Plain China

December 2017

Fidelidad

Karina DaSilva · California Lutheran University

I watch her cracked, leather hands dig deep in distilled earth soft from water long gone her voice softer still

Black Man Floating

Nataja Flood · Wheaton College

black folk be boat be shipwrecked be sinking be [w]hole in bottom be covered in water be sinking black folk be swallowing sorrow today and tomorrow be dreaming of days they’ve drowned waking up wishing they’ve drowned

Benevolence, Georgia

Emma Ditzel · Loyola University

The static drone of the radio, summer cicadas. I went outside to wait for fireflies and watch the sun abandon another day. A furry caterpillar climbed on my bare foot. It was a Tuesday. The boys next door were playing cops and robbers, finger guns in hand.

Graffiti in the Library

Andrew Cushen · University of Florida

This is my least favorite library on campus— it eschews the classic, any Gothic sympathy, or even stalwart Modern mood. It’s unceasingly practical.

Rapid

Ellen Murphy · Lemoyne College

Depression is drowning, and right now I’m face down in a raft, gasping for air, hoping that I don’t find myself underwater any time soon. In January, I was dealing with an abusive friend and wanted to die. In February, I promised my sister I would try to live until March when my niece was born. In July, I fought with all of my strength to live.

Black Box Equinox

Susan Tu · Cornell University

The story began in a bathroom. In my mind, I remember the moment in third person, detached from my actual self, because that was how it felt. Surreal, false, and impossible. A girl sat alone on the cold tiled floor. She stared, wide-eyed. It didn’t even take two minutes.

Fidelidad

Karina DaSilva · California Lutheran University

I watch her cracked, leather hands dig deep in distilled earth soft from water long gone her voice softer still

Black Man Floating

Nataja Flood · Wheaton College

black folk be boat be shipwrecked be sinking be [w]hole in bottom be covered in water be sinking black folk be swallowing sorrow today and tomorrow be dreaming of days they’ve drowned waking up wishing they’ve drowned

Benevolence, Georgia

Emma Ditzel · Loyola University

The static drone of the radio, summer cicadas. I went outside to wait for fireflies and watch the sun abandon another day. A furry caterpillar climbed on my bare foot. It was a Tuesday. The boys next door were playing cops and robbers, finger guns in hand.

Graffiti in the Library

Andrew Cushen · University of Florida

This is my least favorite library on campus— it eschews the classic, any Gothic sympathy, or even stalwart Modern mood. It’s unceasingly practical.

Rapid

Ellen Murphy · Lemoyne College

Depression is drowning, and right now I’m face down in a raft, gasping for air, hoping that I don’t find myself underwater any time soon. In January, I was dealing with an abusive friend and wanted to die. In February, I promised my sister I would try to live until March when my niece was born. In July, I fought with all of my strength to live.

Black Box Equinox

Susan Tu · Cornell University

The story began in a bathroom. In my mind, I remember the moment in third person, detached from my actual self, because that was how it felt. Surreal, false, and impossible. A girl sat alone on the cold tiled floor. She stared, wide-eyed. It didn’t even take two minutes.