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Part of The Mosaic: Spring 2007


the floor
her skirt
behind His
burning to be
to run
forever across the deep blue


Marist College
Literary Arts Society
CJ'he 9rtosaic
Spring 2007 Edition

The (loveable and rather odd) Mosaic Staff
Executive Editor:
(The guy getting blamed for all this)
Assistant Editors:
(Still not sure why they wanted this job ... )
Alexander Sutton
Amanda Mulvihill
Amy Wheeler
Staff Members:
(Others on the verge of insanity)
Brianne Bendit
Leigh Everett
Jessica Friedlander
Amanda Hurlburt
Florencia Lauria
Krysten Marke
Tim McMullan
Julianne Sadowski
Marianne Schaffer
Andrew Slafta
Julia Stam berger
Special thanks to Robert Lynch, the Marist College English De-
partment, and special thanks to Tommy Zurhellen, our club ad-
visor, for his continuous support and dedication without which
this and the club would not be possible.

Table of Contents
(Take your pick)
Birthday Cake - Keara Driscoll 1-8
Bouillabaisse - Jacqueline Colognisi 9-19
Housewife - Aasta Franscati- Robinson 20-21
O n ~
Way Back
HIM'/JJu.rt 22
Addiction - Brianne Bendit 23
Don't Tell the Truth - Marianne Schaffer 24
Words - Stephanie M. Garrison 25
rrfie (}rey Siae of Saffron - <Rjcliara
Lang{ois 26-33
I'm in it -
Wheeler 34
Android Advanc11m11nt ISSUIJS-}IJSSica FtitJdlandtJI
Dreams and Lovers - Sarah Gunner 36-42
Environmentalist Lauren M. Jackson 42
Liberty's Plight - Tim McMullan 43-44
De a r Cast - Br
an n e Bendit 4 5
4 7
Possession - Kelly Geus 48
My Goddess - Miguel Gonzalez 48
Untitled - Stephanie Bushman 49
February Fourteenth - Kelly
Classy-Eyed- Danielle Mooney 11-14

December 24 - Tricia Lynch December 24 55-56
"'t.~U.C)~~ C)\
"R\\1.a.1\.1\.a.1\. -
~\_C,C)\~ \)C)\_~"\l~rt.
Sugar and Spice - Risa Pedzewick 57-65
Untitled 2 - Stephanie Bushman 67
Thoughts for the Evening - Tom Kryzk 67
Isolation - Aasta Franscati-Robinson 68
The Uproot - Miguel Gonzalez 69-74
Pronouns are Superfluous -Amanda Hurlburt 75-76
Kings Own Castle in Florida - Nick Orsini 77-78
Untitled - Nicole Boisvert 78
Friday Night Football - Amanda Mulvihill 80
The Life you Built - Dylan Vergara 81-82
Brianne Bendit Expensive Taste 83
... D ~
}MIM -
Requiem of love - Richard Frias 85-88
Phoenix - Melinda Martinez
Photo Credits:
Torn Krzyk 33 Robin Henderson 21
Amy Wheeler 51
ZidJro S4
Brianne Bendit 79
1.(ate Peirman 82

Mosaic Fiction Contest Runner-up:
Birthday Cake
Keara Driscoll
The twenty, pink tutu-clad kindergarteners fumble curtsies as parents
rise out of their seats, clapping and cheering. The audience laughs as the little
girls attempt to find their way off stage, tripping over each other. One loses
her shoe in the scuffle, and begins to cry. The shot goes in and out of focus as a
woman nudges her husband.
"Turn the camera off Dan, she's crying."
"Hang on Maureen; I'm trying to find the damn button."
The last glimpse of a little girl rubbing her eyes loses focus and fades to
Dan stared at the snow on the television screen. He wished he never
turned off the camera. He wish he had recorded the car ride home, the dinner
they ate that nightJ every moment he and Maureen put the kids to bed, every
conversation they had at 3 a.m. when the rest of the house slept. Now, eigh-
were summarized in thirty minute intervals; strange montages of
first birthdays, soccer games, and recitals coexisted in one small collection of
The living room hadn't changed since they bought the house. The same
china figurines and candles sat upon the mantelpiece of a fireplace that never
worked. Maureen's favorite wedding gift, a crystal candy dish, remained in
familiar spot upon the scuffed coffee table. The pictures were the only indica-
tors of the passing time. First graders morphed into High School graduates
within a five foot span of wall space.
Dan lit a cigarette as Maureen readied herself for work. "Don't smoke
in here honey, I just steam-cleaned the carpet." Picking up her keys from
the coffee table, she kissed him lightly on the head. Dan hardly moved as
he dropped his unfinished cigarette in the ashtray their son made them for
Christmas twelve years ago.
He stared at the blank T.V. for a minute before lifting himself off the
couch. Shutting off the VCR, he listened to the gravel crunch as Maureen's
dark green Saturn pulled out of the driveway. His feet followed the
carpet up the stairs and down the hall to their bedroom. The tired mattress
groaned as he lowered his body onto it.

Age has a certain weight that never ebbs; it only adds layers. When he
was twenty, he was weightless. Maureen was too. March 3rd was looming:
the day he turned fifty. Dan wondered
if the last third of his life would fly by
as quickly as the first two.
Work didn't need him for another hour. Why should I even bother
showing up?, he thought. That new kid already knows more about construc-
tion than I do. He stretched his arms towards the ceiling and noticed his
hands. They were craggy and scarred from years of work. The only thing
smooth about him was his scalp, which had finally let go of his last stubborn
strands of hair. Going bald was one of the bigger adjustments he had to make,
made worse by Marty, who showed up to work every day with a new bald
joke. At least I don't glue a goddamned dead animal to my scalp every day,
Dan thought. He checked his watch
Let's see if Marty's come up with any
ones today.
"Diane wants to do something fancy just because we've been dating for
six months, but I think that's stupid," Josh mumbled as he scooped peas onto
Dinner always took place in the tiny kitchen, never in the dining room.
always sat with his back to the refrigerator, Maureen sat on his right,
across from his father, and the cat often occupied Kate's empty seat.
Maureen settle<l'into her seat. "Honey, its okay to be romantic once in
a while,
she's your first real girlfriend, and she really likes you.
you need
money your father and I can help you. Isn't that right, Dan?"
Her husband shrugged and continued to stare down into his plate.
along the line of "hopeless" escaped from under Maureen's breath.
Dan stared sideways at his wife, but chose not to comment. For a sec-
the dull ceiling lamp illuminated the red that faded from her hair every
He watched her straighten her pearl necklace and scoop mashed pota-
onto her plate. He watched her slip her hands into his and say "I do." He
her walk down a college hall with a stack of books under one arm.
her turn and smile, reach out her hand, and talk about the up-
. g
football game. He looked at his hands, clutching his fork, and shov-
food into his mouth, pushing down words.

"Let's do something exciting this year."
Maureen slipped between the sheets and rolled over on her side. Dan
exhaled smoke as he rolled his eyes. "Honey, all I want for my birthday is my
family all together and maybe a nice dinner." He sighed and rubbed his fore-
"But honey," she kept going, "that
s what we do every year. You know,
Joanne was telling me how she and Hank went on a second honeymoon when
he turned fifty. She said
was the best thing they ever did."
"Where did they go?"
"It's too hot there. And we can't afford it sweetheart
She stared at him for a moment. It wasn't the deep stare that listened
when he had a bad day at work, or the excited stare that watched him open
her Christmas gift after the kids went to bed. He disappointed her
She turned
her shoulders to him, sinking under the covers
He muttered, "Goodnight
Maureen." She clicked off the lamp. "Don't smoke in here. You'll turn the
walls yellow."
Maureen had just left when Dan woke up. Her shoulder had left a small
dent in the covers and the bathroom was still warm with steam. He rolled
over and smoothed her pillow. The same scent always lingered on her side of
the bed: lilac and laundry detergent. He thought back to when they were in
college, where she was the bright, pretty bookworm, ready to graduate sec-
ond in her class. He was the bumbling jock, on the verge of losing his football
scholarship. He only asked her to tutor him because he couldn't bring himself
to ask her out; no amount of help was going to keep him in school. She should
have been a lawyer, a novelist, anything more satisfying than a high school
guidance counselor. She had settled for less; for him.
Dan hated going to work now. Each week, one new, young employee
appeared, fresh out of trade school, as one old man "retired." When Steve
showed up, Dan knew his days were numbered. The handsome youth stood
tall as the boss introduced him to everyone. He extended his hand to Dan,
who, covered in construction dust and wood shavings, felt like a fool. Steve's
handshake was firm; he stared hard into Dan's eyes. Jesus Christ, this kid
means business, Dan thought, as he forced his mouth into a smile

Maureen seemed cheerful when Dan arrived home from work that day.
She greeted him with a kiss on the cheek, helping him take off his jacket. He
avoided her questions about work. She didn't know that he would soon be
unemployed, and he intended to keep her in the dark.
Dan talked less than usual that night at dinner. Maureen was prodding
Josh about his upcoming senior prom.
"What's the theme going to be?"
"I have no idea, mom."
"Is Diane excited?"
"Yeah, I guess so."
"I remember Kate's senior prom. It took us weeks to find her dress, but
looked perfect. Her date was so handsome, I forget his name now ... Bill?
Mark? Well, who knows. They looked so great together. Don't you remember
He lifted his eyes from his coffee mug. Maureen knew he hadn't been
She furrowed her brow and swept his empty dish off the table. Dan
flinched. Josh tossed his dishes into the sink and bounded upstairs. "Can't I
have one decent conversation with anyone around here?" Maureen's com-
broke Dan's concentration on the kitchen tiles. "Sometimes I feel like I
as well just talk to the cat." The phone's jangle exploded in the kitchen
as Maureen dropped a soapy pan to answer it. "Hello? Kate! Sweetheart, how
are you,
how's every-oh. Okay. One hundred dollars? Well you could've
sooner if you needed to buy groceries. You sound hoarse, are you
Bick? ...
Good, good. How're all you're classes? ... Oh okay. No, I understand ...
you need to go, go. I love you too. Bye." She limply dropped the phone
receiver. "Kate says hi," she lied. The dishes floated in their oily wa-
as Maureen rounded out of the kitchen and walked upstairs. Dan counted
as she walked down the hall, and listened to the mattress squeak
dropped on the bed. He lit a cigarette.
passed out on the couch after dinner, lulled to sleep by a black
movie on AMC. He awoke at midnight, groggy and full of Dorito
. As
he wiped sleep out of his eyes, he glimpsed out the window.
ne left the porch light on. No-someone was on the porch. Sitting up,
made out a silhouette. Broad shoulders. Sandy hair and a Yankees
of smoke injecting the night air.

The sagging couch cushions couldn't hold Dan down. He made
to the door
in three strides, yanking it open, only to see his son turn around wildly, stuff-
ing something in his pocket.
"Hey dad!" The tremor shook Josh's voice like an earthquake. "I
thought you were asleep."
"Hey son." Dan paced around the porch. "Come out to get some air?"
"Yeah. Coach has us running extra laps during practice now. Some-
times I feel a little winded."
And I'll bet smoking isn't going to help you feel any better
now, is it?"
"Dad ... " Josh slumped forward, pulling the cigarettes out of his pocket.
"You have no idea what the pressure at school is like. I just needed a little
release. I only have a couple a week, just to clear my head."
"Give them to me." Dan grabbed the half empty pack and stuffed them
in his jeans. "Turn the light off before you come inside."
"You caught our son smoking and you didn't do anything to stop
him?" Maureen's hand nearly severed her hip as she eyed her husband from
across the kitchen. Dan dropped his toast. "I took the cigarettes away from
him Maureen, I think he got the message." Maureen wielded her spatula like
a weapon. "We're supposed to talk to him about these things! How dangerous
it is, what it could lead to. Dammit sometimes I feel like if I didn't take charge,
everything would fall apart in this house!"
Dan's fork clattered on the table as he moved towards the door. Mau-
reen incinerated. "Yeah, go; leave, just like you always do. Ignore all these
problems because you know what? You have a wife who will just come be-
hind you and pick up all the pieces."
He had walked to the edge of a cliff.
he kept his balance, he could
make it out of the kitchen alive. Maureen turned to the stove. "Sometimes I
wonder if I should've ... "
The pebble that began the avalanche fell. "Should've what? Married
another guy? Yeah, you probably should have! Gone to law school? Who
was stopping you!? Then you wouldn't be stuck with a college dropout
doesn't want to go to Fiji for his birthday, dirties your house with cigarette
ash, and influences your kids to ignore the hell out of you! I didn't make

marry me Maureen, nor did anyone else. I'm you're your parents would've
loved it
if you chose some big time Wall Street executive. But you didn't; you
chose me, and now you're stuck. Just stop making these things my fault!"
Maureen wobbled. Her eyes welled and her lips trembled. He watched
her tip, like a crystal vase falling off a table in slow motion. His stomach plum-
meted as she ran out of the kitchen before tears fell.
When Dan came home that night, there were already dishes in the sink;
an early dinner had concluded without him. He searched around the fridge as
Josh rumbled down the stairs and into the kitchen. "Hey dad," he muttered
as he reached around him for a soda. "Hey son," Dan responded, pulling his
head out of the fridge. "You want to sit with me for a while?" Josh paused; he
was headed towards the living room. "Yeah ... yeah I guess. Just don't ask me
about prom, okay?"
Dan heated up macaroni and sat in his usual chair, eyeing his son. Josh
was built strong and lean, not bulky like Dan. The perfect physique for a base-
player. Dan remembered how scrawny he was as a kid; he could barely
baseball bat, let alone take a swing at a ball. Somewhere between six and
he developed an athlete's body, and a "winning attitude," as his
said. Dan felt as
if those years had just been some dream he must've had
he dozed on the couch. He didn't know where to begin.
"So ...
are you excited to graduate?" Josh fidgeted. "Yeah, I guess so.
I really have to go, I promised Diane I'd call her." Dan waved him away.
Maureen was right. He was eighteen years too late.
Maureen had shut off the light in the hallway upstairs. Dan's fingers
for his bedroom doorknob. Opening the door slowly, he caught
Maureen on the bed. She was still in her work clothes. He stood in the
what could he say? She had pushed him. She.didn't know what he
through. He felt a knot tighten in his stomach as he slowly shut the
Maureen listened to his feet press on the stairs. She lifted her head and
her pillow, to the side that was dry.
Danny boy! Get over here, George wants to rub your head so he
future!" Marty laughed his two-packs-a-day laugh while the other
shook their heads. Thanks for starting my day off on a high note,

