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NATASHA YOUNG | LETTERS FROM ANGEL

“Time travel has triggered a manic state and Bunny is still in Cornwall. My ego is translucent; I am a wandering eyeball. 9:06am, I eat shaking, I paw Weird Fucks, I admire the fair waitress’s long, blonde braid that lays down against her back between her shoulder blades like a ladder. Would that I could climb up into her head.”

TIA LUCAS | WORKING CLASS MOUTH

“My orthognathic surgeon was all the way up in The Bronx. Up in the Bainbridge section off the 4 train, near the houses that like looked upgrades of the Smurf village – narrow, upright brown and burgundy red brick structures with pointed roofs shaped like upside down Vs and shrubs closely enveloping the exterior with entrances providing secrecy, privacy and urban nobility.”

CORINNA CHONG | THIEVES

“My mum had never said much about her life with my dad in England before my sister and I were born, but she had told us that milk was delivered to them in glass bottles, right to their very own chute, and floating at the top of each bottle was a layer of cream. Thick as butter, her guilty pleasure on Tuesday mornings. Unless, she said with a sour edge on her voice, someone else got to the cream first. My dad, sneaking out of bed before she was awake to steal the cream for himself.”

GABBY VACHON | METH(OD) MAN

“He was a piercer at the shop I went to for a few years to get an array of holes punched in my skin to look cool and feel the pain of bioplast metal breaking my cartilage, something I’m apparently into. I saw him and knew instantly he was hot. He had his hands tattooed before finishing his sleeve, which in the body mod community is considered a faux pas, but in that way he was an extra rebel. Even real collectors didn’t respect him, but he didn’t care. He was too cool, too nonchalant, probably too busy fucking other cool girls with hand tattoos.”

AYDEN LEROUX | PILLOWBOOK

“I dreamed we were looking at houses together—big mansions on the coast like the house we were put up in while you were working in Rhode Island, and old conservatories filled with squashy rose-colored armchairs, an interior jungle of plants.”

 

TROY ONYANGO | THE GHOST OF NINA SIMONE; OR THE REMAINS OF AN EXISTENCE SPIRALING TOWARDS THE NADIR.

“Traffic on Mombasa Road, the stretch between Mtito Andei and Voi, is bad, the driver shouts to no one in particular. His voice is a nail being dragged on glass, and I am glad almost everyone in the bus, except for the girl who has been on her phone for almost the whole stretch between Makutano Junction till here, is asleep so they don’t have to hear all this screeching. I glance at the bright cracked screen that is my phone. 03.27 am.”

MARTA BALCEWICZ | LIES IN THE GYMNASIUM

“This story starts in a grade school gym class—it’s about an athlete, after all. It’s the suburbs of Toronto and my seventh grade teacher—there is no designated Phys. Ed. teacher—yells the following after I don’t get out of a dodge ball’s way.”

DELPHINE BEDIENT | THINGS THAT GET WORSE

“Does it mean something that 34 of your friends like this picture of you with a paper bag over your head? 

Even when he doesn’t look as good, he still can’t quite look bad. 

Right after he broke up with you, he bought you a drink.”

LINDSEY WEBB | APOLOGY

When I’m young, it’s the season of the rabbit—cute, horrible, skinny, sprinting under the sagebrush when a truck comes up the dirt road. In summer, its long legs and ears make a doubled pair of speech marks as it kicks and runs for what I can only assume it believes is its life, with its matted but not exactly dust-colored fur—some warmer color, a dull kind of yellowish red. At night, its feet kick light back to our car, as if it’s flashing us, as if it has two middle fingers up at us, we who can never not be astonished at its size—jackrabbit racing us on the side of the road, shaped wrong. Not a bunny.”

MEZ BREEZE | ATTN: SOLITUDE

“][scissor[B][L]ink][: [+ _HexAgony_] – 2011 – 11 -06 17:42”

KATY KIM | TWO POEMS

“Grandmother— rolls me over
with nipples like pitted seeds.”

DIANNELY ANTIGUA | TWO POEMS

“I’m still a sort of virgin. I’m still
in college. They leave behind swollen hickies,
belt marks, and Big Red gum.”

MALLORY SMART | ALONE IN PUBLIC ON XANAX

“i am sad and everybody knows it

i have the urge to take my shoes off

and let my toes wiggle in the grass”

NADIA CHOUDHURY | TWO POEMS

Though the temple may be mine, I will be plucked
………………..and left to tarnish in the sun, an apple tumbling away,
pistachios crumbling out of dusty sweets.”

