Success in a World Full of Shortcuts

By Sean Callahan

I didn’t come into this world
to be left traveling on back roads,
blindfolded,
with no atlas,
no compass,
no first mate,
making twists and turns into lands people call colorful.
But perhaps I’m colorblind,
because I don’t see the same shades
of red and green as they do.

I came for the highways–
at least people call them this,
but me? I call them
the only way.
Hovering above millions
of little rights and lefts,
billions of hidden trapdoors,
leading to quick escapes
that no one would judge me for taking,

because a lot of people did it too.
They turned headlights to the highway,
they placed their hands
on the steering wheel that gave them direction,
and they started driving.
But they didn’t know the rough waters that lie ahead.
Highways are not easy.
They are not slow.
They are not always safe.

Highways have strict guidelines,
tolls to pay,
rules to follow,
too many wrecks to avoid,
too many exits to watch for,
And at the end of the day–
patience is a necessity.

It’s something they lacked,
the ones who gave into warm motel rooms,
the ones who took wrong exits through state borders,
the ones who made U-turns onto the closest back road,
and never dared to brave the highway again.

I don’t judge the ones who choose back roads.
They are steering their life at their own pace,
easing on the brakes at the tops of hills,
shying from busy interstates,
because they aren’t ready.
But some of them will try again.
and when they do
some of them will wreck again,
some of them will pay speeding tickets,
many of them will dread rush hour.

But there will be the ones who will brave the tightly packed roads.
After maneuvering past trailers as tall as mountains,
living off cafe coffee and hamburgers,
spending hours on a horizonless road,
their patience will have paid off.
They will be the ones who will say they have navigated the highway–
and survived.  

I know I will crash. I will reroute to the nearest back road,
I will pay too many tolls to count on my fingertips,
and I will lift my foot off the gas pedal
in my happy place.

But one way or another,
I will discover how
to drive my dream car
through glowing cities at night,
over vast hilltops,
up rocky mountainsides.
And when I look to my rearview mirrors,
I will see the millions of miles traveled
upon my highway.    

 

True/False

By Maddie Lynn

  1. There is a girl trapped in a moon.
  2. A cat meows at 11:59 every night.
  3. There are rocks in my shoe.
  4. The rain bounces off the tin roof (and)
  5. She can’t hear the arguments.
  6. Always look for the brightest star.
  7. Her name is Pluto.
  8. We all believe in ourselves, even if just a little.
  9. Angles don’t have wings.
  10. Nothing ever makes sense.
  11. This paper airplane has a message inside.
  12. This is not true beauty.
  13. She is stuck in the middle.
  14. I don’t have a good side.
  15. Everyone has a reason to stay.
  16. Love is spelled C-A-U-T-I-O-N.
  17. There are no warning signs.
  18. Water is not transparent.
  19. Neither is she.
  20. Owls always ask why.
  21. Days are longer when spent outside.
  22. Hospital bills are way too much for a poor family.
  23. My pockets have holes in them.
  24. Penguins are afraid of the dark.
  25. Brownie batter bubble gum.
  26. Time moves on.
  27. The bananas are brown again.
  28. We need to go to the store.
  29. Some plants need more water than others.
  30. I want to grow.
  31. You never grow out of childhood.
  32. The people in this poem are all imaginary.
  33. These angels are complementary.
  34. The clock is stuck at 3:15.
  35. The homeless poet has a home.
  36. Flowers don’t need food.
  37. She is wearing a fishing hook for an earring.
  38. Everything is accidental.
  39. Everything is theoretical so the people you don’t want to exist don’t have to.
  40. The moon is flat, and we are living on top of it.
  41. Grab a jacket.
  42. The answer.
  43. My mouth is a zipper.
  44. Baby it’s cold outside.
  45. And it is full of marbles.
  46. Her mouth. His lips.
  47. You are made of glass.
  48. You are an owl.
  49. You ask yourself so many questions (and)
  50. Go to number 42.
  51. Maybe the people in this poem are real after all.
  52. We all play Kristen Bell.
  53. Our lives are just living in fiction.
  54. My roots are overgrown.
  55. The 14th floor is the 13th if there isn’t a 13th.
  56. You can’t avoid bad luck.
  57. I put dominos in my tea.
  58. Always chew on dice.
  59. The sky has cracked down the middle.
  60. She lays down on her bedroom floor.
  61. C h em i cal s.
  62. This water doesn’t work anymore.  
  63. Organs don’t have keys.
  64. I don’t know what my zipcode is.
  65. The Queen bee refuses to make honey anymore.
  66. She kamikazies into a car window.
  67. We’re all going to die someday.
  68. Slurpee slipping through a straw.
  69. She’s finally in adult sizes at Target.
  70. Dying young has comfort in it.
  71. Virgo. Virg. Virgi. Virgin.
  72. I am both, and maybe you didn’t need to know.
  73. The glass pyramid is not the glass castle.
  74. We can never achieve perfection.
  75. I ask myself how they ended up together.
  76. Nothing is impossible.
  77. I’ve been told conspiracies don’t exist, but I believe.
  78. Everything is everything, but nothing all at once.
  79. Nothing has meaning until you assign it.
  80. I gave a boy meaning, but he didn’t caution me back.
  81. Constellations remind me of how many sprinkles can fit into a bowl of vanilla ice cream.
  82. Eating lettuce won’t help you lose weight.
  83. I know too much about the L Word.
  84. There are always 13 sides to every story.
  85. The rain forest will be the only place to find trees.
  86. I’ve never learned how to read
  87. people.
  88. I change the lyrics in songs to fit how the moon feels.
  89. This poem can only last so long.
  90. Mayflies, bye.
  91. The worst things in life are the most expensive.
  92. Wikihow doesn’t have an article for How to Pay For a Funeral When You Don’t Have the Money.
  93. You have to move quickly.
  94. Maybe the sky has 42s.
  95. I overthink everything that happens to fall in my path; maybe he just doesn’t like looking at the stars.
  96. He always brings beer in opaque bottles, but doesn’t think we know what he’s doing.
    96.5. Even at the hospital where she was born.
  97. This was the first time he’s ever held a baby, even after having two kids of his own.
  98. Water has memory, but does it remember?
  99. I’ve written about you so many times, that my pen automatically begins to cry.
  100. This world is just a big crater, and I don’t know how to fix it.
  101. Everything always has to be a little extra.
  102. This is the end of the phone call where I say goodbye.
  103. You are at the prime of your life.

