2024 – Spring

A Tiny Funeral

Author: Salomé Emilie Streiff

Like a jazzman playing on a saxophone, she said. I came back in the class. Her dress moves above the scar on her knees. I notice her hands move to the pace of her voice in perfect sync. She continues to dance with her voice, her fingers run a well-executed choreography.   

Hopeful of something else, she said. I came back in the class.

How many of you underlined it in your text, she asked. I came back in the class again.

I went away and came back multiple times during the hour-and-a-half lesson. I failed to listen; I was constantly brought back to my body. The ache in my neck was growing louder. And the rash on my left elbow was calling for my full attention. The dead butterflies in my stomach were moving to the rhythm of my breath. I had in my body the unbearable weight of thousands of corpses. I wanted to cough them out of me, but it was pointless – their minuscule bodies were too decomposed to be ejected. It felt as if we already merged. I was partially dead. I wanted to move on. Have a wake or a funeral or something symbolic to put their tiny existence into a tiny coffin and bury them in tiny holes in a tiny graveyard right under a tiny oak tree. I was ready to write a profound and extremely long eulogy if it was the price to pay to get rid of them. I would try to make it profound and extremely long. I would put on a modest black dress, with a turtleneck and long sleeves, that would stop under my knees. I would not please the gaze of anybody but the grieving police. They would say: ‘What a sorrowful widow’, with a nod of approval. And I would have a tear ready to roll from my right eye, it would stand on the front line like an athlete. I would shake hands with strangers and relatives, I would have a nice word for everyone. ‘Thank you for coming’ ‘It means a lot, thank you.’ ‘Oh, it’s lovely, thank you so much.’ ‘I’m so sorry for your loss too.’ ‘They were so lively, I never thought they would leave.’ I would have the tip of my nose painted red as if I had blown it all night. My face would be puffed. I would stand and walk slowly to the altar, as a bride prepared to say her vows, her hands shaking. I would mention the first encounter I had with them. The surprise, the confusion. ‘Was I sick?’ I would talk about him. His gentleness. The kindness with which he talked. How his eyes caressed the world and captured its beauty. I would probably pause before mentioning his laugh and subtle jokes, the way he styled his hair and how he picked his socks from the drawer. I would not talk about his flaws, about his parents who talked too much or how his brother was their grandparents’ favourite. I would not talk about the friends who died along the way and the loneliness in some of his days. I would not talk about his difficulty in finding the words to express or know his own feelings. I would keep them in my heart, guard them like treasures and they would not hear it from me. Instead, I would stand tall, holding my hand, fingers crossed. I would say how I loved him and how he loved me, I would say how much he loved his friends and family, how he would smile when talking about his nephew and niece, how he would smile at my silly jokes, how he would dance with her head to cinematic music. I would probably tell in silence the memories that are too private to be shared. I would stop mid-sentence without telling its end. Through that silence, people would understand the weight of your love, the pureness of the scar on your hip, the strangled laughs when I awkwardly kissed his belly to mess with him, the intimacy of his hand in my hair, the joy of making love in the sofa of his apartment, the way he mended my soul, and I helped him to grow. I would stop there with silence. I would say that I loved him. I love you in a whisper. And they would all cry. I would use a tissue to blow my nose and touch my left cheek to erase the tears. I would leave my right cheek and her lonely tear to bear witness to my sorrow. If it was the price to pay, I would listen to everyone’s heartfelt eulogy and have even kinder words to the ones who ever hurt him, I would forgive them if it was the cost asked. I would thank God for the moments shared without anger. I would renounce it if it meant they would go away. I would pray religiously and with fervour until the last decaying corpse was out of me. I would be content with nothing. No other true love, just the absence of ache. I would not ask for happiness; peace would be enough. 

What did you underline, she asked. I looked at my text. 

The paragraph about grief and selflessness.

Did you agree with the author?

No, I said. I think there is nothing selfless about grieving. But I loved the metaphor of the butterfly.

