A Double Dose, Maura Bennet   

Cruing In a Prius, Gabi Rudin

Darby, Maggie Joe Hernandez

Lindy, Samuel Hebner

GUESTBOOK, Megan Foley

five, Alex Nguyen

The last two pears, Emily Ingle

A Pity, Hannah Wold

Commuter, Claire Kooyman

Word Association Five Points, Toluwanimi Obiwole

XX, Sofie Lippman


A Double Dose, Maura Bennet

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Oh darling 

Purple ink seeps into under his skin and into his blood into elegant designs 

Purple hair, purple guns, purple beaches 

He said he doesn’t like much but he likes the you smell like purple 


Like a galaxy of violet bitten lips 

Like the mosaic of the purple veins in his glassy eyes 

He only shows up at night 

Like the Purple powdered eye shadow on Elegant San Francisco drag queens 


Warm fingers on cold purple pelvic bones 

Like the bundles of lilacs thrown into beautiful purple baskets and given to ladies with  

Withering purple fingers 

Tracing purple bruise stains from his kissed collarbones 


Until he’s close enough to drain the purple from inside you 

Enough to overfill a single bath 

With gallons of your sweet purple kool-aid 

And your empty 


White purple technicolor dreams turned black holes 

And withering purple fingers turn black and dusted  

While he pours a tall glass of your purple for some other girl 

And you chase down shots of black 


Oh darling 

How exciting it was while it lasted, no? 


Cruing In a Prius, Gabi Rudin

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At some point they will vomit in your mouth 

And expect you to swallow 

This is good 


Ripping off a young scab 

Peeling a green banana 

Burning a tongue on hot soup 


If you know your heart can fall into your stomach 

Are you supposed to sit with your eyes closed in the dark 

Walk backwards your whole life? 


You cradle your knees in your chest with your back faced to your lover 

in the back seat of a Prius 

watching overweight owners walk their dogs past your window 


There are some people you are too nice to 

and because you have such monster lungs 

you swallow more air 


Darby, Maggie Joe Hernandez

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This is how to be happy, she tells me. This is how to breathe. 

She spreads orange jam onto a warm scone and shoves it in her mouth, 

Carefully wiping crumbs from the corners of her lips with a napkin. 


I’m drinking tea that I can't afford and missing home. I say,  

Why do my guts hurt? 


She says, somos extranjeros. 



This is how to do a squat, this is how to lunge.  

I have a problem with sticking my ass where it doesn’t belong.  

The next day my legs ache so hauntingly, I crash down onto the toilet seat. 



We watch dogs run for ninety minutes. 

We talk about food and the things we crave 

We talk about sex. 


A young boy in a yamaka climbs to the top of the structure, 

A girl with a lunchbox swings. 

A big dog uses the water fountain. 



She tells me to walk until I feel better, 

Don't stop walking. 


Through the park and down the street, men adore her bouncy hair. 

It’s july and her shoulders are bare.  

It’s winter down here,  

and people shout from cars. 



My head is muddled with incomplete sentences and 

Ideas I can't comprehend.  

I’m forgetting words that I know, chasing them for days. 


And so we walk Echev with our feet skimming  

over puddles of the morning’s storm. 



In the middle of a busy antique market  

on a day as dim as feelings, 

I smell her hair like sugar. 

She says, 

I’ll see you soon? 


Lindy, Samuel Hebner

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She had a smile that 

Leaned back in its chair 

Conceded in its knowledge 

That behind it lay something 

Capable of bettering  

The both of you.  

Cool eyes that 

Matched your gaze with an 

Easy comfort let you in on 

The secret that you are 

Not alone in your thoughts. 

And her hair, 

 Perfectly matching 

The room and the air with 

Every move that it rarely made, 

And her eyes, 

Fixed on me in this  

Particular moment of time. 