 

It Started With a Book

By Sara Malott

A new assistant pastor was hired at our church. He’s a small, older man with glasses and a bald head. He has a dry sense of humor, but he’s very friendly. He’s all dad jokes and pats on the shoulder. Typically, I don’t connect well with older adults. I have a handful of experiences when I have been caught in an awkward situation with an older person and they never end well. Usually I am just stuck staring at the ground, observing my shoes, and coming up with my best excuse to leave. I have a feeling this is why most adults write teens off as antisocial when in reality it is just a struggle to find common ground.

I assumed that the new pastor and I would have next to nothing to talk about, so I’d try to avoid standing near him for long periods of time. This was a tedious task considering our little church. I’d smile, wave and give an occasional hello, but the minute I thought he was trying to speak to me I’d dart off. Maybe teenagers are antisocial.

Last sunday, he had me cornered. He told a few others in the church that he was looking for me and he had something to give me after sunday school. The moment I got down the stairs he caught me.

To my surprise, he handed me a book. He patted me on the shoulder and smiled.

“I was cleaning out my library,” he said, “and I wanted you to have this.” The book was Why I Write by George Orwell. This man that I had never spoken to before had taken the time to learn my name and the fact that I was a writer. I was flattered, but I wasn’t quite sure what to say. I took the book back to my seat and thought about his act of kindness.

A few moments later I saw him stand before the pulpit. Coincidentally, he was preaching. I rested my head on the pew in front of me and closed my eyes. I wanted to take in everything he was saying. His sermon was about who we will become. He was talking about the people who get confirmed in the church and then never come back. He spoke about people who radiate goodness everywhere they go. He told a story about his old sunday school teacher and how, at ninety-two, the only thing left that she could do was pray.

I’m glad the world still has people who pray for the rest of us. Heaven only knows how badly this world is in need of prayer. But I’m also glad for people like this pastor who still hang around. We are so selfish in thinking only about what we need to do for ourselves. I’m not sure I believe in people who only radiate goodness; we all have our baggage. But I do believe that goodness is still here.

Do something nice for someone this week, but don’t tell anyone about it. Write a note to your best friend. Give someone a hug. Make a batch of cookies for your mom. Visit a nursing home. Take your little brother to the park. Help your dad move boxes in the garage. Your act of kindness will never go to waste. We are all on the same journey. It’s easier if we can manage to make each smile along the way.

