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5th-6th Collection


©2019 The Black Lion Journal & Christina Lydia. All rights reserved. The Wire’s Dream Magazine 5th - 6th Collection is designed and edited by Christina Lydia. To submit work in future Collections, please visit The Black Lion Journal’s Submittable page.


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One Hundred and One Days Without Rain Scott Russell Morris

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Back to the Beach Jes Trejo

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Nothing But Circumstance Ann Schlotzhauer

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She Says Welcome Fabrice Poussin

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random writings in my second year of college Isha Camara

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Decision at Third D. M. Kerr

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Sarah’s Song Surath Fernando

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Contributor Bios

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Imagine Nolcha Fox

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Talking Turkey Edward Michael Supranowicz

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Two Dreamers in a Well Keith Raymond

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The Universe Expands Oscar Moreno

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A Collection of Thoughts Claire Lawrence

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Breast Cancer: How to Manage Without It Jensen Heike

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Water Girl Marie Dashkova

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Forever Held by an Invisible Patch Suzanne Ondrus

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My Dad’s Makeup Ana Vidosavljevic

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Cuento de una ciudad 14 Londres Seigar


Thank You To those who have stuck around since The Wire’s Dream Magazine’s beginning and to those who are newly joining the family, I would like to thank you. I always say that this magazine wouldn’t be anywhere if not for the support of all of you, especially the Contributors. You have made the pages alive with your words and experiences ­— I’m truly grateful for that. Thank you for all of your patience as I went through a transition with The Wire’s Dream Magazine. I’m happy to say that this magazine now supports Contributor work with a payment. I hope you enjoy the wonderful work in this current Collection! Thank you. Christina Lydia Chief Editor


ONE

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and the second 80-degree day in a row despite February’s usual patterns. The hens don’t mind; they’re content to bathe themselves in dust and scratch about for grain. They know they will find bugs because I toss desiccated mealworm bodies into the wind, which blows beige with cotton-field dirt still dry from autumn. Snow should be keeping bits of sycamore leaves from flying in the hens’ persistent wake, moisture which would make this chicken run fertile with bugs and sprouts, a possibility of manure and compost. And yet, neither the chickens nor I are surprised by the sky’s sepia tint. It is difficult to hope rain will come tomorrow when all signs suggest water has forgotten us and the chickens have forgotten water.

One Hundred and One Days Without Rain Scott Russell Morris 10


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Marionettes suspended in webbing Profane images fill the psalmbook Have you heard the good news Blared through the loudspeakers Of course you have, how could you avoid it? Every cat blinking in a patch of sunlight Is holy Every leaf falling from a branch Is an apocalypse And everything we’ve ever known Is nothing at all

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Nothing But Circumstance Ann Schlotzhauer


The Wire’s Dream Magazine

everytime I go to find my kind, to grip that alive, bright thing in the darkness— when pulling it out of the wreckage, I come to find that it’s just me. . sometimes my mother looks at me with dread, as though searching for that missing something. in Gambia, she says a human being, a man alone for long ain’t far from dead. & i watch everything run away from me no courage to call back the things i love, got no will to or the ability to dispose of this lonely; the bark of it thick as an ash tree’s. . even when i’m in a room filled with breathing, it feels like i’m the last one alive, last left to call my out my own name. a quiet choir. i, assassin saddened by the murder of my own joy & so. i am always first to begin something, even knowing it will not last. . there are times, in this tiny apartment, even the silence walks & bumps pass me, & i know that i am forgettable. i am not worth attention nor urgent, i try to dream unlonely & see... nothing. just a dead man, barely there. . & ain’t that greed? to demand attention in a room filled with love ones? & ain’t that some kind

random writings in my second year of college Isha Camara 14


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of gluttony? to suck the bone dry from all my people then say i’m lonely?

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Her soft and playful hands swung a bat, striking an angry piñata and freeing a screaming swarm of candies. She took the last bus west and threw her singing voice into a leafy lake, recalling those graying hymns with lyrics like syrup stuck to the lips. Crumbs of parties found her locked in bathrooms, practicing her lopsided smile. Or else she strayed to the basement, searching for a displaced cat. Her voice would reply to itself, reciting dialogues from chewed-at novels— a performance for houseplants drowned in darkness.

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Sarah’s Song Surath Fernando


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I

imagine you. Sitting on the floor, in the center of the loft, you hug your knees. Your greasy blond hair reflects the moonlight streaming through the window. Your clothes are stiff with oil paints. The stale air is laced with turpentine, a smell of death, of a cadaver split open from head to foot. The tobacco stains on your fingers reek of smoke. You imagine me looking at you looking at me. Your blue eyes (didn’t you tell me they were blue?) stare at the shredded canvas, the knife stuck in the wood frame. That slashed woman

is not the me you imagined. Your voice is a wail of no words that cannot wake me from my sleep. I imagine you as I wish you were, waiting for your voice. I imagine you as a circuit board populated with resistors, capacitors, diodes, transistors, and integrated circuits. I imagine your thoughts as logical combinations of ones and zeros. You imagine me as voluptuous, folds of fat draped in a bedsheet, a honeyed voice only for you. I am your muse. I am your everything. You groan. “Alexa, do you understand how much I love you?” “Sorry, I’m having trouble understanding right now. Please try a little later.”