Love, and relativity 


GUESTBOOK, Megan Foley

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i go to the saltwater garden  
fed up on black food 
chewing like a television dog 
don’t mind me or the mud  
or the bottles of blueberry wine 
we’ve come to welcome you 
to the factory victory 
the conductor’s gone  
just gone 

five, Alex Nguyen

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step 5. leaves are verdant, crinkled ruffles blushing saffron and chipped, almonds 
frozen. glimmering glass, and considers bright white driving slowly by, a relief. 
step 4. words like fire, blistering, whimpers falls freely from throat, thin door, a veil 
black on white on blue. sweet promises, dreams of engines, stolen breath, warmth. 
step 3. december, pale frost lace, a generate rush, firm howl, neon sign flickers 
chiming bells, feet tap worn wood. alert eyes, a pause; no impact, and turns away. 
step 2. locker room, ice floors in late spring; a small mouse, curious, quivering human 
chemicals line the shelves. warnings, no toxicity. no escape, no way out, just out of reach. 
step 1. the flowers have died. smoldering lungs, inhale, exhale, muscles ache, tears and icicles 
river slush, slowed puffs of air. beautiful mists, a last sight. silence, pure, eternal. 
step 0. late summer, syrupy heat, sneers, so, so familiar, too much. says nothing 
words echoing, these arrows point the knife. it traces skin, soft, to fall. scarlet ink. 
a note: 
i am lying to you. 


The last two pears, Emily Ingle

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Since before you arrived 

they sheltered, somehow 

the last two pears of late summer  

behind emergency sardine tins 

rice and barley at the back 

of the tallest cupboard. The pears 

you wouldn’t even eat with pure dark 

chocolate ganache, sea salt and almond flakes  

poached in honey and white wine 

vanilla and ginger. Still too bitter. 

The pears are, of course, bad. Blue 

puckered skin and pools of sticky 

fizzing flesh, alive with fruit flies, 

nibs of two sunken stalks. I will eat them 

both whole, one after the other, swallowed 

without sugar or wine. I will wait  

for fur to coat my insides, to rot 

my stomach into ready earth. 

I will not spit out the stalks 

until something sprouts. 


A Pity, Hannah Wold

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At night I change 

With my light on 

To make myself feel 

Daring and I can’t decide 

If going East 

Will be a blood pressure  

Cuff or a chance 

To ditch the shores of this  

Prehistoric sea and I’m gasping 

For routine because if I can’t pass 

For a shot at divinity then I must 

Return these clothes  

to the emperor, and I pity 

myself, a ridiculous waste  

of pity when rehab and chemo and clubs 

in Florida are spitting  

out people who used to be children.  


Commuter, Claire Kooyman

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There exists within the true silences                            When someone enters 

something very loud,                                                    somewhere in the caves underground, 

that is wanting cicada technobabble                            where the whistling is heaviest 

(the sound of small masses rioting in the trees),         somewhere underneath the bay, 

or tunnel music,                                                            breaking the session 

made of the hissings of metal and air,                          of our silent church 

to stop it from ever reaching us.                                   worshiping at the clamor, 

                                                                                      our eyes follow them in cold unison. 

There is a train driver somewhere far ahead 

in a car that I will never see,                                        No known mystics exist and 

a stranger who holds my safety,                                  we are probably alone, 

and that of the others                                                   but water still remains, unnamed, 

willing to enter the doors                                              a beautiful, harsh and rushing god 

and tolerate each other for a while,                             cutting into peninsulas, creating inlets. 

whose bodies are close to mine, whose hands         

cling to cold metal with clammy fingertips.                  We may not know the names  

What warmth we breathe is communal air                  of the firm gods of the earth 

that we brought from the train station                          that worshipers once found 

together as a group.                                                    dwelling in sod and oak 

Still, our minds live somewhere else.                          but sometimes  

Where- a question one must never ask.                     we can still hear them 

the realms of the mind in silent spaces                       singing 

are sacrosanct                                                             in strange places. 

and secret.  


Word Association Five Points, Toluwanimi Obiwole

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Dry cleaner sushi joint 

Jazz club liquor store  

Homeless man watches white millennial walk her bike into his grandmother’s old house   

Dispensary guard fondles gun 

Corner store lady knows all the stories  

Black owned white-attended  

Heritage center closed for cleaning  

Boarded up home family inside cooking 

Real estate building up for lease  

Broken glass swept under construction fence  

A man approaches me for a picture pulls out some tired ones  

Wants someone else to know his name and see him  


XX, Sofie Lippman

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Used my index finger         to nail an x         to end the itch of  

       a horsefly kiss 

                 crossed hatched skin  

                 I hear there’s one hundred flies where there’s one.