Sometimes I look in the mirror when the angle is just right and fall in love with the sight of my chest, flat and unburdened. Like the rolling desert that I like to call home, just miles and miles of unbroken land. At this moment, no one has ever touched me there except to lay a hand flat, feel the press of my sternum against their palm, and nothing else.
A pair of unlikely friends caught in the pouring rain unpack a girl’s perhaps undeserved reputation.
Jenny and I met in the early days of middle school, when everyone was all acne and gangly legs, and got on like a gasoline-soaked house gets on with a match. Frankly, it was a nightmare for our parents. My mom, who I know had been quietly worrying about my ability to make friends, was suddenly unable to enter a shared space in our house without me bombarding her with requests to go to Jenny’s house, stories of something funny that Jenny had said at school today, of Jenny’s new puppy that she got last week.
Illustrated by Christopher Ikonomou (Xe/He) This piece was originally published in our Winter 2022 Volume 2 print issue “Wanting: A Queer Beauty & Burden.“ Since checking into work that morning, Lynn had done little besides load up the popcorn machine…
It’s obvious, right away—though he wears a suit in the middle of a party of suits-wearing men, he cannot quite hide the length of the sleeves, which come up just a bit too far past his wrist, or that little stain almost tucked away on the inside of his collar. His posture is rigid, but unpracticed, and time and time again he has to force himself upright. It isn’t much, really—just a miniscule straightening of his shoulders, an upward jerk of his chin every few minutes. It might’ve been less noticeable if everyone else in the room hadn’t been doing that since midway through their terrible twos.