We were always hungry. We were never satisfied. We were curious, lost, desperate. We were clawing at an uncertain future we wanted to belong to us. We were six and eight, then seven and nine, eight and ten. Early nineties. The two of us, sisters. Our bodies mere slips in time, underdeveloped, flimsy. We had constant bruises from playing outside, tumbling on jungle gyms. The summer brought three months of mosquito bites and sunburns. The winter brought pale bodies that built forts out of old blankets and laundry baskets. Five minutes, five days, five months, it was all the same. Time, this strange thing, never moving fast enough. We wanted to be older. We wanted shapes to our bodies. We wanted breasts and hips, wanted smooth legs and makeup on our faces. We wanted to know the world.
Published by Yalobusha Review by Ole Miss
Sometimes, in the evenings, you spend a few minutes quietly reaching around each other in her cramped kitchen meant for one while you both prepare quick and separate evening meals, hers always containing more color and flare than yours. While you were away you fell into a rhythm of preparing a rotation of the same five dishes and that habit hasn’t changed. She can cook, and when she has time, she makes elaborate meals. You know this from the smells left lingering in the kitchen on a weekend night when you return home late—venturing out to bars alone was another habit you picked up abroad—after she’s already in bed with her light still on, the pitter-patter of typing still audible as you pass closely by her door.
Published by The Avenue: Volume III
I shake my head. He’s older than me but I don’t know by how much, but this fact alone makes me judge his experience. I’m positive he’s had many girls fall in love with him and treated them all very kindly. While he ponders this, his face forming that far out look he gets when he’s thinking, I take a sip of my wine and stare out at the city and all the cars moving in the distance and the people on the sidewalk. If I shut one eye and put my finger in the right place it looks like I can squish all of them.
Published by Split Lip Magazine.
This is how it’ll happen: she’ll fall in love with the first guy to make her laugh. He’ll be younger than she, with an offbeat sense of humor. His jokes soon become the thing that only they get; they tie him and your sister together with the comforting sense that it’s them against the world. He’ll like the same things she likes. He’ll have an odd sense of dress that she’ll find adorable. The first time she brings him home to meet the family, you’ll realize you’ve never seen your sister so happy.
You and she will be in different places by the time they meet. She’s an older college student, finally finding a sense of place only after years of failed attempts: first she wanted to be a hairdresser, then a psychologist, then an equestrian, now a school teacher. She’s already transferred twice. You’re preparing for college, tied up in boys, in drinking on weekends, in social status, the things your sister always hated. Once you two bonded about how much you hated these things. Once you two sang Alanis Morissette lyrics at the top of your lungs in her messy bedroom. Once you two made fun of what the “preps” wore. Once you purported to be anti-label only because she was, and snuck into her bedroom to throw her concert tee over your Gap shirt after she left the house. You don’t do these things anymore.
Published by The Rumpus
Harrison watches as the woman on the screen arches her back and plumps her behind into the air. He delights in the suppleness of her exposed breasts, of the nipples that sit taut in a whisper of cotton candy pink, of her hair: a shock of blonde cut sharply at the chin. She wears nothing more than straps that wrap around her thighs and peak at her hips. She moves like a dancer to her own music; graceful twists and lunges across her stage. Harrison leans forward in his chair as she looks back at him, the curves of her body confined to the 13” box of his computer screen, her ocean eyes wrapped in sooty eyeliner, her head cocked 30 to the right, her chin jutting forward, lips parting just slightly, as if to say to him, “Darling, I’m right here.” Maggie Mae Parx. She’s his favorite.
Published by Split Lip Magazine
If this girl could explain, she would tell you she felt beautiful, and confident, and she could let her cheeks turn red and her voice cry out and laugh and yell and argue about something she learned in her philosophy class and break down doors with her energy and fill all four corners of the room with how happy and wonderful and free she felt.
For writer Sarah Hepola, drinking is a God-shaped hole, a yearning, a hunger to be complete. Alcohol was this and more. It was to be full. To be noticed and acknowledged and welcomed. To not need to say ‘sorry.’
Published by Luna Luna Magazine
The song was everywhere – blasting from scratchy makeshift car stereo systems, pouring from porches, piercing through the dull heat of summer. The girls sang along to each lyric, feeling the taste of the new words in their mouth, trying it out, enjoying it. Pointing to each other and singing, Can I kick it? YES YA CAN!