Marty. Maybe if you paid less attention to me, your wife would have stuck
around. Dammit, why can't I just say that to his face? Dan shook off his retorts
and idly shifted around pieces of sheetrock. Marty sauntered over, clapping
his hand on Dan's shoulder. "So I hear tomorrow's the big day, eh? The big 5-
0. The beginning of the end-" Dan shook him off and walked away, ignoring
Marty's calls. "Hey, where ya going? Aw come on, don't be like that, can't you
take a few jokes?" The boss's appearance finally shut Marty up as Mr. Brock-
man marched over, Steve following close behind, holding a clipboard. "Okay
fellas, we've made a few changes in today's schedule. Marty's going to be
handling the crane, we have to move all twenty of those beams today. Danny,
you take it easy for a while and get rid of that sheetrock," Dan's fingers made
a heated fist. "The rest of you, get back to work." Steve waited for the boss's
speech to finish before approaching Dan. "Mr. Brockman wants to see you
in his office right after lunch, Mr. Cleary." He froze. So today was
He had
three hours before he was let go. He couldn't even meet Steve's eyes as he
mumbled "Thanks" under his breath.
Twenty minutes before his lunch, and Dan actually felt sick. He wished
he could find a way to stall, maybe if he hid in the bathroom for a half hour
Mr. Brockman would forget about their meeting. He had been working there
for almost thirty years, why did they want to let him go now?
Marty swore he didn't see Dan standing below him. Dan barely had
time to leap out of the way of the huge metal beam that slipped from the
crane's grasp. He didn't make it, as it came crashing down onto his right leg,
right below the kneecap. Marty didn't hear anyone warn him to be careful,
he heard Dan scream, loud and long, as twenty burly men raced toward the
scene. Dan's torso warped with pain as the beam was lifted off him, reveal-
ing a bloodied, shattered limb. His eyes fluttered wildly to the sky as them
surrounding him went out of focus. He saw Marty standing over him, his
leaking tears. He felt Steve's hands hold his head steady. He heard himself
say, "Fuck. .. My God." His eyes slid into his skull.
Dan woke up in a hospital gown. His sight sharpened to reveal Mau-
reen sleeping in a cushioned chair next to the bed. Strands of hair escaped
usually neat ponytail. Her shirt was wrinkled in the wrong places, as
if she
had been wearing it for a couple of days. He reached his hand to brush her
pale cheek. As he lifted his arm, the pain in his leg awoke. Nerves fired

missiles into his brain as his jaw clenched. Maureen startled as she heard him
choke down a yell. Immediately, she was next to him, holding his hand. "It's
probably time for your painkillers. I'll get the nurse." Dan pulled her back as
the pain subsided. "I'm okay." He wasn't sure if he said that out loud. Mau-
reen lowered her face onto his chest and sobbed. "Happy Birthday baby," was
all Dan could make out, ''I'm so glad you're still here."
Josh lingered in the doorway. His face was ashen; even his hair seemed
gray. He walked over to the bed, touching his father's hand. He smelled like
smoke. "Dad ... they ... they almost had to .
. get rid of it. They thought they
couldn't save your leg. I'm .. .I'm glad you're okay. Kate's flying in from Notre
Dame tonight." Dan pulled his son towards him. Maureen still sobbed. Dan
felt layers peel away, like an onion. He was hugging Josh the same way he did
when he was three and he fell off his bike
He was stroking Maureen's hair the
same way he did when they laid in bed together all day on their honeymoon.
He felt as lucky as he did the day Maureen said she would go out with him.
closed his eyes. The room faded to black.
Dan hadn't eaten solid food in weeks. The doctors said it had some-
to do with the combination of painkillers and antibiotics. Maureen's
was a welcome treat. Kate sat in a chair next to her father and
stop talking about school, while Josh helped his mother scoop corn,
potatoes and turkey onto paper plates. A knock was heard on the door.
It was Marty. His eyes darted around the room. "Is .. .is this a bad
For a moment, the family stared. Maureen walked over, putting her
around him. "Thank you for coming."
Dan eyed Marty carefully. "Hey Marty ... what kind of animal was that
you scooped it off the side of a road with a spatula?" Marty smiled.
yeah, yeah, real funny." Marty handed Maureen a white box with a
cake nestled inside. Dinner disappeared faster with the prospect of
in the future. The family sang 'Happy Birthday1 as Dan feigned an
He bit into his slice of cake; the sweet frosting caught his rusty taste
surprise. Maureen laughed as he rubbed frosting on her nose. Her
brought him back to the time he ever talked to her. He saw her toss back
He felt her kiss him with frosting covered lips. He was fifty. He was
He was weightless.

Mosaic Fiction Contest Winner
Jaqueline Colognesi
In truth Miss Emmeline Kantz led a boring sort of life.
In theory she did all sorts of fantastic things. In theory, she was the
leader of one of those 1,000-piece marching bands, with such shocking enthu-
siasm and talent that attractiveness still washed over her despite the funny
outfit. In theory, she was a society woman, who dressed in heavy jewels and
furs to dine out every night of the week, who always had company, and would
be envied had she cared to dine alone, which she never did. In theory, she was
an Amazon of the jungle, with a flat muscular waist, miles of legs and strong,
flexible hands that could kill and often did. Miss Kantz was, in theory, the
only one who could solve the code written on the wall of the ancient tomb, the
one scientists had been trying to solve for decades, because Miss Kantz was,
in theory, given no formal education, just raised shrouded in the mystery and
opaqueness of the elders. In theory, Miss Kantz advised the President on ev-
erything from how to solve world hunger to whether or not he should autho-
rize the use of nuclear missiles to his marriage problems and what he should
buy his wife for Christmas. In theory, she was Miss Hannett-Meyer, philoso-
phy professor who managed to keep every male in her class interested in Pla
and receive end-of-the-year reviews that read like real rhapsodies; "I never
missed my 8am class because Miss Hannett-Meyer managed to look breathtak
ing even at that early hour, and the morning sun would play like starlight off
that gorgeous head of honeyed blonde hair."
In truth, Miss Emmeline Kantz lived alone.
Perhaps it couldn't be considered entirely alone. She had cats. She had ap-
proximately six cats (although sometimes she lost count and sometimes stra
joined the mix; she was never properly sure) that shared her rather nice two-
story apartment.
The apartment she kept filled with fake flowers, because real ones
too bothersome to replace. They were the nice kind, made of silk, and as lo
as she dusted them regularly they looked real.
The furniture in her apartment was entirely made of oak, stained very dark,
Miss Emmeline Kantz firmly believed that there was no sturdier wood than oak

piece of furniture was covered with a large crocheted doily that she had knit-
ted herself. The couches (which already had slipcovers) were covered in doi-
lies as well. The doilies would invariably fill with cat hair, and so whenever
she dusted the silk flowers she had to vacuum the doilies.
The walls of her apartment were covered with pictures of her niece,
Miss Katie Kantz. Katie, at 17, was the daughter of her younger brother and
had always been a source of envy for Miss Emmeline. She had her youth, a
sheet of long dark hair and one of those lithe bodies that was perfect for bal-
let but was actually created from track. Miss Emmeline was constantly buying
purses, shoes and coats of a luxuriant nature for her niece with money she
saved from the vacations she earned but never took.
If she were to describe
Katie in one word, Miss Emmeline would have chosen "Opportunity." But,
Miss Emmeline supposed, if she were to die today, and Katie had to read
her eulogy tomorrow, it would go something like, she supposed, "My Aunt
Emmy was very generous. Also, she was very kind to her many cats. And she
was really good at knitting."
And even that would be a lie, Miss Emmeline Kantz thought to herself,
because she really wasn't very nice to her many cats. On the rare occasion
she was more bored than usual, she would feed them catnip and get
very high, and watch aimlessly when one inevitably chewed through a
wire and died by electrocution. Last time it was Tiny Bubbles.
was good at knitting, she thought, but could there be anything more bor-
knitting? She was good at her job too, she supposed, but there wasn't
exciting about being a secretary for Sturgis
Dowd, which is what she
been for the last 30 years. She had been promoted to Dowd' s personal
but the most thrilling parts of her days involved lying to his wife on
phone when Dowd was curled up in his office with his 28-year old mis-
Even those bits of the day were wrecked for her when she thought about
jealous she was that Dowd was actually having an affair. It seemed to her
she had the opportunity to go to college she could have been Dowd,
that she would have preferred a poolhouse and a cabana boy. Either
figured she was stuck. Stuck with knitting doilies. And cats. And in
winter, sweaters for her cats.
Emmeline Kantz awoke one Wednesday morning to one of her
(although it might have been Poochie, she couldn't be sure)

sandpapering her ear with his tongue. She stretched out one soft arm and
knocked the cat away with a dimpled elbow
She rose slowly, at 6:15 am, like
she always did, and fed the cats before showering, like she always did. Miss
Emmeline stared at herself blandly in the bathroom mirror for a few minutes
She was a dumpy sort of woman, not that kind that the guys in the puffy
jackets who hung out on the corner down the street from Stugis
yelled "Yo Ma," at. Miss Emmeline secretly wished they would yell "Yo Ma,"
at her, even though Dowd routinely referred to them as "thug life" and con-
stantly petitioned the city to get them off "his" corner; bad for business, he'd
say. It was true, Miss Emmeline thought, that even in her younger days, as a
fresh graduate from Miss Rabinowitz' s Secretary School for Business Minded
Young Ladies, the thugs probably would not have yelled "Yo Ma," at her.
They would probably yell it at Katie, she thought, and Katie wouldn't even
appreciate it.
There was a lot Katie had that she never did, she thought as she loo-
fahed up with Honeysuckle Morning, like she always did. Katie had beauty,
and brains, and opportunity, and thanks to the one college education Miss
Emmeline's parents could afford, a rich father. How her younger brother had
managed to create a successful business after squandering away his education
as a philosophy major, which he had only pursued so he could ogle Miss
nett-Meyer for four years (Miss Bannett-Meyer, incidentally, married during
his junior year and adapted the more unfortunate moniker of Mrs. Garcias-
Dreisbach) was beyond her. Yet he had, and while Miss Emmeline Kantz
doing well financially, he had the beautiful wife, and the gorgeous kid, and
the home in the suburbs, and the family vacations to Madrid and Fiji. Thanks
to Miss Emmeline, his daughter had more designer clothes and purses than
any 17 year old ever should, because while Miss Emmeline could certainlyaf.
ford to go to Madrid or Fiji, she couldn't bear the thought of going alone.
she wasn't sure if they let cats cross international borders. And that thought
was so depressing, anyways, vacationing with your cats. And she would
seen as the strange old lady with the cats. Which, she supposed, she was
ready thought of by some people.
She wasn't even old, she thought, pulling on neat dress pants over h
and tucking a silk blouse into them. But she looked older than 53, and she
tainly acted older than 53. Miss Emmeline Kantz pulled on a sweater, slip

her feet into sensible flats, and left her rather nice two-story apartment. She
inched slowly into her sensible mid-sized sedan and honked the horn several
times, like she did every morning, to ensure the cats wouldn't be crouched
behind her back tires. She had lost Spanky that way.
In theory, Miss Kantz was usually a racecar driver, banking and swerving,
always seconds away from explosion. In truth, on this Wednesday morning
Miss Kantz was tired of theory.
Miss Emmeline Kantz pulled into the parking spot that read "Miss Emmeline
a recognition she had received after 25 years of solid service at Sturgis &
She stared at the backdoor entrance that she always went to, and wondered if
front would be more interesting.
front, as it turned out
was not more interesting
The gilt letters of the building
like bragging rights over the city street. Some bragging rights, Miss Emmeline
thought, staring at the buildings. Dowd was nothing but a delegating adulterer. And
She hadn't seen Sturgis in years. She was pretty sure Sturgis was dead. She
she was Sturgis' secretary.
"Goddamn cheater," spoke an angry, bitter voice. Miss Emmeline Kantz
She hoped she hadn't spoken to herself outloud. How embarrassing
though, the voice had come from a thin woman standing to her right, who
have been either 15 years older or 5 years younger than herself; due to appar-

but not unsightly plastic surgery
it was hard to tell. The woman had the vestiges
looks anyways, and was slightly taller than Miss Emmeline. She was in more
clothes, but had the same dishwater blonde hair, and was wearing, Miss Emme-
noted, sensible flats.
"Excuse me?"
Cheater. My husband, Walter. Dowd. Walter Dowd. He's cheating on
last night. Says he has no plans of leaving, me, but he thought I should
. Like
I wanted to know. I mean, I guess I already knew, sort of, it was getting
. I just ignored it, because I didn't care that much. It's just, that's not what you
when you get married, you know? To death do us part and all that
glanced at Miss Emmeline's ringless left hand. "Oh, I'm sorry." She held
right one. "Maureen Dowd."
Emmeline Kantz." As soon as she said it Maureen's eyes lit up in recognition.
eline wondered if she had made a terrible mistake. She half hoped Maureen
fight her.

"So you're his secretary."
"But you're not the .. "
No. Oh, God no. She's twenty-eight."
Maureen Dowd's eyes crinkled (as much as they could crinkle, seeing as how
the skin around her eyes was surgically taught) in seeming disbelief. "He didn't tell
me that!" She smirked. "So all those times you told me he was out campaigning for
the youth of America ... "
"Well, that wasn't a total lie."
Maureen threw back her head in laughter. "You're, right, you're right. That's
great Emmeline. Hey, you wanna go get a drink?"
"It's 8:00 in the morning."
"You're right, you're right, sorry."
"And I have to get to work." Miss Emmeline Kantz gazed up again at the gilt
letters. She glanced at Maureen, who was also gazing at the letters and attempting
force her features into a frown. She looked at the letters again. She had never missed
a day in 30 years at Sturgis & Dowd. In fact, she had never come in later than
Miss Emmeline figured, that, in theory and in truth, Sturgis & Dowd could afford her
day of discrepancy. She turned to Maureen. "So how about that drink?"
Maureen clapped her hands together. "I knew you'd come around! But there's
another order of business that we've got to take care of first. Come on. Come on!"
grabbed Miss Emmeline's hand in a show of female solidarity that Miss Emmeline
supposed she hadn't received in years, if ever. Maureen led her over to the very
very small silver convertible parked on the curb. In the passenger side seat there was
large vat of something which gave the impression that it might have been stew a long
time ago, in a better life.
"Our maid moves all our leftovers to our other fridge in the basement,
she's supposed to donate it all, but she forgot about this one."
"What are you going to do with it?"
Maureen grinned wickedly. "Oh, I'm going to christen Walter's car. He's
be taught some sort of lesson. Am
Miss Emmeline Kantz wondered if it was possible that sometime between eating
breakfast and arriving at work she had actually died and gone to heaven. "You are
absolutely right."

They snuck around back to the parking lot, to the spot that read "Wal-
ter Dowd" (Walter Dowd had not had to wait 25 years to get a spot with his
name on it). In the spot sat Walter Dowd's very expensive, only 300-ever-
made automobile, which they opened with ease.
"He's so arrogant," Maureen hissed. "He doesn't even lock it." She
hefted the pot and poured the entire contents of what had been the Dowd' s
dinner some several months prior all over the interior of the car, which had
previously smelled like Italian leather and some sort of sweet cigar. "Ok," she
said, stepping back and surveying her work. "I feel almost completely better."
"Come on, come on, get in, that was only part one," the two women
climbed back into Maureen's small convertible. Maureen tied a scarf around
her hair before peeling out of the parking lot.
"My husband is very lazy, and very picky!" she shouted over the wind
rushed by the convertible. "He's not going to want to get that detailed!
He'll claim it was never the same! He'll just want to buy another car!"
Miss Emmeline squinted in confusion and tried to shield her hair from
wind. In theory, her hair always looked perfect in convertibles, waving
out behind her. In truth, she thought, she must look like a mess. And Maureen
probably crazy. "So won't he just buy another car?"
I buy one first! He's very rich, you know that, but even he can't
buy two expensive cars that quickly! No way! Cause it'll end up being,
five-hundred-thousand or more. Way more. He won't do it! He won't!
wait awhile, or he'll get the other one detailed, and then he'll just com-
complain complain. "
Maureen was probably crazy, Miss Emmeline thought, but she had
sort of logic. And this day was turning out to be fabulous. "You know,
· girlfriend drives a car that I think is older than her!
Maybe he can borrow
she shouted back.
Maureen pulled into a dealership filled with cars that shared monetary
es with small island nations. Miss Emmeline Kantz gawked. Even with
which was generous for a secretary, and even
if she had never
Katie one nice thing in her life, and saved for years, these were beyond
feared breathing too heavily in case one of the cars's delicate instru-
might shatter and break.

It turned out she needn't worry. Mrs. Walter Dowd was a known pres-
ence here, and any friend of hers was most certainly a friend of the dealershif
"Mo-mo!" cried one enthusiastic salesman. "Car need a fix?"
"Oh, no, Larry, no, this one's fine. I just got bored the other day, and
said hey, why not a new one?"
"And Mr. Dowd is fine with this?"
"Oh, you know Walter
He encourages change." She shared a knowing
glance with Miss Emmeline, who was busy accepting a mimosa from another
eager salesman.
After downing several more (they were free, and delicious), Miss
meline helped Maureen select a brand-new, forest-green, sort of longish car
that she thought she heard the salesman say came with a built-in chauffer.
maybe not, she supposed, as her thoughts had become somewhat fuzzy from
the champagne. But she admired Maureen, who had resisted the alcohol and
had chosen a car that cost upwards of four hundred thousand dollars, with
the possibility of certain features being added as well as several thousand
more dollars.
if Dowd tries to return it?" whispered Miss Emmeline as they
left the lot and hopped into Maureen's new-old convertible.
"Walter?! He'd never. He cares too much about his image. It's what,
almost noon now right? Let's go get that drink!"
'Tm already sort of drunk," replied Miss Emmeline. She closed her
eyes against the swimming landscape.
They arrived shortly at II Porcellino, where, Maureen assured Miss
meline, they made a mean martini. "Ok, but that place looks like more fun,"
said Miss Emmeline, pointing.
The dive bar was called Moynagh' s, and it prided itself on being the
only bar in town that opened at 8am. After requesting the most expensive
(which, it turned out, was only $4 a pitcher) the women situated themselves
a back booth and proceeded to get sloppy. It perhaps only took an hour orso
for the confessions to being pouring out.
"I," announced Miss Emmeline Kantz, "am a cat lady."
Maureen spit beer across the table. "You're a what?"
"A CAT LADY. I have a lot of them and sometimes they die and you
know I don't even care."