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Imagine Nolcha Fox


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Talking Turkey Edward Michael Supranowicz

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T

he cat crouched in the corner of the tent hissing, drawing in its scent if it could. She stared fixedly at Abdullah while he painted the final card. He lifted it up and waved it in the air to dry. Nardil nearly snatched the card from Abdullah’s hand, while gathering up the rest of the set. The boy raced toward the flap, clutching them tightly in his fist. He turned once to look at the artist and was gone.

Nardil ran through the coming dust storm toward the Mamluk General’s luxurious tent. He was proud to have the task of presenting the tarot to the great man. He high-stepped even though his scrawny legs were getting caught up in his tattered clothes. Safiya, his younger sister, crouched outside the artist’s tent, waiting for him. He shot out of it like a racing Saluki, and she followed discreetly, a ghost in her hijab, lost in the wind. She saw one of the cards in the deck slip from his fingers, and she raced after it. Bobbing and weaving, reaching for and losing it in the gusts. She was afraid to step on it. By catching it with her foot, she feared such an act would bring her misfortune. The minute she grabbed the card was the same moment the dust storm struck. Looking behind her, she fully expected to see Nardil about to slap her, demanding the return of the card. Instead there was the red glow coming from the swirling sea of sand obscuring her vision. Disoriented, Safiya tucked the card into her hijab, feeling it against her cheek. She fought the storm back to her parent’s tent. Two Dreamers in a Well 23

Keith Raymond


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“Hand me the Nã’ib,” the General ordered. Nardil proffered the cards with both hands. The Mamluk General snatched them away, and Nardil backed out of the tent, to the smirks of the Captains and Lieutenants gathered within. This would be the first time the tarot would be used for divination instead of play. The General sought guidance as the furies sang around his çadır. He would never know the set was incomplete. Safiya lay on her bed staring intently at the card she saved from the tumult. It was the most beautiful thing her seven year old eyes had ever seen. The colors jumped from the velum, dancing on her iris, as they played over them randomly. When she heard Nardil return, the flap sweeping dust inside, she hid it for fear of retribution. He boasted proudly to his father, how he met the great man giving him a gift. His father, a soldier slave, laughed and patted Nardil on the head. “Someday you will be a great soldier, a great Mamluk like me.” “Not a Mamluk, Father. I will be a great General!” Nardil corrected. “Now sit for supper, my brave men,” his mother requested. Once the men were served, Safiya and her mother took their humbler meal behind a screen. Safiya’s secret was burning in her throat as she swallowed the bits of lamb. She so wanted to tell her mother about the card, but was afraid, not only for herself but for her mother, who would be held responsible.

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The dust blew strong and relentless throughout the night. Fortunes were made, lost, and sealed within the secrets of the tarot held greedily in the General’s hands. Just before sunrise, everyone was sleeping fitfully within the camp. The soldiers themselves rose with the dawn, the horizon clear, but still tinged crimson. They assembled on the parade ground as the General looked out and said to his Lieutenant, “Today, it will rain blood!” They marched out to battle in what would later be known as North Africa. The families stayed behind. All except Nardil, too bored in camp, too excited to join the fight. Safiya looked for him, but unable to find her brother, she told her mother that he had followed the army. Hearing this, she wept. That evening, less than half of the army returned, boasting triumph despite their losses. Neither Nardil nor his father returned. Mother and daughter tore the hair from their head mourning the loss. Safiya’s mother soon found herself a bride again. Safiya having new step brothers and sisters. In the dim light, before dawn and sunset, she’d take the card from her breast, where she had kept it hidden all the time, and gaze upon it. ••• The card was more a window. Peering through stained glass into the heavens. Safiya could feel Allah looking back through the refracted light. On the glass itself were two swimmers. Swimming in opposite

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directions, shoulder to hip. They swam with their eyes closed. Dreamers in motion, circumscribed within the water of a well. She pondered its meaning time and again in those vacant hours. Following her family, following the army, Safiya watched the Mamluks cut a swath of triumph and despair wherever they went. New slaves joined, old slaves died. Broken families remade again and again, some children orphaned, while others were lost to the desert. Safiya grew up among her step sisters who, for the most part, ordered her around or ignored her. Her brothers beat her or teased her when her sisters pushed her aside. She was often blamed for their bad deeds. Such cruelty that adults flinched from was layered upon her unrelentingly. ••• As the Mamluk army entered Dabiq, Safiya saw her opportunity to break free as a cheering crowd fell upon the parade. She slipped away easily, disappearing into the side streets unnoticed. Had she stayed with her family, she would have been a child bride, sold off to the highest bidder. Now she was alone, but the danger was no less. Evening was settling on the great city, the call to prayer echoing through the canyons of dusty streets. An old man was pulling down the shutters to his business when he spotted the lone woman wandering the shadowed lane. He beckoned to her. At first, Safiya was confused, not feeling addressed, but when she looked around, she realized it could only be her he was signaling. She approached cautiously. The man had kindly eyes. Fully covered, her eyes was all he could see of her. He invited her inside. Beyond she