2024 – Spring


Author: Salomé Emilie Streiff

I lie in bed for hours on end. I play pretend with the shadows. They wear your face and if I close my eyes, I cannot see any differences. He is unconventionally handsome. His eyes are the colours of dreams, everchanging. Sometimes brown like the darkest secrets, often blue like true hopes and now and then golden like first kisses. His hands are covered in scars, from glass shards he picks on the floor when every party ends. He cleans the sharp ends to protect the sleeping lovers who crash on couches and every surface that will accept the taste of infinity that lies in their brief arms. His arms are soft like plums and he tastes like candy. I fell in love with the kindness with which he cares for others. I see him in the dried tears of rest after a fight, in the yawn of kids in the park and in the naked trees whose hands touch the skies that wait for their snowy dress. I lie in bed for hours on end. I dance with the shadows with our favourite song on repeat. Do you kiss them thinking it was me? Do you wake up hoping it had been me with the guilt purring on your lap? I write my questions down, worrying about the pace of the earth in our universe. The sun rises before it sets again. He is back. His face looks like yours tonight. He puts the cover over our naked bodies, fixes my hair and lets me fall back in his arms. The sun rises, and in the shadows, I smell your perfume. I could swear it was real. In a sense it was. The space between the worlds, where love is never shared and memories are never frozen. The sun sets,and the earth pursues to chase itself on this never-ending carousel. One day, there will be a little girl. Her laughs will harmonize with yours, and her eyes will look like his. I will spend my nights praying until my breath becomes a psalm. She will grow with the bliss of ignorance that pushes children to look like their parents, she will ache and dance in the same dusty sweat that lives in the bedrooms. She will have your dimples, with treasures hiding behind each smile, but she will follow his steps to the rhythm of the stars. She will always call you dad, but she will spend a lifetime running after him, treasuring each encounter. She will be the daughter of love and dreams.

2024 – Spring

Things you can choose.

Author: H.S.

What can you choose? That is a question.
Here’s another: “What can you choose really?”
The subject of today is choice, which raises a question:
“What are some of the things you can choose?”

Birds can fly. Crows are birds, and so are doves.
Birds can choose to fly.
They can choose to fly in the day. They can choose to fly in the night.
Since crows and doves are birds, they can choose to fly in the day or in the night.

But you and I are not birds. But we can dream about them. I can. You can. You can choose to dream about being a bird (a crow or a dove) and whether you fly in the day or in the night.

There are many other things you can choose.

You can choose your height. You can choose to reach the upper shelf with your height. And if you outstretch your fingers, even higher.

You can choose your homeland. My point of origin is the sky when heaven is blue. And the sun when the sky is red. You can choose your motherland, and also your mother tongue. I chose to write “Things you can choose.” instead of “Brrrrt – tktktktktk pah!” which would be closer to what is happening in my mind.

All these words are fictional, but they are fun nonetheless.

You can choose your number of teeth.
That you can choose.

Making your face looking like your face.
You can choose.

Being bullied in school,
having ADHD,
growing up a boy,
That you can choose.

Being a boy or a girl.
That you can choose.

The shape of your sexual organs.
That you can choose.
You can choose the shape, the scent (or stench) it has, if it is bitter or sweet to the tongue.
You can choose how the veins slithers down the shaft, how hard it is when erect.
You can choose how moist it gets when wet, the aperture of the lips, is it more cauliflower or tangerine shaped?
All that you can choose.

Falling in love.
That you can choose.

You may ponder about choice, but in a poem about choice & being a boy & being a bird, my words bring me to love.

You can choose to fall in love.
Falling in Love with a Franco-American girl who grew in Cannes doing ballet school.
You can choose.

Breaking up with her.
You can choose.
Her breaking up with you.
That you can also choose.

One last thing:
Whether the rock reaches the bottom of the pond when you throw it in.
You can choose.

In a poem about choice my words take me to the colors of the sky, to birds, to sex, to love.
Those words were fun, but they were fictional.
Still, it is enthralling to think about the things you can choose.

2024 – Spring


Author: Iris Low

It is funny what an individual might do to feel close to another. What lengths they will go to compensate for the lack of unrequited feelings and desires. Sometimes I will watch a television series with a character that resembles them. Or I will read a book that somehow vaguely reminds me of them and our situation. And other times I will remember the smell of their perfume, find a bottle of it in a shop and spray the tester on a bookmark and place it in that very book in order to always be able to smell them, even when they are not there. Obsessions are a funny thing. That time- and energy-consuming capacity of remembering a myriad of pieces of information on one individual; the ability to think of them countless of times throughout each day and never get bored of them; the constant desire to touch and hold them that never fades. It makes me think of the first night spent with a lover, when you both can’t fall asleep, out of fear of missing out, since every moment spent together, even while just laying down and listening to each other breathe, is so precious. Strangely enough, as much time and energy these little obsessions may take from us, it is simultaneously these very same obsessions that make us feel alive.  

