coffee.” I went down the stairs and around the corner. I leaned up against the wall, closed my eyes and wished I had a cigarette or a drink, anything, really, to take the edge off. Something was wrong, but I couldn’t pin what had me anxious. I got a cup of coffee and went up to sit across from Jake. “So, Jake, you were in Michigan?” “Indeed, I didn’t have any work so I stayed home and worked on myself.” “You do look thinner.” “Thanks.” “You been working out?” “No actually, I cut back by refusing to cook for myself and getting rid of snack foods.” fh 25
“Sounds arduous, and unhealthy,” I said. The idea of food seemed extraneous and I wondered if I could cut calories the way good writers cut words, trimming out all the extra phrases, cutting each calorie until only the ones that mattered were there, until there was no fat. Food trimmed like that would be easier to take, the same way clear prose was. “Nah, it was all right, and it beats being fat.” “It doesn’t actually do anything about the problems caused by fat though, like, placing yourself in a profound caloric deficit doesn’t improve your cardiac health, in fact it can make your body think it’s starving.” “Yeah, but like, that’s how you optimize performance, garbage in, garbage out,” he said, leaning back. I sipped my coffee—, it was a light roast, with plenty of cream—, and looked out over the dining hall. “That line is about data science and defecation, not your physique. Your body is something you build, not an output, it’s an active process, not an output,” I said. I wondered if I had gained any weight over break. Working at the diner was good in the sense that I was always a bit too thin, and free sugar could combat the most superficial aspects of being underweight, but I liked the idea that I had an unassailably thin body, even if no one else saw it, it was still mine to punish, repair and maintain.
“Well, it worked for me. I mostly just played games to avoid thinking about food. I saw my ex, but I don’t want to think about that. How about you?” “I worked, I did some protesting, normal stuff, you know?” “Protesting what?” “Reactionaries.” “Oh. Okay. Where were you working?” “The second best diner in downtown Manchester—, a little Greek place. All the candidates come by during the primaries.” “Oh my,” he said, tilting his head and arching his brow. “You ever serve any bignamed people?” “I served Bernie Sanders a salad, and I gave Kasich two plates of pancakes, four eggs and two sides of bacon,” I said, remembering the way the Ohio Governor’s mouth had opened, how dirty he had seemed up close, foul and corrupt, greasy like a waterway through a mill town, how quickly he had eaten, his jaws pumping furiously, his lips smacking in grotesque pops. I shuddered. “Wow, I had no idea I was dealing with a big shot.” “Yeah, Hillary came in, but I was at school when she did that. She ordered some whack bullshit.” “Did Trump ever come in?” “No, he went to our competitor. They have bigger burgers, but our shakes are better.” Jake nodded, and I grinned at him. “Sounds like it’s fun sometimes,” he said. “It’s not. It’s hard on your feet and your hands and your forearms, you lift and bend and bow and scrape and smile and laugh.” “That’s a lot of ands.” “Yeah, but it’s a lot of work. I also get fh 26
harassed a lot, because I’m younger. All men are trash.” “That’s a strong opinion.” “There’s only been one guy who ever stood up for me on the job, and he’s like my big brother, so that doesn’t count. But most guys just ogle or take your hand when you pass them the check, or touch your arm when you’re setting down a heavy tray. I don’t even think they’re aware of it.” “Of what?” “What that’s like, those little reminders of being controlled. It’s like they’re steadying an object, it’s not overtly sexual, but it projects control, of you, of the environment, of the interaction,” I said, leaning forward, both hands on my coffee cup. “Exhausting. I try not to do that to waitresses and stuff, it always makes me cringe to see that,” he said, drumming his hands on the table. I looked out to the clock across the room, and down along the floor, where the sporty kids were sitting in neat groups, wearing fleece sweaters, remembering how Jake so enjoyed laying his hand along my waist when he walked beside me. “Thanks. But so many guys do it. Sometimes I think calling attention to the little things like that makes them worse.” “You mean, like the whole snowflake thing?” “Yeah, calling a dickhead out for a behavior shows that it gets to you. You know saying nothing is suffocating at times,” I said. “It seems to me like the way to change it is to change the whole of society, to make the problem irrelevant.” “Stuff like that is kind of human nature, you know, straight guys like pretty girls, and they’re naturally more aggressive, it’s psychology.”
