Grief

By Kate Novak

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They said I’d be fine. They said I was doing all right and they added that it was only going to become easier. And that they had every reason to believe that I’d be my old, cheerful self again, and soon at that. Yes, I said, I think you’re right to believe so. They said, why don’t you take a course, we offer courses, in cooperation with the city council, one of them might interest you, and then, who knows, maybe you’ll find a new passion, or a new occupation, both are important, don’t you think? What is life without passion, they asked, and I said, yes, yes, I might do that. Just give it a try, they said, what’s the harm in trying? And I said, all right.…

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Life Lessons from the Wife of Bath

By Madison Hunt

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LESSON ONE
“Motherhood is a scream”
In 2nd Period, three weeks before my eighteenth birthday, I vowed to never have a baby. The miracle of life is a beautiful thing, I admitted. I was a Baptist and had read Psalm 139 many times. The sanctity of human life resonated deep within me. My mother had married at 21; in my infinite wisdom, marrying young was an antiquated notion. Instead, I had planned to marry, become the model housewife, and nurture my hubby and our 2.5 children, all by the ripe age of 30.The word episiotomy was not on the textbook’s vocabulary list that morning. Still, years later, it is the one I remember memorizing.

LESSON TWO
“You can’t just go around ignoring the negative effects of the porn industry.”
I decided I was comfortable with my anatomy just the way it was.…

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Miasma

By Sarah Joyce Bersonsage

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Deep in the house
in the pit of the house
where the concrete sweats
there is a stain
and a leak so slow
it tastes of the dust
that it gleans in the rising—
It clings to us
a humid grit
that will stick
to the skin
a word lodged in
a throat
a secret shame.…

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