2024 – Spring


Author: Iris Low

I passed through a place I have been numerous times before, yet it was not until tonight that I noticed the crickets’ chant. It must have always been right there but I forgot to acknowledge it. It reminded me of the sleepless summer nights I spent listening to the crickets sing in that whitewashed house on the sea shore. It was a peaceful place, and in the mornings, when the crickets seemingly went to sleep or took a break from their night shift, it was the sound of the water caressing the sand that comforted me. Up until ten o’clock. That is when the waves started to crash on the shore, that is when they began their fit that would last the entire day, until nightfall. And that is when the crickets started singing; or at least louder than during the day, as though to compensate for the sea’s moan. And that sea water that tasted saltier than the food my grand-father would make, as I lied down on it, would slowly rock my body to sleep. I felt so peaceful in those moments, when the sun would dry off my face the few droplets of saltwater. I cannot go back to that place anymore. That place that used to be my compass whenever I got lost. All I have left is the memory of the crickets’ terrible singing and the sea’s roar, and the feeling of the sun warming up my face.

2024 – Spring


Author: Iris Low

Sometimes, they only last for ten minutes. Ten minutes in the most tranquil and picturesque of darknesses. I see the light reflecting on the leaves and stems, I can hear my feet stepping on the pebbles on the pathway home, and I can smell an air as fresh as the rain. It truly seems peaceful, only never have I heard silence this loud. The whole natural and embracing atmosphere strangles my lungs, those small, hollow tree branches in my chest turn into thorns. And that one streetlamp that looks like a stage light; I can feel its subtle warmth in front of the empty seats. No one likes clowns. And I stand there, on my empty stage, in front of my empty spectators’ seats and I am cold. I am cold because those evening walks are always cold, even during heatwaves. And as much as I puzzle my brains, I always fail to understand the reason I feel like this. I am surrounded by beauty and nothing particular has happened to trigger it, yet I feel empty. My chest feels like a huge empty mass. But it’s a heavy one. How could that be? So empty yet so crushing? And the shrieking trains that rush by every now and then, interrupting the silence? Well, those are as loud as the voices inside my head.

2024 – Spring

Those Spring Days

Author: MAB

Looking at the Spring sky, I wondered how long the good weather was going to last this time. Spring is the time for new beginnings and growth, yet also one of the most confusing seasons in recent years. Rain and sun. Snow and heat. Everything and anything at the drop of a hat. March is always cold, April is a coin toss between all the weather types, and May, everybody just wants it to be Summer. Spring’s weather might be turbulent, but there is no denying that on its better days, it is perfect. Lush green grass, flowers blooming, and a soft fragrance in a gentle breeze. A sky full of white fluffy clouds that do nothing to hide the baby blue sky. The sun is shining on me with the cool breeze stopping the temperature from being too hot. People write songs about their Summer days and while I do agree with those songs to some degree, it is nothing in comparison to those idyllic Spring days.

2024 – Spring

It claws at you

Author: Anonymous

It claws at you. At the back of your mind. Always. You don’t notice it, not really. Not usually. You are so used to it, that its constant nagging only really becomes noticeable when it becomes unbearable.

The first time it becomes unbearable you are surprised. Its poison slowly taking over your mind but quickly, quickly, quickly paralysing you from the inside out is unexpected. You stare at your page for hours on end, its poison hand in hand with the fear of failure numbing your brain. 

You learn that it is not as you thought. You did not take a bite out of a poisoned apple, but you were drip-fed the poison over two decades of constant belittling. The constant 

‘you are not good enough’
‘you are not trying hard enough’
‘you are not intelligent enough’
‘you are not enough’.

And later, when you find out why,

‘it is in your head’
‘it is not real’

Sometimes behind your back and from your peers, but oftentimes to your face and from your superiors. Those supposed to nurture. They plant the seeds and watch their weeds invade. 

But you don’t often notice it, not really. You have grown used to it. Over the years. The constant nagging becomes unbearable when you find something you love. When this something you love should be something you hate. But against all odds, you love it. You care. 

You have hopes and you have dreams, but you know that fulfilling them is unlikely. 

But for now, you fight. And you hope. 

2023 - Spring

The Face of Heaven & A Footnote

Image: © H.S.

