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Champlain College

Burlington, Vermont


Please submit your work via Submittable at: www.willardandmaple.submittable.com/submit For other inquiries, we can be reached at: Willard & Maple Literary and Fine Art Magazine of Champlain College 163 South Willard Street Box 34, Burlington, VT 05401 willardandmaple@champlain.edu willardandmaple.com


Volume X XI

Credits Editor-in-Chief

Nicholas Perell

Associate Editors

Anne Alcin Elizabeth Bell Joshua Berkowsky Maddie Foret Isiah Friend Eric Harvey Jason Jacovini Danielle Petrilak Brian Sheridan Katherine Taddeo Lily Tammik

Managing Editor

Kim MacQueen

Cover

Birds Steal Cherry Katja Buzova

Layout

Anne Alcin Elizabeth Bell Nicholas Perell Lily Tammik Hannah Wood

Editor Emeritus

Jim Ellefson

Special thanks to all the faculty, staff, and students of Champlain College Center for Publishing who helped us make this magazine possible.

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Volume X XI

Contents Written Work The Insect Hospital

The Soham Station Incident The Lodge

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Julia Aloi

9

Daisy Bassen

If I Wrote You

11

Jeff Binkley

Manitowoc County

12

Carl Boon

wings: a response to sabrina benaim’s “june” Falling

eyeless in wonderland

RC deWinter

39

Tim Downie

A Brisbane Morning

50

John Grey

Negotiating with a Terrorist

Eliot Hudson

In Deep Gazes I Have Held Your Body (so nice) my body

35 36

AJ Dexter

Ghost Sees You

13

25

David Coyle

Super Bowl

Lucia Burton

18

Bob Chickos

The Fall

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Josiah Arsenault

54 Marco Istasy 56

Marco Istasy 57

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Wi l lard & Maple SUBMERGE The Eagle

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Jason Jacovini

61

Andrew Lafleche

Dauphin County History Lesson Montauk

A Night At

Courtney Ludwick 72

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Erin Martell

85

James B. Nicola

Night School

86

James B. Nicola

Waiting Room

88

James B. Nicola

plantation prism

That Wife of Yours

Russell Rowland

95 96

David Sapp

Certificate of Achievement

Salvation

Ken Tomaro

Alka Tiwari

Grace Tucker

Earning My Wings

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David Sapp

Remembering Nas

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92

David Sapp

Our Children

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Russell Rowland

Brian Ruuska

I Carry Love Lucerne

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henry 7. reneau, jr.

Insects Mating on My Windshield

Be Brave

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Valerie Little

Polaroid SX-70

Comet

Valerie Little

Philip Matthew Wendt

99 100 102 108


Volume X XI Between Us

Brian John Yule

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Guilherme Bergamini

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Fine Art Untitled

Visual Migraine

a collection by Katja Buzova

Birds Steal Cherry

Bottle of Creme

Window Delay

Katja Buzova

Katja Buzova

14 15 16 17

Katja Buzova

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Hyewon Cho

Icecream Tastes Like the Galaxy Through the Keyhole

LiJune Choi

LiJune Choi

23 24

Untitled

Ryan Favata

Untitled

Jodie Filan

42

Untitled

Jodie Filan

43

Untitled

Jodie Filan

44

Untitled

Jodie Filan

45

The Bath

41

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Anna Frankl

The Great Voyage Outer Space

Anna Frankl

Anna Frankl

47 48

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Wi l lard & Maple Puddle

Exact On Quotations Two Geishas

Anhjelin Hila

Sue-min Agnes Jung

Apex

Arthur Kwon Lee

Arthur Kwon Lee

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Temujin

Arthur Kwon Lee

68

Untitled

Hannah Mitchell

83

Untitled

Hannah Mitchell

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Pollo As God Year 2019 Melody 6

Brett Stout

Edward Michael Supranowicz

Abstract Work

Kimberly Williams

Biographies

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65 66

Arthur Kwon Lee

Den of Wolves

59 60

Sue-min Agnes Jung

Agony Ecstasy

52 53

Anhjelin Hila

Laughing Tiger Slap

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Anna Frankl

97 98 110

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Short Disclaimer:

The following anthology addresses various harrowing topics throughout

multiple (though not all) works. You are free to read at your own discretion.

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The Insect Hospital Julia Aloi

I keep an old shoebox tucked underneath my mattress, its frail edges being held together by grey duct tape. The box is filled with: tufts of yellowed grass dogwood twigs seafoam green leaves two copper pennies a lock of chestnut hair a butterscotch candy and the occasional creatures that I pick up wandering the wooden floors of my room. The insect hospital is the home of: the slow-walking ant found on my shoelace the pale ladybug with a missing wing the short-lived moth who was too concerned with my nightlight. Most of them do not live to see the outside of the hospice but in my mind, I think of them blissfully drifting,

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Volume X XI basking in the warmth that is the insect hospital.

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The Soham Station Incident Josiah Arsenault

It was June 2, 1944. Benjamin Gimbert adjusted his cap and peered out over the Whitemoor Marshalling Yard. A thick haze clung above the cargo cars blacking out any light cast down by the celestial bodies. The smell of coal soot and hot iron rails permeated every cubic centimeter of air. An operator coupled the engine to the front car of a 390 yard train, shouting up to Gimbert that everything was secure and ready for transport. A clock in the driver’s cabin showed 12:13 am. He opened up the furnace and primed the coal engine, a fiery inferno that warmed Gimbert’s hands and face and singed his eyebrows as he squinted into the blaze. He shut the door and adjusted the brake lever, letting off slowly. With the shrill scraping of iron on iron, the 137,000-pound machine carved its way across the yard, building momentum with every inch it progressed. At 12:15 am, engine WD 7337 departed with 51 cars, 44 of them each loaded with a single 500-pound general-purpose bomb capable of leveling an entire two story building. With purpose and determination, the caravan of incendiary doom barreled along into the unprotected countryside of Great Britain with the hope of bringing an end to the war. *** The 22-year-old James Nightall stood on the foot-stoop of the engine, squinting down the line of cars that seemed to go on as far as the train tracks themselves. The dark coal smoke chugged from the smokestack into the otherwise clear sky, obscuring the almost full moon behind its dense plume. Frigid wind cut through his new wool coat and raised gooseflesh along his arms and neck. He smoothed the newly earned Fire Marshall felt badge on his collar down against the wind.

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Volume X XI The cold kept him alert and sharp. There was no room for error with this payload. Any lack of vigilance and he risked not only the lives of the people on the train, but the lives that the artillery it carried would preserve. He pulled a worn pocket watch from his coat and popped the bent cover open. An amber glow from the smokestack glinted off of its glass face and illuminated the time: 12:29 am. The train would be passing through Soham Station in a few minutes. Taking one more glance down the train line, James climbed up onto the catwalk along the side of the engine. The window into the cabin showed a man hunched over a furnace, shoveling coal into the hole. “Sir!” he yelled. The roar of the machinery and wind must have hidden the sound. “Sir!” he yelled again, banging on the glass window. He looked up from underneath coal blackened eyebrows and cheeks. The driver closed the furnace and opened the cabin door. Nightall pushed inside, and the sauna like conditions inside the cabin turned his ears pink and numb. “Benjamin Gimbert,” the driver introduced himself, offering a weathered hand. “James N-Nightall.” He removed his mitten and clutched the older gentleman’s hand giving it a small, but firm, shake. “How’s the cargo lookin’?” “Tickety-boo. Haven’t seen a thing. Soham coming up?” He grunted and nodded, hunching over a gauge and tapping the glass face. “What about an air raid? We’d be doomed.” “Skies are clear. Haven’t heard any bombers either.” Not that I would be able to hear one over the roar of this engine. He added to himself. “Thank God.” Feeling was returning to his ears and face as Nightall stood in front of the burning coal. He searched for words to fill the silence but found nothing. Instead he focused his eyes on the orange glow seeping through the cracks in

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Wi l lard & Maple the furnace’s door. The driver glared at the fire marshall out of the corner of his eye. “It’s mad isn’t it?” “What’s mad, sir?” “Don’t call me sir, my name’s Benjamin,” he grumbled. “These damn bombs! Hauling the deaths of hundreds, possibly thousands of men.” “Of evil men,” Nightall interjected. “Of evil men,” Benjamin agreed. “But still-fatherless children, widows, lost sons. It’s left a scar that won’t heal for generations.” “They do worse to us, to civilians. Would you rather live under a Nazi flag?” He bit. “I’m not saying it’s not necessary, it’s just bloody mad. Besides,” he scoffed. “It’s all gone to hell, it looks like we’ll be living under the Nazi flag anyhow.” “Not if my father has anything to do with it.” “In the service, is he?” “Naval officer.” Gimbert grunted and went back to his dials and displays. “He told me they were getting ready for something…” he hesitated. “Something big.” “Something big, huh? Did he happen to be more specific than that?” Nightall sunk into his coat, rubbing his hands together. “No, but he said with any luck he’d be home soon.” Well, for all our sakes I hope your father is—” The furnace light flickered across his eyes as he stared into the mirror positioned just outside the door of the cabin. “Bloody hell, we have a fire!” The fire marshal's sunken demeanor disappeared as the adrenaline dumped into his veins. He opened the door and thrust his head out into the bone chilling wind. Flames licked a meter up on the first car carrying explosives. “Soham Station just ahead!” Benjamin screamed. The deafening whistle

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Volume X XI pierced Nightall’s eardrums. “Hold on!” They braced as the train slowed, as screeching iron sent sparks and smoke into the gravel beside the rail. “Take her slow!” Nightall yelled. “I bloody know!” The train’s chug slowed and halted. The fire rose halfway up the car’s walls. “Aren’t those things supposed to be fireproof ?” Benjamin asked. “Yes, I don’t know how this happened!” “Doesn’t matter how it happened, does it? It happened. Once this train is stopped, grab the coupling wrench in case it’s hot and detach the car. Then we’ll haul it past the station.” Nightall nodded. A minute later the engine groaned to a halt and burst through the door. Hesitating for a fraction of a second, the flames engulfed the car, slithering their way up the treated walls. A smell independent of the burning coal lingered in the air. It had to be coming from the burning car. He grabbed the large wrench from a hook hanging on the engine wall. The handrailing was icy cold. Jumping from the railing to the foot stoop, he stumbled as he hit the gravel alongside the rail. Heat coursed from the car and burnt his cheeks as Nightall jumped to his feet alongside the burning payload. His feet sunk into the coarse rock like sand, slowing his momentum. He arrived at the back of the train. There was no time to think or to feel the pain of the flames. There was only time to act. Nightall hoisted the wrench into place, squinting his eyes against the blaze. He pushed with all his might, but the coupling resisted his strength. The heat must have caused the metal to warp, cinching itself tightly into place. He pushed his shoulder into the bottom of the wrench using his shoulder as a fulcrum. Just as Nightall was about to let go he felt it give, jolting him forward into the burning cart. The hot wood and metal sent pain coursing

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Wi l lard & Maple through his cheek. He gritted and pushed himself off the cart. The burning cart was free. Nightall tossed the heavy wrench to the ground and sprinted back to the engine. Pings and groans from the expanding metal inside the car hinted at an explosive temperament about to unleash its wrath. “Go, go, go!” Nightall screamed up to Benjamin. He gripped the railing to the footstool and pulled himself onto the engine. Iron rods rolled the engine’s wheels forward at a pace that a sloth would abhor. The momentum built just as the size of the flames licked up past the roof of the car. Soham Station loomed closer with each passing second, the lamp from the station growing brighter. The train guard stood on the station platform, a bucket of water in his hand. Nightall rushed along the catwalk towards the cabin “She’s going to blow!” “We’ve got time!” Benjamin insisted, his eyes darted towards the flames dancing into the mirror. “Get off at the station! I’ll bail once I get this bugger out to safety!” Nightall nodded and darted back out along the engine to the foot stoop. The remaining ten yards closed quickly, the train moved too fast for him to step off. He took a step back and looked up in time to see the train guard’s shocked expression. His mouth opened to speak but a deafening boom resounded over the station. The explosion sent the 60-ton engine three meters into the air. Railway ties and large projectiles crashed into the buildings nearest the blast point reducing it to nothing more than splinters and mortar dust. Nightall was pummeled into the 20-meter crater, killing him instantly. Benjamin Gimbert was ejected from the cabin and flew through the air for 80 yards and landed in a patch of grass, stunned. He lifted his head and instantly vomited all over his tattered clothing. The world rang with the pounding of a thousand cathedrals and spun faster than any carnival ride imaginable. A cloud of smoke hung over the station tainting

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Volume X XI everything with the smell of sulfur and dust particles. With a gulping breath, the train driver collapsed back onto the grass and drifted into the unconscious realm.