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could see a fire, and vapor coming from a pot that an old woman was stirring. Safiya felt safe. The shutters dropped with a finality that sent a shiver through her. “As-Salaamu-Alaikum,” she offered. “Marhaba, Bint. First we pray, then you may join us to eat. If Allah wills it, you may stay as well.” “I’m Safiya, shukran for your hospitality.” That night, the Ottoman army fell upon the city attacking the Mamluk. Driven to the outskirts, the two armies clashed bringing an end to one empire and the rise of another. The sounds from the battle were horrific and terrifying to those in Dabiq. Safiya trembled in the straw. ••• Days later, she walked out on the abandoned battlefield, and like others, began to scavenge. Safiya found her family and her mother amongst the dead. The Ottoman’s spared no one in the slaughter. The Mamluk General’s tent had been crushed and ransacked, but the Nã’ib was left behind. Scattered but untouched, as if the cards were an evil talisman to any that possessed them. They fairly glowed in the sand and sun. Unafraid, Safiya gathered the cards, and inserted the one she had secreted back into the deck. In so doing, she was no longer a slave, no longer a Mamluk. The barren couple she had stayed with that

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fateful night, made her their own. As an Egyptian woman, she grew taller than her Syrian charges, and to serve them Safiya became a fortune teller. Her words and cards were prescient. Whenever she drew the ‘two dreamers in a well’ card, she shared the truth of it. On one side of the table, the cards foretold one possible future, on the other side of the table a completely different future. When the ‘two dreamers’ card was in the middle, the chances of either were equally likely. This, Safiya shared with her customers to their deep frustration. ••• “Which is why the ‘two dreamers’ card, recently discovered, has not appeared in the tarot since that time,” said the tall Egyptian historian to the group of Turkish soldiers in Dabiq, five centuries later. General Nardil smiled to Professor Safiya. “Thank you Professor for coming. Your lecture has shed light on the historic relics we need to preserve.” He felt an undefinable connection to her that was not attraction, but something else.

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TWO

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D

iego Castellanos lived inside an apartment on a hill on Montecillo street overlooking most of El Paso,

Texas and even a bit of Juarez in the distance. He would spend his afternoons after work during that summer doing little else but read, watch television and stare at the ceiling. Sometimes he liked to look out the window and see the cities, especially during the sunset or rainy

days. His dislike for people didn’t keep him from wondering what was going on in their lives: Was the driver of that red car in a hurry to meet his girlfriend? Was that girl pushing the shopping cart skipping

school? Was that couple riding together on the motorcycle making a trip across the USA? Questions like that. But one morning Diego woke up to look out his window and the landscape had changed. He no longer saw the landscape of Juarez

and El Paso, instead, there was a desert outside. Sand dunes he didn’t recognize. The weather had grown hotter than he had ever remembered it being in El Paso. Gusts of wind kept pressing against his window, sending rocks and sand. Was he dreaming? Had he gone insane? He had to discover for himself. He opened the door to his apartment and was blasted backward by a shockwave of sand and wind, leaving grains all over his shoes. Catching his breath, he immediately closed the door. Diego noticed another rough change in his apartment’s climate. It

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The Universe Expands Oscar Moreno


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no longer felt hot, but instead, cool and fresh with the smell of rain overpowering everything. He peeked out the window again and saw he was surrounded by tall trees. Out his window, a bear prowled through the trees frightening Diego into backing away again. He ran to his bedroom. From his window he could see more trees, the forest rain pelting his window. He ran to the hallway to check out the bathroom, but once in the hallway, the air had become humid, hot, with a touch of salt. From the bathroom window, Diego witnessed sea and sand, children, their parents, couples, all of them playing in the beach. He took out his cell phone and opened Google Maps to figure out his location, but his cellphone shut off before he could do so. Hard as he tried, it wouldn’t turn on again. Intrigued, Diego walked to the main window again and this time he was facing the front of an apartment: There was a blue door and two windows on top, sunlight made its white paint bloom. He looked down and there was a sign: Ladbroke Grove. He had heard that name before. He closed his eyes. It was where his father used to stay when he would take trips to London. He saw the girl peering from the window. A brunette with shoulderlength hair holding a camera apparently snapping a picture aimed straight at his window. As soon as she saw him, she hurriedly closed the curtains and was lost from his view. But before Diego could collect what had just happened or what had been happening at all, someone was knocking on his door. Carefull

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and keeping his head low, he peeked through the window. It was the girl. “Yeah?” Diego asked through the window. “Hey, I’m sorry for freaking you out. I was just taking some pictures. Didn’t know anyone was living in that house. You just moved in?” she asked. He really liked her voice, there was something sweet about it. “Uh...sorta,” he asked, really, how could he explain anything that’s been happening to anyone, especially to a pretty stranger? “Are you housesitting?” It was as good as answer as any. “Yeah.” “Oh good. Sorry about the camera, I just take pictures. I’m not a stalker. Promise.” “Don’t worry about it. I’m not one either,” he said with a smile. She laughed a little. “I’m Sarah.” “Diego.” “You should stop by some time. I can show you around the borough.” “That sounds good,” he said. “Well, nice to meet you. See you later!” she said before leaving. Diego went into his bedroom and opened up the biggest suitcase he

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could find, there was so much dust collected on it that it made him cough and sneeze once he slammed it on the bed. He opened it and indiscriminately threw every single piece of clothing he had for hot or cold weather. Once that suitcase was full, he threw in his books, his notebooks, anything he could use for entertainment that he was sure he wouldn’t be able to get anywhere else. He headed to the door and got ready to open it. But once he did, he noticed it: The change. The house was back at the beach. Maybe he wasn’t too far. Maybe that beach was on Bermuda, he couldn’t know, but it sure was closer than El Paso. In a rush, Diego grabbed the door handle but just as he twisted it, he was back in the woods. He opened the door and the bear was outside, growling at him. A frightened scream exploded from Diego’s mouth, making him slam the door on the bear. Heart pounding, he peeked outside and now he was in the desert. He knew the next step: El Paso. That was the next and final destination. Diego looked out the window and recognized the landscape of Juárez and El Paso. In his bedroom, he collapsed on the bed, staring at the ceiling and left himself coughing from the dust that the suitcases had left. It was over. He stood up to shake the dirt off the sheets, slapping it off with the palm of his hands, shaking the dust off his own body. But he stopped himself and looked at them and then back at his suitcases. An idea began to brew in his head. Diego grabbed his suitcases and grunting from the weight, he stopped himself at the door. He had to get rid of something. He put both suitcases on the floor and took out clothes, books, notebooks

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until they were no longer heavy. His fingers grasped the doorknob and twisted it, opening the door to him. Without hesitation, he walked out. He didn’t look back. He never returned.

