Ranya’s Story by Shireen Khattak

Ranya stood up. She took a deep breath and felt the tightness around her ribs from the inflexible skin. *** You know, at first, I just thought it was water. It had that same cold wetness to it when it splashed against my face. And I remember thinking, why have they thrown water at me? I could hear the frightened anger in my father’s voice. “Disgraceful. Disgusting. It brings shame and dishonour on the whole family.” I had explained it was an accident, that I wouldn’t do... Read More

My Pride by Jaydeep Sarangi

My words Are expressions of pride Which eat up my energy in daily acts Of going there And coming in For unnecessary means.   When I stop The clock ticks fast As I lag behind the schedule.   My readings  and random thoughts Make me wild As the cloud hovers around my neck.   You and I both walk past an old clock When my lines move hearts. The stone speaks for a community And the land.   You could break me to pieces Soluble in water As my proud birth drags me... Read More

Sleepwalker by Sandy Green

Have you noticed when you roast the chicken or simmer the soup, as you sauté the onion and garlic and shape the oat dough into a smooth loaf, after a while – twenty-three minutes to be exact – your olfactory nerves are overwhelmed and leave for vacation?   You don’t notice the aroma vanishing from the kitchen while you’re busy chopping, scraping, or clicking the oven knobs to boil.   On the other side of the oven mitt, the one who comes fresh to the festivity... Read More

I Live For My Daughter by Jaydeep Sarangi

Being part of the dream of my land All  I feel Is loneliness and pain.   I’m red with their glory, Blue when hungry, the refugee, the child labourer… My random thoughts blow away Old proverbs and idioms With vibes  of education. The glass is broken today.   My daughter’s doll is sad Someone has taken away her freedom Even on a Sunny day.   It wouldn’t rain today! Probably, she will write for me.   Jaydeep Sarangi is a bilingual writer, academic,... Read More

I Am Circle by Amy Huffman

I am fabricating belonging in this square block of urbanized silver.  Buildings and ballgowns and electric signs screaming ideas of what I should be.  Locking into sink or swim mentality, I claw my way through maze of storied windows and taxied avenues, clinging to bits of potential that happen to blow across my path.  I stuff them in my dime- store bag and pray they will deliver me to my desired space. I will grow among these sidewalks, despite the cracks.   A.J. Huffman’s... Read More

Demolition Day by Bruce Harris

They’ve cordoned the whole place off now, though they’re not going to blast it for a couple of days yet. Men in hard hats, men with clipboards. Always men. They do that. The council orders their men to go somewhere and take it over. Doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks about it.  You can sling your hook, whatever your connections with the place, even if it’s your childhood, the place where you grew up, that they’re taking over. Now, because it’s... Read More