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Clouds

REPAIR

Clouds Clouds

MILK OF HUMAN
KINDNESS

Digital collage by Elia Sykes

Collage featuring image hands partially submersed in water interspersed with decorative lines layered over an image of green plants
Cloud Cloud

LUX SOMNIUM

Words and cyanotype photography by Mandy Allen

A developing cyanotype of a flower with a tall stem

Isolated.
Vulnerable.
Exposed and unsure.

United.
Determined.
Strengthen and protect.

A developing cyanotype of spiky flowers
A developing cyanotype of full, puffy flowers

Focused.
Renewed.
Able and sure.

Cloud

COLORS OF
HISTORY

Design by Tiffany Bell

Infographic summarizing history of LGBT+ rights advances in US history, ending with an encouragement to vote to protect these rights
Clouds Clouds

LOPEZ ISLAND
POEMS

Poems by Luke Heyerman
Illustrations by Brian David Smith

An illustration of distant figures on a dock, fishing

What we’re fishing for

Beside me she walks,
fishing pole in hand,
feet kicking rocks ahead of us
down the road
as we follow its deep ruts
through the tall grass
around the snowberry
hedges.

Soon, the gentle rock
of the dock beneath us,
we cast lures into the sun,
and I catch her easy smile.

Shallow waves curl
to meet a pinkening sky.
The great splash of a sea lion
hunting salmon offshore.

The weights take our lines
deep under,
and the lures swim back
creeping through our
imagination
toward the surface,
chased by hopeful, darting
shadows
with mouths too small to bite
the salmon eggs.

She makes a joke too smart
for a 9-year-old,
and the real punchline
is that I ever thought
I could stay ahead.

When she snags too much
seaweed,
I show her how not to cast so
far out,
to let the line drop
into the dark of the dock.

But don’t let go of the pole,
I say.

She looks at me like I’m crazy.

You’ll be so excited
when you hook one.
It will be there,
in the air, on your line.
You won’t know what to do.
It will twitch and scare you.
You might let go.
People have.
Right into the water.
Fish, reel, and all.

And then what?

And then it sinks. And is gone.

They should make poles
to float,
she says.

And I think, Why don’t they?

She says, They probably do.

Then when the fish,
even being so small, strikes,
she shrieks,
startled with delight,
and reels it in
and lifts it out of the water.

Oh my god, it’s gross!
she cries as I grab the line
and remind her not to let go.
She makes a face.
It’s disgusting. I don’t want
to see inside.

Inside what?

Its mouth! Can we eat it?

You want to eat it?

Well. We caught it.

It’s too small,
we’ll put it back.

But it’s dead.

It’s not.

Ew, you’re going to touch it?

Well, I have to get the hook
out.

Illustration of a faint torso of a person holding a detailed fish caught on a line in the foreground

But she’s shaking the line,
so I take the rod
and reach in for the hook
like my own dad used to do,
avoiding the spiny fin,
past rows of teeth,
but its last twitch makes me
flinch.

Dad! she screams
as the pole goes in,
and the fish, still hooked,
flails on the edge of the dock.

I step on its tail
and grab the line,
reeling the pole up
as kelp trees hold it down.
I tug and tug it free,
up and dripping,
swinging it her way
so she can get hold,
which she does.

I step off the fish
and she lifts it high,
shaking it at the water
until it slips its barb.

She catches my eye
as I catch my breath,
her lids slipping down in
sarcasm.
See? I say. And her lids
droop a little bit lower.

The next day, we come back
but catch nothing.
She says, Today is the first
day
I’ve been bored fishing.

It’s the second day
you’ve been fishing.

No, it’s the fifth.

Corrected, I say,
I meant this year.

She nods, begrudgingly.
Can we catch a crab?

I shrug.

And we try.

Whoa! she exclaims.
I think it caught us.

And she reels it up.
Terrified.
Sets it not so gently
on the dock.

It wheels around
and rears up.
Chases us back up the dock,
leaping and squealing,
to the shore.

An illustration of a crab on a wooden floor An illustration of a crab on a wooden floor

Moments torn from scraps of paper

The old thoughts
queueing for their turn
make me weary
at the first lift of my pen.
Do I owe them so much?
This much?
They missed their chance
anyway,
didn’t they?
And isn’t it time for a new
rhyme?
Isn’t it always?

A poem
is worth a thousand pictures
sitting loose and fading
in the box you won’t
remember you forgot
on the basement shelf

A man
is a boy standing on a chair
on the hillside
singing bravely into the fog
before the town wakes

All I can teach you is
life lives somewhere
between touching
and regretting the flame

Waves on sand
sound like
a drawer opening
all your memories
that smell like the sea

The window frames
a dripping canvas
where green ocean shallows
shine up at gray storms
touching down

Thoughts in my head—
quick, reach for a pad
still thick with
too many blank pages

I rise and walk past the dog.
It raises its head,
asks, Are you the one?
Will it be fun
to follow you downstairs?

I’m nothing, nobody said.
I’ve been following the clue
nobody showed me,
dwelling on wisdoms
nobody gave me,
trying to find what
nobody sold me,
when nobody told me
to grow up.

I stumble after it,
racing pen over sheet
to keep that fifth word
from running off
before three and four
even meet.

At our best aren’t we just
a child laughing
in willful defiance
of afternoon’s end?

lopez island