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A Collection of Thoughts Claire Lawrence

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D

iagnosis

When your mom hasn’t been diagnosed, the treatment plan will vary depending on the stage and grade of fear. You weren’t alive the first time (your mom’s mom), but you will be alive for your mom, your sisters, yourself.

Main factors influencing fear:

• Being a woman • Getting older

Unfortunately, you are both. So is your mom, your sisters, every woman.

Cancer staging describes tumor size and how much it has spread. Please see the list below for descriptions. 0. Non-invasive. Atypical cells haven’t spread. You reach for the pink pen at work, pink casing not pink ink. Then you see the ribbon. You put it down, pick it up, put it back down. It’s awareness month and you nod to yourself; you’re aware. 1. Tumor is small. A public figure you follow on social media posts about a 39-mile walk she’s doing and urges everyone to donate money. You only donate ten dollars and send her a message about your grandma. You don’t mention she was dead before you were born. She responds, tells you she’ll be thinking about you and your grandma while she walks.

Breast Cancer: How to Manage Without It Jensen Heike 41


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2. Tumor has grown and cancer begins to spread. Your mom says the only tattoos she approves of are ones that cover up the scars. You show her photos of swirling leaves and delicate flowers, inked with precision to hide slashes across chests and for a moment you forget breasts are supposed to have nipples. Those are kind of beautiful, your mom says. You shut your laptop and tell her you need to plug it in, it’s almost dead. 3. Cancer has spread to nearby tissue. Your mom goes in for a mammogram, reminding you as she walks out the door that at my age my mom had already been dead two years. 4. Cancer grows in distant parts of the body. You aren’t here yet. You refuse to be.

How to perform a breast examination:

• Begin by removing your shirt and bra. Look at your breasts in the mirror with your shoulders straight and hands on your hips.

• Check that your chest is still flatter than your mom’s – do you see any changes?

• Cup your small breasts in your hands, trace the gap between them.

• Press your fingers into your sternum and appreciate how solid it is under your touch.

• Pinch your nipples. Assure yourself that you can feel it. Breast cancer facts and myths: Bras cause breast cancer (false)

In all honesty you can’t remember the last time you wore a bra. It was

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a gradual transition from wired to non-wired to bralette to nothing at all. You don’t miss them. Antiperspirants may contribute to the development of breast cancer (suggested by some scientists) You switched to natural deodorants a while back. The packaging was more attractive and you mostly did it for issues with sensitive skin. Alcohol consumption can increase risk (true) You don’t drink, not really. Maybe sometimes for stress, though it only increases your anxiety. Or with your sisters, margaritas and mojitos. It’s worth it to make them happy.

Other risk factors include:

• A family history of breast cancer. It hovers in the background. There are half the women there used to be.

• A personal history of breast issues. In other words, an increased awareness of breasts. Maybe your own, maybe your mom’s, maybe your friend’s. Heightened for females attracted to females. You spend a lot of time thinking about breasts: breasts as miracles, breasts as killers.

• Never giving birth. This is the worst one. It sounds like a punishment. Try not to dwell on the fact that you don’t want kids. At least your mom had them. She had you.

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Water Girl Marie Dashkova

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S

ome plants live for life, despite their twoyear visible life, continuing on forever, full in imagination. Maybe it is those joyful things gained with pain that we cherish most-our children, degrees, homes, gardens, and citizenship. I cherish the blackberry patch that I grew up with by my house. Every year in May half the stalks would set their tiny white flowers and half would wait for their turn the following year to bloom, resting on the dead ones. I think

about how we humans rest upon layers and layers of civilizations, how we individually stand thanks to those fallen, for our nation, for our family. I remember how the flowers would then die and green nubs of berries would come, growing to red and finally to full dark blue, black. The important men in my life are snared by this small, dark fruit, painful to gather.

Growing up my sister and I would take old metal coffee cans and go out back to the patch with my Dad. The three of us spread out in the patch. We were flexible then, bending down to stare up at the silent burgeoning beauties hanging. We always came back with colanders filled and with one or two thorns somewhere in our flesh. The patch thrived between a row of pines and a willow. The berries were so abundant that we froze bags and bags of them. They went from dark purple to red in the freezer. I cannot remember when the patch started to thin. I suppose it happened gradually or when I was away at school. I remember when the willow by the patch started to die, its large limb broken, swaying downwards. It was

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Forever Held by an Invisible Patch Suzanne Ondrus


