Size / / /

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I don't have a quiet heart. These
hollow chambers clang and echo

when so much as a penny
is dropped in.

The neighbors peer inside me and tut.

"Try filling it with earth," one says.

"So it can grow things instead of making that—"

wince "—noise."

"Nah," another says. "Go with grain.
You can sustain anyone
with a heart of grain."

"No," my mother says. Ear pressed to my chest,
she counts in time to the chambers’ moans.

"Fill it with salt water, so that only
those who thrive there may stay."

And who would that be—a tropical fish?
I wonder. But obedience comes naturally.

With a heavy jug, I fill my heart three-quarters full.

(Salt stings too much to fill it to the brim.)

The neighbors groan.

"It's still too loud—and now
she can't even drink from it."

Shhh, I say, listening
for the tide as it sloshes
inside me. Ocean water cools

this hot blood.

Waves give these echoes
and clangs of mine

a rhythm.



Maddie Phelps is an English and Strategic Communication student at the University of Minnesota.  After Maddie graduates this spring, they hope to use their experience in non-profit development and communications at an organization focused on health, disability, gender and sexuality, or sexual violence.
Current Issue
3 Oct 2022

Lying in bed last night I felt fingers reach in, grabbing. I opened in spite of myself as you clawed me with your fingernails, flattened, panicked. Split throat, iron tongue, white masks ranged overhead, the rings on their fingers scraping me as they reached in to take you.
from my tower we climb, shroud as my veil. We leap on his fae steed
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Get ready to feel hungry, because the theme for this quarterly roundup is food.
Wednesday: The Chosen and the Beautiful by Nghi Vo 
Wednesday: Where You Linger & Other Stories by Bonnie Jo Stufflebeam 
Issue 26 Sep 2022
Issue 21 Sep 2022
Issue 12 Sep 2022
Issue 5 Sep 2022
Issue 29 Aug 2022
By: Cat T.
Issue 22 Aug 2022
Issue 15 Aug 2022
Issue 8 Aug 2022
Issue 1 Aug 2022
Issue 18 Jul 2022
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