Paleontologist

By Derek Frazier

My mother is the reason I want to be a paleontologist. I was raised in a very warm and comforting middle class home. No matter what my sisters and I wanted to do as an occupation we were never told “no.” We were always encouraged to follow our dreams and to focus on what made us happy. My mother has always claimed that paleontology is the only career she sees me doing. “You’re going to go and dig in China,” she told me once jokingly. “You’re going to play in the dirt and I’m never going to see you again.”

Beyond this, my whole life I have been surrounded by the Jurassic world. I grew up watching The Land Before Time, Dinosaur Train, and Walking with Dinosaurs. My favorite book besides The Hobbit was Dinotopia. To this day I have a giant plastic tub of dinosaurs in my basement and stuffed dinosaurs in my closet that I will never give away. I have cookie cutters shaped like a t-rex, stegosaurus, and triceratops for when I’m baking.

I don’t really know why I love paleontology. I just do. For as long as I can remember my childhood dream has been to go to college and study until I graduate with a doctorate degree. It’s all I’ve ever wanted and no one has told me no so my plan is to keep dreaming.

It’s somewhat ironic that my lifelong dream and goal involves heat and math. I’m not a very mathematically inclined individual, personally I believe that the Romans conquered the Greeks as payback for creating algebra. And my ideal temperature is mid sixties with a cool breeze. Yet there I will be six or seven years down the line in a 100 degree desert using calculus to plan an excavation zone to dig up thirty foot long reptiles while still being  paralyzed by my fear of snakes.

Fate has a sense of humor.

Also it’s a little mind boggling. I am a junior in high school, and in a few weeks I will be a senior, and then after that I will graduate and move onto college. I remember sitting in my elementary school classroom thinking “Man, I have to wait eight years for college?” And now, having only one year left to go is truly a surreal realization. I am so close to achieving my dream. It is the greatest tease, to be close enough to start planning colleges and initiating that part of my life, but remaining far enough out of reach that it is still an ambition.

Ambitious is definitely a word I would use to describe myself. I don’t want to be a celebrity I simply want to be recognized for my discoveries and for my assistance in making the Earth’s past all the more clear.

I have never met anyone who has told me that my dream to become a doctor or professor of paleontology is unreachable. I know that it will be challenging and that it will be a long road, but that’s what I signed up for the moment I held my first t-rex toy. I will allow nothing to stand in my way. I will stand among the mighty heroes of my childhood and smile because I was meant to be there.

Je suis prest, I am ready.

A Friend at the Door

By Sara Malott

To Mr. Jeff,

I wanted to tell you that I like the red shirt you were wearing today, but I wasn’t sure how. You don’t say much other that good morning or have a nice day. I was scared that maybe good morning and have a nice day are the only phrases you know. I didn’t want to confuse you. I told my mom and she just laughed a little bit. She said you could probably read a note and that you might appreciate this one. So, Mr. Jeff, I wanted to say that I really liked your red shirt.

Hello Mr. Jeff,

Today we had career day at school. My father was busy and my mom doesn’t work, so I didn’t bring anyone to school with me. Lots of dads have cool jobs. Bryce’s dad kills bugs. Alex’s dad flies planes. Everyone was kinda disappointed when I told them my dad just worked at a bank. So then I told them about you, Jeff the doorman. Lacey said your job was stupid and you probably didn’t make that much money. I think she’s stupid. Ms. K said that being a doorman is an honorable job. I think I could be a good doorman when I grow up. Maybe you could give me lessons sometime.

For Mr. Jeff

This morning when I was leaving for school, you dropped your wallet when I said hi. It looked like you were looking at something. I’m sorry if I scared you. I’m not scared of people but I am scared of poison ivy and big storms. When you bent over to pick up your wallet I saw a little bit of your underpants. They were green with cards on them. I know, because me and my dad used to play cards a lot. Now he has to do his job all the time, so we don’t really play cards anymore. But my dad has a picture of me in his wallet. He tells me that he shows all his friends at his job what I look like. They tell him that I am getting very big. They tell him that I look just like him. Do you have any pictures in your wallet? You should show me them sometime if you do. Then maybe I can tell you if the pictures look like you.

@ Mr. Jeff

Today my mom taught me what an “at” symbol is. She says people use it when they are writing an email to somebody. I don’t have an email so I thought I might use it when I’m writing to you. I know it doesn’t really make sense, because at Mr. Jeff doesn’t make sense, but I wanted to use it anyway. You should really think about writing me back, because it takes a little while for me to write these.

