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

Wednesday November 14, 2018
8:40am
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.

“A fresh perspective.” by Sasha at Pallet Coffee Roasters

Monday November 12, 2018
12:46pm at Pallet Coffee Roasters
5 minutes
Montecristo Magazine

Being by the water gives him a fresh perspective, and he learns this young, when he is still a boy. As a young man, he surfed Great Lakes and oceans, and paddled on rivers. Being by the water helps him to forget his heartaches, his growing pains, his regrets. Now that he’s grown, now that Maria has called off the engagement, he decides to leave the city. He can work from home most days, and if he needs to go into the office, it’s a seventy five minute drive. He loves to a cabin overlooking Lake Superior. He has to put in new floors and get rid of a mice infestation, but other than that it’s perfect.

“10-year anniversary” by Sasha on her couch

Saturday November 10, 2018
8:34am
5 minutes
Into the Raven’s Nest
Curranne Labercane

I can still hear my heart beating in my ears and the rush of blood to my scalp. He pulled his chair back and came around in front of his desk.

“What do you think your punishment should be for this bad behaviour, Miss Bennett?” He’s so close to me I can smell his musky aftershave.

“Um… I don’t know?” I’m fifteen. I have never been sent out of the classroom, let alone in a principle’s office.

He leans down close to my face. The heart beat in my ears. Rush of blood. It feels like every hair on my body is standing straight up.

I’d heard rumours about him. This kind of thing.

“The biggest personality among this trio” by Sasha at her counter

Wednesday November 7, 2018
6:52pm
5 minutes
High Living
Jacqueline Ranit

Becca has the biggest personality of the three of us, I would say. Then comes Miranda and then comes me. I’m the quiet one. I’m not a wallflower, I mean I’ve french kissed a few people and puffed on a couple of joints even, I’m not, like, a nerd or anything. We’re semis. Not popular and not not popular. Semi popular. People in the caf don’t totally ignore us and if Miranda gets a new mini-backpack or something then someone might say something, might give her a compliment and then give Becca a compliment on her gold hoops and then maybe give me a compliment on my haircut. I didn’t get a haircut exactly, but I’ve stopped straightening my hair which means that it does look shorter.

“the woman’s anonymous appearance” by Julia at her desk

Sunday November 4, 2018
10:21pm
5 minutes
Beauty Beheld
Sara Harowitz

She shivers from her shoulders down to her thighs
crossed tightly feeling a little tremble forcing its way in
He hasn’t noticed how cold the house had gotten
hot blooded, covered in thick skin built for winter
It was bad enough that her whole body was prone to shaking
but she didn’t know how to fix the heat
Chalk it up to co-dependency
She’d rather that than have you think she is just too afraid
to learn how to do it on her own
He tells her he’ll be home for dinner, remarks something about
chicken thighs
She thinks about walking into the oven chest first
but having it on would at least warm up the kitchen
When he leans in to kiss her, he misses her mouth by an almost inch

“the woman’s anonymous appearance” by Sasha at her kitchen table

Sunday November 4, 2018
8:21am
5 minutes
Beauty Beheld
Sara Harowitz

The woman appears in what she always knew she’d be wearing in this moment, an outfit she’s thought about more than any other thing in her life, though she’s loathed to admit that, she’d never admit that.

Horowitz calls the woman into his office. She’s ready – cheek’s flushed, breath deep, hands shaking only slightly. Horowitz recently died his hair black and the woman isn’t used to it yet. It looks severe, menacing even.

“How are you, Katrina?” Horowitz doesn’t stand up when she enters, even though he should, and he knows it. He takes her in, toes to scalp. The woman bristles. This isn’t going as she’d planned.

“Thanks for meeting with me, Henry. I appreciate your time.” She sits down in one of the red leather chairs opposite his desk. He leans back.

“What’s up?” He pulls a file from the top drawer and files his left thumb nail.

“I have worked here for three and a half years. I have managed every account you’ve given me to the best of my ability, and received only glowing praise from clients. I know it. You know it.” She uncrosses her legs, feels her feet firmly planted on the floor.

“she continued to cook into the early evening” by Julia at her desk

Wednesday October 31, 2018
5:33pm
5 minutes
A quote from Pasquale Cusano

there’s a book i’m reading
about a woman’s love affair with food and cooking
you gave it to me
it has all the lines you like underlined
you used pencil mostly
but sometimes pen
I think that’s bold of you
it makes me read it through your eyes
it makes me think of you read and what you think about things
material things-as in you don’t seem to care much one way or the other
I wonder if you take notes during phone conversations
or pause the movie a bunch of times to record your favorite lines
I wonder how long it takes you to get ready in the morning
if you’re the kind who owns a steamer because you need a steamer or if
you’re the kind who wears wrinkly shirts because you don’t have a steamer

“The year was 1969” by Sasha at her kitchen table

Monday October 29, 2018
8:17am
5 minutes
Suite Dreams
Eve Thomas

Woodstock. The Vietnam War. The Manson murders. The year is 1969. Come Together and Honky Tonk Woman top the charts. A year that defines a generation. My brother Arthur is drafted to go to Nam and flees to Canada. He ends up in Winnipeg and falls in love with a man named Bob. Arthur and Bob fly me in for Canadian Thanksgiving. They make the most elaborate meal I’ve ever eaten. We listen to The Temptations and smoke dope and dance around their living room. Arthur cries when I leave. He says,

“You’re my lil’ penguin and I don’t like being so far away from you.” I know what he means. We saved each other’s lives throughout our childhoods and not being geographically close anymore wears on me in a quiet and dangerous way.

“a ghost town at night” by Sasha on her couch

Friday October 26, 2018
10:03pm
5 minutes
California’s Big Comeback
Degen Pener

Hi Felix. This place is a ghost town at night and I hate that. I miss the city and being able to get street meat or Ethiopian food at any hour of the day. The one restaurant here closes at nine most nights and whenever I’ve tried to (craving fries, the one thing I passionately love that I truly do not know how to make at home) there was a handwritten sign in curly cursive on the front door that said, “Mickey’s having a baby! Back in a few days.” When will you come visit me here? Some nights it’s so quiet that I think I’m crazy. Some nights I imagine the sound of traffic, the bus.

“The sunset was worth it” by Julia in her bed

Thursday October 25, 2018
11:24pm
5 minutes
From a Roots ad

It had been at least six months and one week since they had seen the sunset. A hundred plus a hundred nights of missed opportunity. Beth had begged (a risk that didn’t look good on her) him to walk down to the water with her. He kept saying yes with his mouth and no with the rest of him. She could have gone on her own but she didn’t see that as an option. How is one supposed to see anything when the light in the room has changed. Hero stopped asking Beth to go down to the water with him. As if he was punishing her for wanting it so badly. After all, she could have gone on her own if she really wanted to see the sunset that badly. But it wasn’t about the sunset and both of them knew it.