"Well, I'm a prostitute."
"What? You are not. You are Mrs. Walter Dowd."
Maureen rolled her eyes and slammed a hand on the table, a regretful
decision that she immediately tried to rectify by cleaning her sticky palm
spit. "Right. I am Mrs
Walter Dowd. Why do you think I married Walter?
For love? I married him for money. MO-NEY. And I was married before him,
I was married to the love of my life and I left him. For money. And I LOVED
him. I'm a goddamn whore. I can't get mad at Walter for being one, cause he
married one. You know what my name was before it was Dowd?"
Miss Emmeline shook her head and spilled some beer down the front of her
"Garcias-Dreisbach. Can you believe it? Isn't it awful? And
took that
took it! I wouldn't take that for some guy I didn't love! Come on! You
me, right? You are a true friend. I like you." She dropped her head onto
table and grabbed Miss Emmeline's arm.
"You know what I was before.that? Hannett-Meyer. And I was smart,
and I
taught philosophy, and you know I was always happy when I had a
in my name and like some whore I run out on my husband cause Wal-
so rich, he's so rich, but all I have now is a nice car and nice clothes and
plastic in my face. I don't even have kids, I wanted kids."
have cats
" Hannett-Meyer. Why was that so familiar? Miss Emme-
tried as best as she could to think. She hadn't been drunk in years,
she could recall. Hannett-Meyer. Good Lord, she wanted to be Hannett-
"My brother!"
"What?" Maureen lifted her head off the table. Bits of peanutshells
to her hair.
"Did you teach at the university in the city?"
you remember a Robert Kantz?"
Maureen stared bleakly at Miss Emmeline. "No." Her head dropped
the table and she began to snore.
Emmeline danced briefly in her seat. This day was turning out to be bet-
could have ever theorized
some point after her celebratory jiggle she had apparently fallen

asleep, because approximately two hours later the Moynagh's barkeep was
shaking the two women awake.
"I don't know who ya think ya are, but ya can't just fall asleep in my
bar like that. Can't have lightweights like you sleepin' around the joint. Gonm
look bad for business."
"Ohmigod," said Maureen, pressing her fingers into her eyes.
Miss Emmeline Kantz struggled to focus. She was somewhere between
being drunk and being hungover (she wasn't properly sure which one it was,
as it'd been such a long time since she's been either) and she had an over-
whelming urge to get out of Moynagh' s. She tried to pick up her purse, but its
bottom remained glued to something on the table.
"Lessgo," Maureen stood up and immediately crashed into a column
to her left. She closed her eyes. "I'm Ok. It's fine. Water, maybe fruit? Some
"II Porcellino?"
"No, no, they know me too well. Mrs. Walter Dowd, like this? Unac-
No, no, there's a deli around the corner."
After a brief battle Miss Emmeline won her purse back and the two women
left the bar. Inside the deli they cleaned themselves up with a handkerchief
(that Miss Emmeline crocheted herself) and refreshed themselves over cheese,
bread and sparkling water. "I never drink mineral," explained Maureen. Miss
Emmeline vowed that from that day on she would also never drink mineral.
"So, Emmeline, my girl, we've done what I wanted," said Maureen
after the women were sufficiently cheered. "What's next?"
"Well," Miss Emmeline glanced at the clock. "It's 3
30, and my niece,
Katie, has got a track meet this afternoon. I usually don't get to go because
"Well, then let's go watch some track."
The high school track meets were held, conveniently, at the city uni-
versity, which was just a few blocks down, the same university that Maureen
Hannet-Meyer-Garcias-Dreisbach-Dowd used to teach at. The women walked
amicably along in the late-afternoon sunshine, as neither of them was quite
convinced in Maureen's capacity to drive just yet.
The track meet was some sort of semi-finals, and a certain excitability
filled the air. Maureen and Miss Emmeline settled onto the first row of

bleachers. Miss Emmeline scanned the bleachers for a glimpse of her brother
(who might have recognized the previous Miss Hannet-Meyer, or might not
have; the efforts of surgery made
hard to tell) but couldn't see him. Instead
she pointed out Katie, who was warming up in a track suit that was several
hundred dollars more expensive than those of her teammates'
"She's beautiful!" said Maureen." And what a great warm-up suit. I've
got the same in pink. Do her parents spoil her much?"
"No, I bought that for her," Miss Emmeline Kantz looked proudly upon
her perfect niece in her perfect jumpsuit.
Maureen looked at her curiously. "Why? When you could have bought
for yourself?"
Emmeline simply shrugged and switched her focus over to Katie's race,
was supposed to start any second. She watched her niece carelessly toss
the track suit on the ground and jog over to the start line. Maureen's phone
to buzz angrily as the pistol went off and the runners charged forward.
"It's Walter," she whispered. "Hello? Oh, hi, honey. Yes that was me.
No, well, I'm not that sorry
Well, what do you expect? I was an irrational
You hurt me. Bouillabaisse. Well-of course
didn't look like that, it
several months old
We had it when the Stuarts came over for supper,
ember? Yes, that's the one
I don't know
if it comes out of Ital-
leather. No, you, can't, I bought another today. Yes, that's what that was
I was bored! Well, what do you expect? You're off having affairs all day
. I had to do something." She laughed. "Well obviously it was on purpose.
Walter-" She glanced at Miss Emmeline, who was half-listening but
just watching Katie fly down the stretch, theorizing that she herself
that fast. "Tell ya what. You can have the car. I want a vacation
Two weeks. No, a month. Wherever I want. I need to get away. No,
friend. No, Walter, I'm not you, it's a female friend. That's not
It's not, just make me the promise
Walter. Walter. Stop being so
Walter, I will let it be known that Sturgis has been dead for the past 6
your sick firm thinks that it's a good idea t
promote his health. His
Chrissake. Ok? That's what I thought. I have to go, Walter. Walter.
Don't you have some youth sponsorship meeting tonight? Yeah?
Ok. Ok. Bye. Ok. Sure you love me. Bye, Walter." She clicked off

"That's nice. We're going on vacation."
"What?" Miss Emmeline frowned at her new friend.
Maureen laughed. "Vacation! You and me! For a month! Anywhere! I
worked it out of Walter, for you know, the whole cheating thing. I had to give
him the new car, but it's ok, I still like my old one. But yeah, vacation. Where do
you want to go? Paris? Brazil? Aus-"
"He's going to let me off work?"
"He hasn't got a choice in the matter. Think about where you want to go.
Come on, let's go congratulate that niece of yours."
The women headed over to where Katie stood, being fawned over by her
teammates and parents. Miss Emmeline's brother, looking up, no longer recog-
nized the woman with his sister who used to stand in front of his class and teach
Immanuel Kant's Categorical Imperative in tight sweaters. Miss Emmeline her-
self, in a sort of shocked state, didn't notice this development or feel much like
congratulating her niece.
"Aunt Emmy! I won! I'm going to the state finals!" cried Katie, who was
jumping up and down.
"I know, dear, I saw," Miss Emmeline Kantz' s eyes focused on the leather
and fur creation (which had set her back several thousand dollars) that lay on
the ground beside Katie's track suit. She picked it up and ran a soft hand over
smooth exterior. "You know, I think I'm going to need to borrow this."
Katie looked stunned. "My coat? Why? No. Aunt Emmy! You gave that
"Well I know that, but I bought it. And I'm going to be spending a month
in Italy and I'll need to look my best. Italian men you know." She thought for
a moment. "Here. Take my sweater. I crocheted it myself. And if you wouldn't
mind taking care of the cats while I'm gone-?"
Katie Kantz nodded, her mouth hanging open with the suspicion that a little
piece of her world had just fallen away.
It was around five o'clock when Maureen dropped Miss Emmeline off
outside of Sturgis
Dowd so she could go get her car. ''I'll call yo~ tonight to
talk about travel plans!" yelled Maureen as she peeled away.
"Thug life" was still milling about on the street comer in their puffy
jackets as Miss Emmeline walked to the parking lot. "Yo Ma!" one called out.
"Nice coat."
For the rest of the walk she had a definitive swing in her hips.

Mosaic Poetry Contest Runner-up
Aasta Franscati-Robinson
Sandaled feet scratch across sun-warmed concrete,
keeping within structured bounds while searching
for pre-programmed end. Blank eyes pass over
repeating patterns of fresh, precisely-
laid sod coupled with stark white fences, each
minute yard generic, yet futilely
trying to upstage cordoned off neighbors.
Doubly verifying the blue, glinting
combination of digits, I cut to
the front door, taking care to abandon
sandals beside the proffered welcome mat.
Accepting the invitation,
in unnoticed, skillfully padding toward
the kitchen, dominant dry palm resting
against seasoned cold metal at my back.
The dishwasher is working at the sink:
also functions as a cook, maid, mother.
misstep in life? I'm unaware, but
doesn't concern me
With the single-
mindedness of a machine, the woman
the dishes, returning each to its
hermetically sealed compartment.

glancing outside, robins scratch
through the tender Spring earth, dutifully
performing others' necessities.
Her inauspicious moment comes facing
cluttered doors of the refrigerator,
unaware of the heated shot that strikes
and exits her flesh, resulting in a
circular addition to the collage
of assignments, pictures, and comic strips.
Dead weight hits the floor
once vital liquid
blooms across her shirt - sputtering crimson
mist freckles her face
marring familiar
features. Steel blue eyes bore into my own,
chiseling fragments of client and housewife
into my brain - edges weather, obscured -
the two no longer distinguishable.
Decisive task complete, I pass over
pasted smiles and obtuse knickknacks
and continue out the cookie-cutter house,
would-be cyclic memory deleted.
Robin Henderson

Mosaic Poetry Contest Winner
(for the second year in a row no less)
Amanda Hurlburt
On Reading Robert Lowell in the Half-Light on the Way Back from New York City
Cataract lights through patina windows
break into schools of comet-tailed minnows
and swim along our speeding Greyhound bus
as his words float softly, ubiquitous.
Three seats away there is trivial talk:
what's tucked away in a Cheerios box
And I in their laughter, slightly repressed
drift alone in copper-colored unrest.
because it feels like something' s starting
should be, anticipation mounting
climbing crescendo, mad violin,
accelerator, heavy foot driven.
occasion for epiphany,
serious things, a discovery
momentous, and effortless poetry
phone call that changes everything.
tat a
red light, I tip as we stop
falls asleep and still there is talk
, a dress, a deadline, a song
violin. And nothing is wrong -
Lowell bothers me less, poetry
extinction, insanity,
Cheerios box, an empty wish,
that were never meant to be fish.

Brianne Bendit
They say opportunity may
have killed the cat
Well I'm better than that
I'm all that
And a bag of chips
For the first time
Feel the pipe on my lip
Feels so good
I lose my grip and fall
I just drop
I can't stop
I need to get back up
My attitude
So rude
So crude
Left in solitude
In my own zone
No one calls on the phone
I'm on my own
All alone
Left with
I need something
Feel the needle sting
I feel better
But not for long
I need the powder on my fingers My will isn't strong
I need this moment to linger
So I do what's wrong
It's all that consumes my mind I choose
I gotta find
To lose
To misuse and
To feed the craving
More and
I'm misbehaving
More and
The rent's not worth saving
Out on the street
On my own two feet
No time for regret
But I can't forget
And I can't forgive
This is the Life I Live
I'm worse off than before
I shut the door
Because of my
No 9 lives for me
Just one life dedicated to
An existence of slavery
With addiction
You can never be free.

Don't Tell the Truth
Marianne Schaffer
You wakeup.
You realize first... you' re on the couch.
Second ... you' re not wearing pants.
Third ... you're alone.
There is a bucket by your head (empty).
There is a little note from a loving friend that says "love ya, feel better."
That friend is NOT your roommate, your roommate is not home.
As you slowly piece together the night before you remember 2 drinks, a few
conversations, and that's about it.
"Maybe I just decided I was tired and wanted to go," you think to yourself.
your fantasy memory, you have two drinks, end up feeling bored and tired,
and ask your friend to drive you home.
you may have professed your undying love to men you're trying to
convince yourself that you actually like.
You may have danced (you probably danced)
may have gotten sick (although that's unlikely since the bucket was
You may have blown it in a million ways.
may have killed your roommate and that's why she's not home.
You may have ruined EVERYTHING ...
and all before midnight.
pretend that you decided you were tired and needed a ride home
naked on the couch with a bucket thing isn't important anyway.

Stephanie M. Garrison
What do you read,
Slipping in
Like hard candies,
Sliding around,
Trying to find purchase
At last
Melting into the subconscious
And finally
Able to lie
Trippingly on the tongue
Shifting through the mind
Changing states of being
Translucent thoughts
Flowing into elegant speech
Stamped in bold-faced texts
And, as the vicious cycle demands,
Back to thoughts again
Worn like rocks by the shore
Protecting the pinnacle of the mind
Filled with sharp, coarse ideas
Waiting to soften over time
To join the sea of voice
With shape
Encompassing force
Yet commanding
A paradqx within itself
And manipulative
Power rests with

The Grey Side of Saffron
go ...
The door crashed behind her as she walked down the hallway of that
empty building built of steel and betrayal. The dim lights in the narrow passage-
flicker an amber tint on the barren metallic walls already devoid of life
struck the floor and echoed in the narrow nothingness. Slender, yet firm,
marched on.
Her pale blond hair was pulled back tightly so as not to stray. A veil of
powder hid her from the world. Her eyes, the only trace of color that was
anymore and even then the grey fog that seemed to brew inside them
dead. Expressionless, she made her way to the end of the hall. Despite all
hopes, she already knew what lay beyond.
I loved you for what you were afraid to be.
She thought of the day she last saw him.
She was packing when he came into the room. She looked at him only for
ent and began to throw more clothes into her suitcase.
"Can't we talk?" he said with a sigh.
"Whatis there to talk about?"
you're leaving for one."
many times do we have to do this?" she asked.
not going to stop. I can't."
can't keep protecting you!" She slammed her suitcase shut as a tear fell
ed the leather case. "I can't keep doing this. I won't be there when
ey're wrong."
y're on their way." She picked up her suitcase and began walking for
way?" he said, "What does that mean 'they're on their way'?"
turned only so he could just make out the movement of her lips.

"I told them." She said, ''I'm sorry."
She left him standing dumbstruck in the bedroom as she walked out the
doorway and down the hall, running her right hand along the red paint that
draped the wall. She felt her hand brush over the frame of one of his paintings.
She took it off the wall and looked at it with a smile and a tear, put it under her
arm and kept walking without so much as a look back. They'd be here soon; she
knew it wouldn't take long. And by tomorrow, he'd be caged in that metallic
building with the others.
A grey fire behind His shadows, eyes burning to be set free, to run fore
across the deep blue sky.
She awoke to reality as she reached the end of the hall to find one of he
two guards holding the door for her.
"Come to see the show have you?" The guard said as she passed
"Shouldn't be much longer now."
She kept walking.
"Serves him right
if you ask me." the other said, "I've been waiting
for this. Bastard's gonna get what's coming to him."
"Can't expect anything less though. After what he did, betraying the G
Lord and all
She came to attention hearing those words.
"Leave us."
"What'd you say?"
She slowly turned her head so the two guards could just make out
movement of her lips.
"Leave us."
"What? Who do you
think you are lady?" The guard replied. The other
grabbed his arm and whispered something in his ear
"My apologies" he said as they both left the room. The door slammed
and echoed with their exit. The room was nearly empty. It reseipbled that of
hallway her eyes became accustomed to. Before her on the far metallic
small rectangular window. With a deep breath, she walked up to see
to see him once more.

