Jose Alives-Baquero

The stench. It occupied every last bit of fresh air. The smell of coffee, steam, and milk. The smell of tears, shock, and terror. The smell of rubber, flesh, blood. Bystanders surround Lydia while she screams. “It’s all my fault! It’s all my fault!” Everything was red.  

Earlier in the day, Lydia woke up around 9:30. She had a shift at a coffee shop down the street called Rosemary Cafe. Her shift was supposed to start at 11 so she was doing fine on time. She got up, showered, put on her uniform, and left the apartment.  

As soon as she stepped outside of her building, her senses got flooded. She was met with loud sirens, caution tape, and an indiscernible red blur in her vision. Her eyes adjusted as she stepped closer to the scene. As her eyes focused, she saw that the red blur was from the ambulances and the unrecognizable body of the person on the concrete. She couldn’t understand what had happened. She stepped closer. Lydia saw an arm, what seemed to be a finger, and a torso before the EMTs quickly covered what they could with a tarp. Lydia, shaken from the scene, lowered her head and started walking away. On the ground surrounding the chaos, was a clear straight line of blood, going in the direction she was headed.  

After leaving the horrific scene, Lydia decided to go to Starbucks a bit further from her job just so she doesn’t run into any coworkers she doesn’t want to. After getting her usual order, she started walking back to Rosemary. As she walked, she saw red lines appearing everywhere. There was a red line on the building next to her and another line that seemed to be guiding her to Rosemary. The red line abruptly stopped in front of her on the corner she needed to cross. Right as she put her foot out, a car sped by. A bright red car, nicked the toe of her shoe, twisting her right foot outwards. She collapsed backward, her drink spilling all over the sidewalk. Her foot was ok, but the front of her shoe was bright red from the paint of the car. She collected herself and walked across the street to the coffee shop.  

Lydia walked into Rosemary, put her apron on and got to work. Her coworkers asked her throughout the shift how she’s doing, but Lydia didn’t say anything. All she can think about is the red mark on her shoe. How close she was to not being able to work that day. How close she was to ending up like that body outside of the apartment. The shift went by extremely fast but also unbearably slow. Her movements making drinks were almost automated, but her mind was racing so fast everything seemed to be moving so slowly. She worked a full day at Rosemary, closing at night. 

She finished counting up the register and getting everything settled. She grabbed her bag and turned off the lights. She was still nervous about stepping outside again. Next to the street, cars, and possible red paint. She sat in the dark for a second, attempting to regain control of herself, to be able to get home. “It’s just a few blocks” she told herself. She stepped outside and darts to the left, on a mission to get back to safety.  

Lydia kept her eyes down and started walking. Past her feet flew red colors, construction marks, lollipops, and the line. The red kept following her until it stopped at a horizontal end point. In front of the line stood a tall figure. Their face wasn’t visible, all Lydia could see was a white shirt with red gloves. With an indistinguishable voice, the figure said, “slow down, are you ok?” Lydia stopped shocked, “Huh?” “I said are you ok?” Lydia couldn’t grasp what they were saying. It was all too much. The street right next to them was bustling with cars, the pavement, shined red from the brake lights. She was surrounded. “Please leave me alone.” “Let me walk you home,” The person said while walking closer. Lydia stepped back against the side of the building. “No, I’m fine” “You don’t seem fine” they said. Lydia had enough. She screamed, “Please leave me alone!” Any possibility of friendliness from the figure disappeared in an instant. They lunged at Lydia with their red gloves and stripped the bag away from her hands.  

Lydia shot backwards screaming. The figure lunged for her again before she put her hands out, elbows bent, and pushed them back with all her might. They stumbled back, tripping over the bag. Lydia realizes what she’d done. In an instant, the figure fell into the street, when a red painted car sped by. In swift motion, the wheels swallowed up the body of the person. 

 Whatever indication of what they looked like was gone. All that was left was red. Their face was stripped from itself. The white shirt had been stained black and red from the ground, car, and themselves. A brutal crunch and splatter overtook all sounds. A life dissolved into asphalt. The only thing left in one piece was their lower leg. Lydia looked from the top down, first bone, then blood, red tainted skin, and the figures shoe. The shoe was white, with a blood-red mark on the toe. And the stench…. It smelled like coffee.  

Porcelain Plate

Zoe Bocek ’24

i’m not broken 

I don’t remember breaking 

you’d think that anyone would remember that 

you’d think that a shard of porcelain would remember the plate it used to be  

you might even think that shard of porcelain wouldn’t remember anything else  


little soul 

do you remember when you left the body? 

do you remember what your last day with a physical form was? 

do you remember the color of your hair? 

the length of your fingernails? 

do you remember that, little soul? 

and so the shard is thrown to the trash 

will it remember that it used to live on a shelf  

in a cabinet 

and sometimes on a dinner table? 

little shard, 

are you waiting to be glued back together? 

little shard, 

do you ever think that you now, are as much of a plate 

as you ever can be, again? 

The Galaxy’s Headphones

Heide Orleth ’22

Acrylic on canvas, a homemade gift given  

To match a starry-eyed daydreamer 

With her lyrical words 

But with a closer look 

Another scene is revealed 

A supernova 

The dying essence of a star 

Long since imploded into the emptiness of space 

A bright flash before eternal quiet 

The coming color its last exhale  

Tendrils of dust and gas reach into the black 

In shades of evergreen and lilac  

They curve and dance 

Within an endless void 

Nestled in its celestial arms 

Floats a mass of metal, glass,  

And life 

A port. 

Brimming with light in the dark 

In the chaos 

That a star left behind 

They bring their own music to the black 

Vessels made to cut through the rich fabric of spacetime  

Churn and sputter as they join the fray 

Locking onto the station’s open arms 

Its interior holding the same vibrance  

As the supernova 

From the furthest reaches of the galaxy 

From any number of solar systems and stars 

Speaking languages irreputable with the human tongue 

The population blooms to 

Rival any Earthen town 

A haven of trade and communication 

And in the palm of a crushing nothingness 

Life persists  

Deals are made, met, and broken 

Songs are sung, stories exchanged 

They breathe, smile, love, lose 

Against the Logic that rules the black 

But maybe that’s what one forgets 




and Impossibility 

Perhaps the painting is merely that 

No grand tale to be seen or heard 

Imagination trumped by Logic 

Thankfully, that is a matter of opinion 

And mine says 

There is always a story to be found 

The C is in Superscript

Catherine McNeill ’23

Defined by the ancestors’ breath, the whispers in tongue, reverberated through our lungs 

Defined by the far away music of a last name, bloodied with ritual pain 

Defined by the torn knees and muddied sneakers, broken at the seams 

Defined by the squeaks of wet shoes, sprinting along the brook, jumping the fence 

Defined by the freckles decorating the high bridged nose, crooked from the unhealed break  

Defined by the chipped teeth, the dark circles, the bloodied knuckles, the scarred cheeks  

Defined by the brotherly fume of cock-eyed belligerence, the evil-intentioned fratricidal madness 

Defined by the obstinance, and the magnitude of the demise it will bring  

Defined by the attitude, indistinguishable from any other McSomething, in any other city with snow 

Defined by the wit, and its waste, the failure to escape the chain of tradition  

Defined by the stereotyped wrath, the blind confidence, the overbearing pride 

Defined by the momentary lapse of hypervigilance, of the breath on the broken pane 

Defined by the burden of this Keltic ruin… branded into our stomachs, stapled onto our griefs, and poured into our cups.