One Night Stand
Because when she walks into the room, they’ll make sure they have a record on. They’ll make sure whatever’s spinning will spin her dizzy. They want to look at her looking at the vinyl sleeve, watch her give a small smile and hear her speak some unfamiliar words from such a familiar looking face. She makes them want to put on the right song, because her eyes sing The Velvet Underground and her mouth weeps Neutral Milk Hotel and her hair looks like Jimi’s. And when her face fuses with theirs, they’ll feel like they’re up on stage with Lennon, or slouched smoking on a leather couch in a dimly lit room with Dylan. Even though it’s only for a night, she makes it feel like it’s been a decade. Even though it’s not love, she looks like it. She’s candied with consolation and slender in her sex. He lies next to her loving her classical nose, her modest curls, her standard slimness and her familiar height. She fits in his arms; she fits the night. She looks like love, but not tonight. One day she might be, but not tonight. Tonight their bodies are a mini city, trafficking kisses and creating earthquakes.
Her body was her home. And the lost men that would frequent it found it so humbling, they often left out of fear. To be humbled by her body, her quiet touch, a kiss on the knee, a kiss on the hip, left them aching. The emptiness that had nested itself deep in their psyche was ran out by her soft curls, an accidental brush to their cheek and breath of soaped skin was all it took. She was at home in her body, inviting them willingly to open her up and sink deep into the comfort of roaming hands, open mouths and closed eyes. They would find a in her a temporary home, so fatal to their nomadism that the moment she entered a room they were either instantly frightened or already akin to her gravity. All she asked was that they meet her in the moment the heart was so translated in the eye souls could speak without words. But when they did, when they met her in the sweetness, their hearts would fail, break and without comparable strength, would leave before dawn.
When I arise with you there is no shame. It has been weeded and plucked, discarded from our contented life. I will rise beneath tangled sheets and curls to stretch my arms wide. Arching my naked back and shifting my shoulder blades, I roll the evening off my bare chest. And I will look at you in an ordinary way, liking your jaw line as it parallels the pillow. My bare feet meet bare wood as I walk, toes first, to the kitchen. You arise, after a while, to meet me in the window beams. Without a thought we’ll greet each other, our nakedness not letting on that we could have been so tangled together. With your hands on my smooth shoulders you watch my wrists flip eggs. I tilt my smile up to you and find you are my Adam and I am so shamelessly your Eve. Unaware of the sour citrus of the societal fruit that bares shame in bareness. I am guiltlessly yours and forever my own.
by Sarah Noell
By: Damen MacDougall
I wake three times, or just
the once – I can never tell
anymore the nature of what it is
I do in bed when my eyes
Winter’s watery light has ceased
its trickling through
my windows, now stoppered by night.
Glancing at my brass chest –
here and there pitted
with blossoming rust –
the clock reads 6pm,
its digital display verdantly
I cast off my throw
and my comforter, my fingers
scrabbling for purchase on a third
that isn’t there – heavy
blanket – intangible, yet
Veiled still by that leaden presence
I rise – sighing – the blanket
whispering as it trails
across the floor, as if
Darkness settles like dust
on the profusion of things
in my possession – my empty apartment
brims with things. Dust
settles on them like darkness, too.
I look at the clock – 5am.
I crawl into bed, still wrapped
in that blanket, piling on the comforter
and the throw for good measure.
I look once more at the clock
and think to try again
“Aurora” by Erin Gardosh
By: Charles Hess
There was an island once, somewhere in some forgotten hemisphere, which carried a curious people on its back as it waded through the endless ocean; that ocean was, to that quiet folk, an ocean of permanence, a cautious and inquisitive body, a force through which Nature was contained. Those people only knew that island and that ocean; those people only knew that world and that space around it. Then, one day, the breathing waves spat forth a device from its weightless foams: a framed and gilded mirror, no larger than the oval of a coconut. It was fortunate that the first man to find it was a sagely wanderer; it was convenient that he did not try to free the man inside. The man then retreated to the center of the island and built, with shoots and palms, a modest hut. As the years circled the sun, the people rumored the man to be some strange Shaman; they would often visit him, one at a time, to see his magical device. Look into it as deeply as you may, he would whisper; there is always something more, he would repeat. Everyone that looked into the glass saw themselves and marveled that they could now know the details of their own faces. This was enough for them to acclaim the Shaman and his wonderful instruments. It would be years before the Man, a common villager that had visited the Shaman many times before, would enter again into the light of the palmed hut. He had seen himself in the glass hundreds of times before, but he believed in the Sage’s words. He believed there was something more. So, on this particular visit, the Man looked as deeply into the glass as he could. He looked into his eyes; he saw himself looking into himself. He then exited the hut and wondered what he would see if he looked into his eyes in his eyes in his eyes. The Man then realized that the Sage was correct. There is always something more.
Photography by Zoe Howland
Art by Elizabeth Kaiser
by Emma Nadine
Some people say that depression is like sadness
that never goes away
As though my only symptoms are a frown
and an attitude
As though being sad for a day can etch bloody scars into blank slates
I used to be beautiful
But depression hangs on to me
like a parasitic steam bath
Opening my pores to weave its way deeper
Some people say taking a deep breath
makes it easier to handle
As though my lungs aren’t filled halfway up with dread
Let me drown in it
This time being half full doesn’t make me optimistic
Some people say, “get over it”
As though the bottle of pills under my pillow
doesn’t call to me every night
As though I don’t wear a cloak of fragility that screams
by Andrea Millares
Fingernails are the first to go. Hair stays coiffed,
shirts remain tucked
and eyes unbagged—
in the beginning, at least.
But my fingernails are the first to go.
Bitten and picked at, soon the floor is covered in tiny shards of white armor.
The skin curls back
like when the wind catches the pages of books I have no will to read
and my fingertips glow an ugly, irritated red.
Please, don’t look at my hands for too long.
You’ll see and you’ll know
and I don’t want anyone to know
not even you—
And trust me, the unprotected flesh screams at me,
just like it whispers to you.
Your echo is not unwelcome,
but forgive me for getting frustrated with broken records—
Even when the tune is one I need to hear over and over again.
by Emma Sheinbaum
Are you scared of the dark? Of the
way it seems so still? Of the sunspots
that sparkle for just five seconds, for the first
five seconds of darkness? Of the second
Of the way the dark
starts moving, shifting, when you stare
into it for too long? Of the heaviness
it rolls onto you? Of the emptiness
it carves in you? Of the
static it hums inside
your ears? Of the static it
starts inside your head?
Of the anonymity
it makes of you? Am I
scared enough to turn
the lights back on, will
the lights ever turn back on?