AURORA ENGLE-PRATT | TWO POEMS

“Riding backwards out of the city I’m
chewing my hangnail off clean
Fun Box scrawled on a transformer
Knees spread on the seat”

GALE MARIE THOMPSON | THEY MAKE THINGS EASIER HERE SO THAT OTHER THINGS GET HARDER

“Who will be with you
as you become? I am not asking
for me, but for the girl character
who waits behind my eyelids,
the wild foam of her
that spreads only outwards.”

PRAIRIE M. FAUL | TWO POEMS

“The deer neck’d
bone hung between
your breasts”

ERIN TAYLOR | A TRAUMATIC PHOTOSYNTHESIS

“a traumatic photosynthesis
i have built a city entirely made
of baby teeth, roots holding still
the frosted fort.”

EMILY ALTA HOCKADAY | WALKING BACK FROM CHERRY GROVE AT MIDNIGHT

“The ocean is loud so we keep conversation
short and concentrate on the depth
of our breath.”

NOOR AL-SAMARRAI | IN THE CITY IT’S FLESH

“In the city it’s flesh that regenerates concrete and wires strung between.
Some bodies are becoming more urban now —”

We're raising money to pay contributors!

Art is life, but it is also work. Our contests pay for winners, judges, website and Submittable fees, but we want to be able to compensate our contributors for all of the hard work they do – the lives they share with us. Cosmonauts Avenue is a labor of love staffed by volunteer editors, all of whom work multiple jobs and receive no income from working on this journal. We want to ensure that writing can be a sustainable endeavor, that our contributors are paid for their hard work. But in order to do so, we need to reach out to a larger community and ask for help to achieve this goal. No matter how small a donation, it makes a huge impact on our ability to pay contributors.

ISABEL BALÉE | LAND OF ERODED WOMB

the mutually oblique intersection

of the womb

& the womb’s resistance”

ALEXIS POPE | TWO POEMS

“The wet of the day I announce to nonspecific
Bodies fill a space to watch
Words make up a language I’m not sure I completely”

OLIVIA MARDWIG | PRACTICE

“With the musician you talk a lot at the table in your apartment. You talk over the over-boiled pasta he made about appreciating music, about how being transformed by art can be just as satisfying as making it. A day or two later he tells you that he hasn’t given up music, just the idea of becoming a musician. You are proud of him at first, for being honest and realistic in a way more self-absorbed people cannot. Then you think, now who is going to write a song about me?”

ETHAN FEUER | EARJOB

“Under her keyboard was a faint eeee. Feeble warble weakly insistent like a dog shut outside. The eeee was deep in her laptop’s guts. Her brother Mark was on video chat, her famous and handsome brother, mouth-breathing due to his rhinoplasty and making tattoo suggestions. But she could hear it between his sentences, the eeee.”

LISA PIAZZA | THE BEAT BETWEEN

“I can’t sleep here. It’s not Gran’s fault. She wants this to feel like home, but it just doesn’t.  Some nights I hear my sister – even though she’s not here. I got Ruze stuck in my head or something, stuttering up my sleep, speaking her usual truth to the untrue. I used to believe her every word. Once, walking the bathtub rim like a tightrope, she told me: you can’t keep what you can’t hold, so for years I held on to nothing.”

LEAH BAILLY | PARADISE, NV

Captain Rick began each day, despite the amphetamines, despite the hangover, with hundreds of reps of push-ups. He also had pull-up bars in many of his doorways and a pec squeezer out on the patio. He would dream not of Iraq but of the simulations, cardboard tents and exes burned into the desert for targets. He would drop the bombs but they would never explode. He could be completely clean for weeks. On his days off, he got a free pass.”

ALEXANDRIA NARAE YOUNG | MIYOUNG IN APRIL

“The woman on the news was talking rapidly and earnestly in front of a flock of emergency response vehicles. Firefighters in heavy hats and heavy suits hurried on- and off-screen; anxious onlookers hung back. I caught very little of what the woman with the microphone was saying.”

JUSTIN BROUCKAERT | THE GRANDMOTHERS

“The grandmothers walk through the front door, two and three at a time, bonding over talk of the weather. They lower their umbrellas, brush raindrops from their shawls and smooth their sheen grey hair, propped up in helmets or draped over grandmotherly shoulders. Cats and dogs, they say. Absolutely cats and dogs.”

THOMAS MOLANDER | TO SEE ABUNDANT O

“He reached into his briefcase, pulled out an apple, wiped it on his shirt, and took a large chomp. He watched himself chew in the rear-view mirror. He ate the apple’s core too because he had nowhere to dispose of it and he didn’t want to chuck it out the window in case the client pulled in at exactly that moment.”