top of page

By Robert Erle Barham

And when I think of home I think of silt that pooled like water around my

boots, around the farm, around crops folded into rows of caked earth—and the

heat and sweat of course—as we worked solitary tasks at a distance from one

another, plowing, planting, and watering the land again and again, with ragged

breezes sweeping by, cooling our sweat like ghosts passing through us—and the

time I sat in a deer stand at dusk across from woods with an unmarked graveyard

past a stretch of barbed wire that ran through brambles and the middle of a tree

trunk—and instead of hunting I read a story about a place haunted by phantoms

who disguised themselves as people who lived there, and it scared me enough to

climb down, the rifle useless and cumbersome slung across my back, and then

walk to my father’s stand where he was hunting with my brother, and my father

whispered why did you get down early, this is when the deer move, and we might

as well leave, and I walked beside their silhouettes moving across the dark fields,

silent but for the swish of our steps, wondering if it was really them but thinking

how comforting are even the shapes of those we know and love.

Robert Erle Barham writes essays, teaches, and lives with his family in Chattanooga, Tennessee.

Art by Nick Botka, who runs the cassette tape label, StillVHS, and who snaps stills of VHS @stillvhs.

By Maria Hardin

There should be a word for when you’re walking through your parents’ subdivision at dusk and the sky is lavender and peach and sweat is dripping down your neck as you stop take a picture of dead baby bluebird covered in ants and wonder how you’re going to tell your born again christian father that you know he is secretly drinking a fifth of whisky everyday and a gust of wind hits you in the face with the smell of rain.

Maria Hardin can be found at

Art by Maria Hardin.

By Adrienne Crezo

It is December and we must be brave.

— Natalie Diaz, "Manhattan is a Lenape Word"

Every year we're here, just you and me—each winter seven stars make a man, arms outstretched, the same shoulders over the same belt over the same sword sheathed and hanging to your knees, the same galaxy in plain sight in the same wavering line, every year right on time for dark by five, each winter rising over the horizon just barely survived, every year a little sharper, each winter crueler with this disease, but every year you find me here on the roof, shatterproof under your arc, waiting for you—the giant, the hunter—outrunning the scorpion I still won't spot in the dark come July, each winter a reminder that I outran an arachnid, too, and just barely arrived, but lived to complain, learned to regroup, every year a few miles farther from what hoped to wound me, each winter tuned to the key of stark, deprived of light, never enough vitamin D, another birthday here with you in the darkest trees, every year together November through Ides, ride-or-die outside, our dynamic duo a labor of love by degrees, just you and me waiting for the shove, hoping for a break, hand in my owned gloved hand, fingers crossed on the tightrope for a place to land, hopeful almost that I won't fall too far, too hard—under the stars we are both made of.

Adrienne Crezo is an editor and Pushcart-nominated writer of Comanche descent; she lives in Ohio.

Art by Jay Baker, an artist from Colorado living in Oregon, by way of New Mexico; he records music as Tom Foe.

bottom of page