Washington College's Student Literary and Arts Journal


Stop the Birds from Giving Up

They empty feathery nests, smoke cigarettes for breakfast, and grow black lung trees. If you asked them anything about their flight maladies, they might croak something like: my wings started folded up— my chest was a suitable drawer. or when they said ‘down’ I forgot […]

A Scenic Painter Steps Outside

If you sit and stare at a wall, maybe hoping it will move, first you notice how many colors are contained in the red of the bricks in dry-brushed variations of burnt and raw sienna, raw and burnt umber, creating patterns that ripple and move […]

Self-Erasure from a Trauma Unit’s Waiting Room

a woman / crooked says / less aren’t / words / religious the side of her head                          / /                          the red exit sign

A Practicality

I can be tender, too, said the wind as it lifted the dead bird’s eyelid. See— Look what I can do.


From childhood she concaved around herself, ripped at the pink skin of her lips. Little brat, her cousin called her and she took the name and wrapped it around her like an absolute. She had been given a name all of her own. In church, […]

Detection and Care of Root-Rotted Thoughts

he contemplates the stain unfurling from the ceiling, dark and autumn damp, the deadwet plant musk of it drawing him in. can’t remember if it was there before; can’t remember the difference between water and blood. upstairs, something overwatered in the bathtub: cracked porcelain buckling […]


They gathered first in the colic of her morning To hear the gasped breaths of her forced life giving, Yawping like some heaving epitaph. Since then the gifts returned in yearly mourning— A dark tradition reminding her of the Sick, metal room that first received […]


My uncle’s brother’s sister constructs a crusty meatball sub. My husky brother Henry puts mayonnaise in the rub. My mom is always screaming for the country music’s end and our pushy Mormon neighbors are just around the bend. My cat keeps shoving fur balls down […]

My Baby Cousin as Wonder Bread

They carry him in like an average grocery, this flailing loaf in a white jumper with red/yellow/blue polka dots. Must be more than mere coincidence he eats only the marshmallow topping of the sweet-potato casserole. Heaven forbid he try something dark, but for him it’s […]

A Thanksgiving Dinnertime in Suburban Virginia

Two gay kids and a turkey walk into a house. The sprawling Cape Cod-ranch lovechild naps across suburbia like a cat segmented by sunlight. The door is red and crisp against the pallor of horizontal beams coating the exterior. The stairs creak and groan like […]