“Across the Sea from Home” by Emma Ibrahim

In a house with bare white walls
crow’s feet nestle grey eyes
and white hair fades to blue.
Lipstick stains a chipped front tooth
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“Picking Marbles from Dirt” by Blaze Bernstein

When I write, the world around me stops, and the gears in my head turn at a million miles per second. I write until I can’t write anymore, until the page is bursting with so many words and letters and syllables that if I were to fit one more period onto the end of a sentence the entire page might just burst and send missiles of consonants and vowels flying through the air, right back to where they came from. I have to choose what I put down on the page carefully, how the words roll off the tongue, how they mesh with their environment to create cohesive thoughts and sentences that drive forward the story towards its grand or garish denouement. The decision between brief and attaché or serene and halcyon lies only in the moment. I can always go back and edit and tweak what I have written, but it’s those first words that lick the paper that truly determine the story’s ultimate fate.
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