BY COLIN ALEXANDER
Shlump is a verb.
We all shlump.
And we all do, shlump, whether we know it or not.
It’s what you do when you get home after a long day.
You take your coat off
You take your shoes off
You let your breath out and
Underneath your coat and
Inside your shoes and
Behind the breath you’ve been holding
You find there isn’t much of anything.
And then you shlump.
Shlump is a noun.
A shlump is what’s right after
A long exhale accompanied by nothing but
The realization that once again
You must breath in and then out and then in and then out and then in and then out and then in and then out and then in and then out and then in and then out,
For the rest of all possible futures
Until you die.
A shlump is in between your last breath out
And your next breath in.
An expectation of something becoming
An expectation of nothing.
A flick of the switch
As you remember the lights don’t work.
BY MADISON DOBBS
she has been a fighter since birth
protested, pushed, persevered
she has been doused again and again
trampled by the ones she threatens the most
a small spark still remains—
rekindled and carried by her Sisters until she can ignite again, each time burning bigger and brighter
she has endured time and suffering; she has celebrated and grieved
now here she stands, a Woman far altered from her original, shaped by her experience and her society
she is what her Sisters require; she is what her enemies fear
if you listen, she is beckoning— come and join her, she is open to any and all
yet her fiery soul is too often misunderstood
“what is the point?”
“why is she here?”
“what can she do?”
misinterpreted, mistreated, misused
that is the ultimate weapon against her—
if we do not defend her
her fire will turn to ash
she will be lost,
and so will we.
BY GORDON JEFFERSON
Shades fade into the night
What was green is black and white
The golden glow burns half as bright
The bees no longer buzz.
Blue is washed out from the rain
Drier than the blood of Cain
There isn’t anyone to blame
It happened just because.
The oranges are grey today
Raspberries are brown in May–
Don’t look hard, nor look away,
This is all there is and was.