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Part of The Mosaic: Spring 2014



Marist Literary Arts Society presents the Spring 2014 Mosaic:
Executive Board:
Devin Dickerson
Vice President:
Christina Coulter
Catherine Natoli
Amber Case
Kasey Corona
Mosiac Editors:
Kathryn Herbert
Rose Shannon
Faculty Advisor:
Dr. Lea Graham
Special thank you to Dr. Lea Graham, and all of the Mosaic contest
judges. We appreciate your hard work and dedication to our publica-
tion and contributors. Your assisstance has not gone unnoticed, and we
sincerely thank you.
Front cover art:
by: Kathryn Herbert
Back cover art:
BC (2)" by: William Vrachapolous;
*First place winner
for the Mosaic Contest in Art

Table of Contents
Letter from an Alumnus ............................................................................ i
by: Erin Kane
by: Marygrace Navarra
for the Care-Free
by: Nikki Kalafut.. .............................................
Stranger in the Night
by: Alanna Coogan ...............................................
Christina Coulter .......................................................................
to the Earth
by: Kathryn Herbert.. ......................................
10 Things I Wish I'd Said Before You'd Gone
by: Lynn South ..............
Smooth Sailing
by: Christina Fitzmorris ..............................................
by: Leah Butterwick. .......................................................
The Mayor
by: Steven Roberts
by: Stuart South ....
On a Wednesday
by: Lynn South
by: Miles Wellington-Deanda
Amphibians and Duct Tape
by: Christina Coulter ..............................
Meditations on Energy
by: Miles Wellington-Deanda
by: Catherine Natoli ...................................................................
by: Alanna Coogan ..............................................................
by: Leah Butterwick .......................................................
by: Sarah Kiter
by: Katherine Fiorillo ............................................................
Rotted wood displaces thick undergrowth
by: Christina Coulter ........
Mosaic Contest winners

Letter from an Alumnus:
Hello writers!
I'm so happy to have this chance to write to you all. I should just
get to the point and say it right now. LAS, even when the last meeting
you can recall is ages ago, even if you're an old fox, is just one of those
things bound to inhabit your fondest memories. It's beyond college, and
has everything to do with being amongst kind, kindred souls who on
occasion will thankfully suspend that kindness in favor of the tough love
that makes art really stunning.
I don't want to speak for everyone so I'll speak for myself. This
community is the reason I began to share my stuff. I didn't have even a
teaspoon of guts when it came to putting my work out there. It's a hor-
rifying prospect, because no matter if your narrative doesn't specifically
concern you---every word you put down concerns you, if not just for
the fact that you are the root of what arrives unfiltered to the page, or
that the bud of an idea is something that moves you enough to build a
universe around it. I guess I'm just trying to say that I never feel more
vulnerable than when I share my work, and LAS gave me the courage to
own that vulnerability and even carry that out in the world after gradua-
In college, where a lot of us have had to determine which parts of
ourselves could and could not enter certain rooms or circles of people,
having a place where I could show myself so totally is something I still
cherish. Also, there's really no better way to battle post college tedium
than writing whenever you can, so if your schedule allows it, don't stop!
Though unfortunately failing is very much par for the course,
and if I'm honest I have spent a lot of my time post college, failing
spectacularly. And it's absolutely a big deal, until it isn't. Later it's just
incidental of reaching for what you want. Just keep trying, whether it's
writing or finding that job. To be more concrete, during my time as an
editor for the Mosaic I knew I wanted to do that kind of work outside of

college and it has taken me a few years to finally secure the right posi-
tion in publishing professionally.
I only say this because I would've wanted someone to say it to
me back then. And for those now feeling that almost-out
panic and malaise, I want to throw some hope to you
College is
fantastically bonkers, it may stand to be some of the best years of our
lives. But there's a lot of fantastic out here too
Still I hope that you
make time to savor everything you love (I'm talking to you
LAS) be-
fore you say goodbye
Miss you all so much and happy writing,
Raven Baptiste
Class of 2012,former Mosaic editor

"Spring has returned. The earth is like a child that
knows poetry.
-Rainer Maria Rilke

*1st Place Winner for the Mosaic Contest in Poetry:
by: Erin Kane
the world comes crashing down around you.
not all at once exactly,
but in pieces,
like a mirror with a crack running down its surface,
gradually growing bigger, and longer,
and branching in all directions,
until the shards start to fall out,
one by one
and they all sprinkle down
you just can't seem to win.
even though you've tried every strategy,
given every tactic a shot,
approached it from all directions,
and were so sure - so sure - you finally had it this time,
you lose.
you keep trying and trying and trying again
you keep that smile plastered on your face
you keep your chin up

you keep in mind you tried your best
you keep reciting the age-old mockeries
At First You Don't Succeed, Try Try Again:'
"Practice Makes Perfect:'
"Live And Learn:'
they'll tell you "don't give
and you won't,
but - Sometimes -
it keeps you wondering
"Jacks, 3"
William Vrachopolous

by: Marygrace Navarra
I sat in a half-business half-hippie cafe in the corner of town talking
to Billy. He had asked me on this date and my mother had called me the
day, imploring that I accept a date from "one of my many
I changed my refusal of Bobby's coffee date into an unwilling
So I
found myself sitting in this cafe, remembering my mother's instructions
to sit with my spine pointing toward the sky, but I was slouched over,
tired. Billy was talking about something like his bachelor's degree, and
how he didn't really find himself at Yale but who really does?-and all I
could think about were his goddamn shoes that needed a goddamn pol-
ishing. I was about to throw myself on the floor and start scrubbing his
shoe tops with a napkin and my black coffee. I could only keep myself
sitting in that throne-like chair by staring at my own shoes, brand new
Steve Madden leather boots that I keep intact.
2. Thursday night, my roommate insisted that I not spend the night
pampering myself "and just go out and have
fun and talk to a guy al-
ready" so I promised I would head to Murphy's with her and her co-
workers. Admittedly, the lusty red dress I had found in town that week
did wonders for my hips and collarbone and ass and, hell, everything
else I've got, so I figured
do the bar a favor. By the time I was
on a shitty stool ordering a vodka and seltzer with extra lime, I already
had this Wall Street dude up my ass who wouldn't shut up about some
great Thai restaurant that was opening soon and I wanted to say
Do you
know what I will personally pay your dentist to whiten those teeth for you
and then maybe I'll let you buy be dinner at What's-It-Called you boring
unoriginal 7 out of 10, but it would be lost on him. It may not have been
his fault that I was so short with him; a mirror on the other side of the
bar gave me an opportunity to check my smile, which would of course
be compared with his.

Two weeks ago I met up with my sad ex-boyfriend in an okay Italian
restaurant and I was basically sick with radiation poisoning from his
severe inadequacy. The poor slob was begging for me to tell him why
I had ended it, why I had insisted that he could not keep up with me.
I'm surprised he didn't bring a resume, but he did give me a laundry list
of what he had done since our relationship ended: his abs were more
toned, his skin was clearer and younger looking, he had bought contact
lenses, he was better in bed, he had read my favorite books, he started
using ChapStick regularly. (Jason: my abs are better, my skin is perfect,
I don't need any form of eyewear, I've been good in bed since I was 16,
I'm still more well-read than you'll ever be, and I don't need to name all
the boys who've complimented my lips.) He's lucky my wine glass gave
me such a clear reflection of myself, or else I wouldn't have had any-
thing to settle my temper with.
4. What's the point?
Noah from work came home with me on Tuesday night. I can't really
tell you what we did-I was so crushingly disappointed with the clif-
f erence in our sexual skill levels that I locked myself in the bathroom
afterward, only wearing a bra and underwear, and let my eyes wander
down my body over and over: hair, face, neck, chest, arms, stomach,
waist, hips, legs, feet, repeat. He pounded on the door for a while, but
then he went home.
6. One weekend I sat at a bar in my most revealing outfit, ordering
cocktails with different types of fruit so I could suck the juices out of
them, making intentional eye contact with everyone over 20. I was test-
ing myself. I must have rejected 15 men that night.
Can I freshen your
No. Receding hairline.
Come here often?
No. Under 6 feet.
That dress is very becoming on you,
I were-no.
Incapable hands.
No. No muscle tone. I tried objectivity: are these people good-
looking? Are they my type? Are they
I don't know. I don't know.

