June 24, 2012 § Leave a comment

Jackie Carlson

Her hands are much smaller with mine clasped around them. Our bodies are stiff, arms stretched out to full extension as we spin, fast, in a lopsided circle. Mom’s dresser tangled in jewelry swirls by then the patchwork comforter covering the bed, then the pink couch, and the doorway to the kitchen, back to the dresser. My eyes focus on her, she’s wearing a Winnie the Pooh nighty, it used to be mine. The pink fabric has almost faded to a white and the characters to a whisper of color, but it’s her favorite. Squished up into our combined fist and woven through our fingers is her blanket–yellow with tattered silk trim, dripping off the edge, Nunny; her blanket’s name is Nunny. We keep spinning. The new movie Titanic’s theme song, My Heart Will Go On, drones on in the background. It’s my new favorite song because our babysitter went to go see it with her friends but Mom told me I was too young for that– maybe when I’m older. As we spin, I let go of her grasp causing her to lose footing and fall to the ground. She stays down for a minute, but then smiles and get’s back up. She’s only four, I’m six. She pulls herself up and grabs on to my hands again, leaning to the right to start spinning. My eyes fill with water and tears begin to pour down my exhausted cheeks. What would I do if she went down and never got back up?


Jackie Carlson is a student at SUNY Cortland. She loves reading, eating, writing, and laughing.

Image: Rose, By Leigh-Anne Fraser



June 15, 2012 § 3 Comments

Benjamin Bouvet-Boisclair

My pen was quivering before I started to write. It may have been the Four Loko from last night that seems to carry a hangover of trembling hands; or, maybe it was my own plain shakiness when writing in public, at a desk, in class; or, it may have been my system being nervous about writing about a place I’ve never been to– her place. She called it her ‘loft.’ I bet it looked like her wardrobe– that worn forest green color she wore too often; it probably looked like music, like John Brown’s Body. It probably looked disorderly with a tint of clean. She probably draped some curtains over the window–curtains her mother probably made. I imagine, they might have been an ugly maroon no one but I would have liked. Her nightstand was probably stacked with borrowed books. She might have had an ashtray, but probably for things other than ash. Things like fortune cookie papers, pretty marbles, or change. It probably smells like her back does in the mornings. Blankets seem to peel our skin for their own. Every night I sleep alone I am reminded of how she and I smelled together: like a live acoustic band, something raw and ready and clawing for nothing but stillness about it. I still haven’t washed my bed sheets; I think it’s because I like to hold onto things that are already gone. I still have that bottle of shitty wine, two glasses stained from cold hot chocolate, and her tea mug. I haven’t washed it– sometimes, I drink water from it. It still clings to an after taste of vanilla chai.Then again, I don’t listen to Bon Iver or Mumford and Sons anymore, because I can’t. I bet that’s what she plays on her CD player. It probably sits on a bookshelf, near her bed. And yes, I’m guessing she has a CD player. But, this is all guesswork anyways; I don’t have any real answers.


Benjamin Bouvet-Boisclair is currently a SUNY Cortland undergrad student working towards a Professional Writing degree. When not writing he is playing board games with enemies, shooting hoops, or doing magic tricks for invisible crowds. He lives in Cortland, New York, inside of a small room with a big couch.

Image: Unfolded Wing, By Leigh-Anne Fraser

Blue Dress

June 6, 2012 § 5 Comments


Blue Dress
Clara Brown

She looks like superwoman. She could be wearing a tight blue and red spandex outfit, black painted on boots, blue cape blowing in the wind like her hair. I see her posing, looking off to the horizon. She just might be superwoman.

She is wearing a turquoise dress, a wrap around that hugs her breasts and buttocks. The kind of dress that Fred likes. The kind he wishes I would wear but that I wouldn’t fill out quite as well. Maybe her upper arms are just a tad bit flabby. A tiny—okay barely there—roll around her waist line. Her heels are high and spikey, another plus on Fred’s list. She is tall or maybe it is her shoes that make her look tall. She has good posture.

Her hair is long and black, probably dyed. It flows down to her shoulders perfectly. It is parted on the side. She has a salon tan, maybe two or three weeks’ worth. Her teeth are bleached white. Her eyes are large and white and bright. She has a botox forehead and although her face has no wrinkles, I don’t think she has gone the surgery route. Maybe something but not that. Her neck looks a few years older than her face. She doesn’t have a lot of expression other than a perpetual smile.

Fred describes her to a friend. You know, the woman in the blue dress. Like everyone will know exactly who that is.

I’m finishing my salmon when the MC tells everyone to find that special someone for the next song. She must have been his special someone at that moment, or maybe he didn’t hear the instructions. When I look up they’re both on the dance floor. I see him put the flat of his hand on her back, leading her towards the dance floor. She looks reluctant. They don’t dance long.

The flat of his hand on her back.


This is Clara Brown’s first publication.

Image: Deconstructing Vogue,  By Leigh-Anne  Fraser

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