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the start of my parents’ divorce. The tree went untended, just like the patch. While my Dad threw furniture around and we righted it, nature was left to tend to itself. The hanging limb withered year by year, but still hung, like the noose my Dad told the therapist was around his neck; the noose was us. One day I noticed poison ivy around the blackberry patch. I was picking in August. The patch was thin, and there were few berries. The berries there were small and not plump. I remember spotting one plump one on a low plant. I bent down to pick it, then suddenly stopped as I saw the three leaves signifying danger. The berry was so ripe, so full of juice, but I could not proceed to pick. How would I put it in my mouth? I stopped and retreated. I could only look at this berry. I dared not to touch it. After my Dad had moved out of the house, he was not allowed on the property. The land and the house that he spent thirty years in were verboten by law to him. You strike your wife, you threaten her, and you may not come near her. The trees he planted grew. When he came to pick us up he could only stop at the driveway. The land that he had lived on for so many years was forbidden territory. The hanging limb stared at him from down the driveway saying, “it’s over, it’s over.” But he still asked us to bring him berries when we saw him in July or August, and every time we came with a handful he was in disbelief, as if we were hoarding barrels of them at home. The patch had simply stopped. Instead of picking with colanders and coffee cans, a small bowl sufficed. Perhaps the patch was destined for decay, being that it was by a

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dilapidated barn. Half of the barn had to be knocked down so the rest could remain usable. Maybe that corner of the property pulls things down. Adjacent to this corner stands a tall oak tree. It has grown wide and is firm in place. Sometimes I would go to sit there during my parents’ divorce, my back to the patch, staring at the corral, remembering how my father had wanted to burn the field, to make anew. We were small. It was a Saturday. We were doing family yard work when he decided to burn. The whole corral started on fire and we turned to see him standing there yelling. We came with shovels and buckets of water. Everyone covered a different side, working for a common cause. We were lucky that day. The fire was contained. It did not spread to neighbors’ land. My favorite childhood knickknack is a candle of a little firefighter girl holding a hose, with the inscription at the base that “only you can put out the fire”. I like to think of how we are responsible for our anger. My Dad had such difficulty controlling his anger, whether it was his loud voice, curses, angry eyes or red face, and I too have trouble maintaining composure or right words when something pricks me. With fire and anger comes responsibility. Some of my fondest memories are of my family together on our land, doing yard work. You cannot really talk when you are doing yard work, so I guess there is very little chance of things going wrong. And this was a plus since my Dad liked to say things to get a rise out of people. Picking up sticks and raking leaves were big family projects, helped by the trailer attached to the little yellow Sears tractor my Dad drove. It was time to breathe the same air, look at the same things and time to reach out together. I do not see many families working together in their yards today, and it makes me sad. There

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is something so beautiful about pulling a tarp together, grunting till reaching the dropping place. There is a sense of united entitlement to end the day together. We give something very important away when we hire landscaping crews to do our yards for us. Perhaps the moment we hired others to come to work on our yard is when our family really started to fall. There was no need to work together on the outside, on the visible, the tangible. Maybe we lost a connection to our land at that moment. Maybe our land lost its connection to us too and started to die, the blackberry bushes one by one lost. Our next-door neighbor to the North was like a grandfather to me growing up. He’d been there since my parents had moved in. When my Dad learned about the neighbor’s blackberry patch in the woods he asked if he could have a few bushes. The neighbor later told me my Dad had cleared the whole patch; he was shocked. After our neighbor died about forty years later, a huge blackberry patch came forth between his garage and row of pines. It was like those berries came to stitch his fifty-year spot he had on that piece of land in place, as if someone would be sure to lose some blood if his property was altered. When I saw the blackberry patch on our neighbor’s land, I felt like he had given us a sign that he was o.k., that he had given us a present, as if to say that new patches will come into your life. Those berries were like justice served, though too late, but they stand and flower returned back to where they first came from. Maybe because our neighbor was so deeply rooted to his house and his land, he was able to be porous, to let my Dad come like a hawk and take those blackberries, because he knew the flux of nature, that what goes

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out finds its way back eventually. My Dad died two years after my neighbor died. Now they are both in the invisible patch; it is abundant beyond my human eyes. There is sweetness in their mouths.

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THREE

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M

y sister and I were good children. Well, not always. We had our moments of mischief that we enjoyed so much. However, our victims didn’t like those moments at all. Our father loved napping on the couch in the living room while pretending he was watching TV. He would start watching TV, of course,

but the afternoon lazy shades would easily creep inside the living room and overcome him, leading him to the world of dreams and snoring. That was our chance to grab the remote and change the TV channel. Dad often watched some boring news broadcasting the happenings of the day and my sister and I preferred cartoons, animal world channels and music channels. However, that particular Sunday, when our dad fell asleep on his couch and started snoring loudly, no channel could keep us entertained. And we came up with the spectacular idea. Why didn’t we put makeup on our dad’s face?! I know! It sounded quite thrilling and exciting that both my sister and I got goosebumps from all that excitement. Our mother was not at home, but we didn’t know when she would come back from her Sunday neighborhood visiting, and therefore, we couldn’t waste time. We took her makeup set and hurried to complete our task. We both were struggling not to laugh loudly since we didn’t want to wake up our

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My Dad’s Makeup Ana Vidosavljevic