I don't know.
I'm naked in front of my full-length mirror. I've positioned it in front
of a few pieces of furniture so far
my four-post bed, my wooden chair,
my couch. Spread across these things, I look good from all angles
not surprised. Now I'm sitting Indian-style on my wooden floor
ing at myself. Looking into my eyes. Aren't the eyes the window to the
soul, or something?
Where are you, soul?
Beside me are a huge bottle
of pinot grigio and a few different bottles of pills I've stolen from my
housemates. Some are round, some are thick, some capsules. I've taken
two of each, so far. I take a fistful of capsules. I'm sitting here, think-
What do normal people say when they know they are going to die?
don't know. That's the problem. Who knows what other people do-
who cares? I can feel myself sinking, fading, dissolving-this is very
good wine. My smile has never looked so white, young, genuine. What
I choke out as I catch my own eye in the mirror and crumble forward
is, "I love you, I love you, I love you:'
"Little Bird"
by: Jordan Brown
-Dedicated to the Katzmans

Elegy for the Care-Free
by: Nikki Kalafut
Rest in Peace, my untroubled mind, murdered by Doubt and Respon-
Age was the accomplice
and School was driving the getaway car
We lay daisies and lilacs at the head of your gravestone, along with
Homer the stuffed dog (still missing an eye) and Beanie Babies and
Here lies Me, age 10 and 9 and 8 and 7 and 6 and 5 and 4 and 3 and
2 and 1:'
Dad can no longer scoop me up in his arms and carry me to bed,
and he doesn't sing "A Horse with No Name" to me while I
drift off to sleep. The long scar on his left knee keeps
him from dancing with me around the living room.
Mom doesn't brush my hair anymore. The lines on her forehead have
deepened as if Time were chiseling away at her.
My sister and I don't sleep in the bunk beds that our father built, gig-
gling late at night;
She is too busy paying credit card bills and I am writing a 12-page
paper on Kant.
My brother and I no longer take the mattress off of his bed and pre
tend we are
sailing on a boat in our pink carpet-ocean, fishing for pillows and
steering clear of the man-eating dresser.
Instead he spends hours working on essays for college applications.
Here lies the time when staying up past midnight was filled with
movies and popcorn and friends
It has been replaced by studying and doing laundry because lam is
the only time that
there are open machines.
We used to make a play-home out of the trees and rocks and dirt in
that corner section of the woods in the backyard; I would cook

up del
cious dinners of pureed acorns with a crushed leaf gar-
Now we only go back there to trim the bushes and pull out the weeds
when it gets too overgrown.
Anxiety and Worry have latched themselves onto my back
And no matter how hard I try to dig you up, I fail.
The soft dirt we once buried you with has turned to stone
And all I have left are the beautiful memories
Of my sweet, sweet Care-Free.
Stranger in the Night
Alanna Coogan
You catch my eye
and I burst into lights.
The flames of this fire
have never climbed higher.
The off chance that we'd meet
on this cobblestone street.
The clink of a glass
as the minutes rush past.
A glance to the left,
but we've never met.
There's something here
in this fading light,
For you,
My Stranger in the Night.

by: Christina Coulter
"Warm ears make for good poetry;'
She said, punch drunk, thick trunk, stalwart.
"Write what you smell see think;' she said.
"Lean against doors, borrow lighters,
Start fights and conversations and
Argue and be stroppy and cocky and
Spill and turn up the volume and
Wait wait wait on those aspirations;'
She told me
And I stared, wide-eyed.
You and I, just sacks of peculiarities
Sunk beneath pensive seas
Trawled across the muffled ocean floors
By the shepherd Current, unaware.
A swarm of small gnats
Form a volatile stratum
Of conglomerate bug;
A pestilent upheaval
Of tiny legs splayed, prostrate
Against the cold glass,
Displac~d by the rising plumes
Of my cigarette smoke

*1st Place Winner for the Mosaic Contest in Fiction:
Journey to the Earth
by: Kathryn Herbert
We have just completed our journey: we have arrived at Earth.
To assist us with our research in understanding the human race, we will
only be using human measurements, the most common human lan-
(to the best of our ability-and we are quite able); and
temporal constraints-hours, days
months, and the like. Humans were
obsessed with constraints, especially organizational ones. Their ways
of organizing their societies is one of the main points of our research
on this excursion. Researchers before us have studied human organi-
zational patterns extensively, yet many have failed to comprehend those
patterns. We have travelled to Earth on this expedition in the hope of
cracking the human organizational code, allowing us Venusians to fol-
low understand the ways of the humans.
For our records, I must write that we left Venus on July 4
We traveled 26,000,000 miles to Earth. Now we are in what our map
calls the region of "North America;' of the land "United States;' in the
province of "Washington, District of Columbia:' From only our map
we can see the first evidence of the human obsession with organization:
there is a district within a province-my apologies, my comrade says
the humans called this a "state" -in the land of United States, in the re-
gion-excuse me, my other comrade says this is incorrect. Washington
is a district, neither state nor province
So it is the District of Washing-
ton, District of Columbia. That seems quite redundant. Perhaps I am
reading it wrong. The District of Columbia
Washington District. No,
that seems more wrong than before, somehow. Why not simply call
this are the state of Columbia? Or even District of Columbia-Wash-
ington? My comrade says there is already is already a country named
"Colombia;' and to have two Columbias-even with alternate spell-
ings-would be too confusing for the humans. But yet there is another

state, on the western edge of this United States, named "Washington:'
That did not confuse the humans? Peculiar. Obsessed as these humans
were, they were not very good at organization
is incredible they were
able to accomplish anything!
So let me try this once more: we have arrived in the district of
Washington, District of Columbia-not the state-in the country, as my
comrade now corrects me, of United States, in the continent of North
America. Yes, I believe that is correct now.
Each of these lands are slightly different, according to human
divisions. A state is a small country, a country is a small continent, and
a continent is ... I do not know
What is a continent? My comrade in-
forms me that the humans wrote that continents are large lands divided
by natural boundaries, mainly massive bodies of water. Our map shows
only one large body of water. The humans divided this body into two?
Yes, they must have: our map says here "Atlantic" and "Pacific:' Why
would they give the same object two names? Peculiar. This means that
this landmass to the west must be North America, and this one to the
east South America.
-No, that cannot be, unless the humans' directions are differ-
ent from what we have been taught.
seems that to the humans the left
direction is north and the right direction is south!
-I apologize. My comrade is correcting me as I write. He says
that North America is indeed north, above South America, which is
indeed south. Yet this other landmass is not East America, nor is there
a West America. My comrade says this other landmass is in fact three
continents, that of the
and the ''Asia:' These
lands, though, are all connected; if they are separated, it is only by tiny
inconveniences of water, not by any massive ocean as the human defini-
tion states. How peculiar! Would it not have been easier for these hu-
mans to fabel their world "East" and
and leave it at that? There
are no obvious divisions within the eastern and western lands: they are
two whole blocks of land! What point did these humans see in creating
divisions where there were none?

Oh, yes: organization.
These humans are proving exceptionally difficult to understand. Using
their language is not helping as much as we had hoped.
I do believe this is enough confusion for one day. Tomorrow we shall
set out on our first excavation
I feel it important to detail here what kind of human remains we
may be in the presence of. The humans of the Americas are Americans.
The Americans have placed their source of power here, in Washington,
District of Columbia
. . .
apparently that is not entirely correct. My comrade
only those humans of the United States called themselves "Americans:'
The other humans of the Americas called themselves other things. My
comrade says that the humans did not identify themselves by continent,
but rather by country.
Then why have these "Americans" taken the name of two
continents, but not of their own country? I am finding it increasingly
difficult to understand these humans. Our research may never be com-
So then this Washington, District of Columbia is merely the
source of power in the United States, to a group of people who iden-
tify themselves not as United Statesians, but rather as Americans, as
if the name of these two continents were an accurate substitution for
the name of their country. I wonder if these Americans thought them-
selves better than the other countries, and so named themselves after
continents instead of their own land to prove their superiority. Curi-
but we have no time for human psychology in this study. We
must remain focused on organization ( of which names are important,
yes, but not psychology).
The other countries have their own sources of power-but the
continents do not have a source of power. The continents rely on each
country's source of power to maintain order
That seems horribly silly

but no matter. We must only report the facts.
Although, as my comrade and I are now discussing from our school
days, we do recall that the humans did organize groups that included
several countries in them. These groups were based on location some-
times, other times on common interests. So it does seem that the
humans did have some capacity for cooperation within these seemingly
illogical systems. One would think that creating inter-country alliances
would eliminate the need to have countries at all, but then I suppose
that would not fit into the unofficial human motto: organize, divide,
Back to the human sources of power. The purpose of these
sources of power, we have been taught, were to maintain control of the
humans. There were higher-up humans who controlled lower-down
humans, in a sort of social hierarchy. The lower humans had to ask for
permission for whatever they wanted to do from the higher-up humans
in the sources of power. First they must ask their state source of power.
Then their state has to ask the Seat of Power, located in the source of
power. Since each country has its own source of power, each coun-
try has its own Seat of Power; this human may be called "president;'
"prime minister;' "king;' "queen;' or "god:' These names vary amongst
the many organizational divisions of human language, but the essences
of the names are the same. My comrade confirms with me that the
American Seat of Power is the President. Each state, however, also has
its own Seat of Power, found in its own source of power. That seems
entirely unnecessary. How did these human manage to accomplish
anything with
many other humans to defer to first? Their organiza-
tional skills seem altogether illogical.
Now, this President controls everything that occurs within the
country. But to whom does he defer? Some say the thing called
The President cannot control god, yet claims his country has been
by god. My comrade has just unearthed a piece of common
parchment with the image of the President's house and the words "In
God We Trust" written above it.
the Americans trust God so much,

