Tag: Our Voice

Congratulations, You’ve Won a Pandemic! By Ondine Kuraoka

“Congratulations, you’ve won—” Rainie turned off the car radio and sat in her driveway. A fresh splatter of bird poop decorated the corner of the dusty windshield. A siren howled in the distance. Maybe working from home would be less stressful anyway. She was about to open the car door but leaned back against the soft, moon-grey upholstery, cocooning a moment before whatever came next.

Following the Yellow-Signed Roads – By Lauren Oertel

I spent many Saturday mornings of my childhood yard sale hunting with my mom. After I finished my bowl of cereal, we’d hop into her car and drive around the neighborhood, following the trail of cardboard signs.

There were a few ways we’d evaluate each one before deciding to commit. As our car crawled in the street in front of them, we’d scan for how many other cars were there, how many people were browsing the selection, and if anything jumped out as especially exciting. It was mostly clothing we were looking for. The good stuff.

My Immigrant Story – By Martina Robles Gallegos

I was born and raised in a small, rural town in the state of Zacatecas, Mexico. I emigrated to the United States just short of my fifteenth birthday, right after graduating from elementary school. I was the sixth of nine children, and there are three siblings younger than me, but my mom chose me to go with her to El Norte. I was surprised or shocked that she’d choose me instead of any of my three younger brothers.

What We Leave Behind – by Brian Sonia-Wallace

Burnt out from two years of pandemic Zooms and losing my housing, year after year, I started to paint again for the first time since I was a teenager. Acrylics. Bodies. Landscapes. Whatever was in front of me as my world shrunk and I struggled not to shrink with it.

My space over these years had become a doomsday bunker, as I, the millennial hermit crab, danced between sublets. I lugged around B-horror movie paintings I’d inherited from a mentor when I had a whole house to fill with art, shedding a few at a time as I crammed myself into increasingly smaller rooms. Rents kept rising. It was just over a year after my dad’s death and I was digging out who I was from the wreckage.

Betrayal and Resurrection

You look in the mirror, and you can almost see the spot. Somewhere floating between your heart and your gut. That is where betrayal lodges once you realize the rug had been pulled out from under you, the wool was pulled over your eyes, the sap was you.

Evie & Will: a meet-cute

Evie Macomber watched as a big rig truck, then a massive, articulated tractor, and a few cars passed, going either north or south on Main Street. A girl born and raised on the edge of town in a single-wide mobile home, Evie seldom ventured far from home by herself, never farther than her school.


The interplay of land and fog,

Multiple micro-systems

Display dissimilar versions of vapor.

In places it floats, or rolls, billows or mists.

Energy captured and released in slow motion,

Vaporous kaleidoscope of muted winter colors:

Tan, brown, beige and grey.

Fog descends, deep penetrating cold,

Infiltrates my lungs, clings to clothes.

Drive Soda Bay Road for snapshots

Of a cotton-covered lake,

Panoramic Mt. Konocti framed by fog,

Wild nature sound of coots muted

As they disappear in a wet cloud.

Fog fades, a lone kayaker materializes from the mist,

Fog filters, sifts the past into the present,

Nature’s timeline.

Time Has Come: Revelations of a Mississippi Hippie

Some of you experts on new directions in Black music might be familiar with Betty Davis, née Mabry, the second wife of trumpet icon Miles Davis. Regarded largely as the Queen of Funk, Ms. Davis enjoyed a brilliant, genre-defying, standard-setting career and blew out her own flame, seemingly prematurely.

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