“The sunset was worth it” by Sasha in her bed

Thursday October 25, 2018
10:35pm
5 minutes
From a Roots ad

Now that my hair is finally long enough to braid I feel very sophisticated. A braid down one side, or straight down the back, says class and glamour and “I’m together, but not too together.” I wear a ironed white button-down, slightly oversized, slim fitting dark blue jeans and black loafers. I braid my hair, obviously. It’s my first day and you can never get a first day back. I think it was my second grade teacher, Mr. Glen, that taught us that. He was right. It’s true. A first is a first, and there’s no making it a second or a third. New jobs used to terrify me, but now that I’ve had a whole lot of them, I’m more calm. Not “calm”, but more calm.

“a symbol of luxury” by Sasha at her desk

Wednesday October 24, 2018
6:52am
5 minutes
Fairmont Magazine

Polly wears her grandmother’s moonstone ring as a symbol of luxury. “My writing will never be ironic,” she says, hair in a high bun, wafts of brown around the nape of her neck. She imagines that she is being interviewed for an arty magazine by a smart woman in a black turtleneck. She’s talking to herself.

“I am obsessed with 19th Century descriptions of clothing and jewellery, and I will never tire of reading about how something or someone looks.” The interviewer, let’s call her Mia, she smirks.

“Would you like another cup of coffee?” Polly goes to the stove and fills the Bialetti with more espresso. She plays with her ring as she waits for the water to rise.

“spaces for writers to meet” by Julia in her bed

Friday October 19, 2018
12:03am
5 minutes
from litmaglove.com

what would I tell them
if I met the table of writers
would they know I was lying
like she did
would they have any respect at all
I see that now she wanted to like me but I wasn’t brave enough
I wouldn’t respect that either
so much for honesty and writing what you know
if it only causes you pain
why would any of us want that
but here we are going through it
here we are finding the love in the lousy

“in contact with eyes” by Sasha on her couch

Wednesday October 17, 2018
6:50pm
5 minutes
From the soap dispenser

It smells like burning

and Damon is running around
like a demon or a chicken or something
I’m on the back porch hanging
the laundry on the line
The black flies are out
I’m trying to do it quickly

“Damon! Come help!” I call
but he’s off in the plum trees
or bringing the pigs the scraps
from lunch or chasing bunnies
behind the shrubs

It smells like burning but
I don’t see smoke on the horizon
so maybe I’ll ask Jim about it
when he gets home

We haven’t had sex in over a month
me and Jim because he’s still
recovering from that fall off the ladder
I’m going strange and wild
and he’s going quiet and moody

Damon comes running towards me
and I throw a pillowcase on him
and suddenly he’s a ghost

“Thinking of you.” By Julia in her bed

Sunday October 14, 2018
10:21pm
5 minutes
From a text

I’m not thinking of you.
I’m not laying in bed eyes closed picturing you.
I am swallowing all my body’s enemies
and all it wants is to release them
I’m not thinking of you.
I’m not scrolling eye rolling not considering you.
I am up to my eyeballs in decisions about me and my own eyeballs.
there is a lot left to know
about everything
about nothing
about silence
but I do not need to know about you.
not checking your latest falling for your taste tests
I’m not tonguing about you.

“we have enormous power” by Sasha at Ocean Village

Wednesday October 10, 2018
9:11am
5 minutes
Louder than Words
Starhawk

When he’s rolling cigarettes
just a little bit of weed
mostly tobacco don’t even okay
He thinks about his father
rolling cigarettes and smoking
sunrise to noon to sunset
to midnight his father in the
field hoping to keep calm
He remembers his mother beating
on his father’s chest with closed
fists with anger the colour of
blood in her eyes and how she wailed
when she told him he was gonna die
and how she wailed when she lost
another child and how she wailed
when he collapsed in the corn

“in the blue plastic chair” by Sasha at Ocean Village

Sunday October 7, 2018
10:26pm
5 minutes
Illness and Literature
Tony Hoagland

Mia sits in the blue plastic chair and chews on the end of her braid. She’s waiting for her Oma to finish her treatment in the room with all the buzzing and whirring, where people of all colours and ages are hooked up to tall poles. Mia brought a book but she doesn’t feel like reading. On the way here, Oma said that Mia could play on her cellphone while she waited. Mia said, “No thanks”. Sometimes, looking out the window is enough. Sometimes, when you’re ten and a half, your imagination is what saves you.

“Hard as it may be to believe” by Sasha on her bed

Tuesday October 2, 2018
8:46pm
5 minutes
Beneath Our Feet
Redfern Jon Barrett

Frida sings me a lullaby and I toss and turn and hope that someone – anyone – might save me from myself.

It doesn’t have to be you, although that would be ideal.

You, fresh from the shower and smelling of sand and amber. You, seeming to have grown a few inches overnight – how do you do that? You, sweet mermaid man, good to the bone, knowing the perfect amount of honey for tea and exactly how to light a room a dusk.

“what day she was born,” by Julia on her bed

Saturday September 29, 2018
11:18pm
5 minutes
The World’s Oldest Person
Elizabeth Onusko

i’m doing that thing where I’m waiting for the first of the month to come again. permission to be bad until then. permission to be born anew and with readiness.
goodbye bad choices and to a cruel time user.goodbye to avoidance and laziness. goodbye to an empty fridge and full days of not leaving the fridge. and full days of
not leaving the house. and full.

“what day she was born,” by Sasha at her desk

Saturday September 29, 2018
6:01pm
5 minutes
The World’s Oldest Person
Elizabeth Onusko

when mama forgets the day that daisy was born everyone knows that’s it. probably any day now. uncle bert hid the vodka, the whiskey and the gin. mama was drinking everything in sight, and that makes her worse, that makes things worse for everyone. chloe sings to her, “rock-a-by-baby” and all the songs mama used to sing to us when we had nightmares. daisy, poor thing it’s her birthday, makes a sponge cake with whipped cream and sliced strawberries. we bring mama a slice in bed and she chokes and coughs but says that it’s delicious. she’s right. it is. “good job, daisy,” chloe says and I play with her hair the way she likes.

“Three hundred years” by Julia at her desk

Friday September 28, 2018
9:51pm
5 minutes
From a quote by Barack Obama

Tonight I walked by a raccoon party. There’s some symbolism already, K tells me, and I should probably start looking this stuff up. It’s 3 raccoons at first and then I look to the left and there are 3 more in on it. One skunk. There is symbolism about skunks too, I’m sure, and I take a photo cause I don’t know what else I’m supposed to do. K tells me to look up skunks and raccoons and snakes. Together? No, K, says, just when you get a moment. Don’t make it your life’s work or something. Like you? I joke, but K isn’t laughing at all. K has drank most of her blood red wine and is asking if she can have what’s in my glass. I give it to her cause she bought the bottle and I care more about looking up the goddesses and whatever associated with the little lawn party I feel like I was a part of. No snakes on the lawn, mostly in text books and on medallions, and in stories. K wants me to write the story of my first day on earth. I don’t want to tell her that it might be pretty boring. It’ll start with Cold Cold Cold and then maybe lead into Cry Cold Cry. K isn’t impressed with my comedy. She says I am wildly talented but have a chip on my shoulder and sorry for saying so but it’s true. I think she might be right. I wish I didn’t give her the rest of my wine.