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Wi l lard & Maple

The Lodge Daisy Bassen

It’s closed again, The sanatorium, Roped in by arching oaks. There was insufficient demand For concierge services At the abyss. They’ve pulled the ads With the bud vase And the perfect zen of tea. The thrill is gone, no more Chances of movie stars Sitting before you, gleaming, Your duty to observe them. We can enjoy the grounds again. The trees are just as stately And the bay bends away, From the asylum, frothing With ice like a cocktail.

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Volume X XI

Untitled Guilherme Bergamini

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If I Wrote You Jeff Binkley

If I wrote you down in words I'd write myself down too And there we'd lay, two simple things like paragraphs, sentences, or parts in a play. You: soft as rain, strong as the storm. Me: refusing to carry an umbrella. Silent figures in ink drying on the page, separated only by written convention. Eliminate the spaces so that I may lay beside you Always. YouMe MeYou Us

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Volume X XI

Manitowoc County Carl Boon

In Manitowoc County the nightingales stopped singing long ago. The pines that border Indian land keep secrets we can guess at. And do— surrounded by forever wheat and lakes, such bottoms of sand, smooth rocks. One could bury a man there, a Steven, who wouldn’t be missed for a thousand years. And so it goes in Manitowoc County, where the lights for Christmas on the courthouse windows shine for the living instead of the dead, where a Brendan eats gingerbread in a cell the length of him. He calls his mother; he eats Doritos, drinks root beer, waits the way we wait for love to come. The dark-haired judge and the bland-eyed gatekeeper in Manitowoc County mingle and compare notes. They’ll go home tonight to children sprawling on laundered sheets, blue planets, blue freedom, to be as they wish. I hold a coin to the light, heads or tails, justice in America, justice in Wisconsin, determined so. Steven plays solitaire, Brendan dominoes alone. They are waiting for the spring we take for granted.

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wings: a response to sabrina benaim’s “june” Lucia Burton

“…and a cool breeze from the ceiling fan, stirring my exhale into the room.” -s.b. inhale, count to ten. i could never hold it long enough. my chest has always been a fury of embers, breaking apart from burning too long. i was anything but cold. when i exhaled, it was always too quickly. my mind was not able to soak up the oxygen before it left my body. in front of the wings, the breath of my worry is blown far far away. a constant stream, a steady movement, an unforgiving shoulder. the energy created from the butterflies flapping in my chest. they take flight and flutter out of my mouth. brushing against my cheek, pushing the hair out of my face. my impulse to itch them away reminds me that i am alive.

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Volume X XI

Visual Migraine a collection by Katja Buzova

About the artwork: Visual Migraine is a project based on a visual aura that precedes a migraine headache. Usually, it begins with a spot of flickering light that expands outward, then objects melting into the flickering light. Sometimes it obstructs normal vision but colored, flashing lights create unique and shimmer patterns. The project explores facets of the objective reality and calls attention to the contingent nature of sight. Each new painting is a chance to come back to a reliable object, reliable knowledge.

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Birds Steal Cherry Katja Buzova

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Bottles of Creme Katja Buzova

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Window Katja Buzova

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Volume X XI

Falling Bob Chickos

I stood on a tiny platform, attached to a tree, 40 feet in the air. The ropes course instructor had said the cables could hold up to 10,000 pounds. I probably shouldn’t have felt so terrified. I was supposed to jump to a platform on the next tree, about three or four feet away. On the ground, this would be cake. 40 feet in the air, not so much. See, I had a little voice in my head that was saying, “YOU’RE GOING TO KILL YOURSELF!!!” I stood, palms sweaty, trying to muster the courage to jump. Eventually, I realized people had lined up behind me and were saying things like, “Bob, you need to just jump already. You’re holding the rest of us back.” I jumped. And landed safely on the other tree. I’m sorry if you were hoping to read a story about how I fell from a tree. *** It was my first year at my community college. A year of great growth — and loneliness. I had never had a girlfriend before. Or been on a date. Or asked anyone out.

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Wi l lard & Maple Ladies have always intimidated me. The Voice in my head liked to say, “Who would want to date you?” Second semester, I had an English class. Julie sat next to me every day. She had light brown hair, kind of frizzy, freckles around her nose, and brown eyes that just sparkled whenever she smiled — which was constantly because she laughed at everything I said. I wanted to ask her out, but I didn’t know how to go about it. I wasn’t close enough with anyone for advice, so I cobbled together a script: “Julie, I kind of like you and since it’s Valentine’s Day weekend, would you’d like to do something with me?” I practiced over and over. And over. And over. And over. The Voice said, “Don’t do that! You’re going to make a fool of yourself.” *** The next day, after class, Julie and I walked toward the building exit, past rooms of college professors with comic strips and office hours pasted on their doors. Just before the exit, I blurted, “Hey Julie can I talk to you for a minute?” “Sure, what’s up?” My blood pressure — that’s what was up! My knees wobbled, but I remembered that tree, how I just needed to jump and I’d be OK. I looked into her sparkling eyes and said, “WellJulieIkindoflikeyouand it’sValentine’sDayweekendandIwaswonderingifyou'dliketodosomething

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Volume X XI withme?” My farce covered my fragile soul. She said, “I can’t,” as she gently shook her head, waving her frizzy locks. “Next weekend?” “No, I mean, I can’t because I have a boyfriend.” And that’s when I fell. Fwooooo-thump! As I lay on the ground (figuratively), with my heart somewhere by the coffee vending machine, I thought I heard a distant trombone: Waa-waa-waawaaaaaa. Her smile lost its energy. “I am so sorry,” she said. “I should have told you.” Apparently, she hadn’t been flirting with me in class. She just thought I was really funny. I guess that’s a compliment. We went our separate ways and as I walked through the cold and grey parking lot, the Voice sneered, “told you so.” I sat in my car. I looked into my rearview mirror and saw a pathetic boy who had been crying. I thrust my finger toward the mirror and shouted, “I am so—” I couldn’t think of the right word to scream at myself. I’d endured years of wanting a relationship with someone and not taking the chance because I was so scared of rejection. The Voice was right — I did make a fool of myself.

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Wi l lard & Maple I finished my tirade, “I am so — proud of you, man.” My eyes sparkled back at myself as I sniffled. “You finally asked someone out.” And I survived the fall.

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Volume X XI

Delay Hyewon Cho

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Icecream Tastes Like the Galaxy LiJune Choi

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Volume X XI

Through the Keyhole LiJune Choi

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The Fall David Coyle

RAF Hellfordshire 13 February 1945 1600 hours Jack’s hand shakes with a faint tremor as it brings a cigarette to his lips. Silently, he stands, watching, listening to the sound that drowns out all the others; a low, gurgling roll of fuel being pumped into the belly of a nearby bomber. He watches the ground crew filling the planes in order to gauge how far he’ll be flying; the more fuel, the deeper he’ll be going into the darkness. He learnt this trick from a pilot whose crew he’d first been assigned. That pilot was twenty-six, had never held a driver’s license, and was so short that he had to sit on a cushion in the cockpit. He’s dead now. Jack had missed that fatal flight by pure luck; food poisoning, a poorly cooked piece of chicken saving his life. He finishes his cigarette. The fuel is still pumping. He nervously lights another. Each second of fuel is another hundred or so metres into the black. He begins tapping his foot on a piece of scrap metal, subconsciously transferring his anxious tremor from his hand to his foot. The ash slowly creeps up his cigarette. Looking around the airfield, he sees that he’s not the only one timing the fuel for clues; lone figures, blue uniforms loiter in the shadows, waiting for the planes to stop gulping fuel. A briefing is scheduled for 1800 hours. They’ll know then what the night has in store for them. Until then, every hour is a week, every week a year, every month a lifetime, and every lifetime an eternity. “Give us a light,” Jack hears Oliver say behind him.

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Volume X XI Oliver is the nose-gunner, Jack the tail. Having flown sixteen missions together, they know the sound of each other’s voices better than they know their girlfriends’. It takes thirty missions to earn retirement from combat. Some fly thirty, some even fly sixty, some only fly one. Jack and Oliver are past halfway, but numbers don’t really mean anything to them anymore. Jack hands Oliver a smoke. They don’t take their eyes off their Lancaster, idly drinking aviation fuel fifty metres away. “Six minutes,” Jack says, remembering his own cigarette and flicking an inch of ash off of the end of it. “Jesus,” Oliver says, lighting the smoke between his lips, “Berlin?” “Moscow?” “You’re not the first to think it.” Jack looks at his watch again, “Six-thirty.” “‘If Hitler invaded Hell, I’d side with the Devil’” Oliver quotes before citing himself, “Our own Winston Churchill.” “Was he drunk?” “Probably.” Suddenly, the fuel pumps stop with a loud mechanic jolt; a shockwave of silence pounds forcefully upon their ears and reverberates across the airfield. Jack checks his watch, “Six-forty-two.” “Berlin... gotta be...” 1800 hours Jack and Oliver sit in their briefing room with the rest of their crew. Tom, the mid-gunner, smokes while incessantly bouncing his knee. Mark, the navigator, peers absentmindedly—not at the map of Germany on the wall— out the window towards the darkened sky. The bomb-aimer, Jeremy, who fights anyone who called him ‘Jerry’, scrapes the underside of the overgrown

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Wi l lard & Maple fingernails on his left hand with the overgrown fingernails on his right. Ed, the flight engineer, keeps rubbing his forehead, as if expecting to find some semblance of his mind on the palm of his sweaty hand. The wireless operator, Johnny, pretends not to be looking at his faint reflection in the window. A handsome devil, he likes the look of himself. He’ll get drunk as soon as they return (if they return). He always does (blackout drunk). They all do. ‘Unto the kingdom of perpetual night’ is the only line of Shakespeare’s that Jack can ever remember; the only line that ever truly means something. Nobody speaks. Simon, the pilot, walks into the room. Oliver, ever the joker, rigidly stands to attention. Eyeing Oliver and leafing through the papers in his hand, licking his thumb, Simon laconically quips, “Funny, your sister has the exact same effect on me.” Oliver sits back down with a crooked smile as the others laugh nervously; some duty having been served. Simon hands out the individual orders to his crew. “Dresden,” he says as they begin reading them. “Where the Hell is that?” “Europe, probably, you bleedin’ idiot—” “Read ‘em!” Simon interrupts, “And be ready in two.” 1900 Jack sits alone in the mess hall, nobody else is able to stomach a meal. The silence is amplified by the dormant piano against the wall. All the people who can play it are dead. A picture of Churchill—top hat, cigar dangling from his mouth, tommy gun in his hands—hangs next to a Union Jack on the wall. Jack stares blankly at the piano. He thinks words he could never say: “I should’ve learnt to play, Daisy. I’m sorry I never paid any attention.”

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2000 Wearing their electrically-warmed flying suits, masks dangling around their faces, with their dark-blue suits and ties underneath, all the crews walk silently across the airfield to their waiting Lancasters. Some men smoke final drags as they walk before stubbing them out on the tarmac. Spotlights illuminate the armada of perfectly aligned bombers before them. The mission notes say that 753 bombers will be heading to Dresden from RAF bases all across the country with nine Mosquitos escorting them. Simon doesn’t know the Yank numbers but seems certain it will be recorded in the history books as one of the ‘thousand bomber’ raids. They are to blot out the already-darkened sky. The night-winter air is black and eerily still. Soon, however, the darkness awakes from the depths with the roar of propellers. A most sinister air is felt upon the wind. Mars arises. To unleash an untold terror, to the death of Germany, to victory, to the warning of the Bear in the East: they fly. 2030 “Say g’bye to England, gentlemen,” Simon says over the comms as they fly in formation over the English coast and into the enveloping black of the North Sea. Jack watches the timid lights of English seaside towns drift underneath him into the safety of the distance. A sign that the war is coming to a conclusion, he thinks, that faint lights below dare to flicker in reflection of the stars above. Clicked into his bubble of perspex, Jack sits and waits. The black barrels of his machine gun extend out like monstrous, metallic arms, entangling him in an insidious octopus. Even after all this time, after all these hours and all these raids, these tentacles don’t feel like they’re a part of him; they don’t

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Wi l lard & Maple feel like they’re extending outwards, but inwards, sucking at him, his limbs, absorbing him. 2100 “How’s your French, Ed?” Simon asks. They’re approaching Europe. “Merde.” “Wait, Ed, I thought your mother worked in Paris?” Oliver jibes. “You Scouser dog-shite bastard,” Ed begins, “I’ll do you harder than we did Frankfurt.” “That’s what I said to her on the Champs-Élysées!” 2200 “Welcome back to Hitlerland, lads,” Simon announces, lacking the private education that might have given him something more meaningful to say at such a moment. “Unto the kingdom of perpetual night,” Jack thinks to himself. He looks out of his perspex bubble at the rigid formation of Lancasters flying around them; the Horsemen of the Apocalypse. Always feeling a pang of dread entering German airspace, no matter how ruined the Luftwaffe had become, Jack is all too aware that tail gunners enjoy the worst fatality rates of any Lancaster crew. In reality, all this statistic ever really means to him and his crew is that he’s off-limits for jibes about his mother. He dares not to think about his mother. He doesn’t even know who she was. ‘She was probably a quickie behind the bike shop’, one eloquent schoolyard bully had once put it; a poor girl, hard up on everything, desperate to give him away but now missing him more than could ever be expressed. Maybe she misses him, maybe she doesn’t, maybe she’s dead; he doesn’t know.