“We can have equality. We will have equality.” “Yeah, but there will always be gendered differences,” he said. “But yeah, it’s up to individual men to step up and be polite, be an example. It works better anyways.” “That’s not the reason to do it.” “Sounds impractical but okay.” We talked in circles about break and men, and harassment, then about break again, and I finished my coffee. We came around to working again, and he asked why I was so bothered by something so pervasive. “I wouldn’t be so up in arms about it if I hadn’t been assaulted.” “Oh god, what happened?” he asked. “I pissed a guy off and he threw me on the floor,” I said, slowly, shakily, remembering how the tread of the boot felt pressed against my head, the coldness of the floor, wondering whether people were on his side or not, wondering if that was how I died. He was effusive in his condemnation. I was lying on my floor later, and I started to think about how weak words were, how weak everything was, then apathy. I thought back to the conversations I had in CIVIC and other political discussion groups, trying to explain to people why they ought to care that people went hungry, or had no work, or died young and in pain. How taxing that was, to see suffering described as freedom, and greed as social responsibility. I wished I cared more deeply, like I didn’t feel abstracted from the horror and pain other people lived with every day. How was it that we got to that point, where all bonds of solidarity and empathy had dissolved to fh 27
the point that homelessness and illness could be dismissed as personal faults? It seemed that meaning had degenerated, that words had ceased to reference anything, and even the most obvious things were contested. I tried to breathe and felt my thoughts degenerating into syllables, the same way political speech became sounds, and corroded the concrete-ness of death. Everything was becoming a soup of noise, simmering, as the solid words—cry, vomit, bleed, break, tire, die—became abstractions and then noise, before it was subsumed into policy and speech that seemed so alien from life as to be utterly void of material and so far-removed, yet so physically strong and psychologically intrusive, as to invade and destroy everything. Isolation overcame me. I lay on the floor and looked up at the ceiling in my room and wanted to die.
photos | morgan griffiths
Mansplaining Hannah Kahn I know, I know, I told you I was sick of your mansplaining. I’m sorry, I take it back. So tell me, What is it like To be so goddamn sure of yourself? To be a six foot stack of muscle and fat And feel entitled to every inch? To raise your hand in class Without mulling over your words in your head, To live life uninhibited; What’s it like? To never be stared at so long you start adjusting your clothing, Just to remind yourself that it’s there, That he’s only undressing you with his eyes. For now. How does it feel To walk through a hall without eyeballs dropping down your body Circling it like marbles whirling around a children’s toy, Tell me. How does it feel Not being treated like a toy? I know, I know Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s wife, But is it a sin to covet his confidence? I’m sorry, I take it back. Who am I to add commandments? I guess I wanted to play God. So tell me, Isn’t that what it’s like To be a man? fh 29
how does it feel
fh 30 photo | nick harris
I knew you in another life you sat placidly on a flat rock and wondered how stars are threaded together so seamlessly in the eyes of tribes and the ears of people who have not lost the art of being very still. You said you only speak these things to people who listen It is breath too heavy to waste I said I think I understand and wondered how many words I have wasted. I told you about love mine and how strange it seems One moment I stand on a mountain drinking the dream of peaks and sky an infinite raw landscape I blink and walk through brown bathroom tiles I lift my head from the pillow and am lifted away from the ground I stand locked quietly sobbing with white tiles hard against the soles of my shoes and sunlit peaks and dreams have faded out of me Is anything permanent?
Untitled Jamie Hattler
photo | m.k. skitka
And thank god for no because I am able to lift my head from the pillow again And I pray for yes because how should I be able to become so completely undone when underneath these bathroom tiles there is an infinite raw landscape to ground me. I pray and murmur and pray and re-begin and I want to tell you what Iâ€™ve learned about love mine it floods me so intensely then leaves me vacant. I find myself stumbling soaked in sweat beating at the dry cracked ground screaming at the dust for it, begging. I find myself flung forward under the curl of white waves tumbling in the current gasping for air. But I want to tell you about the moments in between When I am sitting on the porch with a mug of mint tea and no one is awake yet The sky eases itself down my bones and reverberates with momentary permanence
Disociación Claudia Arbona