“The first time you park your car” by Julia on the 7

Wednesday September 26, 2018
10:02pm
5 minutes
The Cure for Racism is Cancer
Tony Hoagland

Nobody can watch me maneuver this stupid car in this stupid spot and yet that is what everybody is doing. What, did all the world’s best parallel parkers get their cars impounded today? Is that why all of you PEDESTRIANS are such fucking experts? Fucking judgmental pieces of—you know what? I am a good driver. I was the only one out of my friends to pass my test on the first try. I got my graduated licence first too and there I was driving everyone around every single day. So yes, sometimes parking’s a bitch, but I only ever hit another car when I was BACKING OUT because it was dark as hell and the car was CAMOUFLAGED by being blue and parked in my BLIND SPOT. Parallel parking should be taught all the way from kindergarten so everyone gets really comfortable being stared at by a bunch of people who probably don’t even know how to get on the FUCKING HIGHWAY.

“The first time you park your car” by Sasha on her couch

Wednesday September 26, 2018
5:21pm
5 minutes
The Cure for Racism is Cancer
Tony Hoagland

The first time you park your car outside the bungalow where Marv and I are staying, I know you’re there before I hear the engine shut off or the door slam. I close my eyes and take a deep breath. You’re probably doing the same.

Three knocks on the front door and I’m there, face pressed against the foggy glass. You can’t see me, but I’m sure as hell you know I’m there.

“Betsy?” Your voice. I haven’t heard your voice in three years, seven months, three days. “Betsy… I know you’re there.”

“survive and maybe be heroic.” by Julia on her couch

Sunday September 23, 2018
10:13pm
5 minutes
Loud, Unpleasant Noises
Norbert Ruebsaat

please stop asking me
how my day was
no matter what I do
I am not equipped
to answer in a way
that absolves me
of the truth
if you’re asking
because you want
to know how easy
it is to put a hand
on a hot burner
and wait for the scream
then ask me
if you’re asking
because you want
to know how long
a mirror can stay
clean until it is
bloody from the
face reflected back
then ask me
ask me why the roof
of my mouth is a
pocket of worry
or why the kettle
screaming does not
rouse me from the
closet
ask me if you want
to hear denial dripping
dripping
drip

“This is an obituary.” by Julia on V’s couch

Saturday September 22, 2018
9:30pm
5 minutes
Empty Condolences
Joey Comeau

You live in the walls I hang my new life on
all the hooks drilled into your grooves
thank you for not whistling
I
don’t
think
I
could
handle
that
You could be watching me but I know you’re not
Never really cared about the minutia of things
the quiet worries spent hiding my tears in the bathroom
the enevelope of cash in my bedside drawers
beside the envelope of letters adressed to me that I had to write to convince myself I was good enough without you
I wonder why you never read my journals
you would have learned so much
And now you’re here and nestled underneath
when I remember to remember

“still dangerous,” by Julia at Millennium Park, Chicago

Thursday September 13, 2018
1:48pm
5 minutes
Soft
Sarah Pinder

He whistles his love from the bathroom with the door closed
She is supposed to whistle back to signal that she heard him
She never learned how to whistle
It hasn’t been a major set back
except when everyone else was whistling in the
first scene of the show but her
She pursed her lips together and
raised her eyebrows to fake it

When he whistles from the bathroom
She is supposed to answer him but
she doesn’t know how to fake it
Whatever song comes out, comes out
Whatever noise, faint or otherwise
He takes it as a symbol of her love for him
But she does not know how to whistle
She does not know how to fake it
She has never been good at lying
He has never been good at detecting it

They say you can teach yourself how to whistle
The placement of the tongue in your mouth is everything
The space left for air to flow through

One day she tried to teach herself how to whistle
She put her mouth the way they say to
she made sure her tongue was in the right spot
One sad little note slipped out
And she was glad that she could learn to do
the thing that everyone seems to know how to do

When he whistled his love for her behind the bathroom door
She whistled back one flat note
She never learned how to change the tone
Or make it sound more alive

“and a quiet evening sipping whiskey” by Julia on the Brown Line

Wednesday September 12, 2018
7:16pm
5 minutes
Mr. Bright Eyes
John Barton

Who had the bright idea to go to Target and buy a 12 pack of Miller Lite? Must have been you since you’re the only one drinking Miller Lite these days. Me, I can’t swallow the stuff. Not just Miller Lite, but beer. The only thing they drink here. Not beer as in here take a sip, take a load off, take the edge off. Beer as in, here, here, here, and here, and more, and more, and more, and here. I can’t do it like that. I was told not to. My body has been trying to remind me that. You wouldn’t want me that way anyway. Those days when I used to drink beer and beer and here and here I wouldn’t know where here was or me, or my desires. I don’t recognize the person who used to drink in the shower, before the comedy show, before leaving the house. I could ask us to stay in one night, have a quiet evening sipping whiskey but, you are not the kind of person who sips anything. You like the feeling of being tipsy with me, but I can’t seem to get there anymore without losing myself. I don’t like the action of sipping things when I am simply not thirsty.
My guts have been full since I got here. You had a Miller Lite in the closet yesterday and I had one more reason to stop. The dreams come worse when I’ve been filling all the holes with the wrong kind of gold. The kind that costs four dollars at Target.

“and a quiet evening sipping whiskey” by Sasha on her couch

Wednesday September 12, 2018
7:02am
5 minutes
Mr. Bright Eyes
John Barton

He calls and tells me that he misses me. I want to hear it from the one who hasn’t been drinking whiskey, the one who wakes up and washes the dishes, the one who plays basketball with the lanky teenagers in the courts by the community centre. I always said that I’d wait for you. I always said that I’d be able to. Now, though, it feels as though time moves faster and people are dying, and being born, and how are we wasting time on things that aren’t true? He calls and tells me that he misses me and I pull the phone away from my ear so that he can’t hear the catch in my throat, the tiny “me too,” the deep breath, the tear rolling down towards my upper lip.

“like slivered almonds in the bulk section,” by Julia in The Loop, Chicago

Monday September 10, 2018
10:38pm
5 minutes
Parsley
Listen Chen

Jessie keeps her handkerchief in the secret pocket of her purse. Nobody knows it’s there but her. A tiny reminder of her tiny grandmother who left a big hole in her life when she passed away. She has never been the type to use a handkerchief but knowing that it’s there makes her feel better. It is yellow and white and sweet and floral. It makes her feel lavish. Abundant. Like all those slivered and blanched almonds in the bulk section. Nothing else goes inside the secret purse pocket. It has to stay clean and folded there where all the memories live.

and all the sheets drift jazz” by Julia in her bed

Sunday September 2, 2018
10:51pm
5 minutes
Bad Boy’s Slut Song
Nick Comilla

I told him I didn’t like jazz. Said the music made
my brain feel like a loaf of bread left sitting. He wanted to convince me that there is some good jazz. He said he knows the kind I’m talking about: elevator, supermarket. I said yeah but it disrupts me on a cellular level when it’s bad. I don’t trust people who say they like jazz. Like why.
He told me he liked jazz and I would have to stop generalizing. Like do you leave someone over jazz? As in can’t support someone who loves it or can’t be with someone if they can’t get with it?

