Art by Kim Firoozan
On the horizon of the paper-thin sky, shadow buildings fill the skyline
The sky, almost white, with just enough blue to call it grey
From the window—miniscule, rolling waves, barely perceptible from the brick ledge
A ship slowly wends its way downriver, leaving white, white, white in its wake
The water, almost a mirror-glass, the greys and blues and whites of the winter sky
Closer to the shore, the mirror breaks, rippling with skyscrapers and sea-glass green
The frolicking waves beckon and tease, lurching restlessly under the icy docks
Shimmering with the muted light of the clouded sun
Holding a mirror-world full of mirror-skies and mirror-boats and mirror-cities and mirror-people
A mirror-universe where the lines are so blurred, it’s barely a mirror at all
But clear enough that the city’s outline is unmistakable
Just clear enough
To hold the winter sky
Art by Hiruni Kumari
imagine standing in a motionless line
heartbeat held fast in standstill.
force a smile, clench your jaw, say you're feeling fine.
tell yourself don’t worry, this is a customary drill.
you’re used to it, but your stomach is churning.
their eyes roam down until they meet yours
but inside your mind a fire is burning,
well wishing to fall deep through the floors.
praying pretty please with fingers crossed
you think of all the times you stood for hours
and all the games you had effortlessly lost.
imagine being told you are supposed to smell flowers,
“be more feminine,”
“girls aren’t supposed to speak up, girls don't fight back”
thinking of all the oppressed people hiding behind things you had read.
staring at blue light filtered screens, tears that made your body wrack.
feeling for someone you had never even met.
they had put your emotions into words that you could never express.
yet these feelings were old, too many copies faded vignette.
“maybe you should wear that pretty gingham dress”
maybe that’s why my eyes are glued to the floor whenever I walk into a room.
treading lightly, careful to leave precious things as they are.
maybe that’s why I now smell each rising flower as it blooms.
i’m just an ugly reflection of society, nothing special—an old memoir.
Art by Lea Shvarts
Eat humble pie.
What if i told you i didn't want to?
What if i told you you didn't have a choice?
You can’t make me do anything I don't want to.
Besides, I don’t even like pie.
I said you don’t have an option. I’ll force you.
I’m telling you now. You’re going to regret it.
You’re going to regret it.
This is it.
Needless to say, I’ve regretted it ever since.