Pools of pearl-white clouds floating among the heavens to hide behind
and escape the blackened fire that brew in His wake.
"You can't keep doing this." She said to him as he cast another stroke of
goldenrod on the canvas in the studio at the back of their home.
"Doing what?" A stroke of moss green.
"Oh, well
wouldn't worry about it too much. There's nothing wrong
"Everything is wrong with it."
stroke of gamboge hit the canvas.
"Says who?"
"Says Him." she watched him clean his brush and go for the grey.
"Well He doesn
t have to know, does He?" He painted the grey over her
eyes, sculpting her face as she stood before him.
"You know
I have to tell Him
"Why?" He dipped his brush into alizarin and continued to give life to the
"It's my job, you know that."
He turned to look at her. His burning orange eyes caught her gaze and
her back. She could only look down at her feet to avert his gaze.
"Look at me."
She raised her head to meet his gaze. She loved his fiery orange eyes. She
er met anyone else with eyes so alive, burning with his passion. Maybe
drew her to him in the first place.
sighed and gave a faint smile.
Your eyes used to be green."
Green, you do remember what green is don't you."
course I do. It hasn't been that long."
where did your green go?"
s still
his head.
are green!"
front of him, wheeled her around to have her staring at hers
Leaves of amber and goldenrod swirled and spiraled around her
amongst the trees of autumn. Her thin blond hair had blown in

front of her face. Only her eyes were able to be seen. She felt that she was lookin
in a mirror, except for one thing.
"Why are my eyes grey?"
A hint of green was noticeable, but now covered by a faint cloud of grey.
"Because they are."
"No." She said, "My eyes are green."
"They were green."
"They are green."
"He's changed you."
"No He hasn't."
"You can't tell me you're happy."
She swiftly raised her right hand and hit him. He stammered back and!
control of his pallet as it flew towards the canvas. The colors crashed and began
to drip down the fabric. Crimson and tenne rolled down 'her' right eye.
"Don't ever paint again. I'll report you if you do."
... but it was your eyes that gave you away.
He saw her through the metal frame and wired glass returning to
as solemnly as she had left him. A smile slowly began to grow amidst the
bruises on his face. The guards had fun with him when they got bored. But to
see her now was his silent sanctuary, his vacant asylum. While she was here,
knew he was safe. He pressed himself to the thin sliver of glass in the metal d
to see her more clearly. A ghost that walked through the barren nothingness,
walked right up to within inches of his face. Only glass and betrayal stood
tween them. And still he smiled; he believed she had come to save him.
You stood amongst His lines of toy soldiers,
He remembered that night vividly.
They were here, they had finally come. He ran from the front door
down the hall, tearing his paintings off the wall as he went in hopes of slo ·
them down. His breaths coming more furiously than his heartbeat, the door
been kicked in and he could now hear their swift footsteps coming down
hall. Bright lights at the tips of their automatics paced the house quickly.
through the bedroom and into his studio, pulled a lamp out of its socket

crash on the floor. The lights and red scopes were on his back as h
through the room. The two men in the bedroom doorway fired
bullets raced
through the air only to hit the space he used to be in. The sheetrock jumped from
the wall behind him as the bullets sank in, destroying the wall and a few more of
his paintings. The house was growing darker; the only light source now was at
the disposal of the men in black clothes and guns in their hands.
He made his way to his studio. They were closing, death was breathing
down his neck as he ran to the door at the end of the studio. As he pulled it open
metal casings began to jump from the automatics and gently tapping the floor
they fell. Intending to miss, they hit every exposure of the door around him.
didn't want him to get away. With a click he closed the door and slowly
raising his hands over his head as he became blinded from the six men
his every movement with the barrels of their guns. He returned to the
ter of the room as the men circled around him.
"You guys feeling generous today?" He asked them with a smirk.
The six men lowered their weapons as He came walking from the dark
Draped in all black, He filled the doorframe, somehow finding a way to
eeze into the room. His face was rigid and showed a hint of annoyance. The
of his heels on the hardwood floor was the only sound in the room as He
ched him.
"Come to visit Vermilion?"
back of his left hand caught him by the ear, which immediately and
uGREAT Lord Vermilion, you filth" He heard him say in his left ear as the
of his face began to sting again. He dropped to his knees, clutching at
tside of his face.

Can't even stand for what you believe in anymore can you?" His right
at his chest. He coughed the fresh blood all over Him.
this?" He said as he kicked him again, forcing him to the ground.
where you belong it seems." He said to him and with one last kick
exit from the room. The only thing he can remember before passing
Her unfinished, unpainted eyes, lying bare on the canvas just
set them ablaze with the rest of his paintings.
a sanctuary from His abyss, His hell of transparent bars.

He returned to find his breath fogged up the wired glass between them
as he rested his hands in front of him on his cold metallic cell. He stared into
eyes. He remembered her green eyes when he first met her. Now they were
glazed over by what He had put her through. She was different now. When he
first met her she would sit with him for hours as he painted her. She was full of
life then; her hair seemed more vibrant, face full of color. She never wore make-
up then.
You stood there amongst the crowd.
He put his brush and pallet down to get the paper at the door. She lay
there half finished on the canvas. He still had her eyes to paint.
"Can you believe this headline?" He said to himself as he walked back
"Vermilion to Cure Man" He mumbled. He sat down in the kitchen and
didn't pick up his brush again until she came home.
"Did you read this article?" He said to her. "I can't believe this guy."
"I have something to tell you." She said.
"But did you read this? Count Vermilion has been made Great Lord now
"I know." She walked by him and went to the bedroom.
"But this policy he plans on putting into effect," he shouted between the
rooms, "He's trying to control the people. No more music, no more novels, no
more art, how can He do this? It's just wrong."
She reentered the kitchen, her thin blonde hair still pulled back tightly
"Can we talk?" she asked.
"I can't believe this. I'll never be able to paint again. Never be able to
ish painting your green eyes according to Him. How can He even justify this?"
"We need to talk."
"It just doesn't make any sense; all He is doing is desensitizing society
is taking the humanistic elements away from humanity. How do people not see
this? They have allowed a man the right to dehumanize us all."
"I won't stop painting, I can't. It's who I am. I won't bow to Him. VermiJ.
ion is a man like the rest of us. I won't let Him do this."
"Saffron!" she screamed, desperate to snap him from his rant.

"Aren't you listening?" Celadon?" He was staring at her now, panting
from his words. She couldn't take it; she broke his gaze and found herself staring
at her feet.
"Great Lord Vermilion has appointed me Head Censor."
Celadon ...
His eyes were met by hers, talking through the glass and metal and dis-
tance they had built between them. He needed to know what was going to hap-
pen. His fingertips lifted and caressed the glass with the memory of her face.
Streaks were left on the windowpane as he gazed into her eyes, those deep pools
grey. The traces of emerald were faintly noticeable, her eyes being wholly con-
sumed by the grey cloud that crawled in long ago. He kept staring, searching for
the woman he had loved. He longed for her touch, another opportunity to paint
her eyes once more. A faint smile grew on his face as he searched her eyes for an
answer, for a hope.
broke his gaze and stared at her feet.
"Look at me" he said. But she ignored him. She kept her head down.
"Look at me." He cried with more force. A single tear rolled down her
, glistening in the pale light as it fell and dampened the floor. He began bang-
the on the door trying to get her attention. With another tear, she turned
started for the door.
Tears began to fall from his face. Both his fists were now being used,
· g with his metallic prison. Muffled screams were escaping to her ears as
walking. His face was now being splattered with the fresh blood from
skin on his knuckles. His eyes burned intensely as he tried to get her
and come save him once more. Banging, punching, screaming, she
faintly hear his muffled cries from behind her as she headed for the door.
a click, the heaters turned on. She looked up to see the blazing or-
dows escaped the single window pane and reflected off the metallic wall
Her grey eyes took in the flickering shade of fire and made the tears
e faster.
moments the flames died and the dusty silver tint returned to the
tthout looking back, she walked through the door, her eyes no longer
even the smallest traces of green

She returned to their old home after that. The mask of powder left on the city
streets mixed with the tears she cried for him. Slowly, she opened the front door
and walked down the hall. Her left hand brushed on the now glossy white wall
grazing over the painting that she had put back up. She made her way to the en
of the hall and into the bedroom, falling face first into the black comforter.
her pillow laid a beaten and dirty envelope. There was no address, just her nam
More tears began to fall and wet the envelope, smudging the ink that made out
her name. She slowly opened it once more.
You stood alone amongst the crowd. Standing firm,
tuary from His abyss, His hell of transparent bars. You
stood amongst His lines of toy soldiers, but it was your
eyes that gave you away. A grey fire behind His shadows,
eyes burning to be set free, to run forever across the deep
blue sky. Pools of pearl-white clouds floated among the
heavens to hide behind and escape the blackened fire that
brew in His wake. I loved you for what you were afraid to
be. Let go ...

I'm in it
Amy Wheeler
Call it a confession
Call it crazy
I call it
heart's words.
It's the elementary school routine
of writing your name and
enclosed in a heart.
taking silly pictures
being called beautiful
driving to nowhere
living in the moment
kisses on the forehead.
whispered phone conversa-
under the covers
hiding from reality.
It's knowing the end of his sentence
it's not having to explain
it's when everything makes sense.
It's knowing
how he lost his first tooth
his ticklish spots
his best dance moves.
It's longing
It's feeling
It's holding on tight.
It's bursting out
It's skipping
It's smiling for no reason.
It's wearing sweats
and cuddling on
a winter day.
It's sacrifice
It's effort
It's focus.

Android Advancement Issues
Jessica Friedlander
My dearest, sweetest retrograde computer:
You seemed such a perfect suitor!
Yet now I'm spurned,
electric-shocked, and quite burned ...
If only I hadn't made the error
talks of an upgrade made you crash in terror
Or was
simply our constant fervor?
Day on and day off nearly killed the server.
System malfunctions occur daily, believe it!
we lost a file, we could easily retrieve it.
Ctrl +Alt+ Delete can't undo what I've done
My hasty, mistaken command, intended for fun ...
Oh don't you pull the plug on me!
It's a shame to shut down our "we" --
our files, our programs, our devoted firewall!
Unless we'd never established a connection at all ... ?
that's the case,
I think I'd rather catch a simple virus
than have our entire history erased.

Dreams and Lovers
Sarah Gunner
Grace doesn't laugh often. But when she does, she really laughs. She tilts
her head back, and the laughter bubbles up out of her like a fountain of gold,
spilling over and infecting everyone around her. It's as
if her laughter is an oasis
the middle of a dessert, drawing people in, thirsty for more.
Her mother died giving birth to her. Some things are unforgivable, and
her father could never forgive her for killing the one woman he loved. Knowing
are the reason your father drinks himself to sleep every night can do strange
things. Some mornings she would bring him coffee in bed to help with the hang-
over, but other mornings she would slam the door as hard as possible when she
for school, hoping
would wake him. A child craves love, but a child also
away from hate. Grace was no exception.
The worst nights were the ones where her father would stumble in from
bar and call her Melanie, her mother's name. Terrified of him, she wouldn't
and he would fall to the floor, sobbing. A father is supposed to be your
father is supposed to keep his little girl safe from harm, keep the world
arm's length away. For Grace, the world came crashing through her door the
the ocean crashes against the shore during a storm. The world lay on her
kitchen floor, crying out for someone who could never answer.
It's easy to understand why Grace doesn't laugh often. Smiles don't come
• y
when you carry those memories. For Grace, memories are not abstract.
heavy bricks that sit on her thin shoulders. Only 28 years old, she looks
fifteen years more.
Grace thought that she was saving herself, finally, finally, when she met
eighteen, love comes easy. A few nights out at the drive-ins, some beer
someone's parents, a joint or two smoked out back after school-this
shape of love to Alan and Grace. Both virgins, they had sex for the first
Alan's best friend's basement, on a couch covered in plastic. It was awk-
d quick, and all Grace can ever remember of that night is the sound of
bare skin - that suction sound your legs make against the leather of a
hot summer day-as Alan pumped away. After he was done, he rolled
offered to get her another beer. Small gestures that Grace had never

experienced before, and made her think that he must love her.
He told her he loved her by accident.
was a few weeks after they had sex
for the first time
They were a little drunk, and Grace started laughing at a joke
he told. He had never heard her laugh before, and it caught him off guard with
how perfect it sounded. He couldn't help himself-the beer, her laughter-it all
overwhelmed him and filled him up. He thought to himself, "This must be love
So he said, "I love you, Grace."
was almost too low for her to hear him. They were outside, at dusk,
and the sound of the cicadas nearly drowned him out. Her laughter suddenly
stopped, and the spell was broken. Alan thought for a spilt second that maybe he
had made a mistake, but words like that can never be taken back. She smiled at
him, and whispered, "I love you, too." Tucking her wispy blonde hair behind
ears, she leaned in and kissed him. Alan kissed her back, hoping that the magic
he felt at her laughter could carry him along, keeping his head above the water,
through their relationship.
That night, as Grace lay in bed, she thought about what Alan had said.
could hear her father snoring drunkenly in the next room, occasionally mo ·
in his sleep. She imagined what it would be like to leave her father, to leave
pain and sadness that seemed built into the house and permeated the walls
ing under the doors and through the cracks in the windows. She visualized
Alan looked like. His brown hair falling into his eyes, and the way he would
push it back, annoyed that it was always in the way, yet refusing to get a hair
cut. She saw the way he moved, as
he were a dancer and could glide ands
around everything and everyone until he reached his destination
She thou~
about how it would feel
she was the destination Alan was so gracefully ·
to reach
It scared her to think that she might have a chance to be happy.
She dreamed that night she was laughing at Alan's joke again, and he told
loved her again. As she continued to laugh, her surroundings turned to gold
began melting around her. The more she laughed, the more the river of gold
her feet undulated and pulsed, until all she cou
d see was a world full of s
ever-moving brightness. These are the dreams we strive to remember. Th
the dreams that sustain us in our moments of darkness.
After this, Alan and Grace began to spend every moment together.
their friends went off to college, they stayed, too poor and too in love tol
On Grace's 20th birthday, Alan proposed. He had been saving his money
his job doing construction, working the night shifts to make extra money.