“And we created a hybrid,” by Julia on D’s chair

Monday August 27, 2018
1:38am
5 minutes
Poetry Is The Song Of The People
Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha

Altogether in the forest
I remember us walking in a line linked like breakfast sausages
It wasn’t cold or I had on a good coat, I can’t exactly recall. But Illiah was wearing a red rope around his neck with a hangy medalian. a piece of wood with a stamp on it maybe.
and as we gathered around the mother tree, Jara started to sing and we all started to sing too. as if we knew the song. as if our bones were already in tune.I remember feeling like warm water was being poured over my head, cascading down and blanketing my spirit. I never wanted to leave. I never wanted to wake up.

“I’m old enough to be that girl’s mother,” by Julia in T’s kitchen

Friday August 24, 2018
7:11pm
5 minutes
My Mother’s Body
Marie Howe

we sit at the diner without speaking. Lulu is mad at me and I am mad at her. the drive was long, quiet, peanut butter stuck in the back of the throat. when I pointed out the horses grazing in the field she gave me the finger. Lu knows i loves horses. she even loves them more than me. I don’t know where I went wrong. i’m old enough to be that girl’s mother but I am not her mother. they don’t tell you that trying to parent another person’s kid will pulverize your heart into something you wish you could snort. Madelyne isn’t sending any instructions from where she is. how to handle a kid who hates me for not being more. when she was just my niece she used to beg Mad to sleep over in my truck. I guess that’s a hope worth tucking beneath the hip.

“‘You talking to me like that in my home?'” by Sasha at her kitchen table

Thursday August 23, 2018
8:02am
5 minutes
Rum Punch
Elmore Leonard

Mica uses her tongue to lick the centre out of the Oreo cookie. It’s not a real Oreo, it’s a gluten free knock off that her sister bought at the health food store on Princess Street. She’s on her fourth and she’s in a trance, she’s in another dimension. She’s sat on her sister’s floor and suddenly she is love, she is presence, she is God. Her sister won’t be home for three more hours, and her mother is at her Women’s Group and her father is in the basement painting war figurines.

“if you fed your neighbours” by Julia on her couch

Wednesday August 22, 2018
8:39pm
5 minutes
From a quote by Rebecca Solnit

you should feed them the bullshit
hi how are you good I’m good we’re good she’s good
no we can’t hear you coughing no we didn’t realize we were so loud
no we don’t have any sugar for you to borrow
you should tell them you are practicing a scene for acting class when they catch you screaming your lungs off
spilling your own secrets
about who you really are
you should tell them the thing they want to hear
i’m happy we’re happy he’s happy we’re good we’re staying together we’re really good actors we’re really passionate people

“Bible under his arm,” by Julia at the Chelsea Hotel 

Saturday August 18, 2018
2:06am
5 minutes
The Unbreakable Thread
David James Duncan
She tore the stickers from my sister’s bible. Said the devil would get in easier that way. We tried to stop her but she wouldn’t listen. That’s what happens when teachers take students to Christian conferences outside of school hours. The guy who was praying over us said one of us should tell our testimonial to the guy with the headset and maybe we’d get to go on stage. I didn’t have a good story. No decayed turned golden tooth or a broken turned perfect leg so I didn’t go up. My sister was still sad about her troll stickers being destroyed by a tiny troll woman in track pants wearing a giant cross around her neck. I think I wanted to believe it so I did. The place was buzzing with people speaking in tongues and swaying with their eyes closed. I swayed with my eyes closed too. It was the only thing that came natural to me.

“Bible under his arm,” by Sasha at her kitchen table

Saturday August 18, 2018
7:40am
5 minutes
The Unbreakable Thread
David James Duncan

Things got weird when Malcolm started carrying his Bible under his arm. People didn’t take a lot of notice in the first week, thinking it was just some new strange thing he was up to. But a month in, Betty sat her son down.

“Malcolm, why are you carrying around that Lord book all the dang time?!”

Malcolm thought for a moment before answering. Not his usual.

“I’m a Christian now, Mom,” he took the Bible out from under his arm and put it on the kitchen table. “And I suggest that you start reading the Holy Book before your soul is too tarnished to save.”

“What the he – heck, Malcolm! When did this – …?”

Just at that moment Tammy came in the door hollering about lasagna. She was still in her volleyball uniform.

“What’s the matter with you two?” Tammy opened the fridge and drank milk from the carton.

“trying to pry one of them” by Julia on the 505

Friday August 17, 2018
2:37pm
5 minutes
Ship
Tony Hoagland

The smallest one didn’t speak very loudly. Brandan started calling her “Small One” and she liked it so much that she stayed small. Even after a game where she spent most of her time smiling at dandelions, you had to pry Small One off the field. She didn’t want to go home to Bad Dale or Claudia, Bad Dale’s chihuahaha. Small One tried to sing to Claudia once and she bit her square in the cheek. The next time Brandan saw Small One at practice with a band-aid on her face she whispered to her, “I bet you’re not so small afterall.”

“slow puffs of steam” by Sasha at her kitchen table

Thursday August 16, 2018
6:02pm
5 minutes
What Happened During The Ice Storm
Jim Heynen

She bakes because her favourite thing is the smell of bread rising, butter browning, cookies crisping. She bakes because her mother bakes, and her grandmother baked, and so on and so forth.

She limits her baking to Saturday, and brings the treats to her meditation group on Sunday afternoon.

“These are the best lemon squares I have ever had, Rachel,” says Glenn, who lead today and accidentally hit the gong with his foot when he was readjusting his seated position.

“Aw, thanks,” she says, and she knows he’s telling the truth. Her lemon squares are the best.

“You should open a bakery,” says Carol.

“I’ve thought of it, but I worry that if it’s my job I won’t love it as much anymore.”

“Maybe you’ll come to love it even more,” Glenn smiles. “That’s just as much of an option…”

“My miracle is not that you can’t knock me down” by Julia at G and C’s house

Wednesday August 15, 2018
9:01am
5 minutes
Monday Night Class
Stephen Gaskin

weak knees she said
she didn’t want to marry someone who had weak knees
what about running?
does that just go out the window? I know how she feels. when indigo’s shoulder slipped out for the eleventh time in three days, I got worried too. how will we play catch for the rest of our lives? timidly? it’s worrisome. And it’s so very mortal. I suppose nothing lasts forever. we are, at best, temporary. I guess I’d choose an unexpected shoulder pain over a partner who can’t even take a night walk. I’d rather good shoulders though too.