Mr. Jeff,

We have Christmas break this week. I told my mom that we should invite you to our apartment, but she said that probably wasn’t a good idea. She said you probably wouldn’t come and then she said you probably had to spend time at your own apartment. Do you have an apartment? Do you live in a house? Do you live in a box under a bridge like the trolls my dad tells me about? You look like you might be a good troll.

Dear Mr. Jeff,

I’m sorry I called you a troll. My mom said that might hurt your feelings. We saw a really fat lady at the movie theater. She was sitting right next to us and I said, “Mom that lady is huge!” And she yelled at me for being rude. Then I said, “Mom, that lady is the opposite of skinny!” And she just rolled her eyes. So I’m sorry for calling you a troll.

P.S. Today we learned about writing letters and we learned about using P.S. We also learned about starting a letter with Dear.

Dear Mr. Jeff,

I’m having birthday party this weekend. I want you to come. We live in 6F and it’s at two o’clock on Saturday. I think you should come. You are my friend. If you don’t come, I guess it’s ok because adults have a lot of stuff to do.

Another P.S. I realize you might not know my name. It’s Simon. I’m in the fourth grade. I have Mrs. Hersch. If you’d like to know more, come to my birthday party. Thank you.

Thanks Mr. Jeff,

I’m really happy you came to my party. I had a lot of fun. Wanna go to the park next Saturday? I really like the swings. We could have a picnic. My mom always says she makes a mean PB&J. You can bring your dogs along. I could tell you liked to talk about them a lot. I wish I had a dog. Maybe you could bring yours to work with you sometime. I have so much more I want to tell you about. Let me know if you’d want to go to the park. Have a nice day!

– Simon

Goddess of the Moon

By Aevin Mayman

The goddess Selene was born under the sky. The morning of her birth was greeted by the shining light of the clear blue sky that was her mother’s eyes. Theia smiled down at her and Selene saw the expanse above them captured in her mother’s gaze.

As a child, Selene learned to live with a large family. Every holiday was greeted by the arrival of the remaining ten titans coming to join their siblings, her parents, for food. She grew up with booming laughs and communal songs that shook the foundations of her home. Even before learning how to speak, she laughed along with them and sang as loud as her little lungs would let her.  Most of her songs went out of tune, but no one ever cared.

Her days were filled with visits from her grandmother, Gaia. They would take long strolls through the thick forests of her home — the trees always lush and glowing from the sky’s clear light. Many days were spent entirely like this, with her grandmother showing Selene the details of the world around them. In the end, Selene ended up paying more attention to butterflies than things such as the variations in tree bark, but Gaia simply laughed off the distractions and let her play. Having the mother of the Earth as her grandmother gave Selene a deep appreciation for all things under the sky. Gaia would bring forth Selene’s chiming bell laughter with brilliant flowers that grew under her fingertips and the songs that she sang with the birds.

On a day such as this, Selene was walking a forest path with Gaia. With her grandmother’s help, the young Selene named every bird she saw. She trilled along with the chickadees, cawed with the crows. She was so preoccupied with the orchestra of bird song around her that the golden flash from above nearly startled her off the path. She turned her gaze to the sky – the clear blue sky that had once held only her mother’s eyes – and saw a streak of light far above her.

“Grandmother,” she said softly, voice hushed with awe. “What is that?”

Gaia smiled up at the sky and wrapped her arm around Selene. “That, my dear, is your brother. He now rides the Chariot of the Sun, and will journey across the sky with it everyday, and rest every night.” Around her, the broad-leaved plants and blossoming flowers all seemed to glow with this new light. They turned towards the sky where Helios now rode, their faces soaking in all the light he gave them.

Selene pulled on Gaia’s skirt and smiled up at her with a toothy grin. “One day, I want to be in the sky, too! Can I be like my brother?” She asked, bouncing on the balls of her feet.

Gaia smiled warmly down at the small goddess, placing a gentle hand on her hair. “Some day, my child,” she said kindly. “Someday.”

An evening fell many years later, after Helios had returned from his day-long ride and had long been asleep. Selene sat awake in her bed, staring out into the darkness of the world around her. She had been uncomfortable all night and, no matter how hard she tried, could not fall asleep. She huffed a sigh and flopped back down onto her bed. She traced lazy patterns on her ceiling in the darkness and tried once again to calm her mind.

