It snowed yesterday. I felt the snow on my fingers and my bare feet last night. It didn’t numb, it didn’t bite. I saw snow for the first time only three years ago, and am still amazed when I realize how soft and gentle it is, how quickly it seems to melt when it touches my flesh, becoming like rain and less like itself. I feel like that sometimes: falling and falling till I can no longer retain my form, no longer keep it safe. But I think of poetry as something saved: caught before it collapses, pulled back to earth from the edge of a treacherous cliff. I wish I could save more things, memories, people. The last time I wrote the editor’s note to our tenth issue, the world was losing, much as it continues to.
There is never a right, joyous moment of light to come out with an issue full of poetry, fiction, nonfiction and art that touched us, stunned us, threw us into the deep end. I wish it didn’t always feel like we were handing out antidotes, remedies, pills and balms. I will repeat, from Jessica Sabo’s Fire Sign, that “When you ask me what I’m afraid of, I’d hold out my hands.” And in holding out our hands to share this issue with you, we hope you allow us to share what we are afraid of.
In this issue, we hope you come across pieces that make you feel less afraid, less alone. T.B. Grennan’s Cross-Country is the rare example of a conversation-as-story, a form I am now tempted to try. Sharon Gayen’s artworks, on the other hand, are pieces on that delectable brink of chaos. Watching, on the other hand, Julienne Maui Castelo Mangawang read her poem, ‘A Mother’s Silence,’ undoes the form of silence, of the ‘anonymous’ artist. These are all, if you let them be, dear reader, hands holding out to you when you might ask one of the most difficult questions to any of them: What are you afraid of?
Love and best wishes,
Founder and Editor-in-Chief