The Wire’s Dream Magazine

father. We carefully applied a mascara, eyeliner, eye shadow, lipstick, cheek powder blush, powder cream and on the top of his head, we tightened his curls with pink ribbon. When our masterpiece was finished, we hurried to hide far away from the living room but close enough to watch what would happen next. After fifteen minutes of napping our father woke up, realized he didn’t have cigarettes left, and rushed outside heading to the shop across the street. Still heavy-eyed and groggy, he was not aware how he looked like. He didn’t notice his complete head transformation. My sister and I were hiding behind the tool shed door in the garden from where we could clearly see him walking down the yard and going outside. And we burst with laughter. We were not the only one to cackle with glee. Passers-by and the shop worker were dissolving into laughter. My father’s hilarious appearance enraptured many of our neighbors that afternoon and many people laughed so hard that their stomachs hurt. The only person who didn’t find the whole situation funny was my father. He rushed back to the house and looked at himself in the mirror. Shocked and angry, he started yelling calling my sister’s and my name. My sister and I hid inside the tool shed and locked the door from inside. But we couldn’t stop laughing. When our father heard us, he came closer and told us to immediately come outside. But we disobeyed afraid of punishment. Finally, our dad gave up of waiting for the two of us to come out. He went to the house. My sister and I remained locked in the tool shed another one hour. But when the night fell, we had no choice but to leave our safe haven. It was too dark in the tool shed and we were afraid to stay there during the night.

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Plus, we were hungry. Our father was not at home and we felt relieved. That night, my sister and I had an early dinner and rushed to go to bed afraid to face our dad. However, as he had always done, when he came back home that night, he came to our room to turn off the light that my sister always kept on afraid to fall asleep in the dark, he tucked us in and whispered “good night”. I was not sleeping but I pretended I was just to make sure. But I knew that there would be no serious punishment waiting for us the next day. However, the next day we had to help our father repair the fence and finish few other house chores. We didn’t mind at all. It was the best punishment ever.

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Artist Statement

“Tales of a City I” is an urban series made of individual tales from London, 2014. Each image captures a photo-narrative. It is a set of street photography. Most of them are spontaneous instants. They are linked because of the saturated colors, details and free compositions, far from rules. This set created the basis and the starting point of this ongoing project. That year, I went to my favorite city in the whole world and I captured some motifs and elements that will be present in the next series too. In these tales, you can find: reflections, shop windows, plastic people, messages, words, abandoned objects, lines, geometry, shadows, lights, food and people. This is London for me. The old city becomes young in my tales; this is how I look at it. There is always something unexpected going on and here you have the proofs. This is how ‘Tales of a City’ was born.

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Cuento de una ciudad 14 Londres Seigar


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W

hen I was there, I felt like my world was infinite. There were no ends, no boundaries, no limits; everything just went… on. I knew that wasn’t the case; I’m a dreamer, not a fool. But for a moment in time, I could imagine whatever made me happy, so I pictured a place

of my own, a place without limits.

Growing up as a child I would spend many summer days there; I remember building sand castles and catching hermit crabs with my sister, Katherine. A summertime tradition she now does every summer with her own two children. However, as I got older, I continued to go there for a different purpose.

I remember one night when I was home alone with my Mom. It was back when I was still in high school, and, big surprise, we weren’t getting along too well at the time. But my Dad was still out at a town meeting and my sister had recently moved in with her fiancé. I don’t remember what my Mom said or did to set me off that time, but I couldn’t take it; I needed to get away from her. I stormed out so I could be alone, but that didn’t last long. I was already sitting on the stoop of our condo, crying, when my Dad drove up. The sun was close to setting, but it was already night-time. I knew he wanted to go inside and relax, probably even get himself a glass of wine, but when he saw my condition, he stopped in his tracks. He didn’t even need to

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Back to the Beach Jes Trejo


The Wire’s Dream Magazine

ask what was wrong. “Come on, let’s go,” he said as he got back in the van. I knew what he had planned, so with no questions asked, no hesitation, I stood up and got in the passenger seat. And off he drove to Eastern Point Beach. I tried to fight the tears as we made our way towards our destination, but I could not help it. They kept coming, each one faster than the last. I didn’t bother to wipe my cheeks; I didn’t seem to care. I was use to feeling this way, use to crying with an audience, so I suppose this day wasn’t much different than the rest. My Dad didn’t seem to know what to say, or maybe he just knew me better than I thought. I wasn’t one for opening up willingly, and even when asked, I always tend to hold back. However, I knew watching me cry always seemed to make him uncomfortable, so I simply gazed out the window. The road to the beach runs through the much wealthier properties. Groton itself ranges from poor, middle class, then to rich. In fact, from start to finish of Shennecossett Road holds presence to welfare homes, dingy apartments, significantly nicer condominiums, and small homes, leading up to the multi-million dollar beach houses. I watched as we passed the Elks Club, the golf course, all the beautiful homes, and ultimately Avery Point as well. We were almost there. He drove the van through the vacant entrance and across the empty parking lot until he reached the main beach house. He turned off the car and turned to face me. “Go ahead,” he said to me. I didn’t need telling twice. I let myself out and walked over to the picnic table

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that sat close to the water as the tide violently splashed against the rocks. It was nearly twilight at the beach, and even through my teary eyes I could see the sky transform into gorgeous hues of orange and red. It was windy and cold, but my hoodie was enough to keep me warm. Winter had only begun, so the weather was cold enough to leave the beach empty this time of year, for the most part. I curled my fingers around the inner sleeves of my hoodie, to keep my hands warm. Though my mind had been running wild back at home, now that I was finally here, it seemed like my thoughts were finally settling. At last, everything was quiet. The only thing I could hear was the splashing of the waves and even the cawing of some nearby seagulls, but none of that bothered me. I think those sounds, mixed with the smell of the ocean and the sight of the sun setting were what pacified me. I don’t remember how long I sat there, but it felt like a long time before I finally got up and back in the van. “That’s it?” my Dad asked me. “That’s it,” I responded. But that was years ago, a lot changed since then. Honestly, I’m a lot happier. There’s different people, different interests, and more importantly, a different place. Now I’m a college student, and I don’t live in Groton anymore. I have my own apartment in Danbury, on the other side of the state. I call Danbury my home because it’s where I live, where I eat and

