“We’re All in Need of Earmuffs” – Martha Hunter

I don’t care that you killed all the blue-finned tuna,
pointing out that they shine like expensive tin foil
and that you like the taste best of all, the fat underbelly of those
damn fish who don’t know how to turn their heads.
Do you remember all those eyes in the Mediterranean,
dark eyes surrounded by wrinkled blue bodies?  No one
had time to feel lonely until you swam with the
fish once, telling them you know where they can go to touch
the moon, to let its light reflect delicate veins
on them. “You won’t miss your scales at all,” you promised,
“we’ll all be old together and let time trickle over us.”
But the fish soon got tired of the clock always moving,
always going forward one second more and they huddled
together, not daring to move because following time
is how you and I are going to end but never them.

-Martha Hunter is a sophomore studying English at UTC.

“The State of Virginia” – Rachel Sauls

No stranger to car troubles, particularly this car’s trouble, Caroline reluctantly slid into the driver’s seat of the ’91 Honda next to her estranged great aunt. Pretending to adjust the rearview mirror, she watched Gran and Gramps get into their car as if to make sure they would really follow them to Atlanta.

“Just don’t overheat,” she repeated in her head. “We have to make it home. Please don’t overheat.”

Caroline couldn’t help but assume that the scene she had caused last weekend at her sister Liz’s wedding landed her the undesired job of picking up her great Aunt Virginia from her grandparents in Thomaston and bringing her back to Atlanta. The thought of her drunken bridesmaid’s speech, coupled with her sister’s tears and her punishment, churned Caroline’s stomach the same way the wine had.

Continue reading

“Tomb of St. Francis, Assisi” – Anne Brettell

We watch the friars forgetting if they had
a brother back home, pictures of themselves
fading in distant closets. What else is buried
here, the dark earth just beyond these stones?

I can tell that it is always warm in a tomb.
A crowd is watching the last remnants of a hand
being hollowed black by the chipping paint.

We press this fragment to our foreheads,
let it soak into our thoughts. At the moment
we catch a single arm in the doorway,
it becomes a ball of cotton in our throats.

At last, St. Francis, resting near the small
bones of his birds while the voices
of a choir are playing into our heads.

It still surprises us to find the thick iron bars,
chapels that can lock in the last remains
of a saint – a tooth, a vial of blood. The tiny
pieces of someone we can point to and love.

-Anne is a senior studying English at UTC.

“Questions? Comments?” – Cara Vandergriff

Lucinda knew she was a dependent, unstable woman when she ate Rocky Road ice cream, replayed the same pathetic Dean Martin songs, or turned in front of her bathroom mirror staring at her (almost certainly) expanding thighs. Mark had called last night and offered everything she might have hoped for in a break up speech. She heard all of the key phrases: “it’s not you it’s me” and “just need space” and “best if we don’t see each other.” The truth might have been one of them or none of them, or the one Lucinda hated worst of all, maybe it was underneath them all and those phrases just blanketed it and made it less vivid and ugly. She had directly turned on Dean Martin and reported to her bathroom for thigh examination.

“You’re nobody till somebody loves you,” Dean sang.
Continue reading

Silence – Gavin Cross

In a different world, you aren’t my brother.
And I stumble into life alone.
Empty sheets form nights without moon,
And missed conversations burn in my throat.
But that world can’t be so bad,
Because in it, you didn’t leave.
You were never tossed to sea
With heavy nights blanketed in cloud.
Water didn’t churn beneath the ship whose name
I never learned to hate.
And I never waited by the window,
Where friendship seeps into memory,
Beneath a hope for the moon to shine again.

Gavin Cross is currently a senior majoring in English creative writing with a minor in Psychology. He was published in the 2009 issue of the Sequoya Review and is a member of Sigma Tau Delta. A book that Gavin recommends is A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini. Q: If you could be a character from any book, who would you be? A: Tigger from Winnie the Pooh.