why don't they put him in charge? That seems logical. My comrade
seems to have found some coins with the parchment, which also says
"In God We Trust:' They also say something else, something ... strange:
E pluribus Unum. That is not English. I do not know what human
language that is. Perhaps it is a curse. JYBIPYN! PUT THAT DOWN!
Wait, can a coin be cursed if it is blessed? Maybe that is what
"blessed" really means! God has cursed the United States! That is why
the Americans did not put him in charge! Who is this "God;' anyway?
And why does the President have no control over him? The President
should not just let people go around cursing his country! My comrade
tells the humans could not see God. They could not decide whether or
not God was real, yet trusted in him and allowed him to "bless" their
country. The humans must keep God separate from the President be-
cause combining the two would make the humans very angry. Well, no
wonder, when this unseen deity is going around cursing people's land
for no good reason. Unless the Americans did something wrong. Did
God not like their organizational system? I certainly do not, but I am
not going to go around cursing people and waiting for ill to befall them.
I do not understand. This all seems unbearably frivolous.
I suppose now I must participate in the excavation, rather than
letting my two comrades do all of the work. Perhaps handling human
artifacts will help me to understand these humans. Writing about them
certainly is not helping.
We have done it! We have found not just one body, but three
human bodies! We have been busy analyzing and dissecting these
humans, and have done such a thorough job that I do believe we under-
stand humans! Or at least these Americans. Oh, who cares about petty
distinctions? This is all too exciting for that to matter!
Our first human was wrapped in black and white cloth, tightly
bound and all of the same style. My comrades and I determined that

this could not be traditional human burial garb, as the other two hu-
mans we discovered were adorned differently.
Upon dissection of the humans' mouths (in the search of food
scraps and such, to better understand human diet) we discovered that
the humans have three different types of teeth: meat teeth for ripping
flesh, flat teeth for grinding grains and herbs, and wisdom teeth for
imparting intelligence and understanding. Our first human had all of
his teeth except for his wisdom teeth. We have concluded, therefore,
that this man-despite his rather impressive garb-must have been an
outcast of
The humans must have commanded outcasts to wear
black and white, to distinguish them from the respectable, wise hu-
mans. We have not yet concluded why this inferior specimen was then
in the source of power. Perhaps he was begging for help.
Our second human seemed to be the exact median of our three
humans. This human was dressed not altogether poorly, but less tightly
bound than her black and white counterpart. This human-a female by
our determination-was found with what we believe are the remains of
her partner, as all that is left is a shirt with small sleeves and long blue
leg coverings. His body was not preserved like his mate's. This woman
was found wearing a long piece of cloth covering from her chest to her
knees, which was dyed in three colors. We have not determined that
the colors hold any significance.
Upon inspection of this humans mouth we discovered that she
had only two of the standard four wisdom teeth. This means that she
was of moderate wisdom. We cannot tell based on our small sample
size whether or not this result is typical, that most humans have only
moderate wisdom. This seems statistically logical, but considering the
poor organizational skills these humans possessed, their conviction that
these divisions were absolute, and the fact that they no longer exist, I
believe it is more likely that most humans were of the black and white
garb. That is, of very low cognitive capacities.
Finally, our third human was found wearing very little cloth-
ing. What little clothing he has did not survived the ages very well, or

had never been in good quality to begin with. His clothes are ripped
and filthy, a filth we did not find in the other two humans. This filth is
completely pervasive: it is in every seam and every scrap of cloth this
human has. His facial hair is expansive, several of his fingernails miss-
ing, and one toe gone-possibly eaten by ancient rats, we cannot be
sure. Yet this seemingly despicable creature has all of his wisdom teeth.
can only be concluded, then, that this man must have been highly
revered. He must have contained incredible knowledge and invalu-
able insight into the workings of the humans.
is a shame he is not
alive to help us. Beside him is a rather odd artifact, as well. This man
lies beside a simple banner that reads: "THE END IS NIGH. REPENT
Perhaps this man was a prophet! We
will be bringing his body and prophecy back to Venus with us for closer
From these telling finds, my comrades and I have concluded
that the humans were organized into a three-tiered hierarchy. Those
of the black and white garb were clearly the lowest
as they had no
wisdom in their heads. Those of the colorful garb were the middle, as
they had some wisdom but not as much as the highest tier, those of the
poor garb, who were clearly elevated to a higher intellectual standard.
This organization system is, so far, the only system of the humans that
makes sense. It is a shame they are all dead; perhaps they would have
improved had they been able to survive their previous mistakes.
Our research expedition has now concluded. My comrades
and I will leave in a few
hours to make the long journey back
to Venus. We have been on Earth for barely four days, yet this planet
has grown on each of us.
will be sad to leave it; it is such a beautiful
There is little point in us remaining, though; there is nothing
here for us Venusians to utilize
The land is exhausted, the civilizations
dead and buried, the animals extinct and the plants close behind. The
humans accomplished nothing more thoroughly nor more successfully

than the destruction of their own planet. I believe this was because of
all of their organizational divisions, yet by the way they divided and
organized everything, I am sure that the humans would disagree.
I shall share with you our preliminary conclusions. The hu-
mans were simple creatures who seemed to enjoy complexity. The more
complexity, the better. This can be seen in their incredibly difficult
systems of organization. First, the humans took two solid parcels of
land and divided them into several hundred countries, based on land
or cultural barriers ( where these cultural barriers arose from will be the
subject of our next expedition). This is all mere explanation of previ-
ous research-our bit is yet to come. Now, when focusing on the North
America piece ofland, we have found that with the area labelled United
States there are states and districts. States are then different from
districts, as they have different names. Districts hold the Major Seat of
Power. States hold Minor Seats of Power. The creation of minor seats
of power, we have concluded, is to give the humans a sense of superior-
ity. Those who occupy these seats of power are endowed with the most
wisdom, as indicated by the number of wisdom teeth in the human's
head. They must perform some sort of medical exam to discover this,
as the bones seem quite buried in their heads. Those with four wis-
dom teeth are the most wise, necessarily; and we have determined that
these individuals dress
shabby clothing, allowing the most freedom
of movement. We have decided that this is a physical metaphor of how
their minds are allowed freedom of movement. Some of these wise
people were prophets, as the man we have collected in our ship was.
The humans go down in wisdom according to the number of wisdom
teeth, in a sort of correspondence with natural order. Those wearing
the tight black and white garb are the lowliest, being as constrained in
clothing as they are in understanding.
Seats of Power between states and countries and gods must stay
separate, though, or else the humans will get angry. Our schooling
has taught us that the humans fought massive battles over the mixing
of these powers.
seems that each organizational system was distinct

and separate, yet other researchers who studied other areas of the Earth
have made findings similar to ours. We may need to return for further
research to determine why each system must be kept separate.
to have been a matter of dire importance to the humans.
What is odd is that the humans have no continental seat of
power. They have country and state, but no continent. Perhaps this
is encompassed in the "mingling of powers" problem we mentioned
before, but the lack of higher power seems inconsistent. One would as-
sume there would be seats of power on each level, from state to country
to continent to all of Earth, yet the system ends at country. The only
exceptions, so to say, are the alliances formed between countries, but
earlier research tells us that this did not cause the blending of countries.
Just the cooperation. This incompletion of the system seems illogical,
and requires more research.
The role of god is still inconclusive. But he seems to have
something to do with the well-being of countries. Further research into
"god" is also required.
can only be concluded, then, that to the humans, unity was a
curse, and division was salvation. Yet they fought over these divisions,
and at times fought for more divisions, and divided and divided until
they could not sustain themselves, and so died. We will tell this to our
superiors in our final report:
The Destruction of Division: The Fall of the
Human Race.

10 Things I Wish I'd Said Before You'd Gone
Lynn South
I wish you were smarter.
That you could figure out what was wrong
as fast as you could solve an equation
2. Your 'good morning' kisses reeked
of stale Heineken and warm affection.
I still loved them anyway.
3. That cornflower blue tie was atrocious
but you still were the life of the party.
And my boss did, in fact, like you.
4. My mom wished you were Catholic
5. Pillow forts are not the most effective
coping mechanism for dealing with
the shitty things life sends your way.
6. Your pillow forts were amazing.
7. Just because you drink your coffee black
with a shot of whiskey doesn't mean
you're the next great poet.
Stale, leftover beer will not cure
your hangover, no matter how many
times Dirty Randy assures you it will.
9. I really, truly, deeply, wanted that last piece of cake.
10. I do love you more than Captain Kirk.
Sorry for making you believe otherwise.

