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Michele Mobley in Her Van: Grace Ann Leadbeater

Michele Mobley in Her Van: Grace Ann Leadbeater

Eggs of Amos's Mom's Maine Chickens: Grace Ann Leadbeater

Eggs of Amos's Mom's Maine Chickens: Grace Ann Leadbeater

Untitled: Maryna Shtanko

Untitled: Maryna Shtanko

Untitled: Masahiro Ishida

Untitled: Masahiro Ishida

Untitled: Masahiro Ishida

Untitled: Masahiro Ishida

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Untitled: Masahiro Ishida

Untitled. Bowling Green, Ohio: Jacob Church

Untitled. Bowling Green, Ohio: Jacob Church

Embodiment—Salvaging a Self Series: Sue Palmer Stone

Embodiment—Salvaging a Self Series: Sue Palmer Stone

Glassface: DMT

Glassface: DMT

Something Very Fundamental Series: Disha

Something Very Fundamental Series: Disha

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Untitled: Nathalie Basoski

OKAY?

You always walk with your back straight, I’m often hunched.

You have those skinny ankles, that flat stomach.

That chest; puffed up, sunken in, both.

You walk like you mean to be doing just that, like you could burst into a healthy run at any moment.

You have that hair, that hair, that hair.

Clothes sit like they live there, live on you, in you, the threads intertwined with the veins of your forearm.

I walk by you.

I don’t see you.

I see only me.

You are by me, in me, of me? But not me. Never me,

I want you to explain yourself!

I read your memoir, you wore blue jeans that fit your waist like a square.

And the truth is, I hate you, even though my daddy always said never to hate. I do, I hate you and I wish I could meet you. Maybe someday but not right now, okay?

Jennifer Klockner

Where We Procreate and Where We Die, 2021: Margaret Liang

Where We Procreate and Where We Die, 2021: Margaret Liang

Work in Progress: Lakshan Dharmapriya

Work in Progress: Lakshan Dharmapriya

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Plainfield, VT 2018: Reuben Radding

Nolan with Jewelweed: Evan Allan

Nolan with Jewelweed: Evan Allan

Something Very Fundamental Series: Disha

Something Very Fundamental Series: Disha

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Untitled. Toledo, Ohio: Jacob Church

Untitled. Toledo, Ohio: Jacob Church

American Dream: Miranda Clark

Work in Progress: Lakshan Dharmapriya

Work in Progress: Lakshan Dharmapriya

True or False: Grace Ann Leadbeater

True or False: Grace Ann Leadbeater

Untitled: Maryna Shtanko

Untitled: Maryna Shtanko

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Something Very Fundamental Series: Disha

Iceberg pgm-1: Luke Harby

Iceberg pgm-1: Luke Harby

Below the Monkey, 2021: Margaret Liang

Below the Monkey, 2021: Margaret Liang

Untitled. Toledo, Ohio: Jacob Church

Untitled. Toledo, Ohio: Jacob Church

Work in Progress: Lakshan Dharmapriya

Work in Progress: Lakshan Dharmapriya

On the Old Property: Evan Allan

On the Old Property: Evan Allan

Savannah at Dusk: Grace Ann Leadbeater

Savannah at Dusk: Grace Ann Leadbeater

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Embodiment—Salvaging a Self Series: Sue Palmer Stone

Wardrobe Three: Miranda Clark

Wardrobe Three: Miranda Clark

Wardrobe One: Miranda Clark

Wardrobe One: Miranda Clark

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Work in Progress: Lakshan Dharmapriya

Work in Progress: Lakshan Dharmapriya

Work in Progress: Lakshan Dharmapriya

Untitled: Nathalie Basoski

Untitled: Nathalie Basoski

Still Life in Condesa: Grace Ann Leadbeater

Still Life in Condesa: Grace Ann Leadbeater

Untitled: Maryna Shtanko

Untitled: Maryna Shtanko

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Embodiment—Salvaging a Self Series: Sue Palmer Stone

Fat Strawberries: Grace Ann Leadbeater

Fat Strawberries: Grace Ann Leadbeater

Sweet's Burial: Grace Ann Leadbeater

Sweet's Burial: Grace Ann Leadbeater

Something Very Fundamental Series: Disha

Something Very Fundamental Series: Disha

Embodiment—Salvaging a Self Series: Sue Palmer Stone

Embodiment—Salvaging a Self Series: Sue Palmer Stone

Potomac, MD 2017: Reuben Radding

Potomac, MD 2017: Reuben Radding

Untitled. Toledo, Ohio: Jacob Church

Untitled. Toledo, Ohio: Jacob Church

Untitled. Toledo, Ohio: Jacob Church

Untitled. Toledo, Ohio: Jacob Church

YESTERDAY, IT RAINED..