Jodie felt something pulse inside her when she heard it, like the beat of the song she could feel in her rib cage, forcing her to move, to bounce. She’d sat at home, her finger hovering over the Record button on her mom’s radio, waiting, sometimes for hours, for that earnest beginning, the soft thuds that opened into the DJ’s scratches and the drop of the beat, for the radio announcer to say, And here we go with the new one from our favorite rap trio…
Now, there was her own scratchy copy she could play whenever she wanted. On days when Mariana was busy with her family and Bianca’s mom shuttled her off to Cape May for the weekend, Jodie would play it loud in her room, over and over again. She practiced dancing like the girls did on MTV, rolling her shirt up and tying it in a knot above her belly button, shaking her underwear-clad bottom in the mirror. Repeating over and over again that woozy question, Can I kick it?
Published by The Hand & The Hand Breadbox Chapbook Series
He wasn’t sure how much time had passed since he first swung his gun to fit inside his shoulder, made his stance full, and aimed; it was almost as though time had stopped and reshaped around him. Here he noticed the sensory: there seemed to be no discernible smell to the air. It was quiet enough to hear the wind. There was the urge to breathe hard, to clear his throat, to shuffle his feet so the deer would run away. But there, squinting at the swatch of skin on the animal’s flank he was meant to aim for, seeing his own life in the breath that left his nose in visible puffs, he couldn’t move.
Published by Junto Magazine, Vol.1, Issue 2
It happened first in the shower. Sasha stood, scrubbing her body, her mind occupied on the day, on when the man might be answering her earlier text when—just as easily as one might tear a page from a book—the skin on her forearm peeled off. What was most curious was the brevity of it; how it came off quickly, painlessly, as though she were some type of amphibious being shedding her top layer. As it happened, Sasha felt only a passing coolness, like a breeze had blown the skin away. And when it was gone, it didn’t bleed. All that was left was a fresh pink scar.
She stared in silent shock at the skin dancing and swaying around her feet as the water pressed down upon it. She turned off the water and stepped out of the shower and toweled off, applying a burn cream to her arm—the only thing she could think to put on, fumbling for a first aid kit unused and tucked away in a back cabinet. It felt like nothing when it went on, just like rubbing lotion onto clean skin.
Published by The Bangalore Review
You yawn. You spent too much time tonight worrying that he’d been stabbed. In a few more hours, you’ll need to wake up too early to go to a job that you hate and that can’t pay the bills to support both of you. He yawns, too. You’re both tired, both have other things you try to do in the space between work and life because you both call yourselves artists. You’re both in love and sleep deprived, moving through the days like a dream you keep reliving and can’t get out of.
Published by Crab Fat Literary Magazine: Issue 5
Before he said the words, I had been feeling sleepy, syrupy, like the feeling caused from several hours of drinking white wine in the sun.
I wanted conversation to flow better. It was all stunted and—
I was verging on drunk and really just making it all so difficult. Me being a woman and all. This being our first date and all.
It’s not that I care if he sees me naked.
I don’t care if he sees the mark of discoloration next to my belly button.
Or notices the thinness of my un-toned arms.
Or the hair on my upper thighs that hadn’t been carefully trimmed in preparation for this date.
Like a woman should have.
I don’t want him to see me naked because then he’ll be able to see all my vulnerable insides.
He’ll see that I drink too much.
And that I smoke when I’m stressed.
And that for the last ten (10!!!) years I’ve let too many boys purporting to be men in.
-- to my bed.
-- to my life.
-- to my ;
Published by Dkaha Tribune: Arts & Letters Vol. 2 Issue 9
He asks me how my day was. He asks it in the casual way of someone who expects a regulation-style answer. We’ve only hung out a few times, always on Fridays, so he doesn’t really know things about me. Like how my sister’s dead and like how my personality is different on a Tuesday than it is on a weekend.
Our drinks come and I take a kind of large sip.
He recently broke up with a long-term girlfriend and she knows he’s dating again. This I know because he told me unprompted over dollar beers and tacos. But he didn’t actually use the word “dating.” He said “hanging out.” I think his exact words were, “She knows I’m hanging out with another girl,” or something like that. Girl wasn’t plural. This information made me feel oddly proud.
I tell him my day was fine and he talks about his. I don’t really understand what his job entails. He says he works for a for-profit company that does non-profit work. He is in charge of “a team.” I try to picture him in an office – giving orders and having inside jokes. He smells like sandalwood.
Published by Apiary Magazine