Author: H. S.

The Face of Heaven

I HAVE BEHELD THE HAND OF HEAVEN and it was a sad sight. Deus Pater’s pathetic digits dumb, deaf, and stupid in the void – The hand that made the Alma Mater malleable, thus, malevolent – It made matter mortal, made earth deadening and dead again. That sad blind demiurge – the hand that made all. It clumsily assembled the governments of angels and let them fall through the cracks in the pavement. It made the pavement, it made the cracks in the pavement, it let the pavement crack! It made the border and the walls, it made the cracks in the wall, it made the desire to climb the wall, it made the wall ten feet tall but it sells twelve feet tall ladders. It made the phones numberless bright windows peering into the instant noodle faces of damnation. It made trains as long as the countless sorrows but as nimble as cat hairs. It made the wrinkles and the anti-aging cream. It made the vulvas pink, and the cocks blue. It made the war, it made the warriors, it made the weapons, it made the wounds, it made the salves. It made the war into infinite conflicts, unreal to all but the billion dead.

I HAVE BEHELD THE CRUEL EYE OF HEAVEN, forever unblinking, madly orbiting in its socket – a crazed headlight stuck in a dusty room, turning temptations into realities. Atomizing the hearts and souls of companions, redefining the circles of passions and touches and kisses and connections into infinitesimal dots in the great emptiness – Condemning us to an existence of insane gravitational trajectories parallel and thus never touching; perpendicular lines bumping once and never again to touch despite the infinite space to swerve. We are always watched by the cruel eye of providence lighting the room with gloomy particles of dust in its existential gaze. Its beam goes as far as headlights in the rain, blinding as it illuminates. Each pair of eyes that never blinked transmuting the milk-and-honey of existence into capri-sun and red bull. The eye of heaven nothing less than the thousand cameras inside the brains of Instagram models. Its eyelashes the curtains of your bathroom’s mirror. Its judgment the glasses of your mother. It looks at you through your eyes, it looks at you when you look at yourself in the mirror.

I HAVE BEHELD THE MOUTH THAT SPOKE THE FIRST WORD, and it was a belch. It was a snarl that spun the world, it was a burp that lit the stars, it was the grinding of teeth that terrorized the children into existence – it writhes in agony, its guts are empty although it keeps eating galaxies and solar systems and earths and continents and europes and switzerlands and neuchâtels – it begs mutely for more. Its mouth nothing but the numerous ministers and pastors and priests chanting and occulting each word with other words, sentences upon sentences of scatological pileups. It made them say, “the Kingdom is above, and it is after. God can make the camel fit through the needle’s eye.” The amateur journalists and conspiracy theorists are its spokespersons, an unsealed scroll of false prophetic voices monologuing with empty faces surrounded by halos of light visible in their pupils. It made all discourses equal. It knows nothing but talks plenty. Its voice is heard in political debates and comment sections. It talks to itself alternatively as the expert and the fool, making both feel equally uninformed. It made both parts of the debate manifest, conveniently keeping the third occult communist part forgotten. It is the Socially anxious showing of teeth which amount to socializing. Socialization is just smiling, and smiling is just showing your teeth.

I have seen the face of god and it was a miserable sight.

A Footnote to the Face of Heaven

Be not afraid of the cruel face of Heaven, but rather pity and pardon. Do not hate, nor rage against the face of Heaven.

PITY THE HAND OF HEAVEN, it is an awkward potter. Ignorant but willing. It made matter malleable, perishable, but innocent. It made a kitty named Mittens, and it made it purr so softly. It made wasps curious, and with their insectile snout tickle the eggplants in your sandwich. It made itself into all its creations, but it forgets itself.

PITY THE EYE OF HEAVEN, it is dry and dazed by the horror it sees spinning in front. It has no eyelids, and its gaze is a headlight. Condemned by itself to never sleep but always seek solace in shades it can never find. It wants to see itself to ascertain that it is real, but it forgets itself.

PITY THE MOUTH OF HEAVEN, it has appetite, but no stomach. It eats to feel companionship, but it can never be satiated. It asks many questions but it cannot hear any answers. It tries to sing but it has no ears. It tries to converse, but it is by itself in the void. It eats people, yet it remains unfulfilled. Because the streets are full, but they are empty. It talks to soothe itself, but it forgets itself.