Out of the corner of her eye, a glimmer of light caught Selene’s attention and she bolted upright in her bed. Another faint light shone through the trees for a heartbeat and she leapt out of bed, creeping out into the night. The only guide she had was the wavering ball of light that bobbed distantly before her. The goddess mumbled soft curses under her breath as she tripped over darkness-hidden tree roots, her nightgown tangling in the thick undergrowth.

The light seemed to be glowing brighter, but only slightly. It moved faster away from her as she followed it, and soon she was running through the forest, avoiding brambles and jumping over logs more out of reflexes than sight. When she finally broke out of the thick woods, her legs were scratched and tired, her nightgown torn from tearing through thickets. She burst into a clearing with heaving breaths and leaned against a tree for support. When she raised her head, her breathing caught in her throat. In the center of the clearing stood a gleaming white horse, its long mane glimmering with starlight. She took a careful step forward and the horse kneeled before her, inviting her onto its back.

Selene moved into the clearing and slowly mounted the creature. As soon as both of her feet had left the ground, the horse leapt into the air. She squeaked in surprise and curled her fingers into the horse’s mane, leaning into its neck as it galloped upwards. The stars seemed to swirl around her, getting closer and closer until they brushed through her hair, around her head. The stars began to coalesce around her, forming glittering shapes around her. One by one, the sheets of starlight formed themselves into a chariot around her. The horse beneath her was slowly replaced by the seat of the starlight chariot. The horse moved to the front of the chariot and silver reins formed in her hands. Selene let out a joyous laugh and threw her head back.  The crown of stars gathered at her forehead, casting her face in a rich glow of light.

Far below, Gaia stood by Selene’s mother Theia and the two watched Selene’s chariot form in the sky. Gaia wrapped an arm around her daughter and smiled, gazing up at the goddess of the night. She had finally, after all of these days, made it to the sky.

Normalcy

By Aevin Mayman

It wasn’t rainy. It wasn’t the slate-clouded funeral written about in overly-dramatic teen romance novels, a black understory of parasol trunks and supporting wire vines. It was sunny, a spring day. The cherry trees were just past full bloom, their pinks undertoned by suggestions of green. Each gust of wind carried with it a plume of petals. The drifting leaflets spiraled around black dress pants, embroidering the somberness with a distant reminiscence of joy.

Ashtyn stood against a nearby dogwood, absentmindedly peeling strips of bark from its trunk. The approach of footsteps drew his gaze.

Tyler waved and stopped next to Ashtyn. “Hey,” he said.

Ashtyn offered a small smile in return and went back to peeling at the trunk.

“How are you holding up?” Tyler asked, stepping closer.

Ashtyn shrugged and put his hands in his pockets, gazing out over the uniform gravestones, verdant undergrowth framing them like unkempt dragon scales. “I’m alright.” He answered with a shrug of his shoulders.

Tyler frowned at him. “Just alright?”

Ashtyn sighed, kicking at the dirt. “Barely, but, yeah.”

Tyler shook his head, turning his back to Ashtyn to face the memorial gathering. He crossed his arms, jamming them forcefully against each other and shaking his head. “It’s just not fair,” he muttered. “It’s not.”

Ashtyn stood still for a few moments before sliding down to the ground. He dropped his head in his hands. “How am I even supposed to be upset?” He asked, voice quavering. “No one I’ve ever known has died before, much less–” He broke off and swallowed thickly. “Much less done what he’s done.” He fell into silence, raising his head to his knees to stare blindly at the grass before him.

Tyler sat next to him and leaned back against the tree. “You know,” Tyler began softly. “I didn’t cry when I got the news.”

Ashtyn turned his head to face Tyler, head tilted curiously.

Tyler smiled wryly and shook his head. “I didn’t cry, and then I didn’t for almost week. I was just…angry.”

Tyler held up a placating hand at Ashtyn’s indignant expression.

“Not angry at him for dying, no, I’m not that mean. I was just angry because it wasn’t– it isn’t goddamn fair that he has to die.” Tyler’s voice cracked at the end and he heaved a humorless chuckle, hanging his head between his knees.

Ashtyn linked arms with Tyler, leaning against his shoulder. They sat that way for a while before Ashtyn broke the silence. “I don’t think I cried either,” Ashtyn murmured. “I think I was just numb.” He tightened his grip on Tyler’s arm before continuing. “I couldn’t think of anything else. I made a sort of make-shift altar, but, that was it.” Ashtyn shook his head, gazing down to the ground. “I just… I just needed to do something. Anything. I just needed a goal to get to. I didn’t have anything to move forward on. No ambition or hope, no anything.”