wanted her to finally have a house that was hers, all hers, where she wouldn't
have to be careful of making noise that could rouse her father from his inebriated
He searched for a house for months. One day, while driving down a little-
used road, he saw a tiny yellow house with a "for sale" sign posted out front. On
three acres of land, it was a two-bedroom bungalow that needed serious work.
The paint outside was chipping, and the tiles on the roof were missing in some
spots like the gaping holes in a child's mouth after they have lost teeth. After
getting a tour from the owners, he decided it was the perfect house for Grace to
finally come home in-the first house she could truly call home. They would fix
itup together, working side by side to make themselves a home and a marriage.
soon as he had enough saved for a down payment, he bought her a tiny
diamond ring and asked her to marry him in the exact spot where he told her
loved her for the first time. For the second time in their relationship, after she
yes, Alan heard her laugh. At that moment, Alan forgot he ever wondered if
truly loved her.
The wedding took place in the backyard of their new home, at dusk. Grace
strung white lights through the braches of the huge weeping willow that
the road, and Alan's mother took her own wedding dress and altered it so
it would fit Grace's small frame. Alan himself spent 3 weeks beforehand rip-
the old shingles on the roof and replacing new ones, and repainting the
the same pale yellow.
The day of the wedding, Grace awoke and realized that it would be the
she would ever wake up and have her father in the next room. She won-
she would miss him. He was a shadow of a human being, a void that
with cheap alcohol. But sometimes it is only until after a void is filled
realize how much it changed and shaped your life through its absence.
scan be heavy.
After the wedding was over and the few guests had left, Grace quietly ex-
home that Alan had been working on since he bought it three months
. She ran her hand up and down the stairwell that led to her bedroom.
closed every cabinet and closet. She turned on the water taps
oom. When Alan came up behind her in the bathroom, hugging her
asking her how she liked it, she laughed. The gold of the fau~ets
suddenly brighter to Alan at that moment, and he took her to
they had been having sex for years, this night it seemed as

they were rimmed in a halo of gold, their skin rippling and buckling the way
molten metal does.
Grace and Alan quickly slipped into the routine of marriage. As the
months passed, the small repairs on the house were pushed aside as Alan
worked long hours doing construction and Grace worked retail at the local Tar-
get. The hours they had together they would rather spend going out to movies
watching TV in their small living room then laboring away at mundane chores.
When Grace turned 26, and she and Alan had been married for six years, Alan
lost his job doing construction. He had fallen a few months prior and broken
foot, and after three months of not getting better, the company let him go, citing
"surplus of employees". He looked diligently at first for another job, but as each
application failed and each interview ended without a call, he began to drink.
first, it was a few beers a night, but it very quickly became cheap whiskey, just
like Grace's father.
Grace slowly saw herself becoming her father's daughter again, and Alan
slowly saw himself becoming the man he had tried to save Grace from so many
years before. The ability to see something does always not mean we have the
ability to change it, and both Grace and Alan watched helplessly as their lives
became something they never expected or wanted. Failure drove Alan to drink
more, and it drove Grace to withdraw into herself.
Grace came home from work one evening and Alan was lying passed
out drunk in their bed. Next to him was an empty bottle of Jack Daniels. As she
stood there, looking at her husband, she began to cry. She sat on the edge of the
bed that once represented so much promise and sobbed. It was as
her eyes
been the dam holding in her soul, and as the dam finally broke, her soul poured
out of her and pooled in a clear, salty puddle on the floor below her.
Alan awoke and saw Grace on the end of the bed. As he reached over to
touch her, she flinched, shying away from him the way a skittish horse shies
away from its handler. Alan stumbled to his feet and kneeled on the ground
below Grace. He begged for her forgiveness, he claimed that he would never
touch another drop of alcohol-that he loved her, and that he would do any ·
to stop the tears that still coursed down her face. She sat their silently, unable
answer, unable to do anything but watch herself flow out of her eyes and
in tiny drops beneath her husband. "Is this all we are?" thought Grace." Are
all just star-points of liquid, shining in the moonlight?"
When Alan saw she wouldn't respond to him, he grew angry. Drunk

can flare up like a candle in the dark, lighting up and burning brightly until they
reach the end of their wick. He screamed at her for making him the way he was,
for making him feel like a failure. As he stood their screaming, hobbling back
and forth on his one good foot, Grace watched with detachment, wondering
this was the shape of her love now. She still wanted to reach up and brush his
beautiful, long brown hair out of his eyes.
She still wanted to save him from becoming a shadow like her father.
She reached up to push his hair away from his face, hoping this familiar
movement would pacify him and extinguish his anger
Instead, he hit her.
Squarely across the right eye. And then again across the left. And then
in her chest. She curled in a ball on the bed, hoping that
she could make
small enough, she would disappear into the sheets, away from the pain.
saw this and suddenly stopped, turning around and slowly gliding out of
room, grabbing a bottle of beer as he left.
ce sat up. She touched her tender eyes, swollen from tears and from the
s Alan had just imparted. And she sat all night in that exact spot until Alan
back up the stairs, when she laid down and pretended to sleep.
tnight she dreamed that she and Alan were teenagers again, and Alan was
g her another joke. This time, instead of laughing, she cried. Her tears made
of snakes that snapped at her and hissed in her ear. Alan just stood there
doing nothing to stop the strangling hold the snakes had on her
they dragged her away Alan turned and left.
next morning she woke up and quietly slipped away to work. When
home, Alan was drunk again. They never once discussed that night, or
nights that happened after the first beating. It was easy for Alan to
her after that first time- once you find you are able to stomach do-
you know you will always be able to stomach doing it again.
himself he did it because he loved her. He told himself he was still that
searched for months for the perfect home for his bride, and that he still
finish the list of steadily growing repairs on the house. He told himself
clean up, get a job, stop drinking-be the husband he always thought
he said. Always tomorrow.
ago, at the age of 27, Grace saw dark red between her legs after
beaten her.
to the bathroom, hoping that she had gotten her period. The blood

wouldn't stop, and it was dark, as if it came from somewhere deep inside her.
She began to feel crippling pain in her lower abdomen- contractions, ebbing
and flowing, constantly moving. She immediately knew she was miscarrying,
although she had never even known she was pregnant. She spent the entire night
in the bathroom, wondering if she was meant to forever kill the things that could
have offered her the most salvation. First her mother, and now her child-would
she ever have the chance to give life instead of take it?
When the blood and the pain finally stopped the next morning, Grace be-
gan to plan how she would leave Alan. Never once in her life had the thought
leaving ever crossed her mind. At her miscarriage, however, she changed. Some-
thing inside her came back to life. She realized she did not want to be a ghost of
woman, silently creeping around her house, afraid of her husband and his whis-
key-induced rages.
Leaving is a concept that is hard for many people. Leaving a life behind,

house full of wedding gifts and material things that once meant so much-these
are difficult things for many to come to terms with. Grace is no different. She
nowhere to go, nothing on the other side of her plan to offer her safety.
She will have no job, no money, and no clothes except for what she could fit
small bag that she will carry out the door with her. But she doesn't care.
For a year she has been planning how she will do it. Should she leave from
and never come back? Should she leave in the morning, when Alan is out
ing his alcohol for the day? Finally, tonight, as she lies awake with Alan sno ·
beside her, she cannot take it anymore.
Grace quietly slips out of bed, as if she were only the wind rustling
sheets from the open window. As the moonlight illuminates her she becomes
ghost, a brief apparition of sadness and grief. As she steps again into the
of light, reaching for her small bag that she has kept packed for over a year,
outline of fading bruises in the shapes of fingers and fists are visible.
She slowly glides down the stairs and surveys the house she has
for the past eight years, understanding that she will never see it again. At
so promising, it has never become the house Alan told her it would. She
she won't miss the broken stove, or the chairs that always seem to be
arm or a leg. She allows herself a quick smile of triumph as she silently
the screen door and slides behind the wheel of Alan's rusting 1987 Chevy.
red, it now is hard to identify as a single color
As she starts the car she
won't hear the crunch of the tires on the gravel, and she begins to drive.

As she drives away in his stolen car, the years fall from her face as the
miles pile up, and she laughs. She alternates the laughter with a song, humming
at first and then screaming at the top of her lungs, giddy and drunk with her
first taste of freedom. Her laughter seems to spill out of the windows of the car
like a bathtub overflowing, turning the road behind her into the river of gold
she dreamed about so many years before when Alan first told her he loved her.
It erases the memories that have weighed her down like cinderblocks, and her
shoulders lift and lighten as the memories drown in the pulsating torrent of
As Grace drives on, manic and high, Alan suddenly wakes and turns to
the empty space she has left, where her head used to rest on the pillow. As he
fights to break the surface of consciousness, the way a diver breaks the surface of
water gasping for air, he realizes that she is gone.
Running down the stairs in only his grease-stained boxers, he throws open
screen door with enough force to tear
off its hinges. The second he sees his
gone he knows she is lost forever, and he falls to his knees, howling in anger
loss. The neighbors, waking from the strange sound, think
is only a coyote,
return to their dreams and lovers, clutching the other as
if they were shield-
themselves from the sound a man makes when he loses everything.
Lauren M. Jackson
There are twelve ducks in the pond today
hit one with a rock
It flew up
and then it fell
because I hit it with a rock
I'll regret that one later
or now
we'll see
wait, veterinary medicine dictates
hurt the duck. ..
but why was
able to fly up?
Ha, guess
didn't hurt it after all.
I'll keep throwing.

Liberty's Plight
Tim McMullan
For thou saw madness in motion
It cometh hither, ever closer still
The color of America, a once free country
Of religious tolerance and equality
"A government for the people," reveled aloud
Bold and vivid hues signifying the true the proud
A grand Republic like in the Age of Greece
But such cherished Gold was stolen away
As malarkey wrapped in novel packaging
Brooding deceit and promises known to be false
On doorsteps and screens exploited our cost
Whence its blue ribbcms revealed great loss
Made heavy the hearts of the hirelings
As their bright horizons turned dismal grey
"Man," He scoffed, "the most magnificent tragedy,
Too blind to see that all of it was not mean to be"
To my attention it came arise
The sharp contrast cross the skies
A little less to say than new surprise
Misgivings spurred on, coaxed by lies
Unsuspectingly gandered the brainless fool
Sought absolve over said precious jewel
In time grasping it a nauseating sensation
Amidst the natives explained known proclamation
No better to be pierced with words with which we knew
Than to see our side cut and scarlet hue
Whether mortuary or mortification begat too soon
Surrounding by smoke the devil dared loom
Void of senses to notice the pungent fumes
We even blind as our adamant doom

Hope without certainty never a truer kind
Bloomed from within the recess of our minds
Plucked by unbelievers and the sayers of nay
Harkened through the land wrought in utter dismay
was meant to be, created then fashioned
From the dust of said undoing
Rose up intricate forms designed with passion
Naught chance led to immaculate gain
Eternity of dice rolling could not sustain
Hysteria afflicted the off beam braying
As asses stubborn in all usefulness inane
Would not, could not, choose naught
To hold in high respects in lot
For seasons past, showed at last
The treasure of enormous wealth
Not of currency or of self
Marked with an unbalanced X
Christ's Cross, I do not jest
The viral democratic flaw
The most regrettable mistake
To grossly hyperbolize one clause
Misinterpreting Separation of Church and State

Dear Cast
Brianne Bendit
They applaud. It's curtain call.
Line up to take that last bow.
It's all over now
We clasp our hands tight
Raise them high over our heads, that's right
And let go ...
This was our last show
Close that last scripted page
From our characters
And walk off stage
Resume our normal routines
Without rehearsals to intervene
No more notes on those last final scenes
No more familiar faces
Hearing the call for places
Pushed together in backstage spaces
A theatre ghost doesn't haunt these halls
Our characters voices echo through these walls
Our lines, our scenes,
The energy of the applause.
This show lingers in that red curtain
That flooded stage
Homicide "With a murderous rage"
An overdose of fainting prescriptions
African tribes and nervous conditions
Davis, Davis is the pseudonym
Choking, stabbing and deathly bee stings
"You rang sir" and rancid tinned tongue
Vera afraid of being hung
With our deaths
all begun ...

But now it's over and we must go home
No more ring ring ringing to Banana Phone
No more guitar solos in the green room
Or warming up real fucking loud to "I said a boom chicka boom"
And here I am
Nostalgia eats at my core
I long for more
Just standing at the green room door
Staring at the floor
As the tears begin to well
I understand I have one last chore
One last change.
Time to clean up and rearrange
I get dressed, collect everything that's mine
Look in the mirror, wipe away those old age lines
I think I'm going through withdrawal
Every time I try to leave .
I stall...
Because I realize I must go on living ...
Without all of you
so grateful we were all casted
was fun dying together while it lasted
few weeks we became a family with a common goal
performance with a single soul
now that this "dirty work" has been done
the green room door ... Barn!
Then There Were None .. .
Mrs. Rogers

Stephanie M. Garrison
Do not judge me by shade of skin;
Ignore my gender too.
My brain has nothing to do with them.
Do not define normal or adequate,
I'll define them myself.
You have no idea who I am.
Do not figure you know me
Because you can see me.
I have eyes too,
Does that mean I know you?
Let me earn my title.
Let me obtain a reputation.
Let me stand firmly on my own two feet.
To earn my standing through my
Sweat and blood.
In short,
Let me

You asked me to lie down on the kitchen table
I thought it ail odd request,
But I did as you asked
Because I loved you.
I watched you pull out the knife,
The blade glistening in the fluorescent light
And I trusted you
You smiled at me sweetly.
I returned the gesture,
Laying calmly on the wood.
You drove the cold steel into me
And I sat perfectly still,
My eyes wide in fascination.
You slid the knife through my chest,
Moving back my skin and flesh.
With my last breath I watched
Transfixed as you pulled it out.
Understanding finally dawning that
When I said my heart belonged to you
You took it literally.
Kelly Geus
My lover's eyes, of amber colored sand
My Goddess
Miguel Gonzalez
Her scarlet lips make pale the other girls'
The lightest tan does grace her skin, so grand
The tresses that adorn her crown, in swirls.
My heart beats for her when I see her near
With blood as red as hue upon her cheeks
The feel, her breath, so pure and crystal clear
Aroma lasting for uncounted weeks.
Her voice, melodic, as the gods above
I always crave to hear her songlike sound
Divine, her splendor; vibrant, potent love
Her footsteps tap the Elysian ground.
With sight of her, all thought is vertigo
To taste her kiss, a treasure, is to know.

Stephanie Bushman
The golden leaves, no fallen out of favor,
Reflect the earth like artists' paper.
Burned and singed
Under the torrent
Of passionate paint.
They contrast the green grass
Better than the cloudless sky.
They're a pour substitute for summer dandelions.
The trees,
The flowers,
The sunsets,
They all look better in gold.
Most things do.
All the colors of the sunset
Used up
Rung out
On the fallen leaves.
I had just missed the art show.
All that remains at this time of day
Is the murky cup of water
That they wash the brushes in.
I bathe myself in the urban moonlight
Cast by overhead lamps and refracted
I should have seen it coming
Like a train
Like the rain
You can smell it in the air.
I'm drowning in my derailed dis
I would have used my own hair to
this family together.
I went bald with the effort.
Ever since then,
It never really mattered
Whether things came easy
Or things came
Just as long as they came at all.

February Fourteenth
Snow dirtied by footprints
blankets the ground, but it pales
comparison to my heart:
black, grey, and depressing
Romance blossoms this month,
seen in the lovers embrace
friends share here:
pink, and sensual.
Their bubbling relationship,
new, young, and vibrant as a sunflower:
yellow, canary, and fresh.
Content togetherness
springing from loneliness,
mundane dirt of life:
tan, and sad
want to feel yellow,
feel blue.
bright blue of new morning,
and crisp
cerulean of stream,
g cheerfully its
d I feel stormy
of clouds and of rain,
gout my sorrows,
while the world shines
sunlight of their houses.
Amy Wheeler

Danielle Mooney
I wonder if she's angry at
me, with her syndrome of
the Velveteen Rabbit.
A porcelain miniature
of myself, confined forever in
Neverland. As I grew I
breathed life into her cotton torso,
each inhalation I granted
was from a secret
I knew only she could keep.
And now as I cross
the threshold of womanhood,
with heavier thoughts traipsing
through my swelling mind,
she sits in a box beneath my bed
remembering when my
biggest worry was having to come
inside on summer nights; the
streetlights signaling
my curfew.
As she waits for her second
debut, she listens to
the moths' buzzing; she
must sit still as they nibble away
at her princess gowns.
When I was but seven
I wore away
her cold toy-shelf-skin's splendor
by treating it with the toiletries of
my small person's love.
I cried the conditioner of
alligator tears into her hair, and
her favorite toothpastes were the
lollipops I tapped on her
Chiclet teeth. The perfect
miniature outfits wrinkled
from hugs. Now the moths are
jealous of the
care locked within
her plastic skin.
Does she miss me? Does it upset
her that she'll never attend another
party wrapped in the crook of
Only dear Grandma still asks
her because only Grandma under-
what a friend she was to me.

As my hair grew longer
and fell out of pigtails
hers only lost its shine
I never thanked her
I straightened
hair for the ones
who suddenly shed their cooties.
I became "too old"
play with dolls,
swept her onto a high shelf.
looked down to me,
glassing over with
hoped she wasn't listening

was on display only
small-framed friend up
shelf was patient. She knew
only talks occurred
no one else was around. But
times because farther and fewer
n, as dust snowed upon her
horse hair.
of growth finally
y face to the shelf.
veto stand
· any longer to see her.
gh to parallel
The summer's sunlight streaming
softly through my windows tanned
her; I noticed it as I knotted
my string bikini on m.y way
out the door of the room.
that once hosted our gauzy tea
hours. When the only strings
were hair ribbons.
Back when I'd dress her for
the classiest balls, and she'd nod
with pride
at m.y oversized pumps
and mom.' s "borrowed" bright
pink lipstick.
The galas have past, tea has fermented
over the years to
a bitter form. of fun.
As m.y prom.
approaches, does her grapefruit head
still nod in approval?
I don't see
from. the seat
inside her box.
will be Belle, but only
she knows that
since only she
m.e when
once confided that
really was
the pinkest power ranger at
the perfect age of five. At that her eyes
had sparkled as she "locked her lips"
and hid the glinting key.

