by Ryan Van Winkle
which is, of course, not the best idea
if you are using only your back. Because
the wall is too large and while you often feel
small, you are not an ant
able to shoulder twenty times your frame.
So, you will need something else and maybe
it is your art, just wood and canvas and old
chipped paint. A glowing two by four
from the police barricade and something of a door
you father saved, the painted canvases of friends
and Dawn’s teeth, all of Dawn’s teeth could hold
up a wall if you know what
I mean, didn’t we call her from behind your father’s door
to whisper nobody was going to love her pimples
and curly fried hair because didn’t we first love
her pimples and curly fried hair
at the chalkboard, over the paper mache, her red
and white neck, like our own peckers bursting
for free and didn’t we think we could hold a wall
with her a long time, could fuck
while holding a wall, could do your taxes and feed birds
from sanctuary below the wall, camp with your children
and raise a little tree for Christmas. That wall would halo glow
and so maybe you need
to palette a love too, a mural
strong enough for a wall.
Honestly I’ve never been ‘in love’ before so I don’t exactly know what the feeling would be like. But I had a bit of a think about what it might feel like and I came up with this picture. I think being in love might be like being lost in something that is infinite, all encompassing and extremely overwhelming and beautiful at the same time.
by Fabliha Reza
by Mardi Zeunert
My first love. Clothes.
I think it started with the boots I got for my third birthday. Yes, how could you not fall in love. White, shiny, lacey love. Standing tall and proud on my 3rd birthday. What a groover my mum must have been in the 70’s to buy me such gorgeous boots and sew such a pretty dress. Oh, and a dolly vardon cake. Very cool for that time too. No homemade cakes for me.
It surprises me really, looking back. I love that I look at this photo and now see my daughter. Unfortunately the boots are long gone, and she is more happy in mismatched plastic shoes and a Tinkerbell fairy outfit. She loves clothes. She loves to be different. Love.
by Moira Madden
I almost blurted out that your eyes looked like honey, I was completely clueless that you are just as sweet and twice as antiseptic to wounds I didn’t know I had.
You are here and unafraid. I say “No, tell it to me like a story so I can see it in my mind,” and you do not flinch. Staring at my ceiling it doesn’t matter how many floors are above me, I could see the sky and I could see the stars. My roommates are partying a few feet away and screaming, so I’m not listening to my mind screaming, even so everything is screaming shivers on my skin.
I got in the car with my friends that night and did that thing I do where I dance to get this ghost off of my back. Rainbow lights, cupcakes, Raspberry Beret. When they told me I was happy I believed them. I was blooming, and the girl next to me had never known me to be otherwise. She was in the same boat but she doesn’t know how not to drown, and interestingly enough, she is a real dancer.
Talking philosophy on my bed between commitments I am toying with the idea in my head. I make a conscious effort to look away.
Two weeks later our fingers were stuck together and we slept on my floor, the first time I had been on solid ground after spinning for months. I kissed you fearing you would break because I am still heavy inside and I walk into the shower repeating “fuck” to myself. You are my night, you are my morning, you are staying over and I’m trying to pretend I do this all the time.
We ride bikes and everything is honey colored just like those eyes and your smile is twice as sticky. For a second I think I’m trapped in it but I still run from you and cry because you’re real.
The heat of the moment has no effect on a girl who could wear down a glacier so I keep pausing to think and can only come up with “I feel so exposed” and you reply “Well, you are”.
Rain turns the city to shit and I am dirty like the sky, a cigarette and a hangover and I kissed another guy. On the curb I inhale smoke and exhale tears about every awful thing I’ve ever done. You hold me anyway. You hold me like you are protecting me from a rain of bullets, gumdrops, lemondrops, real rain. The coffee you bought me flushes down the drain.
I catch our reflection in a window later that night and see myself stomping, smoking, but healthier than I’ve been in years.
We drink wine with my mother and she welcomes you to my dark moods when I cry in the car after a beautiful day. I kiss you in a Wegman’s parking lot the next night and I can only see by streetlights and they’re spotlights, shots in the dark of my life and things look almost perfect.
A crazy man yells at me while I’m waiting for you outside the liquor store and again I’m trying to pretend I do this all the time.
I slept with you but couldn’t sleep, just listened to a dog barking downstairs. You drowsily explained that it was a puppy—it was probably far from home and just needed to get used to it here. I silently wept because how could you know I was in the same place in my own skin?
I throw up in the shower after I leave you that night and don’t remember calling you, but you came.
We whisper “I love you,” over and over. Something hard and bitter within me flows and feels, some nameless mystery within me snaps into place. Our ups fly high, and our downs crash hard with first love turbulence. When I’m back on the ground my tears are hot but so are the kisses, and they have boiled away wounds that I didn’t know I had.
by Dominique Franks
No one ever tells you that your first love probably wont be your last.
No one ever tells you that because we are romantics at heart. We like to think it will last, but most of the time, it doesn’t…
No one ever tells you that it will end with you refusing to speak for two weeks. With you screaming into your pillow while your mum makes you a warm cup of tea with honey.
No one ever tells you that you will try your hardest to push the pain to the back of your mind but when silence falls and theres nothing more to do, you will cry.
You will feel so hopelessly lost because they were your first, your first love.
And when the pain has past and you start to sew the pieces of your life back together you wonder if someone had told you this was going to happen, would you have ever let yourself fall in love to begin with?
Probably, because we are all romantics at heart and whats more romantic than beating the odds of someone who has seen the future?
by Phoebe Mitchell
- 225g dried spaghetti
- 150g sliced smoked pancetta
- 2 large eggs, plus 2 extra yolks
- 4 tablespoons finely grated Parmesan
- 4 tablespoons double cream
Sit nervously in the family kitchen while he cooks the pasta for 8-10
minutes in boiling salted water.
Kiss her before adding 1 teaspoon of olive oil to the water.
Watch him heat the frying pan on his mother’s stove before frying the
pancetta until crisp and golden, approximately 5 adrenaline-fueled
Pour her a glass of your father’s beer then whisk the eggs and cream in
a bowl and season with black pepper.
Whisk in the cheese, ignore the doorbell.
Top up her beer; drain the pasta but leave a little of the cooking water
Heart beating fast, quickly return the pasta to the saucepan, and add
the pancetta along with the egg mixture.
Stir thoroughly so that the egg cooks briefly as it comes into contact
with the hot pasta.
Serve on hot plates with a grating of Parmesan and the promise of
reciprocated first love.
by Hayley Lock
When I was four, my family and I went on holiday to northern Germany, quite close to the Danish border. Two days into the holiday I went missing. I had woken up early on what was, if I recall, a beautiful sunny day and I had decided to go for a walk as I left my family sleeping. I considered leaving a note, but decided that I wasn’t to be that long and it probably wasn’t worth worrying about. It was unlikely that my family would even notice. Anyway, after walking for some time I met Peter, a beautiful blonde haired boy playing in his garden. We spent many hours together. He showed me nests in his garden, shared a biscuit and we played by the river chasing sticks and building dams. My parents, distraught with worry, eventually found me later on that afternoon. Peter and I fell for each other that day. We have been best friends ever since. Here is a photograph of his house.