By Christian Gilman Whitney

Come and take it—take the 148 grams of sugar, the 1500 rounds of 9mm per resident, the avoidable tragedies, the hashtags about a city’s strength, a six-figure hip replacement, a pre-fab by the interstate, an eight-dollar latte, avocado toast, avocado toast from Dunkin’ Donuts, sirens in the middle of the night, the 200-foot tall crucifix by the interstate, the unending wars, MQ-9 Reaper Drones, ATM overdraft fees, come and take the lifted Dodge Ram with the leather seats and the Punisher sticker on the back window and the silver testicles hanging from the bumper, the 300 square feet of exposed brick for three thousand a month, an overpriced quarter acre in a decent neighborhood, vinyl siding, leaf blowers in the morning, sirens in the morning, HMMWVs, come and take a whole forest plowed to nothing to make way for the sprawl, the schools, the new Starbucks, McMansions by the interstate, a row of yellow school busses spewing diesel smoke, eight refills of oxycodone, come and take the warehouses by the interstate, a new self-storage facility, the heroes on minimum wage, teachers with three jobs, thank you for your service, thank you for your sacrifice, moral bankruptcy, medical bankruptcy, come and take the corn syrup, the bulletproof backpacks, the active shooter drills for kindergartners, a flag at perpetual half mast, please, please, come and take it all away, come and take me.

Christian Gilman Whitney was born and raised in Western Massachusetts and received his MFA from Bennington College.

Art by Jeff Kallet.

By Brenna Cheyney

But what if the water in which I soak my cloth menstrual underwear infects the tiny cuts on my cracked hands fissured by endless washing to make sure that gone are all the footprints of bad bacteria and virus particles born from the human urge to kill and eat animals, something which I stopped doing five years ago because of the ecosystem collapsing carbon dioxide and methane emissions, which is why I choose reusable menstrual underwear to begin with, to make my powerful act of bleeding as earth friendly as possible, but what if I’m using too much water, more water than what is used to make tampons, more clean water than millions have access to in a day, water that could have been used to grow food, not that I currently have an edible garden, though I aspire to, and how will I have time to with all this rinsing and washing and reusing and cleaning…the thing they don’t tell you about a low waste lifestyle is the time consumption that a capitalist society doesn’t always allow for, the time and energy it takes to constantly be washing and cleaning your reusable wares and cooking from scratch while working full time and raising a family like a lot of folx do, but what if they didn’t have to work so many hours to make enough money to purchase their survival, wouldn’t that be great, a 30 hour work week, no a 20 hour work week, yeah that would be great, and if reusable wares were more accessible and affordable, I know that all of these factors combined would drastically decrease the amount of waste produced from eating and washing and bleeding, and speaking of bleeding, I hope I’m not bleeding through to my sweatpants made of cotton "fabric scraps found on cutting room floors and [cotton] grown without chemical pesticides or insecticides," and of course I have to pee again with all the healthy beverages I’ve been drinking, and of course I will have to wash my hands yet again, reinforcing the tiny cuts on my cracked hands, and in go the spent menstrual underwear into the soak tub, but what if the water in which I soak my bloody underwear infects the tiny cuts on my cracked hands fissured by endless washing to rid my hands of bad bacteria and virus particles and excrement particles and menstrual blood and slaughtered animal blood and the human notion of species superiority…what if?

Writer, performer, artist, activist, naturalist, non-binary, neurodivergent, sweet, witty, queer, empathic, ecocentric, sardonic, thoughtful, vulnerable, vocalist, impressionist, caretaker, dancer, lucid dreamer, not afraid to cry, but would much rather laugh: Brenna Cheyney.

by Christina Spiegel

Christina Spiegel is an ever so slightly disappointed, middle-aged, cartoonist who is worried that she may like you more than you like her.