PITY AND PARDON God, it forgets itself in its creations – He does not know that there are no virtues, and no sins. No goods, and no evils. No ups, and no downs. No men, and no women. He does not know that there is only ignorance and wisdom.

PARDON God, for he didn’t trap us willingly, but accidentally imprisoned himself with us, in us.

REMEMBER the Kingdom is not found in the sky; otherwise the birds would find it before you.

REMEMBER the Kingdom is not found in the sea; otherwise the fish would find it before you. 

REMEMBER the Kingdom is not found in the earth; otherwise the worms would find it before you.

REMEMBER the Kingdom is not found in you; otherwise you would have found it already.

REMEMBER the Kingdom is exactly where it cannot be found.

2023 - Spring


Image: “Gorgeous autochrome girl in bonnet, with dog” by whatsthatpicture. Source

Author: Leah Didisheim

[Content Warning: Missing person, Death]

“Has she come home yet? … No? … Where is she? … What do you mean you don’t know? How can you not know? … I swear sometimes you’re as useless as Myriam. … Well of course you should know! Do you even care that she’s gone? … Are you even searching for her, poor soul? For all we know, she could be in severe danger. Breaks my heart to think of her smile. She did have a beautiful smile, didn’t she? … What do you mean you haven’t thought of her smile? … Why aren’t you more stressed out? … I know it’s not the first time … But I’m telling you I can feel something is different this time around … Yeah, well, I’ll be sorry when you’ll prove me wrong! … Oh, but how I miss her … What do you mean I’m speaking as if she’s dead already? What else am I supposed to do? … Well believe what you will. I’ll keep on searching. I won’t stop worrying until she’s home. … Poor Lula… alone in the cold. … No she’s not just another teenager crossing her parents. That’s just not her. … Well, I’ve never known her like that… and God, Frank, even if she was, she’s just fourteen… Are we not supposed to love our children unconditionally? … Yeah, yeah, you say that, but where’s your love when it requires you to take action huh? … Look, I have to go. I can’t have the same argument again. Just please do something. … Yeah, I know you’re worried. You know how I get sometimes. I’ll call you tomorrow, ok? Or sooner if I hear anything.”

            She touched her cheeks, surprised to find them wet with tears. She hadn’t realised she had been crying. It must have been the tenth time she was listening to this conversation she had had with her brother on the phone. Yes, she had been the one laying her worries on the table. And yet she had never really trusted her own words. She had always thought Lula would call her, reassure her. Oh, how she could almost hear the tiny voice say “don’t worry, mummy, I’m safe. I’ll be home soon. Love you.” Maybe, in retrospect, Frank was the one being more realistic. It wasn’t that he was not worried, but maybe more that he had accepted the wicked truth. She hadn’t of course. Maybe she still didn’t. The proof was right there; she was still listening to this old phone conversation, always resenting herself for the way she had talked to her brother that day. But that conversation wasn’t going to change anything. She knew that. Of course, she knew that. And yet, today was no exception.  She had listened to the recording of that phone call again with the strong intention of it being the last time. She was going to delete it. She really was. But of course, this time again, she had locked her phone, the recording still there safe and sound. “Next time”, she thought. But of course, we all knew she wouldn’t. It had been three years already. And she was not any closer to deleting that phone call from her phone than she was to letting go of Lula’s memory.

2023 - Spring

A Well-Deserved Break

Image: “2018 March Art Challenge: Tennis shoes” by sarazambranotarriño. Source

Author: Leah Didisheim

[Content Warning: Medical intervention]

I had never noticed how my feet looked on the ground. I guess, with our busy lives we never have time to notice the little things. But since I was waiting here and I wanted to grab any chance at any distraction possible to forget the person not that far away on the table navigating between two worlds, I had started to look at my feet. When this is over, I’ll definitely buy a new pair of shoes. I owe myself that. If you had told me this morning this was going to happen, I would have made the most of it. I would have kissed them and said I loved them. But no, I had to hurry to take the kids to school, and go to work. And to be fair, he had to hurry too. We barely saw each other in the mornings anymore. It’s the evening we spent more time together. And still, our lives had become so busy that it was difficult to find each other on the same timeline. In any other circumstances, I would have been happy to ditch work to have a break. I guess I had never imagined my first break in six months would have been here. Scared to death of what was going to happen. And having to deal with sending messages about what was happening to people who cared. And the kids. What was I going to say to the kids. They’re so young. He was so young. No. No, no, no. He is so young. I looked up to see if any white lab coat were coming towards me. And if someone was, what was their eyes saying? Were they going to break me? To tell me I was a wid…? I couldn’t even bring myself to say the word. I could feel my heart hitting my chest, my breath speeding up. No, I wasn’t going to cry. Not now, not here. I looked up again, a white blouse was coming towards me. I held my breath.