“Hey, man, fuck that.” By Julia at The Common on Bloor

Tuesday August 14, 2018
11:44am
5 minutes
A quote by Elvis Presley

I have never been to florida and now addie is planning to have her wedding there. she says it’s so dean’s family can drive there and some of them don’t handle flying very well. when we were young she used to invite me but I was never allowed to go. my mom said there was something she didn’t trust about florida but she had never been there either. addie wants the resort to plan the wedding because she plans events for a living and wants a day off where friends and family can drink and eat and tell her how awesome she is. if people give her a hard time about not doing a tradional (stupidly expensive) wedding at a hall she usually flips them the bird and tells them to fuck off.

“the splendid ugliness of this disguise.” By Sasha at her kitchen table

Sunday August 12, 2018
7:36pm
5 minutes
Ode to Invisibility
Ellen Bass

I buy another black pair of jeans, another white T-shirt, a blue blazer, a grey pair of leggings. $364.99. I buy a coffee at Starbucks. $6.21. I buy food from the hot bar at Whole Foods. $14.10. I Car2Go home. $6.45. I sit on my $2,475 couch and I go on Facebook and I see that fucking Cathy is in the Dominican Republic again. Who is that disgusting hottie she’s holding onto is that her new boyfriend SHOOT ME?! HOW DOES SHE DO IT. Onto Expedia. I text Jacquie, “What are you doing next week?” I see that she’s typing back, and then she stops, and then she types, and then she stops. “What the fuck?!” I throw my phone across the room and luckily it lands on the footstool. $220.

“whose eyes are a thousand blind windows:” by Sasha on her balcony

Tuesday August 7, 2018
7:30am
5 minutes
Howl
Allen Ginsberg

He’s got a tight face. I wonder about plastic surgery (try not to judge, each to their own, I guess)… He’s expressionless, which is super odd given his job, given that he’s a self-proclaimed actor. I wonder how much he actually works. It might sound awful, but his eyes are hollow, like looking into them is very unsettling. I bet he pulled the wings off flies as a kid. Maybe still does. I bet he googles weird, really weird shit. You know those people who you see and you just know that if you went into their search history it would be worse than a murder show?

“But when he reached the age” by Julia at YVR airport

Thursday August 2, 2018
9:07am
5 minutes
Atheist at the Pulpit
Larry Krotz

Elliot, Romy’s kid, had a wine stain birthmark on his hair line. It bled out a bit toward his eyes and cheeks but framed his face in a sweet way. He smiled at me when I caught his eye. It made me feel good. then I watched him smile at anyone he looked at and realized he was not in love with me alone but with people. With life. That made me me feel good too. he pointed at the man on his bluetooth next to me. As if to say “you’re the one that I love the most.” I liked his birth mark. I imagined the skin kissed red to be extraordinarily smooth and squishy. My best friend in high school had a wine stain birth mark on her arm. Her skin was so fun to press myself into. She used to get teased but she was so beautiful. People really suck the life out of you when they dont understand something.

“Kensington Prairie Farm” by Julia at the desk

Friday July 27, 2018
9:45pm
5 minutes
www.kpfarm.com

Don’t talk to me about alpacas.
I’m not interested in giving those assholes any more attention than they deserve.
You come at me and running your mouth about alpacas?
I swear to the holy ghost that knows you that those will be your goddamn last words.
I don’t have anything weird about alpacas. I don’t have anything weird about alpacas.
I think their wool feels gross.
I think their faces are stupid.
I don’t have anything weird about alpacas.
Okay so my first boyfriend used to be obsessed with them.
He’d talk about them.
He’d ask me to go to the fucking farm to see them with him.
Now that is having something weird about alpacas.
Get a dog, you know what I mean?
Like go smile at a goat or whatever.
Why was he obsessed with them?
Don’t ask me why!
If I knew why, I probably wouldn’t have anything weird about alpacas.

“exiled to the foothills” by Sasha on her couch

Monday July 23, 2018
12:02am
5 minutes
The Gulag Archipelago
Solzhenitsyn

“Let’s go to the mountains, mama…” Oli looks up at me with longing.

“Why do you want to go there?”

“Because I’ve never been!”

“Why do you think you’d like it?”

“Because mountains are tectonic plates that smashed together and that’s so cool and I want to do my project on them and how can I when I’ve never seen them in real life?!”

“Please don’t whine.”

“I’m not! I’m just saying that it’s only fair – ”

“Honey, nothing about decision making when it comes to vacation has to do with what’s fair.”

“BUT – ”

“I’ll think about it, okay? Now, go brush your teeth, it’s already seventeen minutes passed your bedtime.”

“he had this reputation because” by Sasha on her balcony

Sunday July 22, 2018
10:21pm
5 minutes
Under The Skin
Michel Faber

He deserves this reputation like he deserves the calluses on his feet and the chapped lips. He deserves the ridicule and the rundown. He deserves everything that’s happening to him. Forgiveness is a hoax. Compassion is a joke. He deserves to rot in the bottom of a well, like the fairy tales always say. He deserves sunburns, cancer, ulcers, dementia. Don’t look at me like I’m being a bitch. I am not being a bitch. I am being real, I am being powerful, I am being truthful and articulate and I am on fucking fire.

“Brady and Rix” by Julia at the desk

Saturday July 21, 2018
11:40am
5 minutes
Fever Pitch
Nick Hornby

Brady and Rix are the names of my imaginary kids.
They’re both neutral names but they’re both boys.
I am seeing my life with boys. I am allowed to see
what ever I want. God made me a writer. This is what
that’s for. Dreaming. Going there. Writing stories.
Brady is the older brother. My first. I love him like
an avalanche. Falling over myself every day. Knocked
down by love for the kid who can fit inside my pocket.
He holds my hand and calls me mama. He loves bubbles
and laughing and me. And his dad. He loves his dad so much.
He thinks everything he does is amazing. And everything
he does is amazing. Rix is the baby. He’s very serious.
He looks at everything with curiosity. He wants to know
my soul and does not let go. He is learning with a bit
of discernment. He loves being in the water. He pours
out of me and into things and into light. The whole room
loves him.

“Brady and Rix” by Sasha at her desk

Saturday July 21, 2018
10:15am
5 minutes
Fever Pitch
Nick Hornby

Brady smiles at Rix and Rix isn’t having it.

“What?” Says Brady, playing dumb.

“You know what! You stole my idea! You acted like it was yours! That’s just an awful thing to do!”

Brady shifts in their chair.

“Stole is a harsh word. It implies violence – ”

“It implies exactly what you did!” Rix fights everything in their body not to get up and leave the room. Why do they have to share such a small office anyway? Who decided that would be a good idea?

“Look. We brainstormed together. Parsing out whose idea is whose seems reductive, does it not?” Brady takes off their glasses and polishes them.

“You infuriate me!” Rix no longer cares about making a scene.

