Shards of rain batter the window as I write this. The wind howls; the clouds are white sheets. Wherever you are this winter, I hope comfort sits with you, nearby.
This month we offer hands straightened in prayer, four thick walls, and sea-less pirates.
StarSeeds Awaken, soft pastel
Yanina and I are going through deep spiritual transformations. This piece represents the visualization of how we are elevating.
jenna marie townsend
piggy bank contents
notes from middle school
a piece of smoked cheddar a splinter
drip castles, a bird’s backwards knee
a handful of silt, hot pink lipstick, wet ink
belly button lint
B flat & F sharp, eye brows, shadows
queens, second hands slug slime
bald spots bullet shells willow bark
corduroy, a black crayon
red breast, scabbed shin,
bottle tops, butter computer keys
a napkin, a nickel, a crow’s caw,
braids and bedhead, walnuts,
ant’s feet on my arm,
raw heels gems watermelon crisp.
cherry tomatoes broken leather
doorbells cars peeling paint
pigeon’s down clinging
to flakes of dead leaf
the ashy pad of a paw,
yarn molding off a mop
burnt cheeseburger buns
chalk drawings down the block
hands straightened in prayer
tokens for a carnival
round, clucking stars
Julia Travers is a writer, artist and teacher in Virginia, U.S.A. She grew up near the Chesapeake Bay and lives in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains. She writes poetry, fiction, essays and news. Her creative works are published with Short Édition, Fish Publishing, Bowery Poetry, Rattapallax, On Being/ American Public Media, Ecological Citizen and others. She is a woman and nonbinary. Find her work at juliatravers.journoportfolio.com, Twitter @traversjul.
The Maria Clara
Sorrow is still sorrow even withheld,
longing and dying brought by the wind.
Her part comes when the tragedy is over:
clutching her pearls in the confines
Of the converted bungalow in Manila,
in the four thick walls of the house.
Older now, but still the dalagang pilipina,
she grips her fan as if air could seek solace,
From humidity made by body heat
in rooms full of romance and action.
She resurfaces amongst the shadows,
in all her stiffness, a force of habit.
Clara knows restraint is a struggle,
deeds not done at all but could have been.
Though the hero is nowhere to be found,
somehow she is there, knowing she must
Don her baro’t saya and go on deriding
the young with her exquisite abaniko—
Her hand by the fan effecting fate,
charging the wind to spotlight a face.
Angela Gabrielle Fabunan was born in the Philippines but grew up in New York City. Her first book, The Sea That Beckoned, was published by Platypus Press in 2019, and her second book, Young Enough to Play, is forthcoming from UP Press in 2021. “The Maria Clara” is included in Young Enough to Play forthcoming from UP Press.
Desert Vacation, Death Valley
It is the place
turns herself inside out, dusky
pulling you down
until you can only see
out of her folds
—no ruby roses—
no morning glories,
but, side road purples and yucca yellows
blooming behind your
tight shut eyes.
It is the place
where the green boom
and sea-less pirates
swing / between frames,
charged up with whiskey and wont’s,
revving on 1600cc’s
as divorce shy wives
spill their diamonds
into pools and slots
“forgetting” about their children once a year, from behind “heat’s mirage”—
that slippery hope.
All the while
the mesquite slowly drinks from
that murky-silted libation.
is settling with the falling sun, now,
with the bloody ridges
smearing in the background—
she watches as they sweat themselves dry
until the coyotes come out.
Cass Lintz is a poetry candidate in the MFA program at UNC-Wilmington. Currently, she’s most interested in erasure, queer historics, and feminism.