• Nonfiction

    I Miss You

    by Johanna Kumpula I grew up missing someone I never knew; a role model turned monster. When I was born, my father started drinking. He would leave in the middle of the night and hole up in a musky bar with cheap beer and stale peanuts. Sometimes he would be gone for weeks, with no explanatory note or phone call to check in. When he finally did return home, he smelled of alcohol and fruity perfume. My mom would be worried of course, all she wanted was a simple explanation on why he didn’t call, but his excuses were pathetic. He would get mad, because she didn’t believe him or…

  • Nonfiction

    Isabella Becomes a Poet

    by Isabella Valdez Anyway, there’s this video circulating of me reciting Ocean Vuong’s “Anaphora as a Coping Mechanism,” and it’s a pretty clean read for the first minute and forty-two seconds, until, at one forty-three, I stumble over the phrase “smoke-soaked skin,” first straying, “snoke-smoked,” then sputtering out, “soaked,” so off beat it grows wings and abandons the poem, completely fucking up the meter, and it’s at this point that you, the viewer, can tell that I’m for real affected by this collection of words even though, and this footnote is not included in the recording, I’ve never actually lost someone I’ve loved. But, really, I’m concerned for myself here.…

  • Fiction

    when I was young and unafraid (it was all a game)

    by Aurelia Gonzalez The first time I heard “Tell Your Heart Heads Up” by Mutemath, I was in an abandoned cabin, half a mile from the AK-1 highway, just north of Wasilla. I was looking for food. I was with Em, the only other living person I’d met between Peters Creek and Wasilla. We had thought we were still in a dead zone, where even lightbulbs didn’t work, and when we heard the noise we jumped. Em went straight for her gun. I ducked under the table in the kitchen. We realized after a minute that there wasn’t really anybody else in the house, and we both felt pretty stupid.…

  • Nonfiction

    Sparrow

    by Allison O’Leary I hope you decide to come home one day. I hope that as the days get colder, your tiny house stays warm. I hope you treat her with kindness and patience, and your heart mends itself until the ice melts away.  I hope you can forget all the things half-said and the things we did to hurt each other. I hope you are as full of as much strength and love as the wool your mother weaves into sweaters for your father. I have so much hope for you, my sparrow. You were only trying the best that you could. I will love you and love you…

  • Nonfiction

    That Time I Almost Killed My Friend and That Other Time He Maimed Me; or, Childhood Memories Are Overrated

    by Sarah Cooley   I have a difficult time recalling my childhood memories.  Not to say that I have amnesia, but most everything from during the first several years of my toddling existence just sort of blends together and coalesces into a sort of dreamy mess where nothing is definite or distinct.  Sometimes this is annoying and disappointing, of course I want to remember my first time sledding or riding in a canoe, but even when trying to recall the memories as best as I can—I only ever seem to get vague a sensation of color and sound, like a blurry screenshot from an old foreign film.  Other times I suppose my problem is a bit of a blessing in disguise—there are some events that I know happened back then that make…

  • Nonfiction,  Poetry

    “You’re the only friend I’d pretend to be gay for.” 

    by a Friendly Neighborhood Queer ~~~~~~ “You’re the only friend I’d pretend to be gay for.”  The way you say these words is friendly, you’re joking, being playful, trying to get a laugh from me.  And I do laugh, your arm linked through mine.  But on further reflection, it’s impossible for me to find this phrase funny.  I don’t know exactly what you meant.  I’m constantly trying to eke out the complex meanings in exchanged words, assigning too much purpose to each syllable.  I have trouble seeing things at face value.  You’d “pretend to be gay” for me.  What does that mean?  Are you comfortable enough around me to not feel threatened by my queerness?  Do you think it’d be funny if we shocked and amused…

  • Poetry

    Your hands vs Mine

    by Oceana Gamel-Howes Hands. They all serve the same function, they all have the same basic shape. Some are old, some are rough, some are small. Hands tell a story, and not just through their appearance. The things our hands do are an extension of our brains, our minds, our thoughts; the hub of activity that lives in our skull. That place is where we come from, and our hands are the most important tools we own to express ourselves. Your hands may not seem too different from mine based on appearance, but it’s not about that they look like, it’s about what they can do. Your hands. Yours hands…

  • Poetry

    Trial and Error

    by Roman Dial Trial and error Failure and terror The truth of the matter at hand. Death in a whisper Is so much to weather For the life of a Wife and her man.

  • Poetry

    Emotion of Music

    By Paige Flack Once upon a time, a little girl with wild blonde hair looked over the bluffs on the coast of Cook Inlet The sun was setting and below the sweet hum of the blowing wind, a gentle chorus of birds sang a sweet song Nature was presenting its symphony with absolute perfect timing and poise How beautiful it was That was one of the many times the little girl would be captivated and left in awe of the unfathomable wonders of music Every song had a story and a deep meaning behind it Even the earth, singing praises to our Creator Music is its own language It speaks…

  • Fiction,  Poetry

    Last Train to Cragganock

    By Allison O’Leary She waits for him every evening and his soft words mix with the smoky dusk and the music of the street buskers. 1958 passes in a blur of candlelit laughter, whiskey headaches, and clicking heels. She sees other women waiting for their lovers on street corners, cigarettes daintily clasped between red lips, leaning up against brick walls with the same pearls, same pinned hair, same anxious, begging eyes. She ain’t like them, she’ll say. Her hands tighten around her copy of Patrick MacDonogh poems he gave her the first night, trembling. He’s a upstanding man, a good Catholic. She’ll wear her rosary on the nights she stands…