Tyler pulled Ashtyn to standing and wrapped him in a hug. “I know,” he said quietly. “I know.”

After a few moments the two separated and wandered over to a nearby bridge, arms still linked. They leaned against the railing, the ornately twisted metal cool against their forearms.

“How can we just…” Tyler trailed off, bending to pick up a stone from the ground and turning it over in his fingers. “How can we just go about our life? Alex is– he’s gone and we all just have to do nothing and… and sit here.” He threw the stone to the water below and went silent, staring at the quickly disappearing ripples.

The spring sounds filled the quiet between them; the cheerful trills of birds and gentle hum of June beetles paying no heed to the bleakness invading the field around them. The gurgling of the stream below twisted up around them in the wind, teasing the echoes of splashes from the water’s surface.

“You’re right,” Ashtyn said, gazing out over the water. “We can’t just… we can’t just sit here like nothing’s happened and go on with our lives.” Ashtyn explained. “He’s been through so much pain. We have to do something for him. Honor his memory — I don’t know, something cliché like that.” He straightened up and brushed off the front of his shirt.

Tyler stood and turned to face Ashtyn. Tyler shrugged and hugged his arms close to his body. “I mean, yeah, but, how? Alex is dead, Ashtyn, we can’t just go and ask him–”

“Then we figure something out,” Ashtyn interrupted. “We- we make a memorial fund, donate to charity, fund the Trevor Project, I don’t know. But we’re gonna do something. We have to do something, okay?” Ashtyn held Tyler by the arms until he nodded, dropping his arms to his sides.

“Yeah,” Tyler said. “We’re gonna do something,” he smiled. “For Alex.”
Ashtyn let out a breath, eyes wet. “For Alex.”

Letter From the Editor

Dear Reader,

Hello and welcome to Post Script Magazine.

At the beginning of last year, the creative writers of Barbara Ingram School for the Arts were tasked with creating an online publication to share what we love doing.  Thus, Post Script was born as an online general feature magazine.  Through our articles, stories, poems, and the occasional lifehack, we shared some of the things most important to us.

With this issue, we’ve begun to encourage the submissions of writing from outside of the creative writers and have since welcomed two new writers to our staff.  We invite anyone from Barbara Ingram to get involved if they please whether it be this year or somewhere down the line.  If you’re a student at Barbara Ingram and want to work with us, please contact either myself or Maddie Sokoloski, our department liaison.

The theme we’ve chosen for this issue is ‘discovery’ (credit to Nathan Retherford for the idea!).  In contrast with our previous issue being centered around ‘place,’ discovery is all about what we don’t know, what there is to explore, what we learn from each other and new situations.  Just by existing, we’re constantly discovering.

So please enjoy, be inspired, come discover with us.  And as always:

speak loudly, write louder.

Sincerely,

Max A. Gamerman

Editor in Chief

Find the index for our second issue here

Index

Poetry 

Achilles and the Art of War / Evette Davis

Adopting Unwanted Gifts Or, This Is All I’m Left With / Josh Snyder

Ars Poetica / Tyler Hoffman

The Big House / Derek Frazier

Cheese Stick Love / Sara Malott

Gravity / Evette Davis

Noir / Derek Frazier

Red / Rachel Shaw

Shattered Stained Glass Or, Living Amongst the Stars / Sara Malott

To Those Who Will Date My Little Sister / Derek Frazier

Nonfiction

Dear My Itty-Bitty Self / Derek Frazier

Drowning / Claire Dever

He Proved I Wasn’t Bulletproof / Sean Callahan

The Street Conquistador / Sean Callahan

To the Boy Who Didn’t Love Me Back / Taylor Bassler

Fiction

The Color of Kings / Aevin Mayman

Office Bakery / Aevin Mayman

Open Spaces / Aevin Mayman

Painted Red / Claire Dever

Rocky Road / Claire Dever

Sammy / Aevin Mayman

Achilles and the Art of War

By Evette Davis

We live in a world where Greatness is the general to You.

Greatness lashes, forbearing at your heel.
The same one that Achilles fell front on, and says,
“As far as you go, I will follow.”

Greatness tells you that he bruises your weak spots only to help you.
To this, I have discovered that Greatness specializes in the Art of War.

He knows that your weaknesses can be conditioned like Pavlov
can craft an armor of callous so thick
that it is Strength.

You are a soldier,
quivering in line.

Only in drills done later do you stand without falter
and know that for as long as you live,
Greatness works in your favor.