“The bit about the doorbell” by Sasha in her living room

Saturday October 19, 2019
5 minutes
Someday Is Today
Alethea Black

The doorbell rings and Ange stops in her tracks. Shit shit shit shit shit shit shit. Fe wasn’t supposed to arrive until this afternoon. “I’ll be right there!” She calls, running up the stairs and shutting the bedroom door.

Fe is on her phone, talking in Spanish. Ange always says she’s going to learn, but the Duolingo app on her phone goes unopened for the most part.

”What language do you dream in?” Ange asked Fe one of their first morning’s together.

Fe thought about it for awhile. “I’m not sure,” she eventually replied, picking sleep out of the corners of her eyes.

”It’s probably Spanish. I think I read once that we dream in our mother tongues.”

As she opens the door, Ange asks, “Why don’t you have your key?”

Fe cocks her head and glares at her. She’s cut her hair.

“his birthplace has now lost its charm” by Sasha at her kitchen table

Wednesday November 14, 2018
5 minutes
Master of the Masterpiece
Anya Georgijevic

He remembers home as bigger than it is. Maybe that’s because he has something to compare it to now. He remembers walking down Princess St. and knowing almost everyone he passed. How they’d greet one another. Mrs. Blake, his kindergarten teacher, pushing her grandson in a stroller. Dan Savant, star athlete turned used car salesman, after he dislocated his shoulder one too many times.

“Hi, Davey, how are you?”

“Good to see you, Davey! Lookin’ good!”

Now that he’s back, packing up Mama’s house, putting everything in piles (recycle, donate, trash, keep), he feels it’s lost it’s charm. Home changes, it’s not static. Home is something else.

“You’ll do pants today.” By Sasha at at the Edmonton airport

Sunday January 21, 2018
5 minutes
Summer, Winter, War
Melinda Moustakis

I know the apartment is a bit of a mess. Dust bunnies in corners, the sink needs scrubbing, the toilet needs cleaning, the bathtub needs vinegar down the sides. I know that I like packing more than unpacking and three flights in one week is too many for me.

I know that the fridge has a few wilted pieces of celery in it, a bruised apple, a shrivelled lemon, a jar of tahini with an inch of oil on top and only a few centimetres of tahini.

I know the sheets are semi-clean, and the plants are thirsty.

“It has nothing to do with you” by Sasha on her porch

Saturday, August 22, 2015
5 minutes
Art & Fear
David Bayles & Ted Orland

When Moses comes home, you will reach for him like you once did. He will turn towards you but shake his head slow, like rain moving across the water. You will ask him what he saw, what he did, what he didn’t do. He will turn away, like summer does in September, and turn on the TV. You will be patient for days, for nights, for months, until one day you will reach for his hand. He will extend his open palm. You will put your cheek in it, a puzzle piece, and he will finally cry. A tsunami is often caused by an earthquake. You know this, and you will feel the ground shake. The tears don’t stop until the moon hangs drunk on the horizon. The wave comes in.

“If you want to change the world” by Sasha at ideal coffee

Monday June 30, 2014 at ideal coffee
5 minutes
from a poster at Second Cup

Sucking on bones from a barbecued chicken, eaten directly from the container, my twin sister Adelaide tries to tell me how to live my life. “Sebastian, you just gotta, like, get over yourself and go back!” She’s licking her fingers. I’m three and a half minutes older than her and never has a snippet short period of time mattered more. She’s talking about college. I was there on scholarship. I was there to write. I was there because I needed to get out of Prince George and be far far away from her, and our father and our little brother Augustus, who’d just turned seven. I’d come home because our father had a relapse. Adelaide is three hundred and sixteen pounds and can barely get off the rocking chair she lives in. Augustus spends half time with his mother, thank God, but still has needs. Adelaide told me not to come home. The next morning I was back.

“A knock on the door” by Sasha at her desk

Sunday November 24, 2013
5 minutes
At The End
Mark Gore

There was a knock at the door. You weren’t expecting anyone. In fact, your hair was wet and wrapped in a towel and you were wearing your father’s old Edmonton Oilers jersey, too-short fleecy pants and mismatched socks. You thought about pretending that no one was home but the lights were on and your guilt mechanism kicked in. You opened the door. You gasped, not for the cold but for me, there, in front of you. “Holy sh – … Come in! Come in!” I do. I put my backpack down and take off my boots and my raincoat, placing it on the back of the red couch. “You shouldn’t do that!” You say. “I could’ve had a heart attack. You know about my murmur…” “I took the red-eye,” I say. You look at your watch. 8:12. “Should I call in sick?” You’d have to leave in forty minutes. “No, it’s cool – ” “Are you…?” “Yeah. I’m staying this time. I’m… sticking around.” You sigh and I see a fleck of wondering. “What happened with – …?” “He decided that it would be better if we…” You nod. I follow you into the kitchen where your bagel has gotten cold. “Tea?” I shake my head. “I’m going to sleep for a couple of hours… If that’s okay?” You nod. “It’s really, really good to see you,” your eyes are soft, I like them better without make-up. “You too, Izzy.” I walk like a ghost into your bedroom and lie down on your bed. It smells like Paul.

“A sterile cap and mask” by Sasha on the couch at Knowlton Lake

Friday, September 13, 2013
5 minutes
The Birth (Poem)
Paul Muldoon

When he was born, the apple of the eye of his Mama’s eye, her not-so-secretly favorite baby, his Papa’s face was the first face he saw. Papa wore a sterile cap and mask, he had latex gloves covering his dirt-under-the-fingernails. Under the mask was a huge smile. Papa cut the cord. Mama cried tears of tired elation. Older Sister was tucked in her bed at home, in the house with the blue tin roof. The vegetable patch in the backyard seemed to resist carrots but yield unimaginable amounts of chives. Grandpa read Scientific American on the couch and waited for the phone call from the hospital. When he got it, he hooted and hollered so much so that Older Sister awoke and wiped a good dream from her sleepy eyes only to hear the news a baby boy was coming to live in the room next to hers.

“happy hour” by Sasha on the subway heading West

Saturday , August 17, 2013
5 minutes
from the sandwich board at McLean’s pub in Montreal

I hadn’t expected him to be there, sitting in a light straw-coloured fedora, wearing his sunglasses, tracing the outline of his lips with his pinky. It was a habit he learned from Charlie, but that’s a different story. “Alexander?” I said. It was a question because maybe he was new now, maybe he’d changed his name. Heck, we weren’t in Kingston anymore. “Holy shit, Julie?” He stood up quickly and knocked over the pint of beer on his table. There was a lot of fussing and fretting and the double D waitress slopping a cloth all over the place. “Join me?” Alex asked, pulling out the chair opposite his own, droplets of beer still dripping from the table side. “I, I…” I didn’t know what to say. Truth is I was meeting my sister to talk about funeral arrangements for our (step)father. Truth is I really didn’t want to make small talk to get all the way to big talk and for him to ask what I was doing back in the country. “Shit, you look the same, dude… You really do…” He was staring at me with those wolf-eyes, the eyes that used to send me in a tizzy, the eyes that made me swear and drink and laugh like a maniac. “Thanks, I think…” I sat down. Crap. My sister would be late, would pull up in her Chevy Cherokee and make a joke about the smallness of the world.