November 2020

Featuring work from Matthew Miller, Seirce Mhac Conghail,
Joyce Liu, Ace Boggess, Sanjana Rajagopal, NM Bassey, and more.
Cover photo by Nelea Fong.


“...and I will tell you about the yellow spider hiding, silent / as sickness,
behind basketballs in the garage. How iris stems / bent, half-alive.”

By Matthew Miller

Two Poems

“You are splitting me open like cracked watermelon on the sidewalk, / like picking off the peeling wallpaper. /
You’re moving like it’s so easy to cut through thick ice, or all this tension.”

By Yoana Tosheva

Your Alligator Suit

“When I inherit the bookshop / you’re so overwrought with joy / that even though you’re wearing /
your alligator suit you plant / on me the kiss I’ve dreaded / for most of my sentient life.”

By William Doreski

Couch of Doom

“My next-door neighbor / found an upholstered / couch on the curb, /
with only a couple of / threadbare patches...”

By Leah Mueller


“I’m not religious, but if you leave a teabag in the cup, doesn’t it become tea-adjacent?
By which i mean, when we are steeped in something foreign long enough, it becomes part of us too.”

By Joyce Liu

House Painting

“I dip the brush, scrape the excess off on the edge of the paint can and start dabbing at the outside of my house on
my little mortgaged piece of land in this city, this country, this planet, getting it done, inch by inch.”

By Mitchell Waldman

Two Poems

“I peered into the dead-end telescope of history, / watching helplessly as Rudy Vrba escaped a barbed wire hell /
to warn those in power of the smoke clouds to come, / and no one did anything.”

By Sanjana Rajagopal

The Affair

“Rain which they once / Would have danced in /
Pins them to the wall / Like specimens in a drawer.”

By Bernard Pearson

A Refugee
Boat Sinks

“We have liftoff. / We have floating carcasses. / We have a disparaging sun /
searing their brown faces, / those eyeless expressions.”

By John Grey

A Short History
of Grief

“Laughter is a reminder: we don’t look like what we come from. / In twenty eight days,
I will weep blood and disappointment. In seven, I will remake the earth.”

By NM Bassey


“There’s power in ordering people out. In being a Cossack. It connotes something majestic and orderly.
Fierce. Of course, at this point I don’t know about pogroms and starvation. I’m thirteen.”

By Yash Seyedbagheri

Two Poems

“The orange segments itself / into eyes spilled on my grandmother’s table, /
I am counting time on the beads bleating out / onto stained wood.”

By Seirce Mhac Conghail

Three Poems

“How often I think of leaving the war & laying down my arms, /
but the cannons are lovely—I prefer to tell their story.”

By Ace Boggess