Just as
the key to my childhood is tarnishing
and the notches and grooves
are losing their fine edge, will
the key not unlock
if I force it hard?
Will my childhood become a display
behind a museum wall of glass?
She is the museum security guard,
I must stay on her
good graces.
As I leave her again
for college I fear
she'll lose her ability to hear
me from inside her
cardboard cage.
Perhaps I'll fashion tin-can
walkie talkies, keep
them behind the dorm's
dingy drapes, and signal
into the night. Silly me, the
string won't reach, and
my heart strings are stretching
as I move away
I was holding
my beautiful doll. She'll be absent
from university classes, and
as I used to get wide-eyed in fright,
but blame her for fear, I'm
still as scared. Now I can't push
the pressure on my tiny trim pal.
I neglected her more
and more each year I hope
there is no hate in her heart.
As I comb
my tresses
I remember how carefully
I brushed hers. Her hair
will never gray, and the youth I'm
slowly losing will never lose its color
either because I trust her
wholeheartedly to safeguard it,
and even call on it to play.
She'll guard
forever for me
since she does remember
my precious care of her when
she was the realest sister
I ever had. My tears of holding on
would now roll off
her plastic hand, so I won't cry
to her. Those drops used to seep
into her, but now she'd whisper
that it's time to let go and pa
push me to dry
my cheeks somewhere else
since I need to prepare myself
for the "real" world.
I'm terrified that one day
take her out of that box
only to discover she is an item
whose familiarity has dried ·

I wonder if
closed tight my door
and stopped it with
a towel,
could dig out her box
and plead back my childhood,
realize even if
and scream
and wail
it won't return. She'd try
her best at a stony face but
she'd stare back with the glassiest
eyes and her tiny hand
would point me towards the mortar
board of time. To defy the pestle of age,
dare it, double-dog dare it
crush me to fine powder. She'd
must never allow it
todo so.
say to always
remember that the remedy to
dilemma is to bounce back
the mattress springs of life
monkey on the bed.
remember how to fly
Wendy and Michael.
Christopher Ziobro

December 24
Tricia Lynch
All I need to see are those colorful singing lights that blink
incessantly to know that it's that time of year.
Just beyond the front door is a sea
of warm and welcoming faces just waiting to hug and kiss and
cook and eat. It's the da
that I wait 364 days for
The day that we don't fight or yell
or stress because we are together and nothing is better
than when our family is together.
The house is filled with an aroma that can't be duplicated
calzones, fish, firewood, sauce and mudslides
are the ingredients to a per£ ect night.
As we sit around the table to begin the first of many courses,
we know there is something missing:
We bow our heads and pray:
"God bless Brendan today, on his birthday, and everyday. We miss him,
we lo
him, Amen
We eat for hours as the little ones grow antsy to dive into
the pile of presents surrounding the
Charlie Brown tree that Pa-Pa just won't give up.
Now that I'm older I have to at least pretend
I don't mind waiting for dinner to be over
to see what's inside that big box with my name on it.

We finish our feast and we put on our hats
that Grandma saves for us each year
and it doesn't matter
that we're 22 ... 20 ... 18 ... 10 ... 6 ... 2
just for today we' re all kids.
few more hours and it's past midnight.
We better get going because
you-know-who is coming and we have to be sleeping.
So goodnight, see you tomorrow.
Our stomachs, our hearts and our cars are all full
and we step back outside and see the lights
still singing
still blinking
reminding us that just inside
a place where our memories are made.
Epilogue to Rhiannan
Nicole Boisvert
All in the world cycles though its season;
although we pretend it's all good and well,
in the span of an hour, one life fell-
and she glowed red while dancing, a de-
One escaped, feeling freedom and even
discovered new life with stories to tell.
Upon falling, she passed by an angel
so when she cries, need there be a reason?
Some say when they see me I am a ghost.
They run, fearing I will bring them ruin.
I promise you, I'm no diff' rent than most.
The stories they tell cannot be true, and
you'll see if you' re not afraid to come close,
beyond what's said, I'm only a woman.

Sugar and Spice
Risa Pedzewick
The cherry martini arrived and I drank it down, finally finding a satisfac-
tion I did not know I was looking for. From the corner of the bar some old man
eyes me carefully, as if afraid to look at me too closely. This is nothing new to
me, I've been stared at since I can remember, always being told how beautiful
was growing up. The way people said
was as if I was guaranteed anything that
life could offer me. I know a lot of ugly people who are much happier than I am.
I'm not trying to be conceited. It's funny, because I'm supposed to act like I don't
know that I'm attractive. Each time some handsome man tells me that I'm beauti·
ful, I'm supposed to react as though it's the first time I've ever been paid such a
compliment, and that this time, it means more to me than anything anyone could
have said. Each time it means less. Each time it means to me that all they want
is to fuck me. Maybe they don't realize it at the time; maybe I seem perfect, pure
and virginal, though I'm sure none of them could have mistaken me for a virgin
even when I was one. Somehow they know me for what I am, even when I
be good.
I paid for my drink and saunter slowly out of the bar making sure not
look at the man who was staring at me. Eye contact would signal him to come
over and buy me a drink in hopes that it is enough to ensure some kind of re-
payment. He keeps staring at me; I could feel his eyes burn into my ass as I
One last look for the road. I shouldn't feel so angered by my physical appear
when so many people would slap me, telling me how much they wish they c
look like me and get the attention that I do; but your appearance becomes y
persona. And even pretty girls get depressed.
The cab dropped me off at my dorm. Once I'm inside I realize that I
hardly remember the walk up. The drinks have numbed me just enough so
I can focus on my misery instead of my physical surroundings. Everyone left
bar long before I chose to. Patrick wanted to take me home when everyone
leaving. He said I'd had enough to drink and that I should just come home
everyone else. I didn't really say much to him.
I told him, "I'll be all right. I just want to stay and have one more
watched him through the mirror across the bar.

"Are you sure, Cass? Everyone's going home to bed. You really shouldn't
stay out by yourself."
"I'll be alright; I'll take a cab home. Don't worry."
I could stay with you. Do you want me to stay with you?" Yes. God,
"No, I'll be alright, Pat. I just want some time alone." How could I tell him
that these moods come and go and that my emotional state probably has some-
thing to do with the fact that I should be getting my period in the next few days.
Pat, more likely than not, does not feel the same emotional upheavals as I do, if
for no other reason than he has a Y chromosome.
The lights are off in my room; Lynn didn't bother to wait up for me to-
night. She is curled up in a little ball under her covers like kids are when they
are scared of the monsters in the closet. I try to be quiet enough not to wake her
but the alcohol in me won't allow it; I stumble over a pair of jeans I left on the
earlier while trying to decide what to wear out. Lynn flinches. Whoops.
My phone vibrates in my purse and I go to check
It's Dave, he texted me. It
"I'm sorry about last night, I was out of line. Can I see you now? I need to
to you." What could he possibly want? Dave is Megan's boyfriend. She's
of mine. Last night he pulled me into his room and tried to kiss me. I
to slap him but he grabbed my hand and told me he loved me. Before that
touching, a hand running over my butt seemingly by accident and trying
get me away from the rest of the party to talk. Talk about what exactly? Noth-
important, just as long as it was alone. They've been going out for two years.
y're the kind of couple you'd think would get married after graduation. At
I ignored it; it was just because of how close we all are. He'd never step over
boundaries. Even when the lines started getting crossed, what could I say? I
'twant to break them up, but
I ever told her, I'd be the slut who couldn't
her hands to herself.
I went to see him. I just wanted to tell him this has to stop. He opened the
and tried to hug me, I pulled away a little bit but he still had a good hold on
"Cassie, I'm so glad you came. I-"
"Why did you text me Dave? What do you want?"
"Nothing, I swear, I just wanted to see you. I wanted to apologize for the
night. I didn't mean to make you feel awkward, but I did mean what I


"Dave, what are you doing? You're with Megan; you love her not me."
"I do love her, but I can't explain how I feel around you. You two are so
different... and I do love Megan with all my heart, but when I see you ... all I want
to do is kiss you. I know you and Ryan used to date-"
"Yeah, so you see how wrong this is on multiple levels."
"It burns me up that he had you and let you go. He used to talk about
after you guys broke up. He would say all these awful things about you. Well,
not awful, but just how guys talk. .. about how you were in bed-"
"Dave, stop, I don't want to hear this. I got over Ryan and it was painful
but it's behind me now. I don't want you to bring it up again-"
"I would defend you. You were still my friend. You always have been. I
wouldn't ever want to see anyone hurt you. I have your back honey."
"I know Dave, we are friends, but that's what I don't understand about
this situation. What makes you so sure I'm not going to go tell Megan about
you've been saying to me?" Dave moved closer to me backing me against the
"Because I know you feel it too ..
. what's between us. Cass, believe me
when I say I've been fighting this. I've felt this way about you since the first
I saw you, and then I got to know you, and you're funny and cool. I've never
another girl like you."
"Dave, I came here tonight to tell you we can't do this, it's not fair to
Megan. You shouldn't even be with her
if you're having these feelings; she's
head over heels for you.
she knew she'd be shattered. You need to stop
what you're doing."
"You mean what we're doing."
"I'm not doing anything."
"Oh don't play so coy. God, you always act so aloof. It's not what
saying, Cass, that makes me know how much you want it. It's all
your ey
the way you look at me, even when other people are around. You can't fool
Cass, I know you too well."
"Dave, it has to end." But he kissed me anyway. It was gentle at
his lips only slightly touching mine; then he opened his mouth and slipped
tongue inside. I meant to pull away, but he pressed his body against
I could feel his erection through his pants. He's right; there's more than
sexual chemistry there. I never wanted to admit to myself that maybe I
thing too.

He pulled me up the stairs to his room. Mark, his roommate, was myste-
riously not there. I stopped inside his room not letting him pull me to the bed,
which I knew was his intended destination.
s wrong?"
"Dave ... " He stopped and looked at me.
''I'm breaking up with Megan. I should have before, you're right. I've
wanted to be with you instead of her for so long, but I was worried you didn't
feel the same ... so I didn't." I didn't know what to say to him. I knew my oppor-
tunity to leave had passed. I'd already committed the sin; anything else wouldn't
change things back to the way they were.
He kissed me again, and my knees went weak. I wish I could have been
stronger for Megan. It's intoxicating when someone wants you that much. I won-
I would have felt the same attraction to him
I didn't know how much he
needed me there in that moment. I fell onto his bed where he slowly began to
devour every inch of my body
We lay there in ecstasy afterwards. I stared up at the ceiling where a
picture of Dave and Megan was taped up
Even now her presence was felt. Dave
threw his arm around me and held me tight. I could feel his breath on my back,
tickling the tiny hairs that became goose bumps
"What's going to happen now Dave?"
"What do you mean? I'm leaving Megan."
"No, but afterwards ... our friends ... people will be forced to choose sides."
"Why do we have to worry about it? We're here together, away from the
of the world. Just the two of us." He kissed me on the cheek and held my
against his chest. Even now I didn't want to admit that a part of me enjoyed
I still didn't believe him for one second when he said he was going to
e her. Even if everything else he said was true, eventually he would get me
his system and remain content with her. After I heard him snoring I crept
bed and went back to mine before the sun came up
A walk of shame
fatal in circumstances like these.
I went to splash water on my face when I woke up the next morning
believe I slept with Dave. I knew in my heart that he had never cheated on
before. When I used to catch him staring at my chest or running his haDd
ass, he would tell me that it was the most he could do without cheating.
ays said it in a way that made me forgive him because it was just play

flirting. It was only an innocent attraction, something that neither of us would
let get out of hand. It's not that I didn't feel badly, but the guilt comes from what
others would think of me. I did what I did because I wanted to.
The mirror stared back at me echoing my thoughts. It was wrong, but
that's what made it feel so good. I won't lie to the face in the mirror even if I have
to deceive everyone else.
Patrick called me asking where I was and if I was alright. I told him I was
fine and that I was sorry I hadn't called him when I got back last night because I
was very tired.
"You mean drunk," he said.
I laughed, "Yes, that's exactly what I mean, actually."
"I figured. How's your headfeeling today, any hangover?"
"Not really, just more tired. I think I'm just gonna curl up and watch a
movie to recover."
"That's the worst way to recover; are you serious, Cass? Let me take you
out for coffee or something, it's the least I can do for leaving you last night."
"Pat, you don't owe me anything; I told you that you could go home with
everyone else."
"Doesn't matter, I have a guilty conscience. Please, I'm bored anyway."!
could hear how antsy he was on the other line. Eh, I could go for some coffee.
We met by the bridge that led down to the local strip mall. Pat was
out in a blue ski jacket and cap. His cheeks were rosy from the cold but his
was warmer than the sun.
"What's gotten into you?" I ask.
"Nothing, I'm just glad you came out. I haven't really gotten to hangout
with you in a while, it kinda makes me sad. We used to be so close."
"We're still close, Pat. But it's sweet of you to miss me, nonetheless."
"I know we are, but you know what I mean. After freshman year, we
kind of drifted apart."
"I know what you mean; I barely even talk to Jeff or Audrey anymore.

"Yeah, they fell further off the face of the earth than you did."
"I did not fall off the face of the earth."
"You're right, it's round. Nothing really to fall off of." I gave himali
punch for that. Pat could be such a nerd sometimes.
We got lucky and grabbed the sofa booth just as some people were I
it. We threw our coats to claim the spot as ours. Pat ran over to get coffeew

stared at the photos on the wall.
"Which one do you like?" he asked me when we got back with our cof-
"All of them really. I know, that's just what people say when they don't
have any taste."
"No not at all, they are all different. Art is art when the artist is passionate
about their work."
"Then why are the critics always placing judgment on this piece or that?
Usually that's an indication of talent."
"Whoa, look at you go, that was a pretty intelligent thing to say. I mean, I
wasn't calling you dumb ... ok, I'm digging myself into a hole."
"Yeah, well you know me, I'm pretty much a vapid whore. I don't think
beyond the limits of what I'm going to wear the next day."
"Of course not, you're more the kind of girl who thinks about what she is
to wear two days from now."
"Now that's really thinking outside of the box." He smiled at me. One of
e goofy smiles I've seen him wear before.
really was just like old times
missed him more than I was willing to admit to him,
for no other reason than
once we had tried to be something more than friends.
ended badly when
decided there was another girl better suited as a girlfriend. We tried to keep
· gs civil and sweet because there was a friendship there, but it was too hard
me and I pulled away to save myself. But time heals all wounds and we were
regain our friendship at the beginning of the year. Besides, she was a jeal-
bitch, and guys can only stay whipped for so long.
I excused myself to go to the bathroom, because I could feel my phone
ting and I knew it was Dave. He texted me and it said; "Cass, I'm so glad
came over last night, I knew you felt the same way. Call me later, I wanna
again tonight." I knew I wouldn't go. I had to
make him want it just a
bit more than he already did. I wasn't even sure I wanted him for any more
little while. All the old feelings for Pat had come back already. He meant
more to me than Dave did.
When I came back, Pat asked me
I wanted to go back to his place and
movie, so we left. He put his arm around me; he said it was cold outside
heat makes us warmer than layers.
had started snowing again. I tick-
just a bit under his arm; he winced and I took off running. Just as I knew
d, he ran after me. I let him catch me. We'd gotten all the way back to the

bridge, and because it got dark early, the lights were already on. He pretended
like he was going to throw me over the side; he is so much stronger than I re-
I wanted him to kiss me. He wanted to, but we didn't. We got back to
his place and after he pretended he couldn't find his keys we went inside. He
already put Christmas lights up, and the soft glow made me feel even dreamier
than I already did.
"What movie do you wanna watch?"
"I don't really care, what do you have?"
"Everything really. C'mon, you're the guest."
"Got any comic book hero movies?"
"Absolutely. I have all kinds-Spiderman, Superman, Batman?"
"It's a classic."
We sat on his bed, and because the mattress was so old we sank in to-
wards each other. I was barely paying any attention to the movie. All I heard
his heartbeat. Suddenly, I could feel the coffee hit me. l didn't want to move
where we were, but I had to. He asked me
if I wanted him to pause the movie,
but I told him I'd seen
a million times anyway so it wouldn't really matter
much. I had to go up a flight of stairs because there was no girls' bathroom on
his floor. I went as quickly as I could but not too quickly so he won't notice
speed for the distance I had to go. I should have taken my purse with me
I got back to the room, but noticed as soon as I stepped inside that something
was wrong. The movie was paused and Pat had a look on his face that made
heart sink into my stomach.
"What's this?" He asked me holding up my phone.
"My phone?" I asked unsure of what he meant.
"I was waiting for you, but your phone started vibrating ... a lot. I
mean to look; I was just trying to get it to stop." He handed me my phone
I see a new text message from Dave and a missed call. "Cassie, I'm breaking
with Megan for you. Tonight. Please call me when you get this, I love you
"Why is Dave telling you that he loves you?"
I couldn't say anything. I tried to think of some lie to tell to get out
but for once, I could think of nothing.
"Has Dave been cheating on Megan with you?"
"No ... last night, Pat... how could you go looking through my