It was the end of the day. Today hadn’t been so bad. Some days I had to think real hard to remember why I had chosen this life. Every new death was a new heart to break. That was my job. But then, other days, you could bring joy to the eyes of people waiting. I had that power. And these days I remembered. I looked at the clock. Three hours left and I could go home to my partner and my kid. And I heard yet another siren coming closer. I sighed. It had been a good day. The day when almost nothing bad happened. One could almost describe it as a quiet day. It appeared to be yet another heart attack. Poor guy, he seemed quite young. He was put on one of the beds and moved to the operation room right away. I started to go in, and just looked back for a second. I saw a woman holding her tears, probably the wife. I sighed again and looked up. Please, let me give her good news. I wasn’t religious but sometimes, when I didn’t know what else to do, I looked up and prayed. I didn’t want to go back home with another broken heart on the heart for not succeeding to heal a heart… I took the elevator and went to the operation room. I had done thousands of surgeries of this kind and it was usually going well. And he was still young, so it had to, hopefully, go well and quick this time too. I went in there and started the surgery. Most of the time I could have done it eyes closed. After about three hours – it was not as easy as I had hoped – it was over. I looked up again and sighed. He was going to recover but his life was definitely going to have to change…  I washed my hands and left. I took the elevator up again and moved towards his wife to tell her the good news. I smiled. I was not going to break another heart today.

2023 - Spring

The Velvet Seats

Image: © igorovsyannykov, Pixabay License, Source.

Author: Iris Low

Was it all a lie? How could it be since I saw and felt what you were too scared to utter? I’m not insane, I was there. I saw the way you looked at me, the way you longed for me. I felt the way you kissed me as though you couldn’t get enough of me, and I saw the huge smile your lips formed every time they parted from mine. I felt the delicate and precise way you touched me in circular and repetitive motions on every part of my body, as though you were trying to mentally scan in your memory every inch of my body, in its exact shape, size, and texture. I heard the vulnerable tremble in your voice, and I listened to your authentic confessions. I can still see, hear, and feel it all, as if it were still happening right now, before my own eyes. 

It is our motion picture, only I don’t feel like the protagonist anymore. I feel like the ghost dwelling amongst the spectators, trapped within the velvet seats, unable to dive back into the silver screen.

2023 - Spring


Image: © John_Nature_Photos, Pixabay License, Source.

Author: Iris Low

How lifeless do the small train stations here seem. With all the streetlights’ trembling glow, one would think to cross a face nearby. But there isn’t any. Not a soul. 

I can hear some cars driving by at a distance as they slowly fade away in dissonance with the crickets’ orchestra from the trees and bushes nearby. Funny how cold this place feels in the middle of summer. I feel swallowed in the deadening noises from afar, which sound so peaceful, regardless of their loneliness. And every now and then a train rushes by, but never stops. It is full of lights and full of life. Everything seems to rush by me these days and I never seem able to catch up. Just like those trains. Everything seems to go by, without ever stopping for me. That is how disconnected I feel about everything going on around me. Everyone is walking by and going about their day, and their life, while I feel stuck in the mud they stomp their feet on.

I know you were the one who always asked questions, but I wonder, how many people, do you think, have bid each other farewell on this gloomy platform? Was it a tearful one? Or was it dry? And how many people have reunited here? What did it feel like? Did they feel a rush down their spine when they embraced again? How long did they have to wait?

How long will I have to wait? You are leaving within a week. In four days we’ll be sharing our last goodbye on some other dark, cold, and lonely platform. Will you feel as shattered as I will? Do you even feel anything for me anymore? Anything at all? Or has my meaningless existence descended within the shrieking silence of your disinterest? I feel as though your affections for me have rushed by me like those trains, long, long ago. How could you have left me here? Was there no room left on the train for me? Or are you lingering on another forgotten platform too? 

Where can I find you? 

Which train must I take to reach you? 

