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The Changing Forest

Issue 16 by Joey Salvo

My father wears baseball caps on our hikes to the beaver pond. The little hair he’s had has always been sparse and gray, and the hats are to protect his exposed head from the cold, the sun, or both. In old photos his hair is thick, like mine, a black storm cloud swirling around his head.

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For Einstein. (No, not that Einstein.)

Issue 16 by Alex Pickens

My first encounter with a raccoon occurred one autumn morning when I looked out the window and saw something large and furry stuffed into our homemade box-like bird feeder. It appeared to be asleep. I turned off the sink, slipped on my sandals, picked out a good stick, and wandered over to inspect…

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Tweets I Could Have Tweeted

Issue 16 by Kirkley Mehndiratta

Tweets I Could Have Tweeted While I was at the Leighton Artists Colony Writer at Banff Centre for the Arts & Creativity in Canada, Except That I Quit Social Media Cold Turkey for the Purpose of My Writing Residency (from a human with anger, anxiety, energy, solitude, loneliness, panic, and procrastination problems)

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Jim

Issue 16 by Katie Coleman

They have buffalo lodge and they have ghost lodge and they have all these different styles of lodge. The Lakota. Originally from Minnesota but spent the last 200 years in the Dakotas and that’s where I… so in 1978, you know about the freedom of religion act?

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A List

Issue 15 by Matan Gold

Brett invites me over after school to grind his rail, which is of little consequence to me, since I can barely ollie straight; but sometimes I can heelflip, which makes me believe in improvement and wards off the stomach-eating-reality that skateboarding, for me, cannot be sustained,

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First Moments

Issue 15 by Aaron Ratliff

I spent the first moments of my life not really in it. When most babies are born, the process is straightforward. They come out. They cry. The doctors and nurses check a few things to make sure everything is working.

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Owl Feathers

Issue 15 by Ruby Holsenbeck

I walk down the highway today as cars rush by, travelers for the holiday hurrying to get to their destinations. It’s the day before Thanksgiving, and traffic is heavy. Across the road, I see a dead bird with distinctive feathers.

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It Don’t Mean a Thing

Issue 14 by Christina Bloom

Muted jazz music bleeds from the walls of the dance studio. My sister and I stand outside and watch, through the glass windows, the varying figures of the dancing pairs: men of assorted heights in jeans and colored button-downs, women in heels and dresses and skirts of subtle hues of green and blue and black. Some of the couples, the more experienced ones, move like waves on a breezy spring day, undulating as a unit across the wooden floor. Other couples sputter like the animatronic creatures at Chuck E. Cheese. In the whole room, there is only one moving mouth. It belongs to a woman who appears to be the instructor, standing to the side, watching the dancers and counting the beats of the music for them.

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The Miracle of Childbirth

Issue 14 by Rebeka Fergusson-Lutz

When I was ten years old, I experienced the miracle of childbirth.

I was there when my sister was born – not in our living room at home, or in the back of the taxi, but in the hospital room with my parents and the labor coach and the obstetrician. As you might imagine, this experience has proven to be a pivotal one in my development as a daughter, a sister, and most importantly, a woman.

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The Art of Nothing

Issue 14 by Mollie Duvall

Dear,

It is Saturday and I am obsessed with the arc in a story.

Let me start over by saying the fickle obsession hasn’t grown into a so called “problem” yet and at every glance a person will find a way to say that humility comes in regular shapes and sizes. Perhaps, it bags its own groceries or even paints its very own toes. It does this to iconically display a varying right or degree of neutrality. Maybe, by staying in the middle ground, we never have to fall short of dancing a wild night in the background or the shadows.

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Kelly

Creative Nonfiction Issue 12 by Andy Betz

Looking back, she was my first love. She had the strength of character and the courage of her convictions to endure any hardship life could throw her way. On my second day as a firefighter, my captain ordered me to accompany him across the street to the local gas station on a call about “a cat stuck in a tree.” I did as I was told, donned my gear, and walked to the tree to ponder how I could climb it without scaring the small feline to higher elevations or encouraging it to confront my face with its claws. These are the decisions for officers, not rookie firefighters.

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Parris Enflames

Creative Nonfiction Issue 12 by Daniel Eastman

You are here. Darkness surrounds you now, both literal and figurative. You sit hunched over against the wall of the crowded bus, pantomiming meditation in a defecatory posture, eyes wide-open stealing glimpses of your crusted New Balance sneakers with the occasional passing of city lights. Maybe somehow there’ll be a reflection, a final glimpse of your thick brown hair. Instead, green edge of a road sign that passes too quickly. You know that you are somewhere in South Carolina. That’s where the plane landed.

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How to Be a Wall

Creative Nonfiction Issue 12 by Hannah Rials

No. 1 – Already Be a Wall

Become a wall before it is necessary. I can’t instruct you on this because I was naïve. I thought, Let pain come; it’s a part of life. I thought being a wall was cold-hearted, and that I am not. But please learn from my mistakes. Being a wall isn’t being heartless. It’s just the smart thing to do.

No. 2 – Remember the Pain

This is the worst step—I’m sorry. But I have a feeling that if you’re reading this, you’re like me; you absorb words.

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Platform 5

Creative Nonfiction Issue 11 by Leta Cunningham

Prague is cold. I stand on the train platform shivering in my wool coat, tighten my scarf around my neck, and close my eyes. I picture myself sitting on the front steps of my university library back in Texas, the feeling of the Texas sun in the summer, its angry heat. Despite living in Europe for four months, most of it spent in Northern England, I’m not used to the cold. I check the time on my phone, making sure I’m still on schedule for making my flight.

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An Anthropologist “Storms Heaven”

Creative Nonfiction Issue 11 by Nathaniel Wander

As the urban traveller ticks off cross streets—Van Ness, Filmore, Divisedero, Presidio—in the Peruvian lowlands where travel is chiefly by water, it’s confluent rivers: Huallaga, Chambira, Tigre, Ucayali. And every arrival, if the locals are to be believed, is only tres vueltas mas, ‘three more bends.’

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The Skin We’re In

Creative Nonfiction Issue 11 by Karen Rollins

In late 1969, when I was an impressionable four-year old, someone shot Mr. Easter’s dog Runt. Mr. Easter put his dying dog into the back of his pickup truck, and booked. He feared once the drunkard started thinking about it, he might come back and shoot him too—knowing there was no heavy justification needed to shoot a black man.

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Wonderland

Issue 10 by Leilani Squire

With courage and honesty, Leilani Squire writes of a life-changing event in her stunning piece “Wonderland” – “I can’t go back to that place before I was married. That part of my life is dead and buried, and covered with too much shame and grief.” The narrative grabs you and the raw emotion and truth revealed lingers.

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