The Bird in the Cage of my Heart by John Tustin

The bird who sits in the cage of my heart
Won’t stop singing his off-key off-kilter
Out-of-it songs
And the dog who is tethered to a leash in my head
Won’t stop barking at the bird that sits
In the cage of my heart.

Podcast: Kevin M. Casin

JL chats to fellow lit mag editor Kevin M. Casin about the stress of running a magazine and dealing with the eternal urge to take on way too many projects. Kevin talks about the importance of representation in the lit scene and why he’s proud to give a platform to queer and BIPOC writers.

Kevin also reads an excerpt from his story, The Binding of Light and Fire.

Listen to the episode here.

Kepler-186f by Reba Elliott

Kepler-186f was the first planet of a similar size to Earth to be found orbiting in the habitable zone of its star. It is a rocky planet, which probably has some liquid water, and it is in the constellation of Cygnus, the swan. A day on Kepler-186f could be weeks or months long. Its star is dim – the brightest it gets at noon is as bright as our sun an hour before sunset. The red star might mean that plants using photosynthesis are red instead of green.

No one followed me out here. I looked back every ten feet or so to make sure I wasn’t being followed, and then I doubled back through the long, rusty grass and into the swampy woods for a little while for good measure. Not that I was doing anything wrong, I just wanted to be alone. Ever since the earthquakes started, alone time was hard to come by, and to be quite honest it was driving me crazy. I know, I know, we are blessed to be able to serve those who have lost more than my family did, those who lost their homes and their family members and came rushing to the coast to escape the fires, the destruction and the unpredictable ground-shaking. But I needed a break. We all need a break sometimes.

The Metrics of a Day by Alice Wilson

Today I walked six thousand and thirty-nine (6,039) steps which I appraised as ‘acceptable’.

I consumed five hundred and thirty-one (531) calories for breakfast in the eating of one bagel (254) with cream cheese (100) and smoked salmon (177).

I shed twelve (12) tears whilst crying on the phone to my dad about the fundamental question: “Am I willing to be hurt in the same way by this person again?”, which I resented but had to concede was #growth.