Smooth Sailing
by: Christina Fitzmorris
It's always ourselves we find in the sea.
I don't remember a ton of conversations with my grandpa.
We called him Poppy. The conversations that stick out clearly,
though, are those of his days in the Navy. I imagine him young-
handsome with his hair slicked back and parted dramatically to one
side. His crisp, white uniform so bright it hurt as you squint your
eyes, unable to look at the blanket of freshly fallen snow. His teeth
a soft, inviting white as he smiled, laughing with his head thrown
back. He told us about all the exotic places he'd been. Usually a man
of few words, he was unstoppable once these conversations started
His voice took us away, sailing across the Atlantic to land on foreign
He loved the sea, a true Navy man
I see him-small-
aboard a large ship, drifting through the magnificent sea as a grain
-0f sand blown by the wind across the beach. Weeks spent on board,
he leans against the side of the ship, salt stinging his face through the
wind. Smiling, he watches the water and the way they cut through
it without leaving a trace to prove they'd ever been there. He is so
small. I see him happy.
My dad and his brother stand in the kitchen talking in hushed
whispers. It is dark and the lights are off as they rummage through
cabinets and drawers. My father holds a loaf of bread in his arms
as he turns to his brother, holding a knife and a jar of peanut but-
ter. The ritual begins as the lid is removed from the jar, moonlight
shining to illuminate my uncle in an eerie silhouette. A sound. Both
boys stand frozen at the creak of a mattress, eyes locked in terror.
Simultaneously, they barrel back to their room, launching themselves
their beds and under their blankets, hearts racing. Breathing
hard, they listen in the darkness. The door flies open with a deep,

loud roar. They scream as my grandfather launches himself onto my
father's bed, laughing with his head thrown back, teeth illuminated in
the dark as he smiled. My father knows that the bread is squished.
Poppy died on St. Patrick's Day last year. We think it's fitting-
his name was Paul FitzMorris. I was home when we'd found out, my
mom had told me.
always thought this moment would be differ-
ent, that
break down in tears and hug my sisters, hug my brother
and he'd be crying, too. I felt nothing. I felt guilt at feeling nothing. I
went downstairs to comfort my dad;
never seen him cry. I imagined
what it must be like to lose a parent, but couldn't. Despite all rational
thought, it was fact that my parents would always be there. Looking at
my father, face wet with tears, I was suddenly flooded with thoughts of
a life without him. I hugged him and his shirt was damp, and I reached
up to touch my own wet face. I imagined Poppy in the hospital, almost
taken the night before my dad had planned to go see him. He was so
tired. So tired; he wouldn't let his eyes close until he'd said goodbye to
everyone. He was there-and well-when my dad had arrived the next
morning. I imagined him later holding my grandma's hand, squeezing
it and exhaling, smiling as he closed his eyes. Smooth sailing from here
on out.
The boat was right next to the house on the left side, and if
there were ever a flood we knew we were safe.
seemed to extend half
the length of the house, masts rising high, lost among the clouds. We
couldn't wrap our heads around the notion of this boat having been
built by people as opposed to sprouting from the ground. I still have
my doubts. In the beginning, we were lifted aboard the massive body,
peering tip-toed over the edge as if giants surveying the scenes below.
Later, we'd developed various methods for lifting and climbing atop
one another, throwing ourselves into imagination. Poppy would join
us sometimes, transforming backward through time. Captain-com-
manding us, his loyal crew, as we set out to conquer new lands, defend
against pirates. The mischievous smile pulling at the corners of his
mouth made him appear younger-he was one of us. He'd adjust the

boom, and we'd rush from starboard to port side, ducking and crawl-
ing to avoid a blow to the head, scrambling quickly to hike and set the
weight of the boat. We continue on through sunset, together maneu-
vering the rough waters of the backyard.
by: Kathryn Herbert

*1st Place Winner for the Mosaic Contest in Creative Nonfiction:
Sticky fingers-
She Bubbles
by: Leah Butterwick
''Ah, wait. That one doesn't count. It's related to children;' I
interrupt her.
It's my list:'
She keeps a list of all the things that scare her taped to the mirror
of here college dorm room. Precisely placed on the right upper-most
corner, she can see it from anywhere in the room: from her neatly or-
ganized desk, to her bed covered in a gray and black comforter, to her
chair next to a window that is barely visible behind gray curtains. It
seems as out of place as the Disney Princess hamper situated next to the
closet, but that hamper is the only thing I really recognize of my oldest
friend's belongings.
Each morning, right after she finishes doing her hair, she reads
the list out loud to herself. She tells me that she does this to
herself. Of what, I'm still not sure, but I think that I can guess.
We met at age three in the playroom of Apple Tree Preschool.
She was polite and said things like
ma'am'' and "thank you very
She was graceful even as a three-year-old. It still confuses me
that she decided to be my friend, the girl with the knotted hair and the
continuously skinned knees. But she did.
We became inseparable. We bonded over our favorite activities:
organizing raids on the boys' lunch boxes, practicing our dance skills on
the playground, and sharing our daydreams while we colored in class.
Even our teacher used to call us sisters.
"They're girls who bubble;' our teacher told our moms. "They

are so excited about everything. Never let that stop:' My mom repeats
these lines to me whenever I feel defeated: "Remember, you've always
And my sister-friend bubbled, too, for a while.
In the seventh grade her mom faced her first bought of cancer
She began treatment, moving for two weeks each month to Philadel-
phia. At the same time, my sister-friend's dad suffered from Guillian-
Barre, which left him paralyzed and hospitalized for weeks. While
both parents tried to heal, she lived alone in that big house on Rudder
Avenue. Her only company came in the evenings, when her aunts
would stop by to make her supper. They reminded her that it was her
mother's wish that she not talk about what was happening. She swore
she wouldn't tell anyone, and she kept that promise. I only found out by
She had dropped something when we were leaving school.
may have been her favorite headband, the one made up of a row of
paste pearls.
could have been that ring of different colored ribbons,
normally tied to her gym bag. It could have been her charm bracelet,
each piece a gift from her family and friends ( the silver 13 was from
my family). I just remember that I showed it to my mom, and that we
made the short drive to her house
We had pulled up right as she was closing the door. While my
mom locked the car
I had run up to the house, cutting through the
path of her dad's prize-winning mums. I remember that I paused when
I saw them, since they were all dead or dying. I hadn't been invited
over in a few weeks, but when I had seen them last they had been beau-
I ran to the door
singing out her nickname
She only opened
it a crack, mumbling that it wasn't a good time
My mom had just
reached the porch, and asked to see my sister-friend's mom. I remem-
ber how there was silence for a while, and how my mom then asked her
to let us in. When my mom said it again, the door finally opened.
Every light and TV was on in the house. A thin sprinkle of dust lined
the furniture that had always been so immaculately organized that

we hadn't been allowed to play anywhere on the first floor. The fridge
was filled with leftovers and the freezer was filled with boxes of frozen
pirogues, my
favorite. The only company in the entire
house was a line of emergency contact names on a sheet of paper, taped
to the refrigerator door.
She and her family eventually survived That Time. Her aunts
spent more time with her as her parents recovered, and soon they were
a family again. I had hoped that she would return to normal, my bub-
bly sister. And for a while, she did. But then her dad suffered an infec-
tion that left him unable to work. A few months later, her morn slipped
into a coma from a new bought of cancer. We were 17 then, about to
start our new lives as adults. But, I realized that my sister-friend al-
ready was one, that she had grown into an adult during those lonely
afternoons over the stove making pirogues for one.
She is just as demur as she was as a toddler. She is still glamor-
ous and graceful, just as she was raised to be. But she doesn't bubble
anymore. Instead of texting boys and going on dates, she watches crime
shows. Instead of spending time with friends, she plans her career in
law enforcement. Instead of calling home each day, she reads a list of
her fears to herself. But, after twenty years together, I know that this list
isn't really made of what she's afraid of. It's what she would like to be
afraid of.
she were honest with herself, her list would read much dif-
Bad luck.
But, after all of these years together I also know what she would
tell me if I actually said this to her: "Hey. It's my list:'