"I didn't until I saw who was calling you, and I thought, why would Dave
call Cassie? It's not like they are that close, and I could see on your phone that
he texted you too. I shouldn't have looked, but I'm glad I did." He turned away
from me and faced the window. "I can't believe you would do that to Megan.
They've been dating for over two years, Cass."
"Pat ... I don't want Dave. It only happened once, it was a mistake-"
"Yeah, right. He wouldn't be telling you he loved you
it was only a one
time thing. I've know Dave just as long as you have, and he has never cheated
on her before. But I would expect more from you that
you really cared about
him ... you're screwing with other peoples lives."
"How do you know he's never cheated on her before? I didn't do anything
wrong Pat. He cheated on her, where does my moral responsibility come in?
Just because he says he loves me doesn't mean I love him, and quite frankly, it
doesn't mean he is being honest about his feelings either."
"Your moral responsibility? She's your fucking friend Cassie! Do you have
idea how hurt she would be
she found out? She's gonna be crushed when
dumps her, but
he tells her about you, it's gonna absolutely kill her."
was a mistake, and I went there last night to tell him to stop with his
advances, but I was weak, Pat, and that's the truth."
"I think you should leave. I can't believe you Cassie. Just go."
ldidn't know what to say. Nothing I could say could bring us back to where we
ten minutes ago. It was over.
The tears started streaming down my face as soon as I left. I didn't know
to go. I didn't want to go back to my dorm. I had to call Dave. He told me
come over, and that he would leave the door open. I know my face will be
-stained but I know him well enough that he won't ask too many questions
long as I kiss him.
I get to his house and he is waiting downstairs for me. He hugs me and
me on the cheek telling me that it's ok. He thinks I'm upset about us, that
thing has happened. I'm glad I don't have to tell him the truth.
"So what did Megan say when you broke up with her?"
"I haven't done it yet." I give him a look. I'm fragile right now; I will be-
his lies for now, so lie to me.
"You said you were going to. That's why you called me, isn't it?"
"No, I called you because I wanted to see you. I haven't done it yet. I tried,
,believe me. I had my phone in hand and everything. I just don't know what

to say to her yet. Give me another day."
"Why don't you tell her the truth?" He laughed at me. A smug little laugh,
the kind where you don't mean to but it escapes anyway.
"Cassie, I don't think you want me to tell her about you."
"Why not? I can handle it. And she's gonna find out sooner or later." He
looked at me like I was missing teeth or something.
"Cass, are you sure you're all right? Last night you were pretty hesitant
about us and now you seem all gung-ho. What gives?"
"What do you mean, what gives? I want to be with you. You convinced
me last night and your messages today made feel secure about where we were
"Yeah, about that.. .Cass, even if I break up with Megan, I'm not sure I
wanna just jump right back into a relationship. I mean we have been dating for
over two years."
"No, I mean it's all about you baby. You're my girl, in my heart you al-
ways have been. I just want to take it slow with us. Just give me some time to
my life in order." He tried to come over to me again and kiss me, as though
just made it all better. He wanted me to take the scraps he's throwing me
he just inadvertently ruined the one thing I had going for me. Dave, right now,
I just wanted you to make me forget about losing Pat for a second time, and
can't even keep me in this fantasy that we started last night. He kissed me
er, and deeper, but
wasn't the same. The rush is gone, it's been tainted.
I leave. I'm sure he won't break up with Megan now. She will probably
never find out either. He'll go on pretending like she has his heart forever.
think he ever had one. But that's what they'll say about me, what they don't
know is mine has been shattered for a long time. You can't mend a broken
with a new love, because when it gets broken again, you start forgetting
the pieces fit back together in the first place.
I entered the bar and sat at my usual stool. The bartender came over
with a ripe cherry martini. He gave me a wink and said, "You look like you'
had a rough day, this one's on me." Though I'm sure the tears were
my cheeks, I put on the usual smile that works so well with men. They'reaD
same in the end anyway.

Leah Schessel
I hate the way I'm pushed aside
And the way you make me feel.
I hate how much pain you have caused in my life.
And I hate that you even matter.
Your world is miles away
And I hate how you pretend you are here.
I hate the act we put on in public,
And that look in your eyes when I've let you down.
I hate your empty words of compassion,
And the tears that I've wasted on you.
I hate that you have no faith in me
And I hate that I am weak.
I hate that you are weak
And that you feed off my imperfections.
I hate that you're ashamed of me,
And I hate how I don't matter.
But mostly, I hate how you are succeeding
In plaguing my mind
With your opinions.
Amy Wheeler

Untitled 2
Stephanie Bushman
With fists of steel
They stop the wheel
Teach the others how to feel
It's a mission
If only they could listen
Born of blind ambition
Atlas shivers under all their hopes
While their dreams
Strung on stars
Dance blindly in the eaves.
Running down a path they swore
They'd never seen before.
Cognitive streaming
Is the closest they will come to dreaming.
My Thoughts for the Evening
Beauty floats, and beauty falls,
for most on money, clothes and cars.
But for me, and a dying few,
beauty falls on things more true.
A warm hand, and gentle touch,
a clear sky, stars so much.
if I could, I'd show them all,
beauty comes, simple and small.

Aasta Franscati-Robinson
Words are pointless, you can't listen anymore.
The walls are your companion. Your warm brown
eyes are glued, staring aimlessly at the door.
You cant remember who you were before.
I can't recall the man behind the frown.
Words are pointless, you can't listen anymore.
Stark strained silence of the vapid corps
pungent odors circle; children glance down -
eyes are glued, staring aimlessly at the door.
it's always a chore
to watch them slave
surgical gowns.
Words are pointless, you can't listen anymore.
There was never the telltale blood and gore,
just a cold phone call. Heartbroken, sound
eyes are glued, staring aimlessly at the door.
Keys in my hand, I empty out the drawers.
Remains of life are scattered around.
Words are pointless, you can't listen anymore.
Eyes are glued, staring aimlessly at the door.

The Uproot
Miguel Gonzalez
My good King Alyad,
What does it mean to be insane? People tell me I'm crazy sometimes be-
fore I kill them, but I don't see myself that way. Is it sanity within the self, then?
that were the case, would we not all be insane, having our own perspectives?
Does this make us all crazy? Or maybe, since our own perspectives exude solely
opinion, self
sanity is relative, and no one is insane
We all have a point of view
Insanity then, is no more than a mere accusation created by the want for a psy-
chological defense mechanism
Those who are incapable of sharing their opin-
ions are not insane
They are inept
letter comes to you as a review. I am dissatisfied, as one of your hum-
ble subjects, with your actions of late to impede my progress.
you would be so
bold as to try, the least you could do is succeed, or you shouldn't have tried at
all. I have a very important duty on my hands, and can't stop to swat asideeveiy
king that comes along. In their attempt to upstage their mentors, your agents
have failed to assassinate me, and what's worse, they allowed me to single out
squealer. He talked. I brought out the best of him. I know it was you. I know
You caught wind that I was working with an old associate of ours who
happens to be looking for something that you consider a threat to you. He's
face. I'm the deed. You thought you could eliminate me and show him how
nerable he is, by removing such a close ally. It seems to me though, like
just afraid that he might already possess the item in question, and you don't
want to make a direct move for fear of more direct repercussions
You err
assured, I have no interest in your throne myself, but I would pawn off your
if I had the chance. Him though, my employer, has plans of his own
your lands, but I'll not discuss them. This is between you and me.
I already knew you swore vengeance on me for the late first queen,
figured since you replaced her, still being in need of an heir, you'd wait un
moment presented itself. I was right. I made that moment seem possible
so you could reveal your true colors to me and through your failure, you

A mark once told me, "I believe because I fear." I believe this is the same
for you. You already know that I am no believer in the cryptic faiths of the ghosts
of so long ago. I know they cannot hear me anymore. They too, are incapable of
reaching me. I can't be found unless I want to, and if I want to, it's on my terms.
The gods do not hear your cries. They never heard mine either. I never cried to
I live in the same silence your deities bask in, so I am the same distance to
you as they are
Just as they do, I decide who lives and who dies. I do not fear. I
have transcended your status.
With regard to your first wife, I knew her well. She once discovered me
through an informant, with the aim to be rid of one of your enemies, a politician
who was trying to replace you. I took care of your problem, making it appear as
an accident, of course. After that, she became obsessed. She would contact me
for everyone who stood in your way
I became your shadow, and just so, you
thought not of my presence. I was the royal assassin, and collected a vast trea-
sury of the taxpayers' bounty. I was not the Wanted poster boy, but the embodi-
ment of the prize. The delivery boy. Whenever you were away doing whatever it
kings do while they sit on their asses in that fat red seat for hours, she came to
me. I would please her in ways that you couldn't.
Eventually she came to realize how efficient I really was. She grew afraid that I
could not be stopped; that I was a loose cannon
She was wrong, but that doesn't
matter now.
If she just kept paying me, I'd have just kept being her whore. She
thought I'd turn on her though, and wouldn't meet any opposition. She thought
ou'd find out about me. She began to believe. In so doing, she became inept. She
rould not voice to you, the darkness that raged inside her. Ultimately she peti-
bed an assassin from a foreign nation to seek me out, a clever idea. He even
e close to succeeding, were it not for my own network informing me of his
nee before he reached me. I staged a baited set-up, and played the enticing
of the mating mantis. Of course, there was no mating. Only baiting, but you
that didn't you?
After that I turned my attention to her. I wasn't sure she sent him, but I
a hunch. My instinct matches my profession, you see. I wanted to be sure
gh, so I had a friend check on her for me. She couldn't beat me at my own
· ess, and that was her fatal mistake. When I found out the truth, I wasted no
. I came to her in the night. I flew into her chamber, and hung upon the ceil-
resting until the time was right. When the moment presented itself, I struck.

Like fangs, I sunk my blades into her, and vanished in the wind. In order
to make the clean getaway, I had to slice open her handmaiden. No witnesses,
you see. Did you miss her? Sometimes I do too. Exploiting her for her royal trea-
sure was so much fun. It's a shame she had to go and spoil things for both of us.
As I digress, I recall another incident where you came close to meeting me
You didn't realize it at the time though. In fact, you didn't even know I existed.
Maybe I don't exist.
If our reality is based only on our own views, then to you,
I still don't exist. You've never seen me. I could just be a rumor. Maybe I'm the
pen-name for someone even more sinister than I'm made out to be. You'd never
know. Maybe my name is akin to the skeleton in your closet and the boogeyman
that only exists for children
Maybe you missed your chance to know of my exis-
tence. Am I a figment of your imagination?
If so, how do you perceive me? Am I
just as glorious as all the rumors say?
If not, how did this letter slither into your
hands? Maybe existence is more than just a state of belief. The alchemists say
existence is presence.
If that's the case, I definitely don't exist. You've never been
in my world, but I have yours. You most certainly exist.
Going back to the incident, I worked with a partner back then. I was train·
ing someone I saw potential in
While later I would just wind up using him to
a suicide decoy for something I knew I needed to do, he still needed to be trained
to fill the role. My partner and I were on a mission to infiltrate our mark. Just to
infiltrate! How could such an easy job be botched? Sure the mark was Count-
ess Doreana Silver, but I've handled numerous VIP's before
He hadn't. Maybe
the pressure got to him, or maybe he wasn't so devoted to my practice, but for
whatever reason, he left a trail after we left. As you could imagine, it didn't
long for Doreana to discover that she was marked, and she hired a private en
rage to both guard her, and investigate. She contacted the head constabulary
file an official report, thus having regular city guards patrol her home in
frequency as well. More annoying amateurs to kill! When you've killed so
they're no more than a nuisance to you anymore.
I quickly disposed of the private investigation team, and used my
study to destroy the local guard, some of her private guards, and a section
house all in one shot, with some flash powder and a few lies. I killed the rest
the private guard, and as you no doubt came to know later, found my way to
her as well. I stalked into her bedchamber, feet padding the ground silently,
pounced her, blades rending. When I finished her off, I covered up the

using his calling card as my ruse. Then I paid the constabulary a visit to erase my
file ...
By the way, calling cards are so immature. They truly are the work of
amateurs and narcissists. Our job isn't to make our presence known, or scream
war cries for attack stances when we strike. It's ridiculous, and it gives us a bad
I'll admit, sometimes I get a little too passionate about my work. Are you
a passionate man, King Alyad? Do you know what passion really is? It's not only
devotion, but also intensity. Too often, my liege, do we forget the intensity to
which we must devote ourselves. Passion is then lost in routine. But don't ques-
tion my work ethic. I don't pray to you, so don't judge me. Only for personal
entertainment do I ever sacrifice intensity. Then passion occurs for me.
This reminds me of a time when I let someone live. A mark, I mean. Not just
some random, impulsive kill, fun as they can be. Every mark has a purpose
While most are just to provide me with training, please me with wailing screams
of agony, and pad my pockets, sometimes I adopt one. It's infrequent, and
ephemeral, but this was one such case. This guy was pitiful. So pitiful I should
have put him out of his misery, but that's exactly why I didn't. It was something
about his pleading that inspired me. I let him go with a warning to stay away
from my client, a woman who had enough of his harassment, and told him that
!would be watching him every day. I knew he wouldn't believe me at first, so
!made appearances at random and usually in public, to show him how easily
!could reach him, and how helpless he was. I eventually drove him mad, be-
coming the same stalker he once was. He wound up doing the favor for me
didn't know I was there, but I watched him kill himself. His pain was my delight.
&>me might even say that job was poetic justice, or a noble cause, that it was ethi-
Justice and ethics are really just two more self-indulgent concepts though.
Who's to say what's right? I know what I think is right is certainly not what you
is. Otherwise I'd never have sent you this letter.
castle, like most, has so many guards in it. Too many for my taste. I find it
a chore that I would have to clean out that many people, just to get to you.
ould you be able to bear the guilt of their deaths? I doubt it. I'm not sure you're
strong a king as the rest of your subjects, but what do I know? My opinioi;1 is
d too. Could you bear the thought of me removing so many innocent fools
thave families and aren't prepared for the worst their jobs have to offer?

