Waiting to Bloom

By Crystal James As a prepubescent teen, I imagined blooming like a flower by eighteen. On that day, I’d be declared a woman, and I feel differently about my appearance. Whenever I felt down on myself, I imagined this version of myself in a coming-of-age tale. It was a full-blown fantasy starring a boy fromContinue reading “Waiting to Bloom”

Someone Else’s Turn

By Erica Lee Smith It’s not eavesdropping if other people’s words find their way to you when you’re just minding your own business. At least that’s what she tells herself, as she stands by the open window above the kitchen sink, inhaling the fragrance of day lilies that she had cut earlier that morning andContinue reading “Someone Else’s Turn”

To Love a Body

CW: Sexual situations, birth trauma, some discussion of disordered eating and diet By Julia Nusbaum Now In the half dark of my bedroom, I dig for the leggings and sweatshirt I discarded last night. This is my uniform now, leggings that haven’t been laundered in a week and a shirt with spills and stains IContinue reading “To Love a Body”

A Stroll Through the Fruit and Veg Section

By Carys Crossen The week the pregnancy test displayed two blue lines Elise’s baby was the size of a sesame seed.  Two weeks later, it was the size of a blueberry, according to the pregnancy website she had started checking compulsively. Another fortnight later and it had the same dimensions as a grape.  Elise wonderedContinue reading “A Stroll Through the Fruit and Veg Section”

Snow Princess

By Tracey Chizoba Fletcher There was a minute of stunned silence. It was soon followed by the sounds of muffled cries as Mrs. Okoro cupped her hands over her mouth. All the hurts and frustrations she had borne for the past fifteen years of marriage, flowed freely like a faucet turned on. She hadn’t daredContinue reading “Snow Princess”

Abandoned

By A.P. Joye January 3rd, 2001 “Name?” The lady raised her eyebrows.  “Lilith Jones.” “There you are.” She announced from behind her desk; the icons on the monitor reflected in her eyes. After signing Lilith in, the lady assured her that it’d only be a moment. Lilith nodded rather than to fill the quiet, sterileContinue reading “Abandoned”

Take a Stand

By Kim Bundy Paul finished his ham biscuit and drained his Bloody Mary, even though he wasn’t much of a drinker. He was standing in Gloria’s dining room on the morning of her funeral, hoping the vodka might tame his nerves. He tried to ease out of the room past Jay, Gloria’s older son, whoContinue reading “Take a Stand”

A Lilac Year

By Christie Cochrell It was a lilac year, their last year of high school, the year Rosa’s mother was dying.  All that spring Franny felt lost, left out, unable to get close to Rosa, her oldest and dearest friend.  Worse still, she felt resentful too, for all the losses of things slipping past while herContinue reading “A Lilac Year”

Enough Already

By Rae Mosher CW: discontent with body Maya stood on the treadmill crying. She had been here for 10 minutes now. Not sobbing violent and ugly, not one tear rolling down her cheek like a falling petal, just crying. She hated running. She was pissed as hell that she had to do this. But sheContinue reading “Enough Already”