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FICTION / Redwood / Joseph Thwaites

As he stared out the window absent-mindedly taking in the scene, a single red balloon rose and ascended out of view. Then, a few seconds later, several more passed, this time of yellow, blue, and green. Robert stood, but his movement was interpreted as an effort to leave, and as he rose, so too did several of his family members, ready to amicably prolong his departure. He made a move for the window, but his mother was quick to obstruct the path. 

POETRY / In Which I Compare a Salesman to the Roads I Did Not Travel / Beth Gordon

he met me at a clam bake, barefoot and howling at the moon on the gulf coast 
in the summer of ‘82 and has never forgotten my hand on the bottle of raspberry  

wine or the way I disguised my lust with tragedy, my tears sparkling like beacons
every time I walked into the bay, and I told him that his ice was melting

ESSAY / Started from Degrassi / Nikki San Pedro

Maybe if there was a Degrassi episode about Liberty getting injured on a school trip to the US and needing to get surgery before she could return back to Toronto, I could have been warned about how shitty it would be to have to pay out of pocket and would’ve remembered the importance of keeping my OHIP valid. Or at the very least—remember that it was possible to still seek help and pay out of pocket because my mental health was worth it. 

FICTION / CPA of the Sith / Mike Sweeney

It was a free trial of Star Wars Galaxies. He should’ve just waited till he got home. Instead he logged on to an external server from inside the Department of Justice and spent two hours roaming the Dantooine countryside as “Darth Laser.” It was the name Mark used when he played Star Wars as a kid and now it was going to be officially entered into his record.

POETRY / The Patron Saint of Poor Millennials Who Sniff Candles at Anthropologie / Justin Karcher

growing up, you always thought you’d be as tall as lightning in a bottle, so damn electrical
you’d shatter any prison with your brightness & shoot through the clouds in a blaze of glory
it hasn’t worked out the way you had hoped, wasting your wilderness on the American Dream
partying in the gooey lowlands & cutting up napkin monsters, all that talk about howling
where were you when all the broken people in your life built boats out of used razor blades?