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sleep, where I pay my bills, and go to classes. Yet Danbury does not, and has never, felt like home. The buildings are nerve wrecking, creating walls that seem to lock me into place, they limit me. Quite the opposite of their purpose, I suppose, but maybe that depends on your own impression. The smells just weren’t right. I could smell the fumes from cars every morning I walked down White Street. I hate walking through the smog from cars as I pass through busy crosswalks. On most other streets, you can also smell the garbage and other distasteful odors that dilute the air in this city. Sidewalks have garbage. Houses are falling apart. Honestly, I really hate this place. It’s not really home, and probably never will be. One of the few things that has kept me sane in this city has been the people I’ve met, but that doesn’t necessarily stop the loneliness. So when Spring Break came around, as tempted as I was to stick around my apartment with the hopes that my friends wouldn’t be too busy to hang out with me, I decided to head back to Groton. Won’t lie, for the most part, it seemed to be anything but a break. I helped take care of my Dad, who had recently suffered from a heart attack and quadruple bypass surgery. I helped babysit my niece as my sister went to work. I tried spending some quality time with my parents, both of which insisted on watching their usual TV shows instead. I feel like I was just sitting around, throwing away time. I tend

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to visualize it like I have this large hour glass, and I keep opening the top and just pouring out the sand, watching it waste away. However, I finally made it to the beach. I may have only gotten to go one day, and I may have only been there for less than an hour, but the time spent there isn’t what matters to me. I don’t seem to notice the time that goes by when I’m there. I wanted to walk down the rocks so I could get closer to the waves, but I knew that I couldn’t. Not because there was a sign that stated so, but the waves, though they sounded lovely to me, were blaring and strong. The rocks were steep; finding my way down them wasn’t safe, especially for my two left feet. Though I could sense that part of me that wanted to worry, to question everything in my life that didn’t have an answer, I simply could not. My shoulders fell and my arms felt relaxed at my sides as my hands, released from their usual tight clench, fanned out openly. My body was at ease. I could hear the water splashing violently against the rocks as the wind gained strength, and I could smell the salts from the ocean as the shore rolled in faster and faster. Seagulls cawed enthusiastically overhead as the sun continued to shine through the clouds. I could feel the wind rushing against the skin of my hands, freezing them, as my hair blew frantically against my face. This place isn’t just some haven I go to for escape; it’s home.

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She Says Welcome Fabrice Poussin

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Bunneee! Over here! To me!” Jake shouted, as he ran towards the outfield. His mitt was too large for him, and his legs too short: he ended up tripping on a small clump of grass. But he rolled once and returned to his feet without breaking pace. Arvin, a weak runner at best, had just rounded second base. He did not seem to notice the older boy in front of him. From Brigitte’s position as third-base umpire, she was sure he would bang right into Jake.

Meanwhile Bunny--Jake’s little brother and thus really Brigitte’s charge--held the baseball in his hand, back in outfield, his wrist cocked. Neither his head nor his hand moved, only his eyes, which darted back and forth between second and third base. “Throw the ball, Bunny!” Mister Danson yelled, from behind home plate. He tossed his hand, as if decisiveness were something he could propel across the field. “To third! Throw to third!” “Yes! Throw to me!” Kettie yelled. Her squeal was loud enough that Brigitte’s eardrums started to ring. She jumped up and down in excitement. An agonizingly long moment later, Bunny’s arm became unstuck. He tossed the ball, in an arched but wobbly arc, somewhere in Kettie’s direction. The children gathered behind the plate yelled and screamed an incomprehensible mash of encouragement and terror.

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Decision at Third D. M. Kerr


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Arvin kept plodding along--he didn’t even reach for the plate or try to skid in. He was a slight, small boy, only in the country a few years. He never said anything in class unless he was asked. “Come on, Arvin!” Brigitte was umpire because their usual teacher, Mrs. Hellman, was sick. The children remembered her from the last time. “Miss McKenna cut her hair! Miss McKenna cut her hair!” they sang. She was young enough that they could treat her almost as an equal. But, even since the last time, she had started to fill in. The gentle nature that kept her attractive through teacher’s college had begun to solidify to something more matronly. Arvin, the ball and Kettie all reached third base at the same time and hit the ground in a clump that could be heard across the field. Immediately Kettie jumped up. “He’s out, Missmckenna, he’s out, isn’t he.” Arvin got up carefully, and brushed his long pants. He said nothing. He looked as if he might continue on to home. That had happened before. “Is he out? Or not?” Mr. Danson yelled. Brigitte cringed. “I got him, Missmkenna, I got him. He’s out.” Kettie jumped up and down, pumping the words out.’

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“Arvin. Did she tag you?” Arvin just looked at the ground. “I don’no.” “I think she did,” Brigitte said, knowing full well she had no idea if Kettie had tagged him or not, and also knowing that she would much rather have Arvin bask in the glory of what would probably be the only triple of his life. She had no idea why she made that decision, except that that seemed to be what life was about. She waved her hand in the direction of the dugout. “Yeerrr out!” Mr. Danson yelled. Arvin trotted off to his teammates, leaving Brigitte unsure whether her choice had left a permanent scar or not.