"Venetian Reflections"
Alana Colucci

Jordan Brown

"Stars on the Water"
Alana Colucci

''Above Moon River"
by: Kathryn Herbert

"Wrought Simplicity"
Alana Colucci

Caterina Armenter

"Sunset on the Canal"
Alana Colucci

"Spread Knowledge"
by: Andrew Maloney
"Paper Blossom''
by: Andrew Maloney

The Mayor
by: Steven Roberts
They call him the mayor,
His followers sing his praise.
He campaigns at all hours,
He gains clout throughout the days.
He stops home after work,
Where his family knows his ways
They lock themselves inside the basement; Son and Mother stand and
not the mayor! His party members cry,
"I know on what ground he stands:'
kisses children's foreheads
And holds babies in his hands:'
Perhaps it was his carnivorous diet.
Or the various soda brands.
Oh fatty clot from heaven, you journeyed up the carotid artery,
Now Mother's home and free,
And her gold-haired boy,
Is learning how to be

by: Stuart South
Seemingly the entire world is sprawled out below you as you sit
atop the vista.
You simply sit back, absorb the boundless grandeur that is
simultaneously frightening and enchanting.
You grab your flask and take a swig, a buzz coursing through
your bustling blood.
You sit alone to marvel, to muse, to wonder, to dream.
Your mind plays with the landscape that is sprawled out before
drifts to wondering about the events that have shaped the world.
Kingdoms rise, tyrants fall, war rages, peace stabilizes; events on
scales both large and small have guided the world to its current state.
Yet all of those occurrences, eons of progress, are a mere splotch
upon the magnanimous gaze of the universe. A gaze that has viewed
the formation of planets and stars over billions of years across trillions
of miles. And here you sit on a single, lonely chunk of rock.
Your mind endeavors to focus upon the existential crisis that is
slowly unfolding before you. You take another swig as you wrestle
with how to comprehend it.
You have seen man ascend valiantly into the heavens in an
attempt to understand the magnificent scope of all that stands before
you. Yet their pilgrimage illuminated the profound insignificance of
your existence. Their sojourn revealed just how small humanity is com-
pared to the totality of the seemingly endless universe.
Unfathomable, the notion arrives like a hot crash of lightning.
In a flash, your mind is purged, fixated solely on that notion.
A speck upon a blot revolving around a speck which resides
within a dot that is a speck floating around the cosmic ether, a being so
insignificant that you might not exist at all.
Your presence upon this world is infinitesimal in its influence.
You are petrified by the thought, frozen as you come to terms with how

inconsequential you really are.
You stand up, take steps forward, leaning over the vista to get a
better view.
You watch the wind carve monuments and thrones to future
kings, and the clouds drift above you in the grand expanse of the clear-
est blue.
You hear the charming serenade of the robin and the proud
cries of the eagle.
You smell the crisp, earthen air as it flows upward and outward,
enveloping you in its embrace.
You touch the rocks, stones that have experienced millions of
years, harboring billions of stories within their earthen walls.
You taste the wondrous bounty that nature has bestowed upon
A new notion clicks within your mind as you gaze upon the
awe-inspiring landscape, suppressing any previous doubts about your
place within the world
Observation of the ever-changing world is reason enough to
live. To watch the beauty of the world, the evolution of existence
live knowing that your scope in the grand scheme of the universe may
eventually be discovered.
You smile as the sun gently caresses your calmed face
with the knowledge that no matter how small you are, no matter how
atomic your existence is, you presence has purpose.

On a Wednesday
by: Lynn South
He puts cold fingertips to stark hipbones.
Warm palms to thick thighs.
Tips of toes to stubbly shins.
Skin to skin contact
as often as possible
Small touches,
lightning bolts,
There's no chill,
no static between spaces.
Small touches.
Like it
him that we have to be two
"Love Lots"
by: Kathryn Herbert

by: Miles Wellington-Deanda
Breathing is not like eating or sleeping;
you can't choose to deny the sails
that rest in front of your vertebrae
They will carry you on the wind
even as you dig your nails into
the soft crust of this earth. It's a
biological compulsion-an evolutionary
fail safe to keep you riding thermals
even after you lose the desire to fly
Give in to instinct. Breathe deep
and let the warmth of your full
sails carry you into tomorrow.
hold with lungs full bloom
pluck the petals one by one
let your eyes hide behind their blinders
find the river within the mind
and follow it bend and twine
back to the raging delta of its mouth
that babbles every muddied
whisper of turgid rage
sinking to the quicksand below
silence the tide
open your eyes

Amphibians and Duct Tape
by: Christina Coulter
I try to focus my attention on the rattling bumper of a distant
tractor-trailer, so as not to stare at the smartly dressed young man walk-
ing briskly at the shoulder of the road. Perhaps he catches the attention
of other women who drive by every morning; he certainly maintains my
interest. Today he wears a cotton dress shirt adorned with thin pin-
stripes, and has already peeled his sleeves back over his muscled fore-
arms. Sweat permeates through his clothing and pools at his brow in
the premature vernal humidity, yet he still maintains a boyish swagger,
as though he is aware of the fact that he may be the most attractive boy
walking along Danbury Road today.
I often imagine scenarios where he gives me an opportunity to
introduce myself; perhaps he'll strike up a conversation with me in the
health & beauty aisle of the grocery store over antiperspirant, or he'll
find my good looks and quick wit endearing upon hijacking my car.
Maybe one morning he'll signal me to pull over so that he can comple-
ment my smile and make me blush. Hey
it could happen.
After a heated internal struggle, however, I always avert my gaze
and follow the traffic onto 1-95. Perhaps it's common sense, but I'm
pretty sure it's just because I'm a pussy.
However, this morning I had a particularly impressive amount
of chutzpah in me; per usual, a weekend with my mother had left me
snagged on the topic of the finite nature of my virility. Although
tried to convince myself that hers were merely the superstitious musings
of a dated housewife, I couldn't help but notice some newer indications
of my age; the sunspots that had developed on my chest and the begin-
nings of crow's feet tugging at the corners of my eyes weren't subtle
enough anymore to ignore the rate at which I was maturing. My dates
with Netflix and plates of Pop-tarts just weren't going to cut it anymore.
Although, at twenty-two, my breasts and personality were as perky as
ever, maybe it was time to break the romantic stint that
I'd maintained

since I first hit puberty.
I tried to slow my breathing as I pulled my Nissan to the curb-
side, evoking beeps of protest from the frazzled drivers in my wake.
The attractive stranger raised an eyebrow as I cut my engine and manu-
ally rolled down my window.
"Any chance you need a ride?" I tried to ask in the coolest and
least creepy manner I could manage.
He answered in the affirmative and slid into the passenger seat,
closing the door hastily after I initially accelerated back onto the busy
My mind is occupied during our initial throes of conversation;
the butterflies that I felt brought back memories of yellowed braces and
Alanis Morissette. Moreover, I had begun to regret my impulsive deci-
I wasn't entirely sure that
amassed the strength that I'd need to
maintain my composure in a sexually tense situation.
Through my wall of internal dialogue,
gleaned that my pas-
senger typically took a train out of New Haven into Grand Central Sta-
tion and that he had an almost indiscernible southern drawl.
His name wasn't particularly memorable; only his family and
the local police force would remember it at this point.
He'd acquired my cell phone number by the time we'd reached
New Haven, but I was lost in thought as he oozed from the vehicle and
strutted towards the platform.
Days had passed since my initial conversation with the man that
picked up off the side of the road, and
determined that perhaps I
t in the right mindset for a relationship.
waited for a caII or text
but after a week,
decided to stop being such an idealist and
to stop losing sleep over a lost opportunity.
My hand emerged from the wreckage mostly unscathed;
developed a propensity for successful fax machine unjamming over
once managed an impressive twenty-six seconds
it took

me about a minute and a half to tear this particular ripped paper from
the innards of the fax machine, evoking an error report and a beep of
Fuck you, too.
Linda, my senile boss, gives me a condescending pat on the
head as she waters an impatient African violet. While a mundane task
like this would typically be delegated to me, tending to the plants was a
meticulous job with little room for error. Perpetually armed with her
gardening tools and a calm resolve, Linda was ever prepared for any
botanical disaster that may befall the office, and for this I was eternally
grateful. She murmured to the plant under her breath before breaking
out of her trance to implore me to pick up the pace, then pivoted and
shuffled in the opposite direction. I waited until her footfalls grew faint
to type out the remainder of my text message.
I had only sent out one eighth of the three hundred and thirty
nine faxes that were being sent to school districts in California that
day; I need to wait until about twelve to accommodate the time differ-
ence between the east and west coast. Up until then I had been field-
ing phone calls on the New Parent en Espanol line, trying my best to
appease flustered Hispanic receptionists with my sub-par grasp of the
language and obstinate nature. The fax machine is a bit more merci-
ful than a frazzled customer; I don't have to show any restraint, and it's
nice to be the one pushing buttons for a change.
Karen beckons to me with a long blue fingernail from her
cubicle across the room. She pauses her seventies playlist on Pandora
radio to impart a snarky comment regarding the length of a coworker's
skirt, punctuated by a verbal eye-roll. I appease her with what I hope is
a convincing, affirmative giggle. Before returning to my post, I make a
mental note to mention this to Susan, who I've maintained a weekly bet
with regarding Karen's habitual gossip.
Office Dog stares at me forlornly, laying its massive head on my
foot. With the bulk and wherewithal of a golf cart, the animal does not
fit comfortably in the office. Office Dog's daily schedule revolved en-
tirely around food; she knew exactly who would be the most responsive