Azul que te quiero azul, Tan azul como el resplandor del sol sobre las olas en medio del verano, Tan azul como las flores que crecían frente a tu casa, No tan azul como la perdición de tu cordura, La enfermedad mental que te quema, arranca cada pensamiento fértil y lo deshace como polvo, No tan azul como el viaje que hacen tus lágrimas de tus ojos a tus pómulos, Ligeramente sobre tu barbilla y luego hacia el piso, Donde se disuelven en la acera, Y las pocas gotitas que salpican un poco resplandecen como luciérnagas en la noche más oscura. En la noche, En la oscuridad que te abraza, Que te pasa las manos por los hombros como si fuera a decirte un secreto, En la noche y el silencio y entre los gritos de tu mente Es que salen los llantos tan calientes como lava, Tan espesos como la neblina después de un atardecer que te hace pensar Que vale la pena vivir y disfrutar de lo poco que te queda, Solo un segundo, No, un microsegundo, Comparado con la existencia infinita del universo que te aguanta, Como madre que te besa cuando más te duele el corazón Pero te trata como niña cuando cometes un error. No dejes que tus errores te saquen de tu mente, Tu cuerpo te añora, Tus brazos no se mueven, Se olvidaron de cómo hacerlo, Tus memorias tan perdidas como un niño en una casa nueva, Tus ojos remojándose como la arena que las olas roza. Regresa, no te quedes como extranjera por allá, Como si solo un hilo te estuviese conectando a la realidad, Ven y descansa un poco, Recuéstate en tus caderas y la base de tu espina, Deja que cuelgue tu pelo, Y descubre cómo las cosas pasarán, Y nunca pararán, Y como la flor más azul que el azulejo, Crecerás. fh 33
art | nicole cohen
como la flor
mรกs azul que el
azulejo fh 34
Beach Haiku Jaanvi Sant
sun eclipses sea: your laughter like a sky-song turning the salt sweet
art | emily van milligen
The Village Nasrin Lin
I knew it then and I know it now, always, I celebrate and sing myself electric free. five evenings of happy hour specials sieved into one gaze with a hint of ginger, our lips meet––like mocha, the thrill of the sweet aftertaste, thunderbolts pulsating between each breath of air, heavy with relief, heavy with knowing––this is how it feels like to live! Look at us now, we are infinite; we are golden! Platinum hearts against the batons, we rise
art | grace littell
to the stomping of the raiders, our pain, our lava pours into the streets, into the boroughs and through the eye of the needle. We are not your Barnum and Bailey, not your picnics––we are here to stay. We are the coat hangers, the lapels of velvet suits. We are the frills on gowns the oversized coats and silver belts. We are the argyle socks, the polka-dotted ones too. We are the citrus perfume and the smell of shoeshine. We kiss, we laugh, we cry away from the streetlights no longer. We are here, we have always been here and we will come
Writhing in amber light the tower becomes dark. Layers transcend and shades, they build Like familiars at Babel, with an urge to be fulfilled. Words slither from her mouth, a mark Of life and grace. With spirit of a monarch, Eyes true, abundant, her body tilled. For her warmthâ€™s savior, they start to gild Her wholly being. Akin to Noah and his arc; The nature awakens and engulfs present, Future, and past in one. A shriek of torment And blackened flesh fall through to midnight. A creator cackles as he sits far away, distant. Viewing such pain as payment while they repent. The edges darken but she still burns bright.
Prometheusâ€™ Theft Alex Eliasen
art | dani coates
The words on In the brush So corrupted And those w never change fountain pe nto the presen us Diffe sleep in my the darkness Aletter. cleansing, Unwil new ways to liquid Becom element? Th A Common Scribe M.A. Waskow
The words on the page never change But the sleep in my eyes Finds new ways to frame the masterpieces In the brushstrokes of a fountain pen. How can the darkness of a dried liquid Become so complex, So corrupted and so blurred In the presence of a simple, A cleansing, and a clear element? Those who are dear to us And those who are dead to us Differ by only a letter. Unwilling to see his reflection, A Glass man folds and unfolds his brotherâ€™s words. He holds old paper near the fire of a cigarette And the water of a drawn-out bath Until the stick is wet and dead And the tub is still and dry. For what else would one do Despairing in a narrow bath In a narrow room in the heart of the city? In the low light of Rembrandt, Bat Sheva bathed again, Grasping now but one gift in her hand, From the king, the king, Executor of her love. How pure a wife, to cleanse herself In the dead of the night on the roof. How cruel a man, to soil her then With his edict of power and pride.
n the page hstrokes of a and so blur who are dead e But the en. How can nce of a sim er only by a eyes Finds sesandofaaclea drie lling to see omeframe so comple hose who are Those who have dispassionately lived Are no better off Than those who successfully loved. Love, questionable love, or lust, Foamed in the bubbles of the dwelling Of the Buchanan bride-to-be. Second guesses for two presents From absent men. One sat in each hand as her love Or her wealth, But pearls fit the watery choice Better than a paper promise. And yet that plagued, flawless, Disfigured, beautiful man, Lâ€™Ami du peuple, Soaked in an oil bath Drawn by David himself. No choice could Marat make, Writing down condemning letters-Nor was it long, before the blade Lay on the floor with his ink and his quill. In reading, one rarely desires an end To the adventure of the pen So I advise that you finish with an and.
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The spring 2018 issue of Future Histories, Tufts University's literary magazine.