“What happened to the women?” by Julia on the toilet

Wednesday July 18, 2018
11:37pm
5 minutes
A Warm Moist Salty God
Edwina Gateley

They all bled out

I know this

I was one of them

The insides twisting

The ache throbbing

No couch soft enough to hold us

No water hot enough to soothe

We all bled out

The way we once did

Hoping someone would come along and offer some supplies

Something to tend to the womb

Wound

Nobody came along

And we got good at smiling when one of the muscles spasmed

When one of our girls got some feeling back

We couldn’t complain about it

Who would understand?

Who would know what we know?

One day we would stop smiling on the inside

That’s when things fell apart

There is only so much

Unfolding

Unravelling

a pulse can take

“What happened to the women?” by Sasha at her desk

Wednesday July 18, 2018
12:33pm
5 minutes
A Warm Moist Salty God
Edwina Gateley

They gather us in the camp. All of us strong ones, all of us pretty ones, all of us fat ones, all of us supple ones, all of us bleeding ones. The camp smells like cat food and compost. Some women hold their noses. I don’t want to be that obvious. I plug it from the inside, like Duncan taught me when we were at the cabin and had to shit in the old outhouse. The guards outnumber the women. This is what it’s come to.

“What’s your problem?” Shirley asks a red-headed guard who can’t be more than twenty two. He’s been watching her as she scrubs the floors of the mess hall.

“I don’ got a problem but chu…” He isn’t from here.

“I find it terribly strange that – ” Shirley can’t even get her words out. PhD.

“ENOUGH!” Captain shoots his rifle out the window.

“Are we able to live simply,” by Sasha on her balcony

Sunday July 15, 2018
9:32am
5 minutes
Living Buddha, Living Christ
Thich Nhat Hanh

It all started when he felt there was hole in his chest. Below his breastbone, somewhere deep inside.

“Are you okay?” She would ask and he would nod and she would take this to mean “no”, but that he didn’t really want to talk about it.

Seven months later he texts her that he wants to live more simply.

“What does that mean?” She asks, feeling her voice raise in pitch but not volume.

“I don’t know… maybe quit my job? Maybe buy a place in the country?”

“Oh. Oh wow. Really? Wow… I just – …”

“I have a hole in my chest that grows bigger and deeper and wider every day, Janessa. It’s not a way I want to live. I want to live more simply.”

“I get it.” She says, and she does and she doesn’t and they both know that.

“I need my medicine” by Sasha on her balcony

Saturday July 14, 2018
7:55pm
5 minutes
overheard at Genavie’s house 

I need my medicine, Charlie! I need it right now! If you don’t bring me my medicine, I’m gonna divorce you, Charlie! CHARLIE! Oh. There you are. Thank you. Thank you so much. You know that I can’t make it down the stairs on bad days and today is a bad bad day! Charlie? Are you upset? Why do you look irritated? Are you – … Are you angry? Doctor said that you’d need to pay extra close attention during healing and that means medicine every three hours. You know that. How could you possibly be irritated?! Shit. It’s almost three thirty. Bella and Jeffrey need to be picked up because Hennie is at chemo! You have to go. The drugs haven’t kicked in yet!

“Mixed Media-Pastels-Drawings-Photos” by Julia outside her apartment

Tuesday July 10, 2018
11:02pm
5 minutes
http://www.johnmcalpineart.com

Tells me he can’t decide what kind of artist he wants to be
I wonder if he really has a choice
Not to say you can’t do more than one kind of art
That’s like saying you can’t ever cut your mushrooms tail first
There’s no one way to do art but I want him to know
the kind of artist he is
What he stands for
What he looks at
What he sees
What he wants to say
Or fuck
What he must
He can paint and take photos and write
He can dance and sing and sew
He can sculpt and build and carve
He can dream and drink and draw
He can also be true to himself
He can cut the mushrooms lengthwise
Down the middle
In slices
In quarters
In bits
Regardless
Mushrooms are a part of this
The dish called for them
It wasn’t really up to him

“Where every member is a minister” by Sasha at her desk

Monday July 9, 2018
10:03am
5 minutes
from a business card

She dreams of parliament. She dreams of platforms. She dreams of knowing how to articulate all the change that she wants to make and that everyone listens. She dreams she’s speaking to a cabinet of women. Some are stretching. Some are breastfeeding. Some are rolling their eyes. Some are interrupting. She dreams that they find their way. She dreams of a world where she might prioritize childcare, elder care, health care. CARE. She dreams of being allowed to fail and that failure won’t haunt her. She dreams of risk. She dreams of loss. She dreams of calling another leader and deciding she will unleash the tidal wave of wrong-doings.

“I do not know how to smile” by Julia at Oak and Broadway

Sunday July 8, 2018
11:02pm
5 minutes
From a text

I want the world to know that I wont be smiling from here on out. I wont be laughing either, in case you were curious. I have been smiling and practiced smiling and I have done a good job but now that’s over. No more giving away for free. That’s what I’ve been doing. And at first that felt good but then they started taking my smiles for free which is different than receivng them. Smiles shouldn’t cost anything and I’m the one who’s giving and paying. Forced smiles have cost me the most. When someone thinks they’re entitled to my smile, my good, my honest light. That’s when it leaves me dead and wondering. Maybe I should be saving them all for the children. They never take something worth so much for free.

“My parents expected brilliance” by Sasha at the desk in her hotel room

Thursday July 5, 2018
11:39pm
5 minutes
In Praise Of Incompetence
Lauren Slater

My parents never spoke their expectation of brilliance, but it was implied.
It was implied through their own self reflection, striving to always be better, do better. It was implied through how they spoke to me. It was implied through the dinner table and the art room and the backyard games.

Maybe I’m making this up. I lie, after all. We do. Don’t pretend that you don’t. Maybe my expectation of brilliance came innately, emerged inherently, was a natural trait. Maybe my parents, bless them and their wild hearts, had nothing to do with it.

Wouldn’t you say that this is the debate of adulthood? Wouldn’t you say that at a certain point you maybe go,

“This is who I am, by fluke or by nurturing, and I’ve gotta figure out how to do life regardless?”

“Angel texted” by Julia at the studio

Wednesday July 4, 2018
12:26pm
5 minutes
V.I.P. Tutoring
Vanessa Hua

Angel texted, told me to look where I was going and to read while sitting down. It made sense. The text was very much related to a thing I was about to do carelessly. It came right on time.
Angel is always watching over me. I think she thinks she has to. She thinks she has to cause her name tells her she should. I tend to listen to what Angel has to say. If she tells me to wait until the next morning to make a hard decision, I listen. Angel knows how to get me right in the soft. She sent me an e-mail yesterday after waking up at the crack of dawn. She said the sky was “milk-blue” and it melted me. I love when milk is used to describe things, like the sky. I picture Angel knowing more about the sky than anywhere else. Maybe I think she’s from there and her name was given because her mother was a clairvoyant and there’s magic and stardust in her smile. I might name my kid Sunshine so she brightens up people wherever she goes and everyone thinks she’s ‘of the sun’ because her name makes them believe. I could name her Honesty so people are reminded to look inward. But that might be too heavy a burden to carry. What if there is shame? What if she reminds people they have lived in this life with secrets? Maybe she’d remind everyone that we have all lives our lives with secrets.

