deflowering by Kyra Andrews

I had just turned eighteen the first time I had sex. It was the beginning of the winter season, and I was away at school in the mountains. The red pine trees intoxicated my lungs daily. I was on the precipice of womanhood. Freshman year of college had been a series of coming-into my-own’s while … Read moredeflowering by Kyra Andrews

Strength at صفر by Mary Barghout

First Fragment: In بور سعيد there is a pedestal missing a statue.  A tall concrete beginning with no end.  What crumbling culminated in this break? *** On my first and only trip to Egypt I walked to this beginning with my younger cousins. They stood and hung on the chains surrounding the pedestal, I captured … Read moreStrength at صفر by Mary Barghout

How to Hold the Truth by Tamar Ashdot

Cover Collage: “locating lineal traces” by Tamar Ashdot It’s impossible to know where to begin because most of my ancestral understanding lives in the past. In the world before 1948. Before Israel’s statehood.  My father was born in 1935, in Jerusalem, in British Mandate Palestine. Though it is incredibly rare for a father to be … Read moreHow to Hold the Truth by Tamar Ashdot

Ode to Pumpkin Pie by Ata Zargarof

These days, twilight comes early. My body is confused, its rhythms in disarray. By 4:00 pm, my eyelids are drooping; I yield easily to the comforter’s enticements. Hours later, I wake to a viciously empty stomach, an angry tub of acid in my guts.       The sky outside my window is a starless black. Only … Read moreOde to Pumpkin Pie by Ata Zargarof

When Bathing by Natalie Kim

Image from The Mighty CW: body dysmorphia and discussion of eating disorders I am both familiar and alien to myself. I realize this most when I get ready for a shower.  I undress by first reaching behind my neck and digging a fingernail into the clasp of my cross necklace. When I twiddle with the … Read moreWhen Bathing by Natalie Kim

This is Not a Border: Reportage & Reflection from the Palestine Festival of Literature – Reviewed by Capri Huffman

Image by Capri Huffman ★★★★★ Dear Friends, I regret that I cannot be here today, to receive you personally. Welcome to this sorrowing land, whose literary image is so much more beautiful than its present reality. […] We are now in the sixtieth year of the Nakba. There are now those who are dancing on the … Read moreThis is Not a Border: Reportage & Reflection from the Palestine Festival of Literature – Reviewed by Capri Huffman

Ragu by Jules Rivera

Image provided by Jules Rivera CW: domestic abuse She took the knife and pressed the blade, using the palm of her hand to flatten it down, the smell of garlic rising into the air. Sshik sshik sshik, the knife brushing against the cutting board. She minced quickly, the blade blurring. Next, the onion, sshik sshik, … Read moreRagu by Jules Rivera

Smile by Meghana Joshi

Art by André Pereira She had always been a nervous smiler. Every day, without fail, and more often in the most inappropriate of circumstances, her mouth would twitch and then curve up into a grin that couldn’t be stopped.  Whether it be awkwardly telling a friend bad news, learning of the death of a loved … Read moreSmile by Meghana Joshi

Ba by Isa Condo-Olvera

Illustration by Isa Condo-Olvera Ba: whatever makes each person unique that is not physical: your humor, your worth, your charm, yourself, your soul.  I died today.  Everyone said death was only a temporary suspension, but I was unsure. I always wondered what dying would feel like. Death and I had danced throughout my life, competing … Read moreBa by Isa Condo-Olvera

Romancing the Butcher by Chere Taylor

Image provided by Chere Taylor CW: domestic abuse, injury description He approaches the girl in his tight, leather pants, black curls tousled on his head. His eyes are as hard as obsidian stone. She is observing a young, teen god. And he is sexy. Christ, he’s so sexy. Gwendolyn, today’s victim, is chained to the … Read moreRomancing the Butcher by Chere Taylor