to her dejected skulking, who had the most appealing lunches to beg
for, and would loudly bemoan any slight change in her feeding agenda.
She was known to have an occasional indoor bowel movement and to
jump on tables to retrieve particularly intriguing cuisine. She reminded
me of an equally ungainly animal that
kept as a house pet before
left my parent's house
never been partial to dogs, but I couldn't
make the bad impression that breaking the legs of an employer
s dog
would inevitably give.
My cell phone buzzes against my thigh while I'm in the midst
of peeling a tangerine during my lunch break
rousing Office Dog and
bringing me back from an improper daydream. My excitement upon
receiving a flirtatious text is almost palpable
evoking a perplexed
expression from the animal.
Food? She seems to ask. I respond with a
only she knew.
A small green sedan captures my attention as it pulls into the
parking lot of my apartment complex. Dressed in dark jeans and a
silk shirt, my suitor is presumably aiming to impress. After taking a
moment to clean his glasses, he briskly walks towards me
sporting an
impeccable smile and personable air. My mind is elsewhere as I lean
against my doorframe, trying to cram my internal struggle into his last
few strides
I affix a smile to my face as I usher him in for a drink.
As a young girl, I lived near a moderately sized patch of marsh-
My sisters and I often brought back assorted amphibians to our
mother, which she accepted in the way that one accepts a gifted mouse
from a cat. While my siblings made sure that their prizes made their
way back to the pond
I typically held onto them for a few days. Even-
tually, years into my frog-catching phase, my mother found the con-
tainer which
filled with various discarded carrion waste-limbs and
tiny intestines lined the bottom of the jar in a pool of calcified brown
liquid, while the bulkier torsos and heads of the frogs lined the top. She
never confronted me directly, but her eyes bulged whenever I brought a
small animal home from that point on. I developed the habit of carry-

ing them in my pockets, waiting until I could hear her heavy breathing
at night before unearthing the frog jar.
The sediments in the sangria had sunken to the bottoms of our
forgotten glasses. The evening progressed quickly; the bottle was half
empty before
finished my first glass. Casual conversation melted
into flirtatious banter, and soon our thoughts got rude and our eye con-
tact became more frequent. When uninhibited, the gentleman's laugh
became more of a nasally chortle, and his posture was less guarded. I
coyly motioned towards my bedroom.
While I typically dedicated my down time in the office to
solitaire, I had spent quite a bit of time on search engines that week.
Rophynol is, oddly enough, available via prescription in every devel-
oped country other than the United States. Typically used to treat more
severe cases of insomnia, roofies hadn't been legal since 1992. I pur-
chased the rest of my supplies at a local Home Depot, giving the sales
clerk a bogus story involving remodeling and drywall.
The nylon rope probably would've been uncomfortable around
a conscious person's wrists. Duct tape was spread over the neck,
mouth, and thighs of my date; hopefully, when he regained awareness,
it would hold him in the spread-eagle position that
arranged him in.
His clothes, which I intended to burn later that night, lay in a dejected
pile in the corner of the room, drooping from a plastic bag in a similar
manner to my victim's arms off the bed.
amassed the implements
need: sandpaper, a circular saw, and a sharpened paring knife. I
sat at the edge of the bed, absent-mindedly using my extra duct tape to
secure the suitor's legs.
I think that I have a more realistic approach to relationships
than my mother.
The moonlit water cascaded off of his torso in broken, beaded
I looked that notably glorious whilst naked myself,
ably never put clothes on again. Well aware of the impressive nature of

his nudity, my new gentleman caller smirked and submerged himself
the dark water. Skinny-dipping in the reservoir had been his sug-
gestion; while I was open to participate in most nude activities, I wasn't
too fond of the entire contaminating the local water supply fandango. I
was intrepid about the entire thing, but ultimately I was too excited by
the proposed lack-of-clothing to pass up the opportunity. In retrospect,
the suggestion seemed strange; there were other local bodies of water
which one could use as an excuse to view member of the opposite sex
sans clothing that weren't used.
"Green Girl"
by: Nikki Kalafut

Meditations on Energy
by: Miles Wellington-Deanda
3a.m.-lamp bulb buzzing with three
hours of bristled-edged energy,
light pulsating in protest. Burn
out to blackened coils and
filaments of overused metals
left to fizzle and fume in
impotent, continuous, emittance.
3 a.m.-brain matter buzzing with three
hours of bristle-edged energy,
eyes pulsating in protest. Burn
out to static tones and feed-
back loops of thought
left to fizzle and fume in
impotent, continuous, emittance.
Air starts to sit heavy in chest.
In defiance it pushes back
against the diaphragm
sparking short-circuited breath:
Inha-exhale Inha-exhale
Inha-exhale Inha-exhale
Inha-exhale Inha-exhale
cough. See the spots
wink on and off the eyescape
like the burn out of stars
a trillion miles apart.
Let the bulb rest.
Turn off the brain.
The page remains unfilled-
a void of space.

by: Catherine Natoli
re gret
The expression of grief, distress, or sorrow; a feeling of
lamentation as a result of an external circumstance or event, like a loved
one's sudden leaving or purchasing too many losing scratch-offs. 2.
Remorse or repentance due to reflection on something one has done
or omitted to do, such as screwing the jam lid on too tightly last time
you used it to the point where it is impenetrable/ the sting of knowing
you should have looked ahead to/ this very moment/ when you are late
for work and just needed a quick breakfast./ This very moment/ when
you think of the times you said "I'll keep in touch'
but never did./ This
very moment/ when you think of the times you said "I had a great time,
let's do it again soon" or "That steak was cooked just how I wanted"
but didn't mean it./ This very moment/ standing before your grandma's
open casket, when you think of the thank-you notes you never wrote
her/ or the birthday calls you never made./ This very moment/ when
you browse through the messages in the Drafts folder/ and wonder
how he would have responded to:/
you were a sea creature, what
would you be?':; "Crunchy or smooth peanut butter?':; because I actu-
ally prefer crunchy,/ and "What are you afraid of?"
This very moment/
when you make yourself sick with grief, distress, and sorrow/ thinking
of all the things you could have said/ and done/ the places you could
have gone/ and the people you could have gone with/ if only you had
not been too scared/ to ask/ to call/ to do/ the things you should have/
or wanted to/ or if only you had not been so bold/ so daring/ to do the
things you did/ this very moment/ in the way you did them.

by: Alanna Coogan
I feel it like the first ocean breeze that's warm.
like the first tulip that peaks up at you from the barren ground,
or when the sun side-steps a cloud to bathe your face in
I feel it like the first time you leave shoes for sand
and you feel your whole chest heave upwards at the glory of
and suddenly you're flying along by your heart, which pulls you
up into the clouds
All of this contained in a single moment
a heartbeat
a knowing nod
a smile despite itself.
s the small victories of everyday life that do it;
That first kiss of friendship
by: Kathryn Herbert

*1st Place Winner for the Mosaic Contest in Playwriting:
by: Leah Butterwick
[An OB!GYN clinic. Chairs line the back of the stage, with two chairs
enter stage
separated by a small table that holds magazines
A woman
late 30'.s, SANDY, sits in one of the two front chairs. Shes smiling and
has one hand over her belly, even though she isn't showing yet. She wears
a worn old coat, a T-shirt, and a pair off
aded jeans. ALYSSA walks on
She wears a nice raincoat and dress slacks
She sits in the other
center chair and picks up a magazine
SANDY turns towards her.]
SANDY: Nervous?
[ALYSSA looks up but doesn't acknowledge SANDY. ALYSSA looks back
down at her magazine and SANDY extends the hand that is not on her
SANDY: I'm three months pregnant. You?
ALYSSA: [Looking at SANDY over her magazine.] I just found out.
SANDY: Aren't you just so excited? My husband and I had been trying
for so long, it was all we talked about. [Pause.] But, it's worth it. Now
I'll be a mom.
[Going back to her magazine.}
SANDY: To you, too! I'm Sandy by the way. [Pause.] How long have

you been trying?
[ALYSSA ignores the questions.]
6 months? A year?
[ALYSSA still says nothing. A NURSE enters.]
NURSE: Alyssa?
ALYSSA: [Hurriedly stands and walks towards the nurse. Over her
Nice to meet you.
SANDY: You, too.
[ALYSSA and the NURSE walk off stage
SANDY fidgets with the maga-
zines, looking embarrassed
She finally just rubs her stomach and smiles
to herself. Fade out.]
[Lights up on a bedroom. It's sparsely furnished and simple. A man, late
30's, TOM lies in bed. SANDY walks on stage in a plain nightie. TOM
looks up and shakes his head.]
TOM: No, Sandy, I'm too tired. I worked a double shift today.
SANDY: [Playfully] Oh, come on Tom, I got all dressed up for you.
[SANDY walks towards the bed and kisses Tom. TOM seems interested,
leaning into the kiss.]
SANDY: Let's make a baby.

