Breath & Shadow

A Journal of Disability Culture and Literature

Fall 2014

Volume 11 Issue 4



Breath and Shadow
  Fall 2014

Volume 11 Issue 4
Define Me, Decay by Jenna-Nichole Conrad

There were hours before
the clock grew tired of routine,
hung it's hat on the doorknob, folded its arms
to lay down, fetal-like,
swept under fraying corners of the carpet…

Click here to read Jenna-Nichole Conrad’s poems

Cutting by Stacye Cline-Robinson

I stand here cutting as I dye, dyeing as I cut. My goddaughter Jade sits with her wheelchair tilted back, her head wedged between the arms of the salon sink as I circle behind her. Turning on the faucet and placing her head under the rush of warm water, rinsing Jade’s hair free of bleach, I hope she doesn’t hear us. Her mom Liz and I make small talk— bawdy talk of bodies and waking from daydreams too rough for her ears. It isn’t that she can’t understand the games people play when they no longer believe in love. The way Jade’s eyes catch light, never staying the same shade of green-flecked brown or brown-flecked green and their quick expressiveness let me know she understands too much about the aftermath of love.

Click here to read Stacye Cline-Robinson’s short story

The Crossing, Wind Gifts by Mark Cornell

You no longer want to hold my hand

perched upon a new chapter of your life,

Beaming as you make your stand

you cross the street towards the other side.

With your gold uniform and floppy blue hat

I understand it’s time to say goodbye,

I waddle behind you carrying your huge bag

below the chalk moon Summer sky…

Click here to read Mark Cornell’s poems

Sight and Singing by Emily K. Michael

I enter the large conference room, holding Kerry's elbow. High ceilings and bare floors amplify the sound of our students' voices as we find seats at the long folding tables. Most of our students are sitting at the table in front, so we choose seats behind them. For the next six hours, we will occupy cold, metal folding chairs - and mine makes an unnecessary amount of noise when I draw it away from the table. It scrapes along the floor, the sound intensified by the chair's hollow legs.
We are about to experience a presentation from one of the premier companies that produces assistive technology (AT) for blind and visually-impaired users. AT can include anything from a video magnifier that you carry in your purse to a wireless braille display that translates the text from your iPad, iPhone, or computer screen into refreshable braille.

Click here to read Emily K. Michael’s three-part essay

Medication, Game of Thrones by Sergio Ortiz

Half asleep and wrapped

in a blanket of nightmares

I pass through all the broken

windows of the world

with an appetite for cake…

Click here to read Sergio Ortiz’s poems

Who? By Lela Marie De La Garza

"Hi..." I say tentatively.
"Hi. I'm Kevin. We've met before."
I didn't remember of course.

"I'm Joan. But you probably know that if we've met before."
"I do know that.  You don't realize it, but there was a time you didn't remember your own  name."

Click here to read Lela Marie De La Garza’s short story

Trinkets by Raud Kennedy

That’ll make me happy,

Or, they’ll make me complete.

I think I want something

Or I want to be with someone,

But when I get it I want something else

Click here to read Raud Kennedy’s poem

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