“isolated, alienated, and uncomfortable” by Sasha on her balcony

Wednesday June 27, 2018
8:12am
5 minutes
From quillette.com

You died seventeen months ago. I count in months because years doesn’t give the weight. I stopped counting in weeks, in days, because that felt too heavy. There probably hasn’t been a minute that I haven’t thought of you, a whole sixty seconds. No way.

Pete said that you basically killed yourself, that you wanted to die. I said I wasn’t sure about that.

I play your guitar on the front porch and sometimes the cat from across the street comes and rubs against my legs. Is it you?

I saw the light only for a slippery moment – somewhere between here and there. I saw that I’m not fit to love again, not yet, I’m not fit to wife another husband, not yet.

“Greet me at the gate” by Julia in her bed

Tuesday June 26
10:40pm
Green
Nikki Sharp

Glad you could make it, I’m so glad you’re here.Got a typewriter from Anne Marie Lossing, do you remember her? Big hair, bigger teeth? She was going through the trash cans in the alley and someone was throwing one away, can you believe it? Says it works too, good as can be given the circumstances. Did you want to write something? I could make some tea and some cake. Well the cake I would reheat. I won’t have time to make a cake for you now, but did you want that, would you like that? It’s been a while since you’ve seen something floating around in there worth holding on to. If you don’t like Anne Marie’s typewriter, that’s okay. I won’t tell her. She always liked your sense of humour, you know. I think she respects you a lot more than you might realize.

“gros bisous!” by Sasha on her balcony

Monday June 25, 2018
9:36pm
5 minutes
​from an e-mail​

Mike makes eyes at me across the bar and my stomach drops. Am I going to shit my pants?! FUCK. I go to the bathroom. Pull down my shorts. All good. All safe.

“Why are you so weird around him?” Bec asks and I just hit her on the arm a bit harder than usual.

“Hey Alison, how’s it goin’?” Why does he come here? Why does he do this? Why is he here? Take. Me. Away. I vacate my body and I fly above us and I see how I’m sweating in every crevice and he’s salivating and we’re both remembering.

“When do you go back to London?”

“Not until August… We still got time…”

“You never had my time – “

“I beg to differ – “

“Fuck you.”

“Woah…”

Bec comes over and all she heard was the “fuck” part she didn’t hear the rest she didn’t hear the thunder.

“I have two more weeks to pack” by Sasha on her balcony

Saturday June 23, 2018
9:10pm
5 minutes
From a text

I have two more weeks to pack. I have TWO WEEKS! STOP LOOKING AT ME LIKE THAT! fucking hate packing, truth be told, and anyone who says that they enjoy it is a liar. Really! I mean what is there to like? You’re faced with all of your shit that is haunted with all the bad choices that you’ve made, and you always find a photo you wish you didn’t still have or a card or something… Every time I move, I get rid of tons of stuff but then by the time I move again I’ve accumulated an equally hideous amount of shit. I hate it! UGH! Wanna help me do it?! I’ll get boxes from the wine store and I’ll order pizza and I’ll love you forever?!

“in that beautiful mind” by Julia on her patio

Wednesday June 20, 2018
8:56pm
5 minutes
All Of Me
John Legend

I used to fantasize about making out with you. And kind of fucking you in the bathroom but never telling anyone about it. I have a feeling you would have preferred to be doing it than people thinking you were and I wouldn’t want anyone to know. Our bodies are too similar in size and maybe that’s part of why I like the idea of us and why there never was an us. I think you’d be good for the record, but you come off in groups like you don’t think you’d deserve it and be so afraid to just slap my ass or kiss me like you mean it. Maybe that’s what I told myself so I wouldn’t be tempted to flirt with you. You were an easy target in that way. Innocuous. Bug spray. I have thought about you seldom since because I’m not sure that I’m wrong. I want you to be bad. I guess that’s the fun of fantasies. You get to make a good one into a midnight mystery tour and be as bad as you think you are with someone who you believe would bend over backwards to sleep with you. Maybe you wouldn’t. Maybe you’d say no if I cornered you in the bathroom. I don’t think I’m wrong. But. I guess we’ll never know for sure.

“Rule # 17: Act a little stupid.” By Julia at the studio

Thursday June 14, 2018
5:03pm
5 minutes
The Queen Of Hearts
Kathleen Hawes

She is desperate to speak to someone in French. She goes over to Chantal’s desk because Chantal will talk to anyone and she wants to speak French too. Le Sandwich. I understopd that one, Sans Probleme. Whatever. Let them speak in the secret language that I should know after four years of taking it in high school. After getting the French award at my grade 8 graduation.

At first I thought she was a miserable cunt who hated that I shared a cubicle with her. Maybe she thought I typed too loudly. Maybe she resented my youth. I can see now she might not have known how to express herself properly in English. I wish I didn’t spend so much time hating her back.

She smiles at me on her way to Chantal’s desk. She puts a little French in my name as she passes.

“The American imagination” by Sasha at her desk

Friday June 8, 2018
10:23am
5 minutes
Poetic Justice an Interview with Camille T. Dungy 
Airica Parker

The American poses beside his sports car. He leans down. Pats the head of a chocolate poodle. The American laughs at your jokes when his mouth is full of steak, and then covers up and says, “How rude. You’re just so funny!” And you are. You don’t need him to tell you. The American upgrades his phone twice a year. He wears bespoke cologne that a perfumerie in Paris blended just for him. The American’s imagination is dotted with dollar signs, traced with ambition, dusted in gasoline, fingerprints of those who work to make his life happen.

“I liked watching him BBQ” by Julia in her bed

Thursday June 7, 2018
11:38pm
5 minutes
From a text 

He flips the portobello and my lip risks a twitch
I want to know what he’s thinking
If you could have any superpower…
And he says flying without missing a beat
And I say Let me be invisible
And he asks me why
He does not miss beats
Not any of them
And I say so I can watch people living when they think they’re alone…
He presses down on the mushroom with the tongs and it gives them a little sizzle
I want to be able to see what is going on inside their heads
But why not say your power is mind-reading? That’s what it is.
Because thoughts have the same super power as you do
They never stay too long to be seen
Someone walking back and forth?
That’s forever

“literally naked, mopping, and crying ‪at midnight‬” by Sasha at her kitchen table

Sunday June 3, 2018
10:55pm
5 minutes
Quoted by Sienna Miller

Mopping the floors at the end of the night is my favourite part of running a bar. I used to like the conversations that I’d have with customers – giving advice about unruly preteens, counselling on break-ups, weighing in on the best marinara recipe. That used to be my favourite part. But things change, we change. Now, after two, once everyone has left, I turn the music up loud. Maybe Sade or Tina Turner. Whitney if I’m feeling extra. I fill the bucket with water and a few drops of soap. It gets really sudsy. I’ve already put all the stools and chairs on top of tables. I dance with the mop and sing and take my time. I take my time.

