Plain China

May 2017

Wings

Aubrey Asleson · University of Minnesota

When I was a little girl, I had wings. I asked for them one day when we were in the dollar store. Mom already had a bunch of stuff in the cart, things we needed and things we probably didn't. I saw them hanging on the end of an aisle, wrapped in plastic, pink and glittery. After I slipped my arms through the straps I wasn't without them for a very long time.

No More Young Mother Smoking Cigarettes on the Porch

Blaike Marshall · College of Charleston

My grandmother planted herself here among the arrowheads. She dug her husband out of the marsh- hands cupped as she washed him.

Body Project

Dariana D. Guerrero · Smith College

He told me my Body wasn't his preference. Said it was: too big too loud too feminist and I could feel the slice of his tongue open up trenches in my flesh and skim over fault lines where past meets fat.

Hollow Ground

Dylan Hopper · College of Charleston

Everyone has a scarecrow smile, dried up and useless as the land. Makes my skin prickle, how these dead stalks like to hiss at closed windows.

Childhood Sketch

David Zumwalt · Saint Mary’s College of California

Two bicycles, one twisted and its back wheel spinning crazily; one boy limps, the right half of his body supported by the other's hip; we grow up separately and unavoidably flawed, in the way a tomato plant will bend in the rain until the main stalk snaps and small black ants emerge from the ground to consume its mess.

In the North Room

Z.L. Zhou · Swarthmore College

You are sleeping on 400-count sheets colored fitfully red, your mattress flipped soft, your shades unworried, your lilies unanswered. The window is silent, as you are silent: it is September and you are in love with a dream of arrival.

Wings

Aubrey Asleson · University of Minnesota

When I was a little girl, I had wings. I asked for them one day when we were in the dollar store. Mom already had a bunch of stuff in the cart, things we needed and things we probably didn't. I saw them hanging on the end of an aisle, wrapped in plastic, pink and glittery. After I slipped my arms through the straps I wasn't without them for a very long time.

No More Young Mother Smoking Cigarettes on the Porch

Blaike Marshall · College of Charleston

My grandmother planted herself here among the arrowheads. She dug her husband out of the marsh- hands cupped as she washed him.

Body Project

Dariana D. Guerrero · Smith College

He told me my Body wasn't his preference. Said it was: too big too loud too feminist and I could feel the slice of his tongue open up trenches in my flesh and skim over fault lines where past meets fat.

Hollow Ground

Dylan Hopper · College of Charleston

Everyone has a scarecrow smile, dried up and useless as the land. Makes my skin prickle, how these dead stalks like to hiss at closed windows.

Childhood Sketch

David Zumwalt · Saint Mary’s College of California

Two bicycles, one twisted and its back wheel spinning crazily; one boy limps, the right half of his body supported by the other's hip; we grow up separately and unavoidably flawed, in the way a tomato plant will bend in the rain until the main stalk snaps and small black ants emerge from the ground to consume its mess.

In the North Room

Z.L. Zhou · Swarthmore College

You are sleeping on 400-count sheets colored fitfully red, your mattress flipped soft, your shades unworried, your lilies unanswered. The window is silent, as you are silent: it is September and you are in love with a dream of arrival.