[TOM pulls back and sighs
TOM: Not this again
[Hurt] What?
Can't you ever just want to be with me? Does it always have to
be about having a baby?
SANDY: It's romantic.
Well you know what isn't? When you interrupt to say something
about positioning your fallopian tubes
or when you say
"You're going
to make a great Dad:'
SANDY: I don't do that all the time.
TOM: A few day ago? You came to work and brought me lunch? I
thought you had been missing me, I thought you were trying to add
pice to our sex life
Do you remember what you said?
[SANDY pulls the blanket up to cover her.]
TOM: You said "I saw Glenda Rarel at the supermarket. She's six
months pregnant and glowing:'
TOM: So you got turned on by another woman's glow! And I had
thought you were turned on by me.
[SANDY leans over and kisses him.]

SANDY: Honey, I do, you know I do.
[They kiss again, leaning back against the pillow
SANDY pulls away.]
SANDY: Oh, I was thinking that my mom got pregnant by having sex
in the shower, so if you want to move this into the bathroom ..
[TOM gets up.
TOM: Jesus, Sandy!
SANDY: What? I'm turned on by you, honey, but I just want to get this
TOM: I can't do this.
[TOM grabs his pillow and a blanket off of the bed and walks off stage.
SANDY gets up and follows him. Bickering can be heard as they exit.
Fade out.]
[An expensively furnished living room. A wraparound couch sits center
stage, a coffee table in front of it. A man, early-30's, AARON, sits on the
couch reading a magazine, his feet on the coffee table. A woman, mid
20's, ALYSSA, walks in
She is nicely dressed with her hair in a bun
looks distracted as she kicks her heels off and sits on the couch.
AARON: Hey, babe. How was work?
[ALYSSA says nothing, just takes her coat off and throws it on the arm of
the couch. AARON looks over at her.]

AARON: Earth to Alyssa
I asked you how your day went, now that
you're the big cheese at the office.
[ALYSSA still has a glazed-over expression as she lets her hair down and
takes her earrings out. Aaron touches her leg
ALYSSA startles.]
AARON: You alright?
[AARON grabs her hands in his and sits up.]
AARON: Babe, what's wrong?
[ALYSSA begins to cry quietly, wiping at her eyes. AARON puts his arm
around her.
AARON: Did they revoke the promotion? Those bastards. You've
worked so hard for that firm, and if they take partner away after every-
thing you've done, I swear to God-
ALYSSA: I'm pregnant.
[AARON looks confused for a minute
After some silence where ALYSSA
stares at him, he nods.]
AARON: Okay. Okay, well this is great.
ALYSSA: Is it?
AARON: It's not in the plan, but it's okay. [He looks at her.] We said
someday, right?

[ALYSSA pulls away and stands up, pacing behind the couch.]
ALYSSA: Yes, some day, not today.
AARON: [Turning to look at her.] Well, it's happening now.
ALYSSA: I can't believe this.
[AARON stands up and walks towards her.]
AARON: It's alright babe. We'll make it work.
AARON: [Pause] I'll take some time off.
ALYSSA: Don't be stupid, you just built that practice. You and Ron
finally have enough patients that you can work 8-hour days. You can't
blow it now over this
Okay. Then-
ALYSSA: [Getting loud] And don't even say I can take time off, because
I can't. Just because they haven't revoked my partnership offer doesn't
mean they can't. I won't miss work, Aaron.
AARON: I was going to say we'll hire a nanny.
ALYSSA: But I just got you that Mustang, and, no offense babe, that'll
take ages to pay off. And we put money down on that new apartment.
We can't move into an apartment if we have a baby! It'd need a yard

AARON: Ally we're going to have to make it work.
[AARON hugs
ll have to.
[ALYSSA stares off as the lights dim. Fade out.]
[TOM and SANDY'S bedroom. TOM has a suitcase open on the bed and
he is placing clothes in it. He looks rushed. The bathroom door opens
and TOM quickly zips the suitcase closed and puts it by the bed
walks out. She cannot see the suitcase. She looks dazed.]
TOM: I thought you were going to your sisters.
My stomach was bothering me
so I went to the drug store
TOM: Look, Sandy, I have to talk to you.
SANDY: Me, too. You first.
TOM: Look.
[He sits on the bed.]
I. .. I've been really unhappy, D. I feel
like I've lost you to this whole baby thing. I feel like I've lost us.
SANDY: What do you mean?
TOM: I come home and I'm nervous to be around you. It's like all you
want to do is get pregnant. And once we get pregnant, then what? It'll
be dolls and footballs and doctors appointments and whether I think
the baby is being fussy. Look, I know a baby is the first thing a parent
thinks about, and that's right. But I don't want to be the last thing you

think about.
SANDY: I don't know what you're saying Tom.
[TOM gets up and grabs the suitcase.]
TOM: I'm going to stay with my brother. Just for a few days. I need
some time to just be by myself.
[SANDY says nothing. TOM walks over to her and kisses her.]
TOM: This isn't goodbye, babe. I just need a little space to think.
[SANDY nods, but remains silent.]
TOM: I'll call you tomorrow.
[TOM walks offstage. SANDY looks down into her hand. She places
whatever it is on the nightstand. The audience finally sees that it's a preg-
nancy test. SANDY looks down at her belly and puts a hand on it
[AARON and ALYSSA'S living room. They both enter, in the midst of an
AARON: I'm not saying it's wrong, I'm saying that you should have
asked me.
ALYSSA: No, it's up to me.
AARON: This is our baby Ally, not just yours.

ALYSSA: Oh? Are you carrying it? Are you going to give birth to it?
AARON: I wish I could
since you obviously aren't going to
[ALYSSA looks shocked. She sits down.]
AARON: You should have talked to me about it. It's ours, Ally. So
whatever happens to it, we should discuss it.
ALYSSA: You don't understand.
AARON: Help me! [Walks towards her.} Alyssa, tell me what is going on
ALYSSA: I told you
s not the right time
AARON: Will it ever be? Do you not want to ever have children? It's
okay if you don't, I just think I should know.
ALYSSA: Why, are you going to leave me?
AARON: [Stands up] Ally, I love you. I won't leave you over not want-
ing children, but I will if you terminate my baby without consulting me
[ALYSSA starts crying.]
AARON: Please, Ally. Tell me why you want to do this.
ALYSSA: I don't want to be a mom right now Aaron
I don't want it.
[ALYSSA walks out and AARON sits down. He puts his head in his
Fade out

[A cafe. Small round tables are centered on the stage, ALYSSA sitting at
one. She holds a coffee with both of her hands, a sandwich sitting un-
touched in front of her. SANDY walks on, a plate in her hand. She sees
ALYSSA and pauses. She walks up to her and smiles.]
SANDY: Remember me?
ALYSSA: [Looking up, startled] Oh. Yes, [Beat] Sandy, right?
SANDY: That's me.
[SANDY sits down at ALYSSA'S table. ALYSSA doesn't even seem to
SANDY: [Gesturing at the sandwich in front of ALYSSA] Is the turkey no
good? I knew I should've gone for the chicken breast-
ALYSSA: What? [Looking down at the sandwich] Oh, no, it's fine, I just
t very [Beat
SANDY: You want to talk?
[ALYSSA says nothing, just tucks her hair behind her ears.]
SANDY: You can talk to me, you know. I get this whole "new mom''
thing. I mean, I wanted it so bad that I ruined my marriage over it, and
now I'll be a "new single
How can you ruin your marriage with a baby?
SANDY: Easy. Push for one, a lot.

