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In addition to our rolling general submissions, each issue features work from themed dossiers––collections of work exploring a particular subject. Our first dossier encouraged readers to observe the beauty and voices of birds. Consider this theme through the lens of migration, flight, evolution, and beyond.

Sun Strings

Tejal Doshi

Sun Strings

She casts her first faint

Yet radiant ribbons of rays.

Breathes deep into oceans.

To brace, she says.

Shots of bold sun-strings

Invade the barren stretch of sky.

The little raven’s beady eye

Sets with defiant luster—to fly.

The lavenders, so lilac,

Bloom bright on the front porch.

Living things dance

On a graveyard’s undertone.

And dawn—

She seats herself

On the throne.

Tejal Doshi is a high school sophomore from India who writes speculative and realistic YA fiction, as well as poetry. Her work is published in Blue Marble Review, The WEIGHT Journal, Sandpiper Magazine, and Cathartic Youth Lit. Find more of her work at


Callie S. Blackstone

The beach sang to me like a siren. 

She drew me closer with her long hair

of seaweed and pale skin of sand. Closer, closer. 

I would not change my clothes.

I wore frumpy sweaters and baggy shirts. 

I did not find my sunglasses, lost long ago 

in some closet. My pale skin went without sunblock.

I went straight down to the beach. 

I walked the shore for hours and hours, 

drawn in by her. Closer, closer. 

I did not know what I was looking for.

The waves lulled me as I wound down

paths through the low scrub and pines.

I walked amongst reeds. 

The birds constantly moved through the stalks, 

cried out to me, heralded me on my journey.

I did not know what I was looking for. 

The sound of the mourning dove is so lonely

it is the only thing that has ever echoed what is inside.

I chased waves and the sounds of the birds. 

I burned up in the sun. 

I left when it grew dark.

I did not know what I was looking for.

Callie S. Blackstone writes both poetry and prose. Her debut chapbook sing eternal is available through Bottlecap Press. Her online home is

The Drive Home

Bang the Door

Diane Webster

Bang on garage door 

catapults cat to the door 

where I am too slow for her impatience. 

She darts into the garage 

intent on death as she knows 

sparrows trap themselves 

and can’t find the entrance to exit. 

I open the garage door expecting to see 

a sparrow grasped in hawk talons, 

and the cat scans for prey. 

The world is silent scared. 

On the garage door window 

a bird’s feathered smudge 

sticks like a decal.


Diane Webster's goal is to remain open to poetry ideas in everyday life, nature or an overheard phrase and to write. Diane enjoys the challenge of transforming images into words to fit her poems. Her work has appeared in "Home Planet News Online," "North Dakota Quarterly," "Eunoia Review" and other literary magazines.


north star

Jess Roses

i thought the 

                    black swan 

                    swallowed all my stars

crystalline fragments

of the the castle    in the back 

of my mind 

shattered      scattered     slowly 

gathered into a strange halfway

still double vision reflects self 

back behind the eyelids – 

all dark but for

a shard of desperate clarity;


            Polaris remains.

Jess Roses (she/her) is a chronically ill, neurodivergent creator. Her focus is the transformation of relationships with pain and the taboo, exploring how these communal experiences relate to structures within and without the psyche. Her work has been published in Ghost Girls Zine, Gaia Lit, YAWP Journal, and more; her upcoming publications include Lovers Literary Journal, Seaglass Lit, and Coffin Bell Journal. Find her on Instagram at @vvitchprincess.


evolution of humankind

Ariana Duckett

i feel the hymnals as they take flight from the bedrock

once trapped in the carbon-dated mistakes of our ancestors;

we are alive, and we make noise,

that is what the hymnals tell the universe.

ripples in a wooly blanket, buds snipped from the flower

where does a generation of us come from? where can we hide when we hate the world the most?

there are so many of us, some whose roots become plundered and some whose roots glitter clear

as ice;

if we could all just stop fighting each other, our ancient songs could take flight once more.

A. I. Duckett is a British-born writer studying creative writing in Southern California. She has been published in Lunch Ticket, Rainbow Poems, Manuscription Magazine and was a poetry editor for Wingless Dreamer Publisher. Her other interests include astronomy, listening to music and ice skating. 


To the Soldiering Other

Philip Jason

Forgive me

if I place this on you like a kiss

placed upon the forehead

of someone who fears darkness

by someone who loves them.

but you are more than a friend,

you are a totem in which

a piece of my heart is stored;

and though we are not birds,

together we can plagiarize their existence

As we ascend,

I will whisper in your ear

to reassure you: yes, I will say,

if God forgets to create gravity,

the angels cannot fall,

but snowflakes fall too

and somehow know to stop themselves

before they get to hell.

Philip Jason is a writer from NY. His poetry can be found in magazines such as Spillway, Lake Effect, Hawaii Pacific Review, Summerset Review, and Canary. His first collection of poetry, I Don't Understand Why It's Crazy to Hear the Beautiful Songs of Nonexistent Birds, is forthcoming from Fernwood Press.

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