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By Avanti tulpule

  1. Whisked Away
    Whisked Away
    By Brittany Ahn
          There's been a murder painted over in yellow ribbon under a spilled puddle of streetlight and a filmy ghost with halitosis clinging to my shower mirror. No, I don't know my mother's maiden name or her favorite color, but I know she was a midnight cartographer with a destination blooming hesitantly at her fingertips. Sorry, officer, the sun was a white-hot coin on a glowing tongue, the sky a thick, burning blue like my grandfather's gums.
          So I can only tell you there are ghosts I carry without knowing. That opening my mouth to name them is like opening a wound. There's been a murder that never really happened, but it should have.
          I am twelve years old again on the threshold of understanding what it means to live instead of survive. The road cracked open to the center of the universe one November night and my hands knew before my heart did that I could either fall or fly, but instead I fled. Crimson scrawled over the sky like a promise.
          This house has been built out of transience and overheard conversations. Ask the windows, officer, and they'll tremble, saying something terrible has happened here.
          I'm telling you that none of this happened to me, but it's all catalogued, frantic cursive cutting through the pages of my journal. I'm telling you that I've looked in the mirror and I see a stranger with sadder eyes. Look for yourself and you'll know the difference between real-not-real. Maybe.
          Or you'll blur your own edges, like mine, awake night after night, remembering streetlight buzzing like static over the outline of an invisible tragedy.
          A word of world-weary advice: I find solace in frayed monochromatic photographs that I burn in candlelight.