I cleared out a building once. I mean, there were only sixty-six people in
it, but I think it should count for something. I was alone, and had to fight more
than a few uneven skirmishes. I was also younger and more ambitious then, arid
learned the valuable lesson of not making mistakes. In this line of work, one mis-
take is all you make. I was trying to impress one of my first employers by show-
ing off how good I was at swordplay, so I stormed the place. I did it, no problem,
but one of my killing instruments at the time was a very distinct knife, and I left
it behind. I left it stuck in the chest of the last one. That sixty-sixth kill, like slay-
ing the princess at the top of the tower. It made me feel invincible
But I left a
calling card. I was lucky though. I didn't become famous until I started doing
some really daring things after that
How many guards do you have again?
The only other reason I left the knife there was because it resembled art. I con-
sider my job an art, but the image of the blade standing triumphant over the
mound of its host was picturesque. What does art look like to you? Is it an art to
be kingly, waving your hand like a flag in lethargic winds, or is that just a job?
With all its cumbersome strings, and so many helpless people tugging at them,
does your heart not tug away at something greater? Something you can do with-
out others needing you to do it, but just to be able to provide it? That would be
an art. As for pictures, I agree with the beholder.
I love what I do. Do you? Do you know what love is? It's obsession.
that fades, so too does the passion, and what once was, is a shadow of what
remains. What I do is ideal for me, because I never lose sight of my passion, my
commitment. My obsession.
The first time I actually saw you was at a hearing for someone I set up.
was facing the death penalty. I thought it was so ironic that you were doing my
job for me I just had to be there to see it. Thank you by the way, I still got paid
that. Of course, you never saw me, but I knew exactly who you were. You were
easy to pick out. You had a big, shiny crown on, it wasn't hard. I didn't enjoy
show until after all the bullshit politics and pitiful sob stories were over though.I
never was a fan of hearing official lexicon through the mouths of those the con-
tent unwittingly prayed to. Once the guillotine eclipsed the sun and then set,I
was happy that I went there. That was the day I first laid eyes on the first
too. She didn't impress me as much at a glimpse, but it was then I really
know you. I wanted to know what you looked like. I wasn't impressed
either, but I've seen worse in a king. You weren't decrepit, like your reign
most over then, nor were you fat, as if you over-indulged in all the stuffing y

crown could bear. I was glad to see that you were atypical. You were good. I
almost liked you. I thought I'd never need to come after you. I was younger
Speaking of good, I don't see good and evil the same way most do
Good, though it can mean both kind and efficient to some, means only
efficient to me. I am good. Good is also a position. Those who are right in the
end are good, and those who are vanquished are evil. Good people can be
slain if their opinion is shared by those who eventually emerge victorious.
The vanquished do not resurface. The evil ones try to cultivate change, and
are less agreed with. Evil people tend to be motivated and cunning, possessed
of an intellect others cannot comprehend. I am evil too then, but only in part.
lam uprooted. The "root of all evil" sounds like one who doesn't get much
done, so that cannot be me. The branches move about more than the roots. Do
you think it's possible to be both good and evil? Neutrality is not the answer.
That's just a future decision for one or the other, whether right or wrong.
Some who are evil are inept, but I am not. You now know of my opinions and
intentions too, if you've been paying attention.
Do you know how a spider catches its prey? Pay attention, because
this is important. This is no rant.
starts by spinning its web.
has to spin
anew one, because old webs become visible with dust, and their prey won't
caught so unawares. Once the web is woven, the spider will wait at the
edge of the web, with a leg on one of the strands. When it feels a vibration in
the strand, the spider will either approach
the tug is mild, or retreat
tremor is more than it could bear. The spider's prey never sees it coming until

s too late.
You've done well to suffer through my story
Perhaps you're just the
king this land needs. A pity. Thank you for reading my letter though. Maybe
will come to know me after all. Look out your window.

The Pronouns are Superfluous
Amanda Hurnburt
ethereal apparitions
shift behind the glass partitions;
Aerosol-fogged and damp with steam,
they shield these groves of academe.
shuffle in: the room is small.
The yellowed low-lit violet walls
thick with paintings, shelved mystique
echo eighteenth century speak.
Couches, benches, mismatched chairs.
We find a seat and settle there;
whipped cream feedback, games of chess
background to an odd address ...
Murder, sand, white hot psychosis,
singed sins packaged as a kind of neurosis.
Filamental words stray loose from their stocks
and cling independent, nonsensical schlock.
In this, i am edgy,
counting the
the cards on the ceiJin&
planets, minutes,
my thoughts unintelligi
ridiculous, negligible
Leave it, say it, say what

intoxicant entropy,
too much caffeine.
misunderstand each other.
The way you weave words, spin further
within all alliteration,
well, your animation has my approbation.
The sound's so sound it's bound to abound
to accumulate round the compound,
tangle with the words tied with twine
to the twinkly lights past closing time.
It's just that it's unraveling,
affecting, swiftly dismantling
my meticulous cohesion,
my eight bar, end rhyme legion,
my 400-thread-count
unhinged and flying right, i'll bet,
straight on 'til morning.
Back to basics. Lamps without shades,
paper, pens, my list of charades.
There are too many details to borrow
that you won't remember tomorrow.
shuffle out: the air is cold.
We huddle, laugh, the stores are closed.
A man is smoking a cigarette.
i wonder if he's seen my silhouette.
We move away to find our ride.
There is nothing left to describe.

Kings Own Castles in Florida
Nick Orsini
There's a queen trapped in her desk drawer tonight
She has since gone blind due to a lack of light.
Desk drawers are only structures made to lock things up tight.
There's a king watching his castle burn to the ground.
His people inquired, "When did our king get so proud?"
No answer. They lit up torches and burned his kingdom down.
The same girl's picture persistently glows on my screen.
Braces and tight camisoles can make old men obscene.
Old men carry crosses much like Simon of Syrene.
A minute before an old man drives in the lane next to me.
A minute later his car is no match for a tree.
On the virgin white snow his blood is easy to see.
Blasted through the windshield and now stuck under the car
A blood filled sputter said, "Son don't go far
To understand my situation you have to know who you are."
He has one more story in him at the close of his earthly life.
He told me, "All I wanted was warm Florida with 2 kids and a wife;
I tell you these Northeast winters carve me up like a knife.
I had a woman once with my child inside of her.
Worked in the casino until I bought a place in Bay Harbor.
After a bloody toilet morning, she fled to Ann Arbor."

The flurries come down lit up blue and red.
As the EMTs press his neck and lift his head,
One says to me, "Sir, do you know this man is dead?"
I knew in my head that crowns don't make a king
Crowns mean nothing when you lose everything
When black suits are ironed and funeral bells ring.
Queens in Florida are trapped on my screen,
Yet I carry the burden of a man's dying dream.
Keyboard strokes take the place of my audible scream.
Nicole Boisvert
like drops of water leaking down from
the ceiling into a bucket, revealing a
distorted reflection of a face
lines blurred until no two
can concur where in the space
the face feels its final fall
look in the mirror.
does that make it clearer?
I thought not.
reflection distorting the perfection
you know exists -
is that what you see? is that me?
or am I in the words I so desperately need?
Hey you! life knocks and releases the locks
on your Pandora's box allowing
the shape of language to break free from its
I find my stories in the lies you told
supposed truth evolving into paradox
in finding truth, reality is lost
blurring the lines between non and fiction

Amy Wheeler
Love is supposed to make the
Love is supposed to be
Love is supposed to be
Love is always supposed to protect
What happens
When the world stops
leaves behind
When love is no longer blind
or kind?
Brianne Bendit
What happens when
dreams are
Hope is
Tears are
Voices have
Was love supposed to do that?
Love is supposed to protect
But what protects you
from love

Friday Night Football
Amanda Mulvihill
Adrenaline in the air
Restless crowds to stir - the band
And steaming breaths mingling
On the field cannot even
With smoke from a hotdog stand
Be heard over the talking
Muscles tense and coil as
Of their team's fierce supporters
They wait for a battle to
Scents of soda, pizza, and
Begin on this hundred-yard
Cheap hotdogs float around the
Stretch surrounded by screaming
Bloody muddy battlefield
Passionate hoarse voices that
Then the heroes of the game
Depend on their warriors
Flood back out onto their turf
The game finally kicks off
And the multitude goes wild
And the first shot is fired
The battle starts again but
A soldier takes a bullet
This time more bitter and harsh
To his chest but refuses
Opposing helmets collide
To give up; instead he runs
Jerseys go against jerseys
Gaining the territory
Bleachers compete with bleachers
That is rightfully his and
In a 'Who Can Scream Louder
Gaining speed before he is
After a Touchdown' contest
Knocked down by an enemy
And the marching bands see who
His so-called friendly rival
Can play the "Hey Song" faster
The opposing armies line
It's a full-fledged war out there
sight of their teammate's death
A brutal fight for glory
And fire the same bullet
And neither team will give up
That previously killed him
Not even when there's only
This goes on forever in
Two seconds left on the clock
The battle for a touchdown
It's a fight to the finish
Fans are reckless and raucous
To the very last moment
Cheerleaders in their glory
But now the clock has run out
Cannot find a sole person
The last bullet has been shot
That they must beseech to cheer
And the teams again line up
Even the bands are into
On this field of memory
This fight for triumph or death
And stare at their enemies'
The timer ticks the seconds
Faces, into their eyes, and
Till the teams can get a break
Shake hands, melting out of their
The halftime show is only Soldier molds, saying "Good game."
Buying time and compelling
And it was.

The Life You Built
Dylan Vergara
Some get bitter with age til they wither and fade,
Never take it themselves but stay committed to pray,
They had dreams once but things get in the way,
So a failure or two makes them a quitter today,
The belief in per£ ection is a cruel injection,
Most, ask for protection when they need a direction,
They hide from the tide when they hear of rejection,
End up, lookin back like a mirrors reflection,
Still try to take a moment, own it and hold it,
No matter how old it gets, and they hold they chest,
Yet their left with regrets and some folded bets,
Maybe rust and dust or, some mold at best,
Searching for a soul in some old requests,
Posessed and obsessed, dont know they blessed,
Feel it deep in the chest stress shows they vexed,
Til their lost in the dark dont know what's next.
Some peole spend their hours being showered in guilt,
The spring brings new life but the flowers will wilt,
Where are you gonna be when the time tables tilt?
Will you bleed from the seed of the life you built?
of the life you built?
Will you bleed from the seed of the life you built?
Where are you gonna be when the time tables tilt?
Will you bleed from the seed of the life you built?
Now what Im talkin about, it's a brush with heat,
Like when I step ta tha mic then I crush tha beat,
It's like a tidal wave swoop in ta crush defeat,
It's upper class, middle, plus it's street,
And Langston asked about a dream deferred,
Just remember there's a reason why your dreams occur,

Whether ya dreams are vivid or ya dreams a blur,
whether ya dream of cream or ya dream of her,
So think about how ya act, get on tha right track,
Kuz whatever you do it's gonna come right back,
Don't take my word you could see
fa yourself,
When you reap what you sew and you screaming
fa help,
I try ta teach what i know, what i know is myself,
Got love for my friends, £am, flow and my health,
Im giving you tha first step, so go with tha start,
Now all you've gotta do is what you know in ya heart.
Some peole spend their hours being showered in guilt,
The spring brings new life but the flowers will wilt,
Where are you gonna be when the time tables tilt?
Will you bleed from the seed of the life you built?
Kate Feirman

Expensive Taste
Brianne Bendit
Across the bar
There is a game we play
I smile at you
When you glance my way
When a cab pulls up
Neither of us stay
Intoxication ready to lead
Our morals astray
In silence I command
With discretion you obey
A secret rendezvous
Is now underway
With my finger tips
I discover your forte
In the backseat our tongues
Play Russian Roulette
We arrive at my door
There is no delay
The key slides in
And all boundaries give way
The time has come
To put these beasts at bay
You take pleasure in the attack
As my masochistic prey
Your lips belong to me
There is nothing to say
Breathe escapes both of us
Hearts race this sinful relay
Lust lingers in the air
Above the bed in which we lay
Succumbing to our desires
Till the dawn of a new day
The sun rises
I'm soaked in shades of gray
Regret colors my morning
Like some distorted Monet
You are now gone
And to my dismay
With this one night stand
There's a price I must pay

Honorable Mention of the Mosaic Poetry Slam
When I kneel at communion, I don't always know how to pray,
but at least I can dream of dancing with Jesus
Christina Torres
Forgive me Father for I have sinned
I danced with him but could not win
Dont want to dance to gongs and cym-
You agonized among the olives
I want to dance to love
as you saw my awful fate
I want to dance liturgical ballets
a dip too tall, a dip, a fall
and feel the sky pulse from above
you had to carry me to the gate
The ground trembles, the spotlight's
the curtain tears in two
I understand the steps now
and I want to dance with you
But broken I no longer dance
I knew this would ensue
I was a fool-- wasted my chance
before i danced with you
But through the gate I walk again
I tango like a star
and there you are beside me
just like you always are
The angels trumpet wildly
the harps are plucked with might
Polaris watches over us
so brilliant in the night
And as we walked to the banquet table, so gracefully hand in
I was interrupted on the seventh step as the priest called out...
Please Stand

Runner-up of the 2007 Poetry Slam
Requiem of Love
Richard Frias
Allow me to take this day to tell
The tale of how cupid's arrow can damn one to hell
And as the story goes without pause
Allow me to bear my soul and its flaws
My mind is yearning
eyes are burning
Look from afar I can't take it
Hide under friendship hoping to fake it
She Feels
in my lies
gotta concentrate to penetrate the shell of a heart
Too afraid to be torn apart
Like the scent of boiling crack
Body feigning
Chest beating
To hear her voice on the phone puts me in the throne of rushing love
loving the rush learning to hush
with the age old story
Of man's own glory
boy meets girl
girl meets boy
I learn to yearn and in
fleeting passion on the days we are to
What I feel
has to be real
I know it exists
Can't be the dreams of mad mans mind's trix
I have to express
what I feel is a vex

So I decide to move my pride
bravery burns from deep inside.
I creep from out the shadows.
I look into the eyes of the divine
Knowing Gods stare could never be mine
Where to begin
the caramel skin
to be where man has never been
inside the unimaginable
the inhabitable
must be love
because sacrifice has no pain for the those who are insane
For destiny is waking up and realizing
life is worth mesmerizing and being alive is only once
So I say with the sounds of broken silence to my love
I wish you were forever mine as our love and destiny should
How can your beauty be described?
For even God himself took more pride
upon thee than the creation of sky
And your mind I admire
Your thoughts bring wisdom to fire
This is why I love thee
Silence is what follows
with my confession-so hallow
With her eyes a look of despair and
the death of all that is fair
My lovely love cannot stand it
I am rejected by light
the death of a dove
stomach vomits the feeling love
The passion is rage
the sane is no longer caged
The pain engulfs my brain
the shadows remain

I am left
Never to have Never to feel
Pain knows how to steal
The butterflies in the stomach
the sweat in the palms
Only solitude makes my nervous heart calm
So Here I stand rejected tormented
misery infected
In the shadows of life
dig deep in the plight
never to emerge
this wandering urge.
Grow Up-No love only lust.
I turn to the other her. She who has no heart and no
She who cannot break me apart
no emotional connection
no pain no reflection
only raw lust to forge my sinful redemption
My angel-My devil
In my bed she is mine
whatever form I define
Water in my hands
sounds of the damned
I can only accept shame
What I feel to her I blame
To hold to fill her with passion
she becomes my only ration
to live her to breath her
her scent-my scent
her presence- devilishly intoxicating
my presence- savagely fornicating

Our presence - tears crying from our souls
As two nothings try to become a whole.
After passion of lust loses its flame
My heart still can not be tamed
The blind lust still leaves me empty and
I cannot forget her
She who I wanted first
She who I needed first
by that which words can not portray
how much higher was love
than that of lust
Sweating in sin for the one I do not love
I embrace the night sky and pray to up above
PLEASE GOD Let me love
Love again
Feel again
Live and Die again
Then with the numbness of solitude engulfing my soul I LEA VE
I LEA VE to fade into black
into the nothingness of that
That which cannot be described
only in the airwaves of the sublimed
Never to see me never to hear me
I am gone
Forever yours but never mine
Leaving the traces of torn hearts and forsaken words in the hands of
cruel time

Winner of the 2007 Poetry Slam
Melinda Martinez
A spark that ended my life.
Gun shots, shots, shots
My heart beat stopped, stopped,
No flat line
I guess I was just fine
I felt the red hot flames
Already, I knew there was a change
It went from six taking breaths
to only two left
Missed me and P
but instantly killed G
I saw the tips of my wings start to
as the direction of my life turned
Towards a backwards
downwards spiral
Like a bird to its death,
I took my last breath
I heard him say,
"Miss are you okay?"
I heard the flickering far away
click, click, click
This made me
sick, sick, sick

Reporters dug through the trashes
These vultures rubbled through my
Wouldn't let my soul rest in peace
They preyed upon my tragedy
Marni, fed me
Papi, fed me
I wasn't there
I was just too scared
wake up
Therapist said,
"Time's up!"
Half hour couldn't cure
The pain the I endured
take this pill
99% effective
It'll help you heal."
Tranquilized like a zombie
Innocence taken from me
Finally, I took control of my life,
owe it all to Jesus Christ
I arose from my ashes
Despite of all the lashes
Given to me
I set the Phoenix free
This mythical bird
Whose birth occurs
Every 500 years
I shed its tears
Am reborn,
not scorned
I, the Phoenix, will forever

live on!

"Once more into the briggs" shall we say? Another year, another Poetry
Slam, another Mosaic completed
The Mosaic was made possible by the Fi-
nancial Board of Marist (who, for some reason, keep giving me the money
I need for this, which I am eternally grateful for once again.), our advisor,
Tommy Zurhellen, and this rather odd group of people willing to join LAS,
and especially to my committee, for helping with anything and everything
to make this happen
That's it from my end, so from LAS to you, enjoy
what you were all so willing to submit. Once more, this is your editor, sign-
ing out and getting lost. (Exit center stage)
-RJ Langlois, Mosaic Editor


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