Letter from the Editor
Oh America. How 2020 did expose you. The year began as any normal year does. Resolutions formed within the mind, spoken and shared out loud at gatherings. Glitter rain showered on the moving shoulders of partygoers clustered to ring in the new year. I remember wearing a rhinestone-studded dress, wayward glitter sparkling on my lashes. I remember the sharp tangs of alcohol misting an air full of heat and youth. I remember grins that stretched the cheeks so wide the sun was envious, heat-laced embraces, and a curious symphony breathed into my mouth. Little did I, or any of us, know what the world held in store for us all.
One thing I will say for this awful year and the cracks we are beginning to fill; it revealed our flaws so effortlessly, so clearly, that I cannot help but marvel at the unique chaos of the world. And what a terrible chaos it is. The pandemic has exposed poverty, questioned financial systems, and has revealed the holes in our healthcare system. It has caused us to seek comfort in music, has changed some of us radically, and has educated us in ways we never would have been. Our world was truly put to the test in the most naked way, and it is not pretty.
I exit this pandemic with a weariness that is an ever-present, harsh, and unavoidable weight upon my shoulders. I am wary of people. Wary of words. Wary of myself. And deeply, traumatically wary of the world. Trust has taken a backseat when racial injustice has become a diurnal occurrence that is unanswered, masks have hidden away expressive truths, and distance from each other has fissured into divides that seem impossible to bridge. Every time the pandemic seems to end, it snaps back, huddling us all into this queer reality. The new mosaic of our life is a continued spotting of black hope. Death, sickness, disease. All little synonyms woven into this new blanket our tired bodies did not ask to be wrapped in.
We have gone through trauma. We have been deprived of normality. We write a swan song for ourselves. It is tangled and jumbled in this mosaic of emotions, the syllables violently echoing. Here we are, stuck in this purgatory. Here we lie, laying upon a bed of exhaustion. Dreams and ideas are coming up empty in the palms we lift to our mouths, tasting nothing but heartbreak and dust.
But this pandemic has also taught us lessons and made us kiss tiny joys. It is more than the synonyms of defeat and disease. I remember chocolate smiles on a chocolate boy. Promises on sugared lips. And I remember hope. The delicate, intangible, essential hope. The yearning for the life before. I remember the hope being especially intense then. My dear readers, this edition is an ode to all those synonyms that we experienced. Hope, trauma, loss, realization, love, horror, disease. It is a collection of synonyms, of symphonies, that have created the discordant music of this year. There is something beautiful in this chaos. Perhaps you will be able to see it too.
Farrin Khan, Editor-in-Chief
By Hellora Silva
Alanah Mendes Andras
Edson Garcia De Sousa
Marko De La Garza
sun has risen but blue light screen burns brighter stronger digging into soulless eyes where pleads of sleep are seen as badges of honor deep purple blue black tracks across a discolored skin which sun has not seen in months of shelter untrustworthy as offense is invisible while defense crumbles when CDC says ‘no luck stay home’ when home causes more bodily fractures than incurable viruses on computers with no available updates as body works the new schedule 24 hours a day log on and drawn on no vacation no personal days when home is new office space no space as air becomes thin sacred commodities of the rich as dirty air is filtered through the second hand offerings perhaps in good nature but spoiled by touch by proximity when 6 feet feels like 6 miles yet everyone is still too close too comfortable too invasive in private folders on desktops rooms made for 1 now house 2 3 4 overflowing like calendar days as months go by like days as scarcely the sun has risen