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Volume X XI Primarily, though, Jack just tries to avoid thinking about what it is that he’s doing. There’s no time to consider the larger play, only his minor role in this massive theatre, the enormity of world conquest, the scale, the dead... He isn’t brave, he doesn’t have a choice, he has to do this, he’s nineteen, what the Hell else is he supposed to do? He shakes his head. “Tail to cockpit. Can I have a swing, sir?” he then asks over the comms. “Make it quick, tail.” Jack briefly squeezes the black triggers underneath his leather gloves; spitting, shooting black metal and hot flashes of light into the stars. He aims at the moon. He takes out his anger on it, knowing he’s fighting for a sublunar future he might never see. This is a ritual of his, to test his guns over the threshold of the Reich. The sound and force of the guns help him prepare for the fight that’s coming; it sharpens his mind and wakes him up after the long monotony of flight and fear. It’s his way of announcing to himself that he’s alive and very soon might die. The other gunners from the surrounding hum of bombers then do the same, following Jack’s cue; the ferocious eruption of approaching men, the call of frightened boys. 2300 Jack’s plane is part of the second wave. The second wave is the bigger of the two but Jack’s plane is near the end of this wave, so by the time he’s able to sight Dresden, it’s an inferno. He looks down at orange circles of petrol bombs blossoming on the black face of the burning city, unfolding outwards like ripples of white stones in red water. Dresden is ablaze, soon to cease to exist; a den of ember, glowing in flourishing heat and horror. Even after all his past raids, Jack can only gasp at the sight below. “Eyes peeled, guns,” Simon orders, as if knowing they’re distracted by the

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Wi l lard & Maple sight. Jack quickly shakes his head, shakes Hell from his thoughts, and looks up; thumbs on his triggers, scanning the black sky for the enemy. Simon says that anti-aircraft flak hit some of the first wave, but it isn’t heavy. None of the crew know that this city is void of anything other than refugees; they’re the unwitting henchmen of a vengeful civilisation, lusting for the enemy’s blood. Dresden disintegrates in their ire, underneath the roar of Black Apollo’s metallic curtain. Then, as if without warning, a desperate German fighter dives suicidally upon the end curl of the wave of Allied planes. The plane this pilot zeroes in on is Jack’s. A vicious spurt of lead and speed is frantically exchanged. One bullet comes flying into Jack’s perspex bubble, shattering it, impacting the headrest behind him, just an inch from his ear. Before Jack can register what’s happened, the vortex of altitude and speed sucks all the compressed air out of his gunnery. In the force of the expulsion of air, he throws up. His oxygen mask fills with vomit, almost to the point where he can’t breathe, but not quite reaching his nostrils. With a face full of vomit, Jack soon regathers his senses and begins firing at the slippery German 109. “Enemy contact!” he wants to shout, but can’t. He can’t see anything except for the light popping out from his guns and the faint, sliding outline of the 109. Dipping and diving, evading bullets, out in the sky with the stars behind it, the German fighter miraculously evades defeat, even as nearby bombers begin shooting at it. The pilot has either remarkable beginner’s luck or he’s one of the few remaining aces in Hitler’s deck. Jack can’t smell anything but gunpowder and his stomach’s bile. “Tail!” Tom shouts, “Bank left!” From the vantage point of Tom’s mid-gunnery, he can see that Jack is in serious trouble. Tom helps him in the desperate hunt for the moon-shadowed plane. “Tail, are you hit?” Simon asks frantically, trying to hold steady before the

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Volume X XI plane dips into the curve of a turbulence. The slight dip brings the plane into the blast radius of exploding flak— —the next thing Jack knows: he’s falling. No longer in his gunnery, or even in his plane, he’s free-falling—freefalling!—over the raging inferno below. It takes him a few seconds to realise what’s happening, and when realisation sets in, it doesn’t help. The noise of the rushing air overwhelms everything else, almost to the point where he can’t think. He looks around for signs of his plane, but can’t see anything other than other bombers moving slowly, almost peacefully, gracefully, across the sky above him; their undersides illuminated by the rising orange glow of Dresden. In a compounded panic matched only by the adrenaline, Jack instinctively, suddenly, reaches for his parachute strap. The strap is broken—the strap is broken! He’s as good as dead. Wanting to scream, he realises his vomit-filled mask is still wrapped around his face. He pulls it off, but loses the will to scream; the air colliding with his face will only push any scream back into his lungs anyway. Everything is happening so fast. He can barely register what’s unfolding before his eyes. At first, the only thoughts he finds repeating in his head, trapped in an endless loop of fear, are “I’m falling, I’m falling, I’m falling, I’m falling, I’m falling.” However, after twenty seconds, or maybe thirty seconds, with a few thousand feet left to plummet, his desperate mind manages to scrape together something more human: “Gather yourself, Jack, Jack, Jack, you’re a soldier, you miserable bastard. Jack. You’re a soldier. You’re a soldier. Yes. You’re a soldier. You’re a soldier and you’re dying. You’re not dead. You’re falling. This is just falling. Is that the heat? Can I feel heat? This is really happening! This is really happening. This is actually happening and this is how I’m going to die. All my life, to this, to die here. I’m dying! I don’t want to die! I don’t want to die!—Stop that! Think

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Wi l lard & Maple about love. Think about love. Think about love. Love. Daisy. Think about Daisy. Daisy. Daisy. Daisy, I miss you so much. I love you. I love you, Daisy. I love you, Daisy. Daisy. Daisy.” As Jack tumbles out of the sky, falling closer into the furnace of streets and buildings, he sees people being thrown in tornados of fire, tornados of flame so extreme that they’re catapulting people hundreds of metres into the air; burning rockets of pain. Then, as the city quickly draws nearer, in a sudden moment of instant speed, the concrete of Dresden lurches up in vulgar velocity into the space between him and it and everything collapses into a violent, singular collision— he hits the ground. However: “I’ve landed. I’m dead. I’m dead. I’m dead. Wait. I’ve landed. What the Hell? I’m on my feet. I’m on my own two feet. I’ve landed. Am I dead? No. This can’t be happening. Oh my God—that’s a person, melting, and screaming, and boiling, melting into the asphalt—there are children, melting, like candles, like candles!— “ Jack! Jack! Jack! Jack, it’s fine. You’re alright, Jack. Don’t worry. Everything’s okay. It’s alright, Jack. Jack! It’s alright—hey, it’s alright.” “Uh? Oh, oh, oh yes, what?” Jack stammered. Daisy was so tired of this; tired of this job, tired of her dreams never coming true, tired of cleaning up after old people, tired of waking Jack up from his endless nightmares. She was so damn tired. Or was she just tired of this shift? It’d been a long day. “Oh, I’m sorry, Daisy, I’m sorry,” Jack said, frightened and still quite

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Volume X XI confused. His ninety-year-old heart was beating rapidly, dangerously fast for his age. “It’s alright, Jack,” Daisy said with a weak smile, helping him lie back in bed, “Everything is alright. You just had a nightmare.” Poor Jack was always having nightmares about the war. Which war was it again? World War One? World War Two? No, Korea. Or Vietnam? She was never much good at history.

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eyeless in wonderland RC deWinter

i grope my way through time hands plastered against rough walls to prevent my falling over i remember what it was like to see and cannot even weep the darkness is not kind i do not speak its language an unintelligible patois shutters me in a meaningless cage of memories how will i know when i’ve reached the end

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Volume X XI

Super Bowl AJ Dexter

The year was 1972, the year the Miami Dolphins played that perfect season. Dad and I were glued to our television. When the ground started to freeze and it became clear to us that they were headed for the Super Bowl against the foul Redskins (Dad and I were united in many things, not the least of which was our hatred for this team), I took to playing in the warmth of our basement, where I found evidence that Dad had murdered little boys. We lived in Fitchburg then. The box was yellow with hand-painted birds. By 1973, I was thirteen and Dad had set up a goal in the backyard, bought me heavy padding and a football that felt heavy and awkward in my thin hands and we would stay out until Mom called us to dinner, Dad screaming himself hoarse, teaching me to pass and run and kick. Truth be told, I did not care that much for watching football games, and even less for playing them, but Dad felt some sense of American pride in watching his only son score a touchdown and his face was incandescent when I hurried breathlessly through Sunday dinner, barely chewing my food, eager to watch the game. It became clear that the Dolphins were headed for another super bowl so I ignored what I found the year before (yellow, hand-painted birds). Dad was my Dad, not a monster. I didn't see the box again until 1974 when we moved into an oblong house whose kitchen was part of the upper crust of New Hampshire but whose back porch was pure Masshole. I was just starting a new school — high school — and I came home early one day to find my father sitting in his office that was still partly in boxes, paintings he meant to hang tipped over on the carpet, a bookshelf sitting queerly in pieces in the corner. He was rifling through this box — yellow, hand-painted birds — gazing almost longingly as one gazed at pictures of their newborn. And there were pictures inside, so delicate, they

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Wi l lard & Maple seemed to be made of almost butterfly's wings. Or flayed skin. He had flayed their thighs after, the paper said. Whatever he had done to curate this little box was obviously not behind him. With my mother in the next room, in the light of day, he went through this box. That next year, the Dolphins failed to place in the Super Bowl; Dad and I stopped watching together. I got my first girlfriend in 1975 and my father sat down to give me the talk. He spoke to me of women, urging me to sleep with my new girlfriend, but also warning me of the danger women often brought. He used words like urethra and foreskin but also used ludicrous ones like willy or pee pee. I did not have sex with her but I told my father I did to make him proud. My old man: the preeminent sex expert. He had had sex with them before or after he — we weren't quite sure when. In 1978, I went away to college. With this separation, I barely talked to my father, usually shying away from phone conversations or else sliding a little note for him in the letters I wrote my mother weekly. I had a girlfriend that year. My mother met her and liked her; I shuffled schedules and fibbed and ignored phone calls so she would never have to meet my dad. I wasn’t embarrassed by him. I so loved him. But I could not allow her to see him for who he really was. I was afraid she would see him and recognize instantly. She would not understand that he, after all, was just my father — no more, no less. In the spring of 1983, the Redskins whipped the Dolphins 27–17. I longed to call my father and ask him if he was watching the game. But I did not. I did not watch the game. I shied away from highlights. I got married in California that fall. My father was there. He hugged my wife and kissed her cheek. I said nothing to her about him. Your dad was really handsome, she said once absentmindedly. By 1985, I had two sons of my own and I went to my parents' house for my father's retirement party several months after I watched the Dolphins lose another Super Bowl. I had moved to California by this time and I dreaded

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Volume X XI going back to their town. I hesitated before I booked the flight. I thought about canceling. I thought about playing the brute and forbidding my wife and children to come along. I could not tell her the truth. At the party, I saw the box sitting in an unlocked drawer in his office. He came in to fetch a crystal decanter. He saw me staring down at the box. Yellow, hand-painted birds. He said nothing, did not try to explain. I turned and left. I thought of my sons. I went later, after the children had gone to bed and wives lay about finishing up sewing projects and reading mysteries, to retrieve the pictures to — what? Dispose of them? out him? But when I went back, they were gone. In 1988, my dad hung himself, three weeks after the Redskins clobbered the Broncos, claiming that he had lost a lot of money in the stock market crash and he could not face my mother, who always saved and sacrificed. No one questioned it. I said nothing. He had burned the box before he tied a rope around his neck and leaned forward against the door. In 1992, after my mother died and the house went on the market, construction workers found something when they tore down the walls of my parents' bedroom and found a secret panel in one of the closets, pulling from it a tiny box. Yellow, hand-painted birds. Inside, polaroids: boys, in various stages of undress, the youngest of whom they believe to be 9 and the eldest around 14, none of whom were alive when their bodies were propped up and photographed and then taken God knows where. That was the year the Redskins beat the Buffalo Bills 37–24.