“Go paint yourself” by Sasha on her couch

Friday June 1, 2018
10:21pm
5 minutes
From a L’Oréal ad

Third grade recess. Teacher calls me out for wearing purple mascara that I stole from my aunt’s medicine cabinet when I went to visit her in New York City.

I didn’t know that it was purple, or I wouldn’t have taken it. Teacher says,

“Why are you wearing make-up?! You’re just a kid! Wash that off right now!”

So I went inside and tried to get it all off but it was hard, it was clumpy, it was attached.

“Monika! You’ve got purple all over your face!” Javier whispers. He’s got my back. Bless him.

“Like you’ve never seen her” by Julia in her bed

Thursday May 31, 2018
12:35am
5 minutes
allure magazine May 2017

She is the light in the room you read by

The harvest in the moon you can count on

She came back from the below with a glow so bright it makes you wear one of those gigantic visors

She’s not comparing herself to who’s smiling bigger

She wonders what she did yesterday instead. She has been comparing herself to the wind and to her first self.

She’s so bright she zigzags through the room. Like lightening sucking on a breath mint.

People pay attention to her.

They always seem to know that she’s got pop rocks in her blood. That she shows up to herself everyday even if she had a bad thing happen.

She doesn’t know about excuses

Or blame

The alarm goes off and she rises to meet the day.

“Like you’ve never seen her” by Sasha at her kitchen table

Thursday May 31, 2018
8:56pm
5 minutes
allure magazine May 2017

You’ve never seen her lit up like this. You stand back and watch her, across the room, laughing, brushing her hair out of her eyes, sipping her soda water. You wonder what kind of mother she’ll be. A good one, obviously, but you wonder what her patience will be like. She can get snippy. You don’t idealize motherhood, or parenthood, or any of it. You know it’s going to be the hardest thing you’ve ever done. You close your eyes and breathe in this fall night, with these people you love, and the sausages on the grill, the asparagus salad, the Bahamas on the stereo. She catches your eye and calls you over.

“a sleek white line” by Sasha on her couch

Sunday May 27, 2018
10:10pm
5 minutes
Are You Really An Artist?
Leah Burns

I first notice Steve’s expression as he’s carving a chicken. It’s Sunday. Emma and Bobby are home for dinner. Steve picked them up at Emma’s dorm, even though Bobby’s off campus now. Emma was chattering on about intramurals, and I saw it – this vacancy – sweep across Steve’s face. I’ve known Steve for forty two years, right, like, we met when we were five years old. We’ve been married for twenty… You’d think I’d have seen every expression that that man can muster! Nope. It was like a tumbleweed could’ve swept across his cheeks. He was gone.

“Hon?!” I said, scared he might slice off his finger.

“Like the radio waves” by Sasha at her kitchen table

Thursday May 24, 2018
10:49pm
5 minutes
The Use of Media in Documentary
Carol Martin

You snake your way through the winding streets and are so relieved by the fact that you don’t speak the language and can’t understand a single thing you hear. You’ve never been in a place like this. You smell fish, and ginger, and scallions, and almost get hit by a whole family on one bicycle. Everything is loud. Everything is roaring. Everything is thunder. You can’t believe you’ve never travelled outside the country you were born in. Small-minded. Small-fated. Your mother wanted more for you, but she never told you that, so you had to discover it like you discovered this. Late.

“Modern medicine clashes” by Sasha on her balcony

Thursday May 17, 2018
8:43pm
5 minutes
from The Observer (UK)

“You must be Mrs. Macarthy? It’s nice to meet you, I’m the resident who assisted Dr. Chokrany in Stephen’s surgery. I’m pleased to say that it was a success, and your husband is in post-op and he should be waking up in the next hour or so…”

“Hi Mom, I only have a minute and – … No, Mom. I don’t get long weekends. I’m – … Mom, I only have a minute so please let me finish. I didn’t get the fellowship in Halifax so I won’t be back for Gus’ wedding… Mom. Calm down. I, I – … Shit, I have to go. I’ll call you back when I’m out of surgery. I love you.”

“Babe? I’m going to be late… I’m sorry… I, I – … It’s been a long fucking shift, okay, and – … I’ll be home by ten at the latest.”

“Are you Sue Rothstein’s son? Hi, I’m Dr. Gold, I’ve just come out of the OR and I’m so sorry to say that your mother’s tumour had spread into her brain far more intensely than we could see from the imaging. She didn’t make it through surgery. I’ll give you a minute, and if you have any questions – … We always do our best, that always what we do… I’m sorry for your loss.”

“Intelligent, quirky, passionate” By Sasha at her desk

Tuesday May 15, 2018
10:13pm
5 minutes
from Quill and Quire

Welcome to Search-and-Love and thank you for joining our community. Setting up your profile is going to take some time, but you can save as you go and come back to it as many times as you need to. Remember that the love of your life is going to see what you write here, so make it count. We congratulate you on taking your love life, and your future, into your own hands.

“I don’t think this is for me,” you say, and you’re right in some ways.

“Of course it is! Come on! It’s now or never!” I pat your arm.

“It hasen’t even been a year, Kel…” Tears fill your eyes and I –

“We’ve talked about this a million times. You have to get back on the horse. You’ll go on a few dates and you’ll see how you feel! If you hate it, you’ll take your profile down. Okay?”

Now, let’s start easy – describe yourself in three words.

“My mom calls him that” by Sasha at her kitchen table

Monday May 14, 2018
1:13pm
5 minutes
from a text

“Scrub-a-dub”. That’s what Mom used to call Dustin. He hated bath time, he hated water. He didn’t even want to drink it. Mom would have to add a splash of cranberry juice to his water bottles that she’d send to school. If it was straight water he simply wouldn’t drink it. Kira and I used to joke that he’d have a heart attack if he ever fell into a bath, or the lake.

“Come on, scrub-a-dub,” Mom would say, trying to distract him or something, trying her best to get him to bathe. He would scream and cry. He would tantrum. She’d usually resort to a sponge bath. We didn’t know that Dustin had a lot of other fears, too. We didn’t know what was going to happen.

“Manifest plainness” by Julia in her bed

Sunday, May 13, 2018
6:19am
5 minutes
From a quote on by Lao Tzu

The colour is right
Light pink, baby blue, hazy orange

The wake up is long
pushing the eyelashes open slowly
almost drifting off and farther away

The label on the alarm is a message from past me, wisdom and honesty
Please Write. I Love You.
And it works by the time I travel there

Eyelids weigh a wet feather or a hundred pounds and we take it easy
The body machine is working hard at staying up to see the seagulls swooping close to the window but not quite
The body machine is looking for excuses to stay asleep

One eye open, seeing the room through a dream