Mother, Before Me

Qanita Zahara I remember the first time I heard my mother howl. A cry, not muffled in any attempted disguise, but deep and guttural. The kind of cry that came from the pit of the stomach and clawed its way up the throat. She sat on the corner of her bed, a hunched silhouette against… Read More Mother, Before Me

Colpo D’Aria

Julia Neus COLPO D’ARIA verb literally translates to “shot by air.”  noun refers to the chill that makes you sick, encompassing both the cause  of the illness and the resulting illness itself. Isabella stirs through the stone walls separating my room and small balcony from her nursery. It is 6:45, 40 minutes later than she… Read More Colpo D’Aria

A Kumquat

Téa Baum The door to the house is shut. There are three separate locks: the first a rusting mahogany bolt, the second a corkscrew textured black, the third a thick bronze chain latched securely on the wall. She installed the second and third locks one month ago. Not by herself. It was a ruggedly handsome… Read More A Kumquat

Vision Board

Asiyah Arastu A little girl lives at 829 Foster Street. She leans out of her perpetually open window, about to release another purple heart into the cascade of hearts that flutter down the brick wall like flightless butterflies. Artist Ryan Tova Katz wanted her art “to make as many people happy as it can,” so… Read More Vision Board


Riley Harrison i. The Funeral I own a watch, and I’ve worn it almost every day for the past year. A little while ago, I noticed it stopped working. The tiny hands were stuck at 11:47 P.M. on October 29th, 2022. When I registered the stillness, hours later, I cried. (You can laugh if you… Read More THE SPIDER, IN SIX PARTS

The Broken Machine Downstairs

Megumi Oishi The machine downstairs is broken. The clunks and sighs are coming from down there, up the steps, rolling out around our feet like silvery hot metal. I can tell you’re scared — I am too. I say it’s a person, I heard a cough from down there. It’s impossible to ignore.  The temperature… Read More The Broken Machine Downstairs


Mary Caserio <muffled> Three, two, one, go. You can’t read in your dreams. Not really. Think back to the last dream you remember. Any reading? Probably not. Ok, really think back. Is there any dream you remember reading in? Maybe? Sort of? Ok. Picture the letters or numbers as they appeared. I’ll wait.  Are you… Read More DreamVaults


Asiyah Arastu The narrow stairway with dead spiders lurking in the corners opens into an expansive basement. All available wallspace is occupied. Long wooden shelves mounted on steel brackets line two walls, floor to ceiling, stacked with clear boxes. Layers of fabric peek through the cloudy plastic. Some boxes are labeled—tulle, batiks, corduroy, denim, cotton… Read More Dadi

Les Miserables

Duncan Mwangi We found out about Esse’s wedding on the day Emm, Wafula and I started a band.  We immediately hopped on a call to speculate on why this masc bi girl from Kilifi—who could do this thing with her tongue and whom we’d all had as an ex at one point—had decided to leave… Read More Les Miserables

The White Tiger of Gansu

Roy Zhu / 朱若忆 The sun set low over the sound of horse hooves on the empty steppe. It was early in the first term of the year, and clouds had broken low over the mountains and brought snow. Still, the rider crested the ridge of the road, showing no signs of softening his pace.… Read More The White Tiger of Gansu