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Ghost Sees You Tim Downie

Ghost feeds on the wind Ghost hides, Squatting on treetops. Ghost likes the cold. Ghost sees you. Ghost breathes the earth like an organ Ghost breaks twigs to bring the hunters out Ghost is rock Ghost is a mirror Ghost is a crow of fire From the echoing pit. Ghost sees you. Ghost, our Lord of hedgerow River and well. Ghost is the woman you left in the field. Ghost’s tears dissolve in the rain In the tangle of mud and grasses. From the sky of spheres Ghost sees you. Ghost knows the storms of night Are greater than those at day. Ghost takes up his shadow Ghost knows the land better than you, Ghost knows that in each bud Is the soul of a star. Ghost is the song of the nightingale The winter’s robin The summer’s cuckoo. Ghost sees you. Ghost sees your home Your car Your daughters. Ghost sees the care you have tucking them in. As sure as you tucked her arms under her wet body To break the wrists.

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Volume X XI Leaning on her skull Till her teeth broke. Ghost sees you Ghost sees you laugh Ghost sees you eat Ghost sees the hierophant wasp Drink from her eyes. Ghost is the striking of a match in the dark The moth, The dust mite, The rapping on the cellar door. Ghost is an ocean, A neophyte embalmer Of time, as well as a scratcher An undertaker, mortician, cremator. Ghost sees you. Ghost sees the woman you left in the field.

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Untitled Ryan Favata

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Untitled Jodie Filan

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Untitled Jodie Filan

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Untitled Jodie Filan

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Untitled Jodie Filan

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Volume X XI

The Bath Anna Frankl

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The Great Voyage Anna Frankl

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Volume X XI

Outer Space Anna Frankl

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Puddle Anna Frankl

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Volume X XI

A Brisbane Morning John Grey

The morning begins with pins and needles as the arm I’ve been lying on all night quenches its Saharan thirst on my blood. I hear the crackle of eggs frying, bacon snapping to brittle attention, and the pop of toast. Sun reaches in to shake me awake before my mother cries out from the kitchen, “Breakfast!” Like my arm, my head’s been drained by the departure of dreams. So-called real life is sucked in by the vacuum. My sisters’ shrill tones dart in and out of my father’s gruff voice. The TV blares though unattended. No question this is the right house. The usual chorus of kookaburras, lorries and plain brown sparrows informs me what country I’m in. I’m already the classic introvert according to the wise ones. I prefer the word “observer”. Or the phrase “deep in thought.” But I kiss and hug with the best of family members. And I recognize love when I share a table with it. From the divine solitude of the bedroom,

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Wi l lard & Maple I step out into the bright busyness of the kitchen. The quiet is where I become myself but it’s the noise that provides the opportunity.

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Volume X XI

Exact On Quotations Angjelin Hila

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Two Geishas Anhjelin Hila

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Volume X XI

Negotiating with a Terrorist Eliot Hudson (adapted from an Arabic folktale) When the souls of the house have all gone away, up to their far, far away chambers and taken the cat, their slippers, and tea, that is the time that the mouse king enters. Because crum-cake’s the cure for all the mouse kingdom— like man’s prescription for imported opium— the mice trade their scraps, and eat in a fix the crumbs that the Gods have dropped from their plates. It heals, it is currency, much more than a treat: the nobles they store it in hollows and keep well charted measurements of monthly installments, the poor, they squander, consuming their balance, not saving for potential political clout, much rather they enjoy to eat their amount. The king of the mice has plenty to spare and bargains with nobles from foreign apartments exporting his wealth for imported assortments of Spanish rice and European grain, the bounty of wealth that the world sustains, but here he remains in the kitchen to rummage guarded by day by the cat they call Thomas. But a cat is a cat and can listen to reason! Science has shown us the domestic feline has large frontal lobes in its brain hemispheres indicating intelligence is present in there… The King of the Mice was handsomely dressed, bottle-cap medallion pinned tight to his chest, paperclip scepter, and tinfoil crown he swaggered and sauntered, enchanting the crowd —citizens hailing their last amends to the King of the Mice as he enters the kitchen. He came to the cat with a confident proposal: three-hundred poots1 of Crum-cake for starters, then three-hundred more at the first of each month, if markets are open and imports are up by his calculations the wealth that goes with a modest relationship, loose economic ties that benefit both the mouse and feline. He offered his offer, his word and his promise from the King of the Mice to the cat they call Thomas. Thomas considered and ever so slow ly began prowl ing and pur ring in cir cles, about the Mouse King ever so slow ly, eye ing and not 1

Mouse unit of weight equal to about 36 Tchitchikov’s.

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Wi l lard & Maple ing perhaps the measure ment of Crumcake for his pro fit eer ing.

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Volume X XI

In Deep Gazes I Have Held Your Body Marco Istasy In deep gazes I have held your body (lying on white linens, laughing with the wind) Quivering, it is a lute which I have loved to play And in the mornings drank as dew. It is a slate of marble: palpable, unbreakable. Magnificent and proud; it shrivels to my touch. In decadent nights I have seen it tremor And riding that mare I draw toward it. That mare: unruly, feral, and vernal (breaking the stars in tremulous haste) Forges its path along my heart With sentiments of unrequited passion.

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(so nice) my body Marco Istasy

I (so nice) my body when it is with yours. feelings old, to sentiments anew: obstructed nature (sweetest dear) strictly us (dearer sweet) — I am feel so very much. II could furtive tear perhaps soon drop? a heart do longer, swiftly more. to that place of sleep (may we sweetly go) and an ardent sea (let us sweetly drown) — I fear so very much.

III

incomplete of one is two and out of one may come the third. deny, my dear (perhaps, maybe)? maybe be yes (if it be true) — I am fallen so deep in love.

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Volume X XI

SUBMERGE Jason Jacovini

you dragged my body out of the lake, I heard your voice through the water, it sounded like the song you used to sing to me felt your fingers on my neck, they cling to my face where strands of our wet hair collide knew I’d never meet November scared of showing myself to the wind don’t want her to see me like this carefully lay me onto the cold sand, tilt my head, back across the sky, my name’s carved into the moon the stars are still, hanging heavy, dull with gloom the longer you’re there the worse you’ll feel soon moths’ humming wings replace your screams pull you away by your shoulders, the rest collect on my chest, tear through my lungs to let the water drain away I sip on the fog for a few moments, pallid tracing your neck under the porchlight wicker against my legs, blanket just above my waist looking through those old books blushing when our hands meet along the pages are photographs ever enough? will you reflect on them in the windshield as your knuckles bleed from bashing them against the wheel steering near blindly as moths press to the headlights all I ask is that when you get home wash the sheets, have something to eat let the static lull you asleep, lingering deep within your ears and hope it never gets worse because I’d rather not be defined by what I regret and whether you choose to sink or to succumb to a current that was never really there, just know that someone’s grateful for everything you’ve done

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Laughing Tiger Sue-min Agnes Jung

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Slap Sue-min Agnes Jung

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The Eagle Andrew Lafleche

Laura sat beneath the near bare birch tree. She sat beneath the tree and stewed. Across the yard, the boys were carrying-on in their tree fort. The tree fort dad had built for Alex the previous summer. The tree fort which explicitly expressed in bright red spray paint, No Girls Aloud. Laura kicked at the leaves she’d raked into a pile. “It’s allowed, stupid,” she cursed. Of course, stupid wasn’t really a curse word, but if mother ever heard her use it, Laura would have earned a smack. Girls do not use words like stupid. And they don’t spit. Laura growled her throat, sucked all her saliva onto the base of her tongue, and hawked a loogie. The slimy string hung from her lip and threatened to soak her flannel button-down. She huffed. “Girls don’t spit,” she whined, wiping the failed spittle from her chin. “Girls don’t swear. Girls don’t play in the mud. Girl’s can’t go in the tree fort. Girls can’t, can’t, can’t.” She pressed her back into the sturdy tree trunk and glared at the tree fort. The leaves on the maple were orange. Orange is ugly on trees, which is why birch trees always look prettier than maple trees in the fall. Their leaves only turn yellow before descending to the ground. Green and yellow are palatable. Orange and green, however, should never be seen except for in the washing machine. Laura’s mother’s voice, again. Laura’s mother’s voice, always. She looked up. Above the reaching branches, the gray clouds threatened snow. But that’s it. Halloween would come first—then the snow. An eagle soared into view, wings still, effortless. Before Laura could completely appreciate the majestic creature, six little birds darted toward it.

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Volume X XI Their violent wings, if not in the sky and instead were flapping on the surface of a lake, would have looked like drowning. The eagle glanced at its aggressors, pressed gently into the air beneath its extended wings, and gracefully ascended higher, annoyed or saddened, it was hard to tell from where Laura sat. “Stupid birds, stupid boys, stupid mom. Girls can’t go in the tree fort because girls don’t climb trees.” Laura punched the ground, not hard, but enough to show that she meant business. “I can climb trees.” The lowest branch towered one jump out of reach. Laura stared at it, focussed, bent her knees and jumped with all her might. To her surprise, her hands reached past the branch. She could have kissed the crisp whiteness she jumped so high. Quickly, she reached an arm around and clung to the branch. Laura swung her hips and managed to get a foot over the crux. She wiggled, and pulled, and grunted, and groaned, and in the struggle righted herself on the lowest branch, base camp for her climb. “I don’t need your stupid tree or your fort!” She yelled across the yard. The boy’s carrying-on quieted. Alex peaked out the curtain-clad window. Mac’s head popped out beside his. “Laura,” Alex whined. He was at the age where no matter how serious he wanted to sound, his voice was always the octave of whining. “Laura,” he whined again, “get down from there before you hurt yourself.” Laura stuck out her tongue, a twelve-year-old’s middle finger. “I’m telling mom,” Alex said, whining. A few feet away hung another sturdy limp. She bounded for it. Branch by branch she scaled the tree until she was as high as the boys were. “You’re too high, Laura,” Alex said, concerned, but still whiny. Laura grinned. “You’re just jeal-ous,” she called in a sing-song voice. Alex started again, but it was no use. Laura had continued her climb and

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Wi l lard & Maple by all appearances, didn’t look like she was going to stop until she reached the top. The boys hurried down the ladder. From the ground, Laura almost couldn’t be seen; she was so high. Laura was higher than the house. “Laura! You come down, right now!” Alex demanded. The patio door slid open. Alex and Laura’s mother’s head poked through the opening. “What’s going on out here?” she barked. “You’re terrorizing the whole neighborhood with your yelling.” She looked to the pile of leaves where Laura had been raking. Obviously, Laura wasn’t there. Alex was about to explain everything when Laura called from her perch at the top of the tree. “I thought you said girls couldn’t climb trees!” She yelled down, gloating. Alex added, “I tried to get her to stop but she—” “Laura Jessica Parker!” her mother yelled. “You come down from there right now.” Laura rolled her eyes. She mouthed you come down from there right now. “I can see you sticking out your tongue, young lady!” Laura sighed. She looked around. She looked down. Her mother and brother and Mac looked ridiculous, miniature, yelling up at her. They looked fake, like she was in the rafters looking down at the characters and the set of a school play. The backyard looked smaller. The roof looked flat. Everything that seemed so big from below, now looked remarkably dull. “If you don’t come down from there this instant—” her mother yelled, but it was too late. Laura let go what was left of the trunk at the top of the tree. She bent her knees and lunged off the branch into the air, into nothing. The three miniatures screamed Laura’s name.

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Volume X XI Laura, smiling, extended her arms. She understood the eagle.

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Agony Ecstacy Arthur Kwon Lee

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Apex Arthur Kwon Lee

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Den of Wolves Arthur Kwon Lee

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Temujin Arthur Kwon Lee

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Dauphin County History Lesson Valerie Little

The nuclear plant is just a few miles from my grandmother’s grave. At first, my grandfather would sit every day in a sagging, striped lawn chair, eating a gas station hot dog, pulling the weeds that the caretaker missed. Now that he is ninety and can hardly walk, all of that “you’re only as old as you feel” stuff is out the window. I stand there in his place now—sans hot dog— brushing away the mud-streaked leaves while he watches from the car. I rub my thumb over the dates. He’s made it five years. I thought he wouldn’t last one without his Donna, but his side of the stone remains smooth.

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Volume X XI

Montauk Valerie Little

I stand wild at the edge of the ocean. The bristles of the Eastern winds undo me. Will they sweep away our last words? my still unsatisfied mouth? the day I silently said your name with forgiveness? Will these winds move me beyond here where my heart is blown open, out amidst the late twilight constellation, salt spray, and whispered breath? I scratch our promises into the sand with my fingers— never quickly enough to read back before the next wave gathers them back into the water. I wait for you here, on this beach, where you knew you could find me. I face the water, eyes tightly shut and half brave, not knowing you were right behind me in the forest. You may never come out. Mouth full of words unexpressed, my voice manages an elegy: Dearly beloved [tense: singular], You are made of the marrow of nightmares. I commend you to the dark, to the ground next to our fathers. A toast to my half-bravery, the other poured in after you, a fitting accelerant. I light a match and flick it into the open grave before the backhoe returns to fill in the dirt. Baptized by fire, I watch you burn on some illegal, modern pyre in the middle of Central Pennsylvania. That kind of heat forges something unyielding in me, akin to your reluctance, a complementary angle to that look you get when you’ve gone cold. When you pin me to the wall, hot and distracted with desire, I should strike with a slice of revenge between your ribs, leaving you with a scar no one else could see. But, you know that violence is not in me, so we make love instead and I practice

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rationing my breath for the goodbye.

