La Sirena

By: Jade Wilkison

When the therapist leaned over to check the time, Paula snuck a quick peek at her yellow legal pad: “midlife, identity crisis, possible abandonment issue.” Well that’s bullshit she thought.

Paula had been telling Dr. -- - the dream about losing her son; The panic she felt as she realized that she had to find him, that she did not want to tell her husband what had happened. The loss was something she couldn’t quite convey with words.

Rain on the Other Side

By: Vivian Trinh

Over burnt green beans and dry pork chops on the night before her eighteenth birthday, Lyla, not knowing what else to do, humored her dad with a dream she had the night before. She found herself in front of a vending machine in the middle of a school hallway. And so it started the way most dreams tend to start—bizarrely, with little sense and no direction—and in Lyla’s case it was with the car that she received in place of the chips she wanted. It wasn’t a bad trade, she thought, for the dollar she’d fed the machine. She took the wheel and drove to show all her friends in class, only to have a teacher expel her for being disruptive. But it was fine. Deciding she was free, she sped away from the rustic hills of her hometown and followed the stars onto new worlds, far from the prattle of her daily life, away from the gossipmongers next door and the grade-school bullies down the street.

My Body, A Temple

By: Jacqueline Skokna

(An excerpt from a novel)

Do you not know that you are God's temple and that God's Spirit dwells in you? If anyone destroys God's temple, God will destroy him. For God's temple is holy, and you are that temple.

1 Corinthians 3:16-17

This wrong doubtful body should not have been mine. Mine was. Not this. Was perfect. Once.

Eimear McBride, A Girl is a Half-Formed Thing

He’s always with me. Always. There is no peace.

Roxane Gay, Hunger

Lou Pavese Died as He Lived: Hungry by Max Herman

By: Jacob Stovall

The videos he put out in the last five days of his life, the ones after the transformation, will rightly overshadow everything else Lou Pavese did in his life, but for me the video that defined him was one he made four years ago. He’s pacing around his weight room talking directly to the camera, wearing a ripped muscle tee emblazoned with a simple command: “Stay Hungry.”  Up until the very end he reminded himself to stay hungry. There was nothing that seemed to scare him more than stagnation, so he made himself bigger and bigger and bigger.

The video begins as one of his standard motivationals. Even his boilerplate motivationals were fascinating in their own way, but this one is different. While mindlessly curling a dumbbell Lou expounds on some crude dream theory and explains the benefits of lifting weights right before sleep. When you finish go look at yourself in the mirror. Pose. Flex those muscles. Look at your veins popping right out of your skin. Then go straight to sleep, so when you dream you’re watching your arms fucking grow. This last word in a guttural voice – low and animalistic. Even in his sleep he was thinking about getting bigger.