My love,

 

     I woke up today not knowing how or what to feel. I remember, vividly, you telling me not to start my day off in conflict. Going on about how it deteriorates my face, or even more so, how it ruins my mind. And to that, I respond with a nod and an ‘I understand’ as I continue to perform the same ol’ tricks over and over again. But you must forgive me, I promise, I do try. It is just -- difficult, very difficult. Fear not though, the world won’t be getting rid of me anytime soon. I have too many things I need to get off of my chest. This letter to you, being one of them. My fingers haven’t lost signs of life, and my legs still shake with excitement. As I climb up the highest mountain on this planet, I can feel my heart racing. I reach the top, and my lips tremble before, finally, opening. I shout out at the world: I was here. I am here. I will always be here. 

     When I say, ‘my love’, I hope you recognize that I truly do love you. I’m trying to, at least. We have our ups and downs but I’ll always try for you. I won’t give up on you because I know too many people have. The same way you’ll never give up on me. But, let me apologize for getting carried away. I’m not writing you to discuss our relationship. 

     My love, I’m writing to you because although I speak of bravery and ‘shouting from mountains’ as I call it, I’m terrified. The other day, I was walking downtown and something caught my eye: a large flower bush with violet petals that carried the same radiance and ability to strike one down in his tracks that you, too, carry. I went up to the bush, and I reached out to take a petal, but I stopped myself. I didn’t want to ruin it. Not that I view myself as some sort of demon, but it was perfect the way it was. There was no need to change its current state in any way. I walked off into the rest of my day. Forty-eight hours later, the petals had begun to wilt. Another twenty-four hours, and they’d completely fallen off of the bush, onto the sidewalk.

Yesterday, it rained.

Today, the streets are dry.

Yesterday, ducks were floating in the water.

Today, they are gone.

Yesterday, everyone was outside.

Today, the city is lifeless.

Yesterday, I had hope.

Today, I do not.

Don’t you understand what I’m trying to say, my love? The times are changing. We’re growing old. Unfortunately (and fortunately), we’re not the kids we used to be.

I once knew a man whose life changed in an instant, just as it could for any of us. He’d been in an accident on the highway. His wife was in the passenger, and his son was in the backseat. Luckily enough, he survived. His family did not. The accident occurred at midnight. I cannot speak about where they were coming from or where they were headed, for I do not know. I can only tell you the facts, the truth.

Yesterday, they were alive.

Today, they are gone.

Work in Progress: Lakshan Dharmapriya

Work in Progress: Lakshan Dharmapriya

A mere second was the variable that would erase a collective of years and years. Time can be so cruel. (He must’ve been thinking this).

With only a bloody nose and a bit of a limp, he roamed the streets.

Time can be cruel, my dear.

Oh, time can be cruel.

I don’t know what the man was thinking; a million thoughts at once, or nothing at all? We’ll never know.

I don’t know where he found the willpower to continue on. Maybe, he couldn’t face what was right in front of him, and he had to escape -- away. Somewhere far away from it. As human beings, we tend to do that.

If he could make it back home, maybe things would’ve been how they were before.

Maybe his family would be there, waiting for him.

A facade.

You see, I tell you these things, not to ruin your day or fill you with despair, but to further emphasize to you: this is the world, in its truest form. This terrifies me. The thought alone makes me feel so small and hopeless. I don’t want to be a memory for you. I don’t want to be used as an artifact to ‘keep you going’. I want to be here -- with you.

Today, we are here.

Tomorrow…

Elijah Winfield

Birth, 2021: Margaret Liang

Birth, 2021: Margaret Liang

Lover, 2021: Margaret Liang

Lover, 2021: Margaret Liang

They Say Love is Forever: Miranda Clark

They Say Love is Forever: Miranda Clark

Embodiment—Salvaging a Self Series: Sue Palmer Stone

Embodiment—Salvaging a Self Series: Sue Palmer Stone

Thank you for reading.

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Delilah Twersky

Pearl Press

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