I’ll take any train, any one that will lead me back to your arms. I miss their warmth. I miss feeling your fingertips on my back. Do you miss feeling your lips touching mine too? I miss your fragrance and I miss the soft timbre of your voice. I miss how young you made me feel. 

I miss dancing with you at the lake next to the ducks, like two children in love. In messy, really messy love. Two messy children in messy love. ‘Love’ or, ‘little white lie’, whatever you may call it. 

I miss listening to your heart drumming through your chest all the way to my ear; to my heart; to the very depths of my fragmented soul. Or whatever is left of it, I suppose.

I hope one day we’ll meet again. On the platform where souls intertwine, and sunflowers flourish in winter; under the moon’s crystal gaze.

2023 - Spring

Of Shattered Stars

Image: © DanaTentis, Pixabay License, Source.

Author: Iris Low

And while my skin slowly soaks in the filth of my fragile human existence, my mind wanders off back to the night you ran your fingers across my body and through my hair, while telling me about the human race being nothing more but a mere creation of broken stars. That human life and bodies are so utterly meaningless, that they are nothing more but conjured up atoms from the remains of ancient stardust. Perhaps we aren’t even the stardust’s essence but most likely the dust blown off of it instead. Ironic how within this discourse of the pathetic status of my existence did I finally find some comfort within the unease I feel every morning when my body awakes, and I realize I am still alive. Perhaps it is natural for us to feel constant pain since we appear to be, at the end of the day, nothing more than shattered stars. We are the remains of some light gone out long, way too long ago, and somehow, it is this poetic meaninglessness of my existence that gives me the will to keep on living.

2023 - Spring


Image: © Kathryn Coppola

Author: Furaha Mujynya

They pass you by in the streets, inhaling and exhaling the same air, for a few seconds… They are stuck in the warm moving car of a crowded subway, following an identical itinerary for a couple of minutes, until one of you steps out of the underground. They visit the same pubs, restaurants, and clubs, sometimes subtly brushing against your back, arm, or hand, as they make their way through the crowd. They shop in the same grocery store, bakery, and drug store, crossing your path as you fail to recognize them as the perpetual faces hovering around your daily life. More than strangers, they partake in the narratives of your unconscious, stealthily appearing in your dreams and quietly disappearing the moment you awake. They undertake minor roles, blending in with all the other nameless figures in the crowd. Sometimes, however, they possess a larger role in the meanderings of your brain – engendering even more frustration as you regain consciousness only to realize you are missing a key component of the story: the Face. Defeated, you start yearning for the revelation of this unknown identity. As if your dream was a vision of another reality or the key towards a magnificent future – rather than an entertaining illusion – you obsess over every little detail you can remember regarding this oddly familiar figure. Reminiscing over the startling affinity and comfort you felt with this stranger, you let your mind wander about the significance hiding behind this sentiment. As the morning gives way to the day, you slowly forget about this anonymous figure hiding in the depths of your subconscious. You go about your life, unaware that, with every step you take, you get closer to encountering the very person that has preoccupied your mind this entire morning. As the fateful meeting finally takes place, you remain unreactive, not even stopping for a second to look back at them. Unable to recognize this missed opportunity, you continue your day in ignorance. 

They walk past you on campus, in the city, breathing for a moment the same air as you. They sit across from you during a couple of minutes in the unheated roaming bus, until one of you gets up to leave. They visit the same cafés, festivals, and malls, sometimes slightly brushing against your back, shoulder, or hair, as they get across the crowd. They shop in the same supermarket, hardware store, and pharmacy, passing you by as you fail to recognize them as the recurring faces of your daily routine. Much more than familiar strangers, they are the ghosts hiding behind a fog of electronic screens and apps. Concealed by a sea of notifications and suggestions, these faces are nonetheless present on your every social platform – as your aunt’s Facebook friend, your colleague’s Instagram follower, your Snapchat friend recommendation, your mom’s LinkedIn connection and more. When you open your dating app, there appear the very faces you have spent all day ignoring. This face you choose to discard a second time around, swiping left on this fateful but anonymous figure you have tried so hard to remember. Not even feeling a sentiment of déjà vu, they remain nothing but a stranger. The protagonists of your subconscious’s fiction have managed to invade every aspect of your awoken life, whilst their identity still remains a mystery to you. Everybody in the streets becomes an unknown face with the potential of slowly creeping their way into the wandering thoughts of your subconscious – transforming into an actor in the intimate creations of your imagination.