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Breath & Shadow

Spring 2011 - Vol. 8, Issue 2

"ADA, the beautiful!"

Written By

Pinalben "Pinky" Patel

A social worker in my town asked me to write a speech about the benefits of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) to present at a rally celebrating its anniversary. When I discussed this with my wheelchair using friends, some of their replies shocked me.


Many agreed with me that while the ADA could use improvements, it has been very useful for people with disabilities. Some, however, believed the ADA had no positive effects. This struck me as ungrateful, but I realized that they just didn't have experience living as a person with a disability before the ADA.

"Body, Forlorn" and "Pill by Pill"

Written By

Ariel Johnson

When I sing in the shower, her voice rings loud;

 When I look in the mirror, she looks back;

I cringe and turn away.

So now, quiet I stay...


Written By

Melissa Aldridge

I just want to sleep

Sleep until it has all gone away


When the day has not ended and night is warm

That place inside that is safe from looks and sound

"Riding Miss Daisy"

Written By

William Ward

Bikester popped the clutch, downshifting round the switchback u-curve in a fishtail skid that nearly swung Darla off Miss Daisy into a spinney of scrub oak and cat’s claw. Darla leaned into him, her fear spooning him, her breasts pressing into his back, her arms squeezing his middle. Bikester felt her fear vibrate his skin. The electricity lit him up.

"The Parting…"

Written By

Louis Bertrand Shalako

All good things must come to an end.     


Fuego lay in the entrance to the cave all morning long. Soaking up the wan, latesummer sunshine, should have brought contentment and a sense of well-being. His belly was full, having sated his hunger on a fat buck three days before. Fuego had nibbled on a few choice greens to aid in digestion, as was his habit these many years. The aches and pains were mostly gone.

"The Troubadour's Song" and "The Lady's Song"

Written By

Kerry Elizabeth Thompson

From the South the Summer brings a star

That sings within my soul, blithe as a bird,

Lifting the light of her loveliness through the dark

That lay unknown and heavy on my heart;

Until her smile awoke the driving thirst

To find a haven in her love's deep harbor...


Written By

Maija Haavisto

It still feels weird to wake up with no external cues. I remember the sound of the alarm clock I had in college that my roommate said sounded like a fire alarm, just like I remember the nagging reminders that popped on my screen from Outlook and my fake Rolex watch that I used to set five minutes ahead so that I would never be late. I was proud of the fact I was never late. We were ruled by our clocks and schedules.


We didn't know any other way.

"When I Was Alive"

Written By

Erica Ratti

I felt alive once.

When dusk brought a symphony of colors...

"You Can Never Be Too Thin… Or Too Blond"

Written By

Alison Leavens

“You look so HOT!” Ross emails to me. “I can’t wait to see you, and tell you all about my HAI workshop. I feel so open from it, and I can’t wait to tell you all my feelings and to hear everything that you think and feel,” he gushes.


I’ve met Ross twice, at billiards parties that I organized. I sense, as women do, by the second party, that he is infatuated with me. He hovers next to me before I make each shot, helping me with the placement of my cue stick. He rushes to help me put on my jacket. His hand touches my back as we leave the pool hall.

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