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Figure In Forest /Painting / Cass Waters
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Whereabouts Unknown

Yesterday
you told me about your nightmare.
You were a prince seated on a gilded throne,
then you turned into a skeleton buried in cobwebs and flies.

The falcon on your left shoulder
morphed into a ravenous vulture.

 

I know how to interpret dreams.
I wept in the other room.

 

Before you joined the protests, you said,
This sea is full of sharks that look human,
be a fast and steady swimmer!

 

Now
I am in the sea, treading water,
my neck above the surface,
my limbs submerged
in cold, shadowy currents.
The gray, murky life buoys my body,
devours the silver mist.

 

I scout the hazed horizon.
It is too quiet.
I hear God’s heartbeat,
the wail of the contracting hour.

 

I await some death
to show his face,
so that I can ask
where he has seen you last.

Whenever we used to reach a forked road,
you would say,
There is always the third path,
point to the sky, and laugh.

 

I still have not said what I should have said
all those years ago:
Be careful, my love,
this is a cruel world.
Look at the bloodstains on Tehran’s walls
that read,
Death to the dictator,
all the houses with gates unlocked
to offer refuge the protestors fleeing
the armed guards.
Is it too late
to say it now?

 

It is 10:00 p.m.
You are not home.
I call all your friends,
the emergency rooms,
and the morgues.
Your whereabouts
remain unknown.

 

Even your favorite café,
where you order Turkish coffee with a side of milk,
a thick and vital bitterness, and listen
to “Suzanne” by Leonard Cohen too many times,
has been shuttered by the regime.

 

Poetry / Leila Farjami
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Crickets

     One night the crickets came out to make merry by the brook. Some perched in the long grass and played their music, others danced and sang along. All the little field-creatures joined the revelry until the pre-dawn cold shooshed them home to bed.


     One Monday the washerwomen came with their loads and their children. The women worked and chatted; the children played and splashed. They stayed by the brook til dusk darkened the dells, then went back to the village.

     That night the crickets
     stood atop forgotten laundry
     and played and danced and sang.
     The little field-creatures joined the revelry
     until the pre-dawn cold shooshed them home to bed.


     One Tuesday the village youths came to swim in the brook. They hunted frogs and newts, played games, and jump-flipped off the bank into the cool water. They stayed by the brook til dusk darkened in the dells, then went back to the village.

     That night the crickets
     stood atop a youth’s forgotten shoes
     and played and danced and sang.
     The little field-creatures joined the revelry
      until the pre-dawn cold shooshed them home to bed.


     One Wednesday young men and women came out to the brook. They glanced at each other sidelong and tried to impress potential mates. They made each other little presents and spoke of how they would all be noble knights and clever queens. They stayed by the brook until dusk darkened the dells, then went back to the village.

     That night the crickets
     stood atop a withered garland
     and played and danced and sang.
     The little field-creatures joined the revelry
     until the pre-dawn cold shooshed them home to bed.

     One Thursday the fair pitched by the brook. Bards sang, children danced, and the finest of everything was on display. Young families gazed at strange creatures and shows. Newly-weds sat on the brookbank, eating spiced meat pies with their feet in the cool water. They stayed by the brook til dusk darkened the dells, then went back to the village.

     That night the crickets
     stood atop the midden-pile
     and played and danced and sang.
     The little field-creatures joined the revelry
     until the pre-dawn cold shooshed them home to bed.


     

Poetry / Erik Peters

Untitled / Collage / Hailey Thielen

Caprice

Monologue / Straton Rushing

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With my tiny net, I pluck a
Word from the air and drop it
In the jar, sealing the lid.
The best words are small, pliable,
Reliable. Hand in glove,
They fit like my net was meant for
Only them. An easier catch
Than usual, I realize now
That this word is already dead.
A brief life adjourned, it will never
Discover the warmth of the page
Against its skin. The word lays face up,
Dry mouth open, slitted eyes,
Abraded wings. A subtle breeze—
My breath—tilts its delicate body.
Replacing the lid, I pick up
The net again. Patient as a
Spider, I wait for its cousin.

Abraded Wings

Poetry / Jason Thornberry

 A Bunny's Life / Cartoon Art / Anthony Acri

H

T

uya

itambe

00:00 / 01:29

Marimba inspired music, that combines several keyboard sounds like Flute, Horn, Harp, bells, sticks, drums etc and poetry

by Tendai Rinos Mwanaka

to purchase the issue

DESIGNERS

Keya Shah | Julia Cavazos | Chloe Poustovoi

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