Naked and Fallen
Jenna Citrus

Through Process
Emily Plummer

The Annex
Casey Burke

Tearing at Sores
Regis Louis

The Birth of Our Names
Tesneem Madani

Untitled No. 4
Sarah Kronz

Our Condition
Troy Neptune

On the Fundamentals of Art and the Soul
Ayla Maisey

In the Foreground
Aree Rachel Coltharp

Of a Woman
Jackie Vega

Winafret Casto

The Seventeen Seconds of Odette
Rachel Lietzow

Hidden in Sight
Jenna Citrus

Casandra Robledo

The Passage
Liam Trumble

Resentment as a Kind of Relief
Eric Kubacki

Beauty Standards
Sarah Kronz

Over the Kanawha
Claire Shanholtzer

Anne Livingston

Sponsorships & Acknowledgements

For Empty Spaces
Regis Louis

Liam Trumble

Culled from the Flock
Deborah Rocheleau

Searching for Divinity
Madeleine Richey

From Pillars to Dust
Madeleine Richey

As Best I Could Do
Hoda Fakhari

In Your Absence
Emma Croushore

Sarah Kronz

The Shadow of Paris
Anika Maiberger

The Liffey
Kara Wellman

Memories of Home
Audrey Lee

Jackie Vega

The Beauty in Fracturing
Taylor Woosley

Butcher Paper
Casandra Robledo

Human Scavenger
Devin Prasatek

Babel Was a Second Eden
Luke McCusker

The Painting in Gallery 26
Sydney Crago

Sofia Io Celli

Ayla Maisey



In Your Absence

It’s two a.m. and I’m falling asleep
on the line. I don’t remember what was said,
but it must have been good. It must
have been pretty good, because our
laughter is costly. “When I told
you to run, I didn’t think
that you would.” 

I broke your mug this morning.
I tried to catch it, but it slid
through my hands. It hit the corner
but missed its mark.
It spun—slow-motion, fast-crash
linoleum—and spread
across my floor,
making snow angels
in orange juice.
I wanted to tell you,
but I must have forgotten:

We carry so little
of ourselves these days.

Instead I keep you talking,
just to avoid the fact
that there is nothing left to say.
Because silence is now an admission;
absence is what makes
the mouth go. There are only
so many words between us.
Everything else is distance.

So I tell you to watch your step,
as I allow my feet to dangle off the roof.
Don’t look back until I tell you. Remember
Lot’s wife—she was the one
who looked back. She was the salt
that I tasted in your mouth.
I want you to pretend that I am right there
beside you, breathing into your neck
and grasping your hand; we walked behind
the corner store together,
so I could place my mouth near yours.

I don’t want to sit on these shingles forever.
The night has already heard our story
too many times.


About The Author

Emma Croushore is a freshman at Christopher Newport University studying neuroscience. In the rare moments when she is not in the lab, she enjoys good music, strange movies and books with happy endings. She has also been published in Falling for the Story, an anthology published yearly by the Northern Virginia Writing Project