top of page

April 2024

Recent fiction

by Amy Cameron


Photo by Daniel Beilinson

Recent nonfiction

by Meg LeDuc

Recent fiction

by Jessica Treadway

Recent Interview

by Mount Hope

The Woman From Somewhere
by Karris Rae

          She delivers me from the mud with love in her eyes—cradling me, a mass of raw clay, against her heart. Clay often sleeps restlessly, heaved up by tectonic compulsion or submerged in storms, dormant in the cold and dark. It’s the shocking difference between cold mother earth and warm human skin that wakes me. On her hands, I taste salt. I’m comforted to know she’s made of minerals, like me. 

          She considers my worth as the sun peeks behind her curl-haloed head. Then she smiles. “You’re gonna be somethin’ beautiful. J’you like that?”  

          Yes, I would.  

          So she places me in an orange plastic bucket and carries me away. Rocked to sleep by the sway of her gait, I dream of terrible armored fish and glaciers herding forests down hills and through valleys. 

          I wake in a plastic bag. Everything is dark again, but not quiet. Other sticky masses of clay shift in slow motion within their own bags. A key clicks into a lock and a metal door swings open. A woman’s voice streams in with a shaft of sunless light. “…so this one spot by my gramma’s house always had the weirdest-colored dirt. Lookit what I found there.” It’s her. She’s wearing different clothes and her hair is a little longer. Humans change quickly. 

          She pulls me from the cabinet into her arms, sharing her warmth effortlessly. A man stares over her shoulder. With his large pores, sun-roughed skin, and immovable expression, he’s like an eroded sandstone pillar. The two stand in a room lined with crowded shelves of tools, canvases, and cans and tubes of paint. The air is very still. 

          “Oh, excellent, Sabrina,” the man says. The wind from his lungs blows strangely over his craggy teeth. “That green is rather unusual. More typical of the Pacific Northwest, or parts of France. Where did you collect this, again? Kentucky?” 

          “Cuyahoga River, south of Cleveland. Still needs cleaned, but—” 

          “Yes, it still needs to be cleaned. How much did you collect?” 

          Sabrina blushes rose quartz. “A few bags…but this one’s the best.” 

          “Certainly. It conjures such grand designs in the mind. Abstract and daring, with vital moment…something that speaks to the post-industrial landscape from where it came. The gray-green lends itself to a dual representation, metal and stone, industry and reclamation. Think… patinated copper. Think tender fronds sipping from poisoned water. The nauseous pallor of a smoggy dawn. Think, Sabrina. How would you give these themes abstract yet tangible form?” 

          Sabrina breathes. I sit heavy in her arms, pulling her gently to the ground. “I was gonna make a mortar and pestle.” 

          He arches an eyebrow. So the stone face does move. “You can do better. This material is too beautiful to just use…and you are too talented. The gallery needs ceramic pieces for the winter exhibit. It’s time for you to assert the kind of creator you want to be.” 

Recent poetry

by Fiver Lewis

Recent nonfiction

by Aharon Levy

Recent fiction

by Spencer T. Wilkins

bottom of page