Plain China

Synesthesia and You

by Charnell Peters · Taylor University
"Synchronized Formation", Deirdre Murphy · University of Pennsylvania

I hang from the last brick of August, and cold is tolling. I don’t hear you, but I remember your summer breath, and you still feel like the softest blue behind my eyes.


The months we spent together sit catty-corner: June and July. July, bent in half, turns to face the other side of black space. Black hums, like the night under the chalk moon when we sweated and swatted at ants. I felt you for the first time, your blue warmth and dimpled back. June woke with us, orange and fiery on our skin.


We used to hike for miles, tripping over bulging roots, their viola singing. We held hands when we could but had better balance if our arms steadied just our own bodies. September slants a pointed edge at my chest. Rain throbs. I see your voice ripple in the humming black of sleep. Sweating, I look down to find your blue has traced all of the lines in my hands. I look like a river. I know I can’t cross.

About the Author

Charnell Peters · Taylor University

Charnell Peters is a senior at Taylor University where she studies professional writing and interpersonal and public communication. Her creative work has appeared in Ruminate MagazineAltarworkPuerto Del Sol’s Black Voices Series, Fiction Southeast, and elsewhere. "Synesthesia and You" first appeared in Cleaver Magazine.

About the Artist

Deirdre Murphy · University of Pennsylvania

Deirdre Murphy earned her MFA degree from the University of Pennsylvania and her BFA degree from the Kansas City Art Institute.  Murphy is an adjunct professor at the University of Pennsylvania and been a visiting artist at Philadelphia Museum of Art, Pennsylvania College of Design and University of Texas and Philadelphia University. Deirdre Murphy is represented by the Gross McCleaf Gallery in Philadelphia and Zinc Art + Interiors in Edmonds, WA. "Synchronized Formation" first appeared in symbiosis.