Here you’ll find merch, Issue #17 story excerpts, interviews, the issue’s Spotify playlist, & links to reviews. So take a look, and make sure you haven’t missed anything!
The day the horses came to her town, Bola could think of nothing else.
She stood in the shade of the acacia tree while her little brothers clutched at her legs and pointed. Lord Kami rode at the head of the procession of nobles, standing high in the stirrups of his own horse. Three thousand years old, they said of his beast. Kami’s agbada flapped in the wind as he rode, and though his war-mask hid his expression behind the leering face of a jackal, Bola could tell he was grinning.
Morgan didn’t always hate his brother. In the time before, they were close as brothers should be. Morgan was the older of the two. Wiser, according to Mama, more hardheaded to hear Daddy tell it, but Morgan loved his baby brother somethin’ fierce.
Two years separated Morgan and Ace in age and as children, they were closer than that in inches. What Mama bought for one, she bought for the other; shiny, hard-bottomed church shoes, winter coats a size too big for growing into, tall socks and underwear with their names stitched on the tags to tell whose was whose.
The bus jerks to a stop and I tighten my grip on the smooth, metal bar. Doors open. More passengers.
Bodies hem me in, which makes me anxious, