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Breath & Shadow

Winter 2015 - Vol. 12, Issue 1

"Absurdity for Drum and Glockenspiel" and "Reliquary"

Written By

Robert L. Smith

While I've never actually seen

the offending instrument,

I've heard it often enough:

the high, metallic stammer

of the glockenspiel, like the oddly

disturbing song of some solitary child, wafting out of the JROTC room,

accompanied by a single faltering drum, as I leave campus by a basement

door at the end of the school day.


Written By

E. Lewy

Doug's stomach flip-flopped. The official last day of summer before he started junior year was over. Now all he had left to do was somehow manage to get to sleep.


Well, there was one more thing.


He reached out, running a hand over the buttons on his backpack. Some of them could stay-- like his dorky yellow peace sign, and the second one he had gotten that said Breathe Peace with a pair of lungs on either side of the sign, because why the hell not?

"I have Painted"

Written By

Margarita Tenser

I have painted

     round the legs of furniture

it was so heavy, and my hands so tired

          (I forgot.)

     Now there is wet paint between

          me and the door

"If You Care to Look…"

Written By

Sean J. Mahoney


the people, stupid, guided past


wrapped round shrubs and


window frames gathering


for Mass but a celebration in song


the community file down aisles...

"Optimum Gratitude"

Written By

Keith Nunes

feel it all the way to the bottom,

let it scald like a menopausal hot flash, sober and clean

"Songed to Silenced"

Written By

Tasha Chemel

My father and I played and replayed the scene in the Little Mermaid

in which Ariel relinquishes her voice.

"Has she lost it?" I would ask.

"Not yet," my father would say. "Shhh. Listen."

And then we'd find that exact second

where the singing would cut off-

a mercifully sterilized transition.

"Strange Fruit"

Written By

Chris Kuell

I drove by the place three times before catching a glimpse of the overgrown path, barely visible through the tangles of honeysuckle. Perhaps it was my time in the city, but I was expecting a driveway, even though the parched mud flat I was driving on could hardly qualify as a road.


I pulled off into some tall grass and parked, still a little uncertain as to why I was here. I turned and got out only a wee bit slower than normally, my protruding belly no more than a minor hindrance at this point.

"The Alphabetical Prescription for Living With A Chronic Medical Condition"

Written By

Wendy Kennar

During college I worked in a public library. The first five years of my teaching career were spent teaching kindergarten. In both instances, the alphabet was a large part of each of my days. As a result, I now tend to look at the world and want to alphabetize it.


Living with an autoimmune disease is unpredictable and uncontrollable in many respects. Yet, I am a person who strives for order. So, I have written the A to Z Prescription for living with, and coping with, a chronic medical condition.


A. Acknowledge that your disease won't go away. You don't recover from an autoimmune disease like you do from a cold.

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