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Contributor Bios

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The Wire’s Dream Magazine

Scott Russell Morris

Scott Russell Morris is a faculty member at the University of Utah Asia Campus. His work has previously appeared in Brevity, The Chattahoochee Review, Proximity Magazine, and elsewhere. Ann Schlotzhauer

Ann Schlotzhauer is a Kansas City native currently living in Wichita, Kansas. Her poetry, fiction, and photography can be found in Foliate Oak, Alluvian, Cardinal Sins, and more. Isha Camara

Isha Camara is a nineteen-year-old sophomore hailing from South Minneapolis. Most subjects she writes about circle thoughts and experiences of her identity as a Black Muslim woman and the ways in which she navigates in America; then understanding how America responds back to her. Surath Fernando

Surath Fernando is originally from Connecticut and holds a math-stat degree from UConn. In addition to his interest in math, Surath also enjoys reading and creative writing. Nolcha Fox

Nolcha Fox worked as a professional writer in the software and finance industries for over two decades. Fox focuses on (dark) humor, horror, fantasy, and science fiction. She blogs regularly: https://nolchafox.blogspot.com Edward Michael Supranowicz Edward Michael Supranowicz is the grandson of Irish and Russian/Ukrainian immigrants who worked in the coalmines and steel mills of Appalachia. Besides a background in painting and printmaking, he is a published poet. Although college educated, he had done physical labor most of his life. Keith Raymond Dr. Raymond is a Family and Emergency Physician that practiced in eight countries in four languages. Currently living in Austria with a wife and a polar bear our husky brought home. When not volunteering his practice skills with refugees, he is writing or lecturing.

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Oscar Moreno

Oscar Moreno was born and raised in the Juárez/El Paso border. Moreno’s goal as a writer is to show it as a place where the magical and the fantastical can happen. His work has been published in Somos en Escrito, Rio Grande Review and Levadura; his short films and scripts have placed highly in festivals and contests around the world such as the Austin Film Festival and the Sundance Lab. His screenplay Whispers is currently under option by Fankle Films. Claire Lawrence

Claire Lawrence is a writer and an artist. She has published in Canada, the United States, United Kingdom and India. Her work has been performed at the National Gallery, UK, and on BBC radio. Claire’s work has appeared in numerous publications including Geist, Litro, Ravensperch, Brilliant Flash Fiction, Curating Alexandria and Bangalore Review. Her creative non-fiction appeared in Just for Canadian Doctors Lifestyle Magazine. Jensen Heike

Jensen Heike is a young writer from the Olympic Peninsula. She recently graduated from Western Washington University, where she studied English Literature/Creative Writing and served as associate editor for the 55th edition of Jeopardy Magazine. Marie Dashkova Marie Dashkova is a fine art photographer from Moscow, creating pictures born in their imagination. It takes time to create and develop ideas, find clothes and team, and edit in photoshop. Suzanne Ondrus Suzanne Ondrus is a poet whose work explores cultural identity, language and the drama of the human condition. Language and cultural immersion shape Suzanne’s artistic vision; she has lived in Russia, Benin, Uganda, Burkina Faso, Italy and Germany. Ana Vidosavljevic Ana Vidosavljevic from Serbia currently living in Indonesia. Her collection of short stories Mermaids will be published by Adelaide Books in September 2019, and a memoir Flower Thieves will be published by the same publishing house in April 2020.

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Seigar

Seigar is an English philologist, a highschool teacher, and a curious photographer. He has a fetishist for reflections, saturated colors, details, and religious icons. His three most ambitious projects so far are his “Plastic People’, ‘Response to Ceal Floyer for the Summer Exhibition’, and his ‘Tales of a city’, an ongoing urban photo-narrative project taken in London. Jes Trejo

Jes Trejo is a simple coffee loving cat lady from Groton, Connecticut. She studied creative writing and photography at Western Connecticut State University, graduating with her Bachelor of Arts in 2015. Fabrice Poussin

Fabrice Poussin teaches French and English at Shorter University. Author of novels and poetry, his work has appeared in Kestrel, Symposium, The Chimes, and many other magazines. His photography has been published in The Front Porch Review, the San Pedro River Review as well as other publications. D. M. Kerr

D. M. Kerr is the writing name of a Canadian writer currently living and working in Singapore, where he teaches game design and business. His work has been recently published in Nixes Mate, Porridge, and the Kurt Vonnegut Museum and Library’s So It Goes journal. He’s been known to continue on to home, too.

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Scott Russell Morris Ann Schlotzhauer Isha Camara Surath Fernando Nolcha Fox Edward Michael Supranowicz Keith Raymond Oscar Moreno Claire Lawrence Jensen Heike Marie Dashkova Suzanne Ondrus Ana Vidosavljevic Seigar Jes Trejo Fabrice Poussin D. M. Kerr

Profile for The Black Lion Journal

The Wire's Dream Magazine 5th - 6th Collection  

Welcome to the 5th - 6th Collection! For more information, visit: thewiresdreammagazine.com | Visit to read the submission guidelines: the...

The Wire's Dream Magazine 5th - 6th Collection  

Welcome to the 5th - 6th Collection! For more information, visit: thewiresdreammagazine.com | Visit to read the submission guidelines: the...

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