Spent and sleeping inches apart, I dream I am dying. Maybe a cancer eating me. An undiscovered blood clot. Strains of a merciless virus. I am convinced that is the only way to compel you to stand sentry. The familiar finality of it would turn you on— the expiration date circled on a calendar. You’re so good at being able to stay so long as you know it’ll be over soon. Let me say a few more words by the blaze: We are not special, you and I. We are fated for nothing but dust and silence. [Lithe and empty, I breathe in the smoke. It reminds me of that Moby Dick t-shirt of yours that I liked so much. I should have taken it when I had the chance.] I will not disavow you, though I want to at times. Every day someone wonders how I can still love you. I will continue to want what is not what was not what will not be tomorrow or in five years or when you are alone praying your vespers at the hour of my death. Amen.

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Polaroid SX-70 Courtney Ludwick

You left your t-shirt on the floor of my bedroom. It’s been months since I took it off you. But I remember how hot it was. You asked me to pull out the old box fan in the closet, so I did. But the heat was still there. It slowed down time, made everything take a pause. The lethargic hum of the cicadas was sluggish, thicker and denser and slower than their sharp cries that pierced through the cool air in the winter. The leaves outside my window didn’t fall down. No, they floated, barely sitting atop the dry grass that crumbled underneath the sneakers walking by. And the people! The humidity loosened their ties, and their starched collars wilted in the heat. It wasn’t the middle of the day—far from it—but the shadows of the sun still beat down on their brows, tethering them to the ground. We listened to their sleepy footsteps like teenagers listen to bad pop music. Now you listen to bad pop music with her, I guess. But your shirt’s still on my bedroom floor. I never picked it up. *** We met at a cafe. I remember because you walked into the shop’s singlestall, gender neutral bathroom without knocking. The door wasn’t locked. There was no lock. So there I was, pants down, phone clutched in one hand, with a terrified look on my face, staring up at the strange man now watching me pee. I don’t know how I ended up laughing at some joke you made. Or how my number ended up in your phone. But I did. And it did. I left the café without ordering a coffee. I did, however, look over my shoulder to see if you were looking at me too. You were. I wanted you to call me that night, but you never did. Instead, you called three days later, as if you had read some Cosmo article about dating the day before. But it didn’t seem to matter. I answered your call on the second ring, and you talked to me until five am. By the time I hung up the phone, the sky had started to lighten, and the frost on my window had started to melt.

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Wi l lard & Maple *** On my nineteenth birthday, you bought me a Polaroid SX-70. It was light blue and made a whirring sound when you forced the shutter down. I remember hearing the click out on my balcony. You said the lighting was best outside, made me stand outside too, as if you knew a thing about photography then. It was cold, cold for July at least. And you just sat there—a stupid big grin on your face—wasting all the film you had brought. I thought we were going out to dinner. Over the phone you had told me to wear something nice, wear that blue dress you always liked. But then you spent all afternoon taking photos, and I spent all afternoon sipping on my roommate’s wine. We never went to dinner. And before we knew it, the afternoon had gone black. We sat on my balcony and watched the film develop. The images were hazy, at first. You said they reminded you of the second before you wake up, reminded you of the final few moments of a dream—sort of lost and sort of found. After a few minutes, we saw color. At night, everything had more color. We kissed through the veneer of alcohol on our tongues. We laughed as you dug around in your jean pockets, pulled out those little pills with the happy faces stamped on the sides. We fell back on the bed, listened to the blades of the ceiling fan buzz above us. We whispered across my silk pillows, hot and damp from our breath. You spent the night, and the next day you snuck out before my roommate woke up. You took the empty bottle of wine with you too. I watched you leave. And right before you pulled the door shut behind you, you turned around and looked at me one more time. *** My hair flew out behind me as I danced around my bedroom. On the radio, some girl’s dreamy voice barely whispered the lyrics as a tinny piano crooned in the background. I saw all of this in the mirror by my desk. It was full-length, skimming the ground. I stopped dancing.

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Volume X XI My window was open, and the moon illuminated the glass; made it light up from the inside. It mesmerized me, and I couldn’t do anything but stare. Soon, I reached out to touch it. And the mirror gave way to a thousand pieces of glass. Sharp, jagged shards fell to the floor. I might have screamed. I don’t remember. But before they could touch the carpet, they transformed into insects—winged and seraphic—floating through the room. I fell back on my bed, watched them dance above me like tiny ballerinas, pirouetting against the shadows on the wall. Before long, they noticed me too. Their dance ended, and they floated closer to me, tickled my nose with their eyelash wings. I wanted to touch them. I stretched my hands out, as if to say that I was safe, as if to say that I was good. But they drifted away—slowly at first—and then all at once. *** The day I found out my mom cheated on my dad, I thought I was having a heart attack. Sharp pain shot through my chest. My breaths came out in short, rapid bursts. And my hands went numb. A doctor told me later that it was a panic attack. “A sudden episode of intense fear,” he had said. But right then, I really thought a person could die from heartbreak. After a few minutes, my pulse returned to normal. My hands slowly regained feeling. And I didn’t feel as though my heart might break through my ribcage. I called you, and you came over. You held my hand while I told you what my dad had told me through gritted teeth and dried up tears. You told me that it wasn’t my fault, there was no way I could’ve known. But sometimes it felt like I should have. In the weeks leading up to their divorce, she would purse her lips and look at herself in the small compact mirror she kept in her wallet, reapplying red lipstick to go pick up bread and milk at the grocery store. Her hair—dark like mine—would be plaited perfectly to go deposit a check at the bank. And her eyes. They’d light up at a text message, and she’d hold her phone close to her heart like it held a small, precious secret. I should have known by her eyes.

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Wi l lard & Maple *** On Christmas Eve, I met your parents for the first time. I was nervous, but by the time we sat down to eat dinner, your mom was already calling me ‘dear’ while your dad stole sips out of the bottle of whiskey I had brought him. We ate, and they asked me about school, what I wanted to do in the future, where I wanted to go, who I wanted to be. You didn’t say much. But then again, you didn’t need to. That night, we stayed up and looked through your old yearbooks. I made fun of the way your ears stuck out from behind your hair. And you showed me the girl who was your first kiss. I laughed at the tuxedo you wore to prom. And you tickled my ribs, made me promise that I wouldn’t tell a single soul about your eleventh grade yearbook photo. I promised, but my fingers were crossed behind my back. We left the day after New Year’s—threw our bags into the back of your car—and told your parents goodbye. Your mom hugged me so tightly, I thought she might never let go. But she did, and then your dad winked at you, told you I was a keeper, told you not to let me go. You agreed and nodded your head. You even smiled and stroked my hand with your thumb. I didn’t check, but I thought later that maybe you had crossed your fingers too. *** A thousand different faces stared at me, but none of them looked like you. I couldn’t tell if they were smiling or frowning or laughing or crying, but I could tell that you weren’t there with them. I looked up, and clouds floated above me. They were almost close enough to touch. One that reminded me of you moved closer. In the wisps of white and gray and blue, I saw your nose; I saw your mouth, I saw the laugh lines forever etched into your skin that I couldn’t forget no matter how hard I tried. Everything was jumbled up, but I saw you up there in the clouds. I stood on my tiptoes, tried to grab it, tried to grab you. I could almost reach it. But then it disappeared. All the faces disappeared too. Suddenly, I was somewhere else. The room was cold, and I was the only person around.

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Volume X XI I heard a machine close by; the telltale click and clack and buzz and whir reminded me of it. I wondered why I was so cold, but I looked down and saw that I had no clothes on. Maybe you took them off after seeing all that blood. That was nice of you. I had no choice but to continue walking. The room was all white walls and white floors and white ceilings. And the walls kept pushing me forward. Have you ever played a video game where you had no choice but to go forward? Well, the walls were like that too. I kept going forward, forward, forward. They wouldn’t let me look back. And then, the heat came back. I saw you, but I also saw everyone else. My mom and my dad and my first love and my first heartbreak. Everyone was there, racing by. Your face flashed by more than most, but sometimes it disappeared into all that white. *** The day after you left, I woke up in the hospital. There was nothing but white there too. White walls. White floor. White curtain separating me from the man with the bad cough and the bad lung and the daughter who kept sneaking glances at me through the holes in the white curtain. For the first few hours, I thought I might drown in that room, drown in all that white. The doctors helped, though. All sorts of different ones came in, checking on me, asking questions, wondering if my family had any previous mental health problems. Only one looked at the bandages on my wrists for a little too long. But that one never came back. My parents kept “checking” in. My mom’s eyes were all weepy and red, and my dad refused to look at me. They did the same routine every time. My dad would come in first. He’d have a book tucked under the crook of his elbow—Emerson or Thoreau or some other Romantic. It might have been Hawthorne. There was a white chair with ugly frayed cloth hanging off it. He always sat there. My mom would come in next. I could tell she had been crying. Like I said, her eyes were all weepy and red and daring me to ask her why she was the one crying when I was the one in the hospital gown. She would smile, though, and

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Wi l lard & Maple then she’d grab my hand—maybe both of them—and ask if I’d like some frozen yogurt or a cookie. She knew where the nurses hid them, after all. I shook my head and then smiled too. But when I did that, her smile faltered. I could tell she wanted to cry. I nodded my head, just barely, and tried to tell her that I was okay, tried to tell her that everything was going to be just fine. After that, a determined look would cross her face. She’d smile, more brightly this time and offer to get me cookies again. Of course, I’d say no. Then she would leave. My dad would follow. He had barely read the first paragraph of his book, but he would follow. And when they came back, he would read that same paragraph. *** I saw you later at a Halloween party. I saw her for the first time too. She was wearing a tight leather dress. It was red, and plastic horns stuck to a headband mussed up her hair. Still, she was pretty. The entire night, your hand never left the small of her waist. You both seemed happy. I didn’t stay very long after that. Instead, I called a number I hadn’t called in a while, and a few minutes later, a car slowed to a stop beside me. The windows were already rolled down, so I handed the driver a couple of folded bills. He replaced the money with three small capsules, and I noticed his eyes then. They were huge and looked like absurd peppermints. Blue veins streaked the white part, and the iris was black, darker even than mine. Shifting back and forth, they never really looked at me. “Take them here,” he said. So I did. I asked for water, but he didn’t have any. And by the time I got to my apartment, my head was spinning. It went around. And around. And aroundandaroundandaround. I felt like I was on a carousel—you know, the kind you used to ride on as a kid at the carnival while your mom took pictures and your dad flirted with your friend’s pretty mom—but this one wouldn’t stop. I tried to get on my bed, but all I did was pull the sheets down on top of

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Volume X XI me. My legs and arms got tangled up, and I started to panic. Suddenly, a doctor was standing in front of me. “You didn’t experience a heart attack. It was most likely a panic attack. Brought on by stress.” He paused, fiddled with his stethoscope. “A sudden episode of intense fear.” And then he was gone again. Just like the winged insects that fluttered above my head like tiny dancers. Just like the mother who wore red lipstick to the grocery store. Just like you. For a moment, everything was loud, louder than it had ever been. My hands covered my ears, and tears slipped down my face. I could hear everything falling apart and coming together and falling apart again. For a moment, everything was loud. And then, everything went silent. *** I looked up. I wasn’t with you. I wasn’t in my apartment. I wasn’t even in the city where we fell in love. I was back home, and the sky was black. Squinting my eyes, I tried to spot the constellations people always talked about—The Little Dipper, Orion, Cassiopeia—but I couldn’t find any. To me, the sky looked like it always did. Black and blue and purple with a million random dots scattered everywhere. Yeah, it was beautiful, and crazy when you really thought about it, but I couldn’t see any secret lines up there. There were no pictures or people or stories that I could see. It was only stars. It was only the sky. I looked closer and tried to find you. I tried to find your face in all those stars, hidden in-between the ladles and the lions up there. But I couldn’t. So I pretended that I did. Your jaw was by the moon, and your ear was right past the roof of the neighbor’s chimney. Your eyes were so bright, I might’ve cried. I couldn’t see anything really. But I pretended. And it helped, I think. *** I saw you the other day. I was wearing your t-shirt. You might have noticed, but you were with her. I turned around before you could see me, but maybe you did anyway. I walked in the direction I had just come from, back to

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Wi l lard & Maple my apartment. Back to where we used to listen to the sleepy footsteps of the people walking on the pavement outside. I dug through my wallet, found the polaroid picture you had taken of us on my birthday all those months ago. I dropped it and didn’t pick it back up. And for a second, I believed that I was okay, that this was okay.