[SANDY rips at her sandwich.]
ALYSSA: I'm really sorry, Sandy. I didn't even know that could happen.
SANDY: I just hope I didn't accidentally ruin my kid's life, too. [SANDY
wipes at her eyes with a napkin.]
ALYSSA: Hey, you don't NEED a man to be a good mom.
SANDY: No, but you need money. How am I supposed to find a job,
and have this baby, and raise it, and earn all of the money for toys and
clothes and school and doctors .. ? Even with child support.
[ALYSSA stares off, silent
SANDY: I'm sorry. I just worry that ...
That it just won't work?
SANDY: No. That it's too selfish. [SANDY wipes at her eyes again and
pushes away her plate.]
You were right, the turkey is bad
ALYSSA: [Reaching her hand across the table
Worrying that you won't
be good enough shows you aren't selfish. Love is more important than
new toys and nice clothes
[The two smile at each other for a moment
SANDY eats a piece of turkey
off of her plate.
ALYSSA: I mean ... some women don't feel that way
even when they can
afford the stuff.
[SANDY looks at ALYSSA for a while

SANDY: Well, those women just need to prioritize. What's more im-
portant? A baby's' happiness or theirs?
ALYSSA: [More quietly but still audibly.] Yeah, that is the question isn't
SANDY: And it has an easy answer.
[ALYSSA looks up, desperate.]
SANDY: The baby's is more important. It's a huge mistake to think
ALYSSA: Those women are just trying to make the best decision.
SANDY: They don't see how big of a mistake it is, what an indelible
mark they are making-
[ALYSSA stands up suddenly, knocking over her drink
She walks out
SANDY turns around, and calls out to her once, but then turns back to
the table. She looks down at her belly. Fade out.]
[A kitchen in the mid
A woman, TRISH, sits at the table drinking
a glass of wine. An empty bottle of wine sits in front of her. Two girls,
YOUNG ALYSSA and AMY, run through the kitchen. AMY bumps into
the table and knocks the wine bottle over. It shatters. TRISH doesn't
move. AMY begins to pick up the pieces and cuts her hand. She starts to

[TRISH looks down.]
[In a kind but slurred voice.]
Oh, come here. My poor baby
[AMY walks to TRISH
holding out her injured hand. TRISH tries to
reach out to it, but her hands are shaking
TRISH: Alyssa? Would you mind taking your sister upstairs to wash
this? Then get the medicine from your father'
... from the other side of
the cabinet. Don't forget a BandAid.
YOUNG ALYSSA: Mom, I don't know how
TRISH: Sure you do
Just follow my directions. I'll check it when you
come back. Go on.
TRISH: Sweetie, could you please do this? I'm not feeling so well, and
your sister needs you. Go on.
[YOUNG ALYSSA takes AMY offstage. TRISH, with a shak
her wine glass and takes another drink
Fade out.]
[A college dorm, set in the early
90s. A young and obviously pregnant
woman (YOUNG SANDY) sits on a bed
her hands on her thighs. A
young man
MARK, sits next to her.]
YOUNG SANDY: No. I've made up my mind
MARK: Sandy, just think-

YOUNG SANDY: NO, Mark. I am not keeping this baby
MARK: Look, I'll get a job, I'll do anything-
YOUNG SANDY: [Looking at MARK.] Who's gonna hire a 20-year-old
college drop-out?
MARK: Then I'll finish
first. We'll get by on my part-time
YOUNG SANDY: And who's going to RAISE the baby, Mark?
MARK: Well ... [Pause] I mean
YOUNG SANDY: Exactly. Look. [reaching her hand out and putting it
on Mark's arm.]
We aren't ready to be parents. But this baby is ready to
be born.
MARK: What if I work for my Uncle? I'll call him-
YOUNG SANDY: MARK. No. This is what's best.
MARK: [Pause. Puts his hand on YOUNG SANDY'S belly
But we'll
never get to know him.
YOUNG SANDY: [Looking at her belly] It's okay. [Pause] It is
[They both look at her belly. YOUNG SANDY reaches her hand towards
her belly, but stops herself. Fade out.]

[The OBIGYN clinic. SANDY sits in the same chair as before. She is
evidently pregnant, looking almost 9 months so
She looks briefly over at
the other chair, and grabs a magazine. ALYSSA walks onto the stage and
sees SANDY. ALYSSA looks as thin as she did in the first scenes. She ap-
proaches SANDY.}
ALYSSA: Hey, Sandy.
[SANDY looks up and smiles
Her face falters for a second as she looks
over ALYSSA, but she smiles again.]
SANDY: Hey you!
give you a hug, but ...
[SANDY gestures at her belly and smiles. ALYSSA sits next to her.]
ALYSSA: You look great.
SANDY: You, too. How's ... how's your husband?
ALYSSA: He's good. He was really shaken up for a while after ... He
good though, thanks. How are you?
SANDY: Holding up I guess. Tom and I got divorced, but we're civil
about it all. He's going to take the baby on weekends, which will be ...
well it'll be. [Smiles.] And I got a job as an Assistant Manager of that
coffee place we met last time.
ALYSSA: That's great. [Awkward beat] When are you due?
SANDY: You mean when is little Sarah here due? Three weeks. I just
need a quick check-up. [Pause] What are you ... well I should say ...

you're here for .. ?
ALYSSA: Just a quick check-up.
[A NURSE enters
NURSE: Alyssa?
ALYSSA: Well, that's me.
[SANDY grabs ALYSSA'S hand.]
if you ever want to stop by the coffee place, it'll be on the
ALYSSA: Thanks, Sandy.
SANDY: And, Alyssa? [Pause] It's okay. There's lots of time.
want there to be.
[AYLSSA smiles at SANDY and walk
to the NURSE
SANDY looks
down at her belly and puts her hand on it. She smiles. BLACK OUT.]

by: Sara Kiter
kiss me, kiss me,
I don't taste like
and you ask me if I'm quitting.
I look past your stupid, drunken
face and assure you that,
yes, I am giving up.
by: Caterina Armenter

by: Katherine Fiorillo
I think it is midnight as the bells start to ring. The chapel from
which the sound resonates is so close yet the deep chime of the bell
seems to part of the sky now, part of the air I breathe in on a night as
cold as this one.
One. The stars aren't very bright and the sky doesn't look very
deep but it is breath taking all the same. Infinity between my shivering
body and the end of space. Everything floats between us: what we said
today, the disappointment carved on your face when you woke up alone
this morning
the emptiness of un-smoked cigarettes that we pretended
to quit.
Three. The sky feels heavy. I sit here on this concrete ledge,
and the cold sneaks through my leggings and bites my legs. The
sky sinks down to this earth to kiss my head and let me be. The dark-
ness envelops me and I am left searching the sky for the dim hope of a
star to drag me away from this.
He's off in his own infinity, with the help of something
strong to cloud his mind. He does not, he cannot, deal with the weight
of this evening. Perhaps if he lied here and saw this vastness, he would
understand this insignificance of ourselves, this being full of every
empty thing in the world.
Maybe if I looked to the sky I would know something
more, something I didn't know this morning. All I'm left with is know-
ing I still don't matter. My words are only words, my heart and mind
are my own and my touch does nothing to scar his soul.
Ten. And there is me. Who am
What am
I... I am far from
home and left alone and I have become so good at hiding how I feel not
even God himself knows anymore. I am a small girl, lost in a world of
her own words. I am a writer but one day I know there will no longer
be anything to write. I will have said it all and my mind will run dry
and then where am I left, what am I left with except the scrawled poetry

in the margins of well-loved books
Twelve. The stars are so far away and the depth of the sky is so
alluring, it makes me wonder why I am so worried about anything. I
am one small person on a planet of seven billion. I am one small per-
son in a galaxy of wonder and I have no weight, no power at all. This
life is so small, it is so insignificant yet each day the world appears to
crash around me.
Yes, it is midnight, but I don't know where I am at all
"Rosendale Rose"
by: Kathryn Herbert

Rotted wood displaces thick undergrowth
by: Christina Coulter
Rotted wood displaces thick undergrowth
Supporting a crass, dilapidated structure.
Air conditioning units peer out to the street below
Cooly regarding frazzled passers-by
Its porch slopes gently into what appears to be
A dejected, tight-lipped expression.
The front door leans crossly against its setting,
Precariously balanced on its lone
stressed hinge.
Two dilapidated strangers appraise me from the doorway,
Deep-gouged eyes form wary slits;
And here I know I'm just an anomaly
Affronted by wearied foundations.

The Mosaic Contest Winners:
Journey to the Earth
by: Kathryn Herbert
2. Banshee by: Catherine Natoli
3. The Duty of the Artist by: Derek Rose
Creative Nonfiction:
She Bubbles
by: Leah Butterwick
2. St
Joseph's Cemetery
Kathryn Herbert
3. Vienna's Lost and Found by: Kathryn Herbert
by: Erin Kane
2. The Anxiety of Eating by: Dana Caputo
by: Leah Butterwick
2. You Never Know by: Diana Dubs
"BC {2)" by: William Vrachopolous
2. "Gloves" by: Nikki Kalafut
by: Kathryn Herbert
Thank you to all of our participants and judges! We hope you will join
us for the Mosaic Contest next year!

Your Spring 2014 Literary Arts Society Executive Board:
Back, L-R: Kathryn Herbert, Amber Case, Rose Shannon, Christina
Middle, L-R: Kasey Corona, Catherine Natoli, Devin Dickerson, Hollie
Alex Sideris


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