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A Night At Erin Martell

The waiting room is full, and smells of sickness and aged disinfectant. The walls are painted a nauseating neutral, the corner tube TV plays some blithe local talk show. I’m watching the others. The kidney stone who can’t stop moaning for morphine and blessed death. The shrunken woman on oxygen, whose brightly colored knit hat juxtaposed her grim exterior. The child whose running will not stop and is beginning to strip off his filthy clothes, reaching into his diaper. My name is thankfully called before I could see what the sticky child produced. My left hand is wrapped in what was once a white kitchen towel, now stained with growing red spots. I’m glad I didn’t have to put it down in something less than savory. The pepper I was chopping remained mostly intact, even if I did not. Brightly lit and lacking most of the hospital trappings, the clinic portion sits on one side of the Emergency Room the actual real life or death side could be seen from my exam chair across a central desk, where a rainbow of colored scrubs flit around in butterfly motion. It might be the blood loss making my vision wavy while I wait. The towel spots are growing and coming together to form larger splotches. I ponder the towel. It’s small, actually part of a larger one. It got a hole, an afternoon and a crafty video later was three perfectly good kitchen towels. Well, two perfectly good kitchen towels now. I decide it’s not blood loss, I’m blinded by the lights. Bright, clean and new compared to the dingy misery of the other side, everything is reflective here. The old clock and loudspeaker combo, its industrious self ticking by. I imagine myself as the character in one of those old movies where the

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Wi l lard & Maple protagonist is hanging on for dear life by the second hand and what that would feel like. Maybe I’m Charlie Chaplin? No, Buster Keaton. I’m Buster Keaton. The Physician’s Assistant walks in just as I was picturing myself falling off the second hand. He’s young, younger than me. He probably has never had to chop a pepper, probably still has his mom to do it for him. I frown as he unwraps the towel, which has started to stick to my hand. It doesn’t hurt so much as it feels odd. He rinses the wound with a hospital bottle of sterile water and pronounces I need stitches. I don’t react, I want to tell him I’d have used a Band-Aid if not for all the blood. I decide I’m going to call him Junior since I missed his name. Junior leaves the room to get the supplies to repair my hand. He returns with a large syringe of lidocaine and the suture kit. Across the desk there’s a commotion and I look over. It appears to be a young, wet person the real emergency staff is working on. Junior stays on his task and numbs my whole hand with a nerve shot. I’m not paying attention to him as I watch the action. The colored scrubs are running in and out, the police are standing around. Junior excuses himself to assist the butterflies with the child. My hand is starting to tingle a little, fingertips down. The wound looks ragged, uneven. The stretcher person looks serene, almost golden. I realize it’s the light on that side of the emergency room. I realize the kid isn’t coming back from this one, not matter how hard they work. It’s an odd change of color in the lips I could see from that far away; gone from a dusty rose to a purply-blue. I think of the sticky kid in the waiting room. I think of my own kids who so far have survived. I think of myself. A chill runs up my spine and I shudder. Someone isn’t going home. Parents going to an empty house, siblings to feel guilty the rest of their lives. A missing leg, a cut finger all weightless in comparison. I take a deep breath and savor the stagnant air. Junior returns to close the gap cooking dinner caused. The curtains close and with it my

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Volume X XI window to the unfolding tragedy, but I already know the steps that come next. Junior bandages my hand and tells me to keep the wound clean, I instantly forget the rest of the instructions as he hands me paperwork. I thank him and head for home, and wonder about the chaos.

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Untitled Hannah Mitchell

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Untitled Hannah Mitchell

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Comet James B. Nicola

Have you ever kissed a comet? I have. How, you ask. You don't believe me. But I did. Haven't you ever blown someone a kiss or caught one on your cheek that someone blew to you, or caught it midair, planted it inside your mouth, and maybe swallowed it whole? So in 1997 when the comet came I blew it a kiss. I know it got there, too. How, you ask. Because when it was done with the sun the comet came back for another one. You don't believe me? Then you don't know comets. But blow me a kiss and see if I don't come back.

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Night School James B. Nicola

They haunted him for thrills throughout his youth and in those dark years were successful at it. He ran from the shadows they cast, into deeper shades to hide in and feel protected. But with the shivers, a transformation happened, and from the darkness he became the shadows concealing images of pure revenge. His brothers, who had terrorized him so long with lies—for example, that The Brain, a floating creature, waited for him in the closet in the basement. And of course with grabbing his shoulders firmly from behind and with a start to scare the life out of him, on a wirewalk ledge of Bancroft Tower. So he, like any youngest brother, could not shake off the nightmare of falling off and going splat— not like Wile E. Coyote and rising again, but aware of the finality of a human fall like that. But when he turned 13 or so, when every boy is possessed as if by aliens, the nightmare was shaken into a fantasy of stepping aside suddenly and letting one brother or another, of their own momentum, step off the wirewalk, and die. Then he began, systematically, to leave sharp objects in their homework and their food, unbolted chairs in their bedroom, and even added substances to what they smoked that could have been fatal.

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Wi l lard & Maple Years later, in the ward, he sorted things out: through scribbling, jotting with fury, often in blood. One doctor recommended against his journal. The lawyer made him destroy all he'd written before going in front of the parole board. It worked. He got out and went to night school where from the darkness grew his six best-sellers. The brothers, as they often do, have come to him today with their hands out for money. And he always gives them some. He finds them funny and laughs with evil love. “You’ve read my latest, then?� he asks. Brother, you've written so many it's hard to say which of them is your greatest. He knows that neither brother has read any, but each one keeps providing his kid brother with horrors for some story or another.

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Waiting Room James B. Nicola

(I guess they do not want to hurt you, the workers here; it’s just that they insist that Patience is a virtue; at least it’s the word for today, tomorrow, and the day after. The worst of them’s what’s-his-name, Peter—? . . . The best, then. Joking. Going for some laughter there. Sorry, but—. Say does the meter need feeding? Because, Buddy, this is taking forever. . . . Or is this a Sunday or something so we do not even have to worry about parking, this high? Then we’re in luck. . . . He’s slow as a bank teller, geez. They must train them like that here.) —No, don’t send me to the cellar again, please, I’ve been there before. The skin-spikes, the coals on the floor, I couldn’t take them any more. I’ll keep quiet, promise. Thank you, Sir. (Hey, Buddy, get a load of her. The one who just walked in, the girl with—. You got it.) My, what’s this door made out of, Sir? Don’t tell me—pearl?

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plantation prism henry 7. reneau, jr.

slave plantations refract urban projects a domestic policy of confinement & control refracts a mirage of democracy reflecting foreign policy flag-waving propaganda & exploitation refracts global-I-zation free trade zones reflecting death & destruction & third-world bodies bent beaten & battered refracts the torture & extraordinary rendition like separate & unequal reflects the Devil’s left hand of Amerikkka

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Insects Mating on My Windshield Russell Rowland

I’m no voyeur, yet see two black bugs joined at the ends between my eyes and the road ahead. I do not judge— where love finds you, you make love. No Shiva, Destroyer, or I might well impose contraception by wiper blade. I imagine indignant fathers rushing in to lacy boudoirs of some girls I had, to grasp me round the middle, pull me out, like the cork from a bottle: Pop! But I attend to driving. Love won’t leave us where it picked us up. Their privacy, low priority. Ghosts of forefathers may hover around us, all shape and kind of us, as we mate. I blush at the idea, but bugs cannot. My speedometer gauges wind-force against them, Francesca and Paolo. At fifty, they are gone, as lovers all go finally, in the hurricane of souls.

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That Wife of Yours Russell Rowland

Who could know you best, while loving you least, if not your Mistress of Uncomplaint— who doesn’t need your passwords. Were you inclined to prudence, self-interest might indicate respect for a spouse who has enough on you to put you right to jail. Your amnesia regarding birthdays and anniversaries is old news to her; over time you’ve lost that innate ability to surprise and disappoint. A heart no longer yours to cherish is no longer yours to break. Her feelings are immune to you. Nothing goes on between your ears, your thighs, which she cannot already guess, since you are no original thinker, or lover. What meteorologist is as astute at forecasts, as she at anticipating your moods, witticisms, gripes? She has only to count the empties to conjure up a timely headache. She has only to sniff your fingers to know if you ate grapes at work, or got sex from someone else.

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Be Brave Brian Ruuska

My son, this world I brought you into is filled with hatchet-throwing, glue-sniffing car thieves, airplanes that fall out of the sky for no reason at all and land on elementary schools or orphanages, cows that roam the Earth aimlessly with switchblades in their mouths, flesh-eating bacteria that climbs up your urine stream while you're peeing in the river and kills you, but you'll yearn for death long before your ding-a-ling rots off and floats down the river, deaf undertakers who bury you even though you're only sleeping, oblivious to your terrified screams and pounding on the lid of your coffin with your fists, feet, and head as the last of your air slips away, killer bees, bottomless pits, scorpions that hide in your shoes, mummy curses that pass down from one generation to the next, for countless generations, all because one of my ancestors sneezed on some pharaoh’s big toe in Something B.C., arsonists, liars, hypocrites, bastards, remorseless reservoir-poisoners, slobs who don't wash their hands after they go to the bathroom, butchers who put their thumb on the meat scale if you take your eye off them for a second, kidney thieves, assassins hiding in haystacks, embittered spinsters who stick razor blades in the apples they give out to children on Halloween, highways crowded with drunk drivers, oceans full of sharks, jellyfish, and stingrays, beaches littered with hypodermic needles and land mines, umpires with inconsistent strike zones that change from inning to inning, hags, turkey vultures, ghost trains, opium dens, quicksand, avalanches, overpriced lunch-meat, depressing weeks spent in bed overwhelmed by grief, high fructose corn syrup in baby formula, inconsolable ululating war widows sitting on every bus station bench in town, false UFO sightings that decrease readiness, old men who throw towels on the floor of their hotel bathrooms and pee on them, even though they're standing

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Wi l lard & Maple next to the toilet, crepitating bowel erosion, acid rain, governments that lie to their people and punk bands who write unimaginative songs to express their anger over being lied to, unquenchable thirsts and stultifying yearnings, cabin fever, salad bar riots, dullards who whistle in elevators, deserters hanging from oak trees in the town square, intercostal neuralgia, nostalgia, blue-green algae, prison bathroom shank attacks, odoriferous emanations, subterfuge, sabotage, sedition, attrition, malnutrition, severed thumbs randomly left in your mailbox every day for two weeks straight, rickets, amnesia, catastrophic organ failure, gypsies who bake ghosts into strawberry rhubarb pies and leave one on our doorstep and you eat the whole thing while I'm at work and so you live the rest of your life under a gypsy curse (not to mention the mummy curse handed down from countless generations ago)...there are all of these troubles and hardships and unfairnesses and more, my son, so be brave.

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Volume X XI

I Carry Love David Sapp

I carry love on my back, riding high on spine and scapula. Oh no, it’s not what you think. Love is never a burden. I am not usually bent from love’s weight. Very practically, I want love handy. There are days when I sling it from my shoulder to give it a look, to wonder over its dimensions, love’s beauty, love’s intricate design (and, obsessively, as a reassurance). I would never abandon love at the side of the road, on the church steps, in the grocery store, in produce or frozen foods. However, a man, I can never carry love as so many do, cradled in my womb, love an intuitive knowing, love as natural, as constant as breath. No, love abides outside myself. If I carried love somewhere between stomach and liver, I’m certain I’d forget love’s existence. I’d construct presumptions. If I hid love there, my fear of its loss would destroy me.

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Lucerne David Sapp

In 1982, it was love at first sight. Well, not exactly. We became instant, inseparable chums at Dandelion, a quirky little commune just north of Kingston, at the fringe of electricity and telephones. We played at passé, wannabe hippies when, on the radio, Reagan threatened Star Wars and Maggie Thatcher won back the Falklands. We wove hammocks; women went topless. We were pressed to choose between Mary Jane brownies or milking the cow without complication. A few of us licked at an aged LSD sugar cube with no tangible results. I’m not too bashful to admit I fell in love with Tim that summer, pure, heedless love. Within a few decades I’m sure we’d become an eccentric old married couple. On a June afternoon, still mostly smoothchested boys, we discovered a lush, green field laid especially for us, and flung ourselves on its bed of lucerne. We were ravenous for love though desire was absent, apparently irrelevant, the logistics of passion beyond comprehension. And we failed to harbor any obsession pertaining to the conquest of one body over another. The enigma: what was required to become lovers. We had no notion of implications. Now, thirty-six years later, I recall, our peculiar biology the catch, all we could muster was sleep, side-by-side in the deep, heady blanket of lucerne.

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Our Children David Sapp

Dear Gentlemen, never mind the priest. What shall we confess, tender our children, when they inquire (and soon they shall), what flimsy justification, what mumbled contrition, when our boys and girls are purchased, harvested from any street, any home, their little bodies, their naivetĂŠ the commodity, all for your oppressive inclinations, your callous erections? What shall we confess, what have they learned when gassing infants becomes routine news, when every classroom is a bullet hole sieve, when every desk is stained with blood, bone, brain, all to buttress your vanity, your bent elections, your oppressive inclinations, Dear Gentlemen?

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Pollo As God Year 2019 Brett Stout

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Melody 6 Edward Michael Supranowicz

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Certificate of Achievement Ken Tomaro

there is a dusty old box in the back of my mind worn and damaged from all the things piled on top of it sitting alone in the back of the closet and each time I moved it moved with me to the back of another dark closet crushed under more forgotten memories and once a year I would pull it out rummaging through the contents reading every card one of them signed by the entire Ohio gas company none of these men I had ever met I would look at the numerous copies of the cemetery plot wondering why one simply wasn’t enough curse at the religious mementos printed with meaningless prayer with the understanding that praying for the dead was merely a hollow gesture carefully unfold the torn and brittle wedding certificate birth certificate more copies of the death certificate I slid the plastic church rosary between my fingers running them over every cheaply made bead rang a tarnished silver bell carefully studied a marble broach I had never seen the contents of one’s life— there was of course, more at one time but much had been sold, given away or just discarded over the years like the box and its contents I no longer needed it because all that was important beyond the material things and piles of unnecessary paper was now safely stored in a crumpled old box in the back of my mind

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Remembering Nas Alka Tiwari

She did not teach me Neither was she didactic I did not intend to learn from her Yet, I do what she did I stride where she strolled With closed eyes I gaze upon where she lay her eyes on Uninstructed, I do what she was passionate about Though, she was floating with time quicker than anyone else But, with a hose in her pallid hands She taught me to water those still living around She showed me While dying, one can sprout life And in dying, one can live With pale self, one could pop mandalas of vibrant colors all around Her soulless body lies crumbled inside the earth Still feeding life deep down Her spirit to help gifted me an eye to see the needy Her readiness to listen presented me with an urge to hear She is bygone now But I can't walk past her drooping floral heritage that I received in an unsaid will With the same hose in my praying hands I water her wilting roses Spray over her thirsty lilies Whenever I pass by them Paying homage —

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Volume X XI

Salvation Grace Tucker

As he gazed into the fire, the solitary fur trapper gave a start as the wolves began to howl in the deep, dark night. The pack had been forced by the deep snows of winter to leave the high country in search of prey. The fur trapper reluctantly rose from his old, battered armchair in front of the chimney to check on his dogs outside. With the night sky lit by a full moon, he stepped outside in the bitter cold and walked over to the dog pen, where his mushing pack greeted him noisily. With wagging tails, they affectionately nuzzled his hand. All accounted for, he noted, but cast a worried look over his shoulder towards the dark silhouette of the mountain range behind his cabin as the wolves began howling once more in the distance. Convinced there was no imminent danger, he went inside and once more settled his big frame into the familiar armchair, pulling off his galoshes and propping his sock-clad feet in front of the comforting warmth pouring from the fireplace. He threw another log onto the fire, and as he gazed into the fireplace, his thoughts wandered to the winter before, which had been especially harsh even for this forgotten, frozen expanse of forest. Many animals, normally accustomed to bitter cold, had perished for lack of food. However, it had been an especially good year for a fur trapper for many mink, beaver, and fox met their fate in the steely jaws of his traps, which sprang and pinned without mercy the forest animals desperately foraging for food. Yes, I made a comfortable living last year, he ruminated, however, anger set in as he thought of some of the trapped animals he had found eaten with their beautiful pelts slashed by the hungry wolves who arrived there first. But then, as he stared into the fire, his eyes became misty, and in his mind´s eye he saw an image of his beloved Kala, the lead dog of his mushing

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Wi l lard & Maple team for the sled he used to navigate the deep, wild country snows. One evening such as this one, he had heard angry, snarling howls and ran outside to discover Kala being mauled to death by a starving wolf. He aimed his rifle, but the fight was furious and he did not have a clear shot. Instead, he fired shots in the air, which was enough to frighten off the wolf, but it came too late for Kala, who died whimpering, looking up at the face of her master one last time. That is why he now shot wolves whenever he came upon them when he was out laying his traps in the thick, remote forest. The solitary fur trapper had a special relationship with his mush pack as he spent the better part of the year in this remote log cabin. He considered his dogs part of his fur business, and they were his only company. Each of the eleven dogs of his sled team had distinct personalities, he thought, therefore he had a sentimental, even a loving, heart where his dogs were concerned, a surprising trait for such a cruel profession. It was the beginning of fur trapping season so the next morning the fur trapper rose early and after several cups of strong coffee from the iron coffeepot, boiled on his wood stove, he harnessed the dogs to the sled and set out on his route to check on traps. As he neared the first trap, he heard the animal before he could see it. This part of his job he did not care for too much because it meant he would have to put a dying animal out of its misery, but he always tried to do it quickly and as humanely as possible. However, to his utter surprise, this morning he found a grey wolf pup whose paw had become trapped, and he was bleeding. The young wolf had obviously struggled, causing even more serious damage to his paw, and the blood lay ruby red over the fresh white snow. As he raised his rifle to shoot the wolf, he stared into those intelligent canine eyes and something stopped him cold. The wolf pup had the eyes of his Kala, the dog he had lost, and with his tiny size, looked more like one of his huskies than a wolf. He realized the howls he had heard the evening before

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Volume X XI had probably been the young pup's pack out searching for him. He just could not do it, and after returning his hunting rifle to the sled, he bent down to extricate the wolf pup from the trap, gently wrapped him in a blanket and carried him back home. The wolf had lost a lot of blood and did not put up a struggle. He nestled deep inside the blanket and softly whimpered. Safely back at the cabin, the fur trapper began to gently clean the nasty gash on the pup's paw, stitched it up, then wrapped a bandage around it. There was no medical assistance nearby, for animals or people, therefore a working knowledge of basic first aid in case of an emergency was essential for survival. Afterwards, he made a soft bed with a wool blanket for the wolf pup near the fire and placed a bowl of water nearby. Well, he thought, I will have to wait and see if that paw can be saved. Without the use of his paw, he won't have a lick of a chance for survival without it here in these woods. The pup was weak and listless for two days, but on the third day the pup began to eat ravenously, and that is when the fur trapper knew he was going to make it. He sat beside the wolf pup as he ate, but the pup was so starved he did not notice the presence of the fur trapper, only his food. However, little by little the young wolf began to trust the large, burly man by his side who did not smell like a wolf at all. He soon allowed himself to be fed by hand. One night, they sat calmly together in front of the fireplace. The wolf pup looked up at the fur trapper with grateful, curious eyes as he turned his head from side to side, studying the man beside him. Almost three months had passed and the fur trapper saw that the wolf was growing a little bit every day. He was domesticated now, and could be let outside safely to play with the dogs. The fur trapper thought of keeping him as a pet, but then quickly dismissed the idea for he was a man intimately connected to the wisdom of the wild outdoors, which was seldom sentimental. Once an adult, the young wolf would certainly heed the call of nature—the call of the wild.

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Wi l lard & Maple And indeed it happened months later, during a night illuminated by another full moon. A wolf pack returned to the area, and he listened to their high-pitched howls in long sustained notes and short yaps. The young wolf ran to the door, tail held high and ears alert. The heart of the fur trapper sank because he knew what he must do. He walked toward the front door and watched as the wolf quickly leapt outside, his paw now thoroughly healed. The young wolf ran toward the nearby hillside, where six silvery grey wolves were softly illuminated by the moon. It was a lovely sight. The large wolves greeted the young wolf with sniffs and yelps, and leapt in the air with excitement. After a short time, they all disappeared into the darkness. Gazing into the dark where the wolves had disappeared, the fur trapper immediately felt the absence of the wolf's presence by his side. He sighed and went back inside. Now, the long, 9-month winter was drawing to a close and for the fur trapper, the wolf pup was only a distant memory. He set out one last time to check on his traps before the fur season ended. Then he planned to go to market to sell the large stack of cured pelts he had amassed during the winter. His usual route took him over a small, frozen pond, which with the warmer days of an early spring, was just beginning to thaw. He was always cautious and typically steared the sled close the bank just in case he broke through ice. But this time he saw that the ice on the pond was already thinning. Dang blasted global warming, he thought to himself. The surrounding vegetation was too thick for an alternative route, and it would take too much time to cut all that timber and bramble with his chainsaw in order to reach the remaining traps ahead. He decided to make the dangerous pond crossing, but before attempting that with a fully loaded sled and 4 mushing dogs, he stepped out of the sled and gingerly began walking on top of the thinning pond ice in search of a safe path.The ice seemed to be thick enough to sustain the sled, and sighing with relief the fur trapper turned

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Volume X XI back toward firm ground. Just as he was nearing the pond's bank, however, there was a sickening crack and before he could react, his massive body laden with a fur cap, coat and heavy boots quickly sank into the painful cold of the icy pond, with not a soul around to offer help. Down, down, down he dropped under the surface of the icy cold pond. "No!", he cried, flailing his arms about as he resurfaced and tried to grasp newly sprouted reeds on the bank. He was so close to land he only needed a few more steps to safety, but the heavy clothes weighed him down, and he sank under the water again. Upon hearing the cries of the fur trapper, the sled team huskies jumped toward the pond, desperately straining their harnesses, but the sled was held fast with a hand brake, and they could do nothing for their master. He could see the sun's rays penetrating underneath the water. The furtapper, now terrified, struggled to the surface to breathe and almost made it to the bank this time, only to sink down, down once again to the muddy bottom, looking up at what was now an even lovelier reflection of the sun filtering down into the murky depths of the pond. There was a momentary feeling of complete peace, but then the fur trapper knew he was not ready to leave this world. He made one last valiant attempt to swim free, shrugging off his heavy coat underwater. Floating near the surface of the pond, he looked up and saw yellow-gold eyes of his dead dog, Kala, peering down into the water just above him. Oh, this must be it, he thought..I am dying, but the searing pain of the sharp fangs now digging into his body was all too real. Teeth, as steely as those of fur traps, sank into his thick arm and began tugging him in short, strong jerks toward the safety of the pond bank. He soon realized the presence pulling him to salvation was that of the wolf pup, now grown to an intimidating 6-foot long beast. With a few more powerful tugs, the wolf miraculously managed to drag the fur trapper onto dry land beside the pond.

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Wi l lard & Maple The wolf began licking his face, then his hand. The fur trapper knew a miracle had happened and reached out to stroke the wolf's head. With difficulty he slowly rose to his feet and walked to the sled still shaking from his ordeal to look for a change of dry clothes he kept for emergencies such as this. The wolf remained. Once changed and wrapped in a blanket, the fur trapper quickly put together a small campfire and huddled beside it, taking sips of hot coffee from a thermos he had tucked into the sled that morning. The young wolf sat down calmly by his side, as they once had done together in front of the cabin fireplace. He looked deeply into those canine eyes. "What a magnificent, magnificent creature you are," he said, with pride. They stayed for a long while near the warmth of the campfire. Both predators took comfort in each other's presence. When the sun began to set, the wolf simply rose and trotted away towards the edge of the pine forest. For one last time, he turned to contemplate the man who had saved his life.

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Volume X XI

Earning My Wings Philip Matthew Wendt

I don't remember ever wanting it, it was always a need. From the day we were introduced it devoured my mind and body, leaving me painfully oblivious to the life I had only recently been given. I ignored the malnourishment. I wasn't bothered that I couldn't move around or see well. I was unversed to the solitude. My only concern, my absolute focus, was the craving. It consumed me. A feverish lust, blind anticipation for the only sustenance that I knew. I would fidget and twitch for days, sometimes weeks at a time. It taught me anguish and agony early on, and I graduated top of my class. I tirelessly hoped each approaching minute would bring solace until... it did. Ecstasy, I bathed in it, sometimes for only minutes, other times closer to an hour. Then, always much too soon, it vanished, and the process started over. My mother, and only my mother, believed she had control of the madness. But the reality was that she was the pilot of a plummeting plane. As it was, no matter how heavy we crashed, from the fiery wreckage we always emerged, to fly another day. I was helpless in it all, her passenger rather than her co-pilot. This was the first nine months of my life. I was a prisoner. My body confined by the flesh, my soul confined by the poison. I remember it all as clearly as you remember yesterday. How? I have no idea. It's irrelevant. As ridiculous as it might sound, I cherish the memory. It is the only recollection I have of my mother. When I left her womb I was forced to abandon the addiction I never wanted to start. I was born two pounds thirteen ounces, and spent six months in an incubator. My mother vanished, she had more demanding concerns apparently. She maintained altitude for as long as possible, never having any

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Wi l lard & Maple intention to land. The crack cocaine killed her just shy of my first birthday.

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Volume X XI

Abstract Work Kimberly Williams

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Wi l lard & Maple

Between Us Brian John Yule

Only distance We two Each reaching out Through flashbulbs firing Life blinding us While paths yet untrodden Faint as unfelt fears Lie hidden Only doubt The way untested Trust’s hazard Footfalls unsteady We two Held hesitant Not reaching out Only darkness The uncertain stretching Ever receding Ever present Wit’s way whittling ever deeper Flashbulbs firing Fear of the light Blinding us Only darkness Only doubt Only distance By we two Each divide

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Volume X XI

Biographies Ju l ia A loi is a writer based in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. She is an editor for BatCat Press, where she also practices a variety of bookbinding techniques. She ser ves as the managing editor of the award-winning literary magazine, Pulp. Her work has been published in Balloons Lit. Journal, LandLocked, Jokes Review, Variant Literature, and Sheepshead Review. Josiah A rsenau lt is a f iction writer based out of the Pacif ic Northwest. He wrote his f irst novel nine years ago and has had the writing bug ever since. His biggest inf luences have been Jon Krakauer, Isaac Asimov, and Kurt Vonnegut. His story PUR has been featured in Bluntly Magazine. Daisy Bassen is a poet and physician who graduated from Princeton University’s Creative Writing Program and completed her medical training at The University of Rochester and Brown. Her work has been published in Oberon, The Delmarva Review, and [PANK] among other journals. She lives in R hode Island with her family. Reporter photographic and visual artist, Gui l herme Bergamini is Brazilian and graduated in Journalism. For more than two decades, he has developed projects with photography and the various narrative possibilities that art offers. The works of the artist dialogue between memory and social political criticism. He believes in photography as the aesthetic potential and transforming agent of society. Awarded in national and international competitions, Guilherme Bergamini participated in collective exhibitions in 24 countries.

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Wi l lard & Maple Jeff Bink ley is a writer, musician, and educator from Huntsville, A L. He enjoys time alone to think and pursue creative projects, but not as much as he enjoys a good cup of coffee with his wife, Amy. Carl Boon is the author of the full-length collection Places & Names: Poems (The Nasiona Press, 2019). His poems have appeared in many journals and magazines, including Prairie Schooner, Posit, and The Maine Review. He received his Ph.D. in Twentieth-Century American Literature from Ohio University in 2007, and currently lives in Izmir, Turkey, where he teaches courses in American culture and literature at Dokuz EylĂźl University. Residing in St. Louis, Lucia Bur ton is a daydreamer, chronic overthinker, and lover of open windows. Her literary work is a product of her humming thoughts and experiences as she navigates the world, exploring issues related to queerness, gender, and place & space. She loves mountains, bathtubs, and dancing. Katja Buzova was born in Tula, Russia. The artist has a bachelor of arts and crafts movement degree and exhibition experience in Russia. Her projects explore the obstruction of the objective reality and call attention to the contingent nature of sight. The general styles are cloisonnism, post-Impressionist painting, and crafts movement. Bob Chickos was told by his 10th-grade teacher that he likes to work with animals. He didn't. In fact, he feared bears, tigers, crocodiles, viruses, and girls. Today, he has no pets but he does live with his son Martin and his very beautiful wife, Aileen. Hyewon Cho is a sophomore attending Korean International School in Seoul, South Korea. W hen she is not making artwork, her hobbies include walking her two-year-old collie and experimenting with old f ilm cameras. She is currently building a portfolio for university.

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Volume X XI LiJune Choi is a 17-year-old high school junior attending Seoul International School in South Korea. She has been working on her art portfolio for the past 2 years in preparation for university. Her work stretches the use of various materials to create what she refers to as “dream escapes.” Dav id Coyle's short screenplay Poppy, based on the true story of his great-grandfather f inding a baby in W W I, premiered at the 2009 Telluride Film Festival. His f irst book, The Bloom, an epic poem about the evolution of life, was published by Unsolicited Press in 2019. He lives in Wellington, New Zealand. RC deWinter writes in several genres, focusing on poetry. Her poetry is anthologized, notably in Uno: A Poetry Antholog y (Verian Thomas, 2002), New York City Haiku (NY Times, 2017), in print in 2River, Night Picnic Journal, Prairie Schooner, Southword among others and appears in numerous online literary journals. AJ Dexter lives in Charleston, SC. They have published, or will publish, work in Cleaver, North Dakota Quarterly, and Borrowed Solace. Tim Dow nie is an actor and writer from London. His f irst play, The Dead Moon, was commissioned for the A ldeburgh Festival in 2008, his next The Curse of Elizabeth Faulkner transferred to London’s West End in 2013. Acting work includes: Toast of London, Upstart Crow, Outlander, The Kings Speech, and Paddington. Ryan Favata is a writer, poet, and painter. He's a native Floridian and currently enrolled in the Stetson University MFA program. His publications have only been in writing, so this is his f irst visual art publication. Jodie Fi lan, born in Saskatoon Saskatchewan. Jodief ilanart.com

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Wi l lard & Maple A nna Frank l is a 17-year-old attending an international school in Seoul, South Korea. Her other interests include Brazilian Jiu-jitsu, abnormal psycholog y, and planning stories. Next year, she plans on attending a university in America to pursue art with the goal of creating an animated series in mind. John Grey is an Australian born short story writer, poet, play wright, musician, Providence, R I resident. Has been published in numerous magazines including Weird Tales, Christian Science Monitor, Greensboro Poetry Review, Poem, Agni, Poet Lore and Journal Of The American Medical Association as well as the horror antholog y What Fears Become and the science f iction antholog y Futuredaze. Has had plays produced in Los Angeles and off-off Broadway in New York. Winner of R hysling Award for short genre poetry in 1999. A nhjel in Hi la is an artist and writer who resides in Toronto. He has a BA in philosophy, visual art and English literature and an M A in information science. He divides his spare time between writing and f inding articulation for his next image. El l iot Hudson is an author, singer, and song writer from New York. His prose has appeared in Mystery Weekly, Cleaning Up Glitter, Helen, Story Of, Every Day Fiction, The Missing Slate, and Lalitamba. His poems have been featured in Gravitas, The Book Smuggler’s Den, Helen, Gyroscope Review, and Castabout Art & Literature. Marco Istasy is an Eg yptian-Canadian poet currently studying neuroscience, psycholog y and indolence at the University of Toronto. He is also an associate editor of ACTA Victoriana and an off-time aesthete. Jason Jacov ini is a fourth-year writing major at Champlain College in the cold hills of Burlington, Vermont. He owes his interest in short f iction and poetry to chronic daydreaming and constant music listening.

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Volume X XI Sue-min Agnes Jung is attending an international school in Seoul, South Korea. Her inspiration comes from the people and places in her daily life. She also admires the director Wong Kar Wai and his use of color. She plans on majoring in art in an American university once she graduates. A ndrew Laf leche is an award-winning poet and author of eight books. He is editor of Gravitas Poetry. Laf leche served as an infantry soldier from 2007 to 2014. He earned an M A in Creative and Critical Writing from the University of Gloucestershire. Follow @AndrewLaf leche on Twitter or visit AndrewLaf leche.com for more information. A r thur Kwon Lee is a painter best known for capturing archetypal imagery through a combination of historical f igures and cultural mythologies across the globe. Lee has been awarded by George Washington University, the Corcoran Gallery, the Eileen Kandinsky Family Foundation and many more respected institutions. Valerie Litt le studied writing with Charlotte Holmes and Julia Kasdorf at Pennsylvania State University. She is a violist and orchestra librarian with the Minnesota Orchestra. Her poems have been seen in River Heron Review, The Write Launch, Duck Lake Journal, Sheila-Na-Gig, and on the literary podcast, Apertures. Cour tney Ludw ick was born in Memphis and grew up near Austin. She currently attends Texas State University where she studies Creative Writing and Fashion Marketing. W hen she’s not writing, she’s probably hiking or playing the ukulele. You can connect with Courtney on Instagram @courtlud. Courtney lives in San Marcos with her dog, K haleesi. Erin Mar tel l lives in Massachusetts with her husband, dogs and f luff y cat. She is a semi-avid tea drinker and avid fan of travelling to new places, sometimes while drinking tea. Her poetry has appeared in the Cosumnes River Journal, Havik, and Reality Break Press. This

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Wi l lard & Maple is her f irst published f iction. Hannah Mitchel l is a current student studying to achieve a Bachelor's Degree in Illustration at Kendall College of Art and Design in Grand Rapids, MI. She previously studied and graduated with an Associates in Graphic Design from Mott Community College in Flint, MI, and has had some artwork and photographs published in the University of Michigan's literary journal, Qua, multiple times. Returning contributor James B. Nicola's full-length collections include Manhattan Plaza (2014), Stage to Page: Poems from the Theater (2016), Wind in the Cave (2017), Out of Nothing: Poems of Art and Artists (2018), and Quickening: Poems from Before and Beyond (2019). His nonf iction book Playing the Audience won a Choice award. henr y 7. reneau, jr. does not Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin, or Instagram. It is not that he is scared of change, or stuck fast in the past; instead, he has learned from experience: the crack pipe kills. Seven-time Pushcart Prize nominee Russel l Rowland writes from New Hampshire’s Lakes Region, where he has judged highschool Poetry Out Loud competitions. His work appears in Encircle Publications’s Except for Love: New England Poets Inspired by Donald Hall. A full-length collection, We're All Home Now, is available from Beech R iver Books. Brian Ruuska was born in the freight elevator of a wax museum. He has had short stories published in Quick Fiction and Brevity and Echo. He has also self-published two short story collections: Is You Is Or Is You Ain't My Baby? and More Stories about Buildings and Food. Dav id Sapp, writer, artist and professor, lives along the southern

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Volume X XI shore of Lake Erie in North America. A Pushcart nominee, his poems appear widely in the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom. His publications also include chapbooks Close to Home and Two Buddha and a novel, Flying Over Erie. Brett Stout is a 40-year-old artist and writer. He is a high school dropout and former construction worker turned college graduate and paramedic. He creates mostly controversial work usually while breathing toxic paint fumes from a small cramped apartment known as “The Nerd Lab� in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. His work has appeared in a vast range of diverse media, from international indie zines like Litro Magazine UK to Brown University. Edward Michael Supranow icz is the grandson of Irish and Russian/Ukrainian immigrants. He grew up on a small farm in Appalachia. He has a grad background in painting and printmaking. Some of his artwork has recently or will soon appear in Fish Food, Streetlight, Straylight, Gravel, The Phoenix, and other journals. Edward is also a published poet. Ken Tomaro is an artist and writer living in Cleveland, Ohio whose work has been published in several literary journals. He has also published three collections of poetry available on Amazon. His writing ref lects an open, honest view of everyday mundane life living with depression. A l ka Tiwari is a postgraduate in English Literature She has made major contributions to Poem antholog y Colours of Life. She runs a literary blog https://alkatiwaari.blogspot.com. She is well-travelled and feels that for her New Orleans has been the most literary satisf ying city apart from Manchester, Toronto and London. Grace Tucker is an American expat living in Chile for the last 23 years. She is an emerging writer/poet who has recently been published in The Ephimiliar Journal. W hen she is not writing or playing piano, she can be found walking her two large dogs on the

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Wi l lard & Maple Chilean beach. Phi l ip Mathew Wendt was born and raised in the great republic of Texas. A lthough he has been writing speculative f iction since the age of eight, he only started submitting his work in early 2019. Since then, four of his short stories have been published, with one nominated for a Pushcart Prize. Besides unsettling his readers, Philip Mathew Wendt enjoys the outdoors. The solitude is essential. K imberly Wi l l iams is an abstract expressionist. She studied at Newbury College and The Art Institute. Her work expresses her physical pain, as well as her passions, dreams, and thoughts. “My work represents my life. It's my passion. If I could not express myself through my art, I would not exist.� Brian John Yu le is a writer & musician who hails originally from the northeast of England, but has drifted considerably since. He is interested in poems about science & prehistory, animal psycholog y & use of traditional forms: none of which are on display in this poem. He is on Twitter @BrianJohnYule1.

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Profile for Willard & Maple Literary Magazine

Willard & Maple XXI  

Check out the 21st edition of Willard & Maple, Champlain College's student-run literary and fine arts magazine.

Willard & Maple XXI  

Check out the 21st edition of Willard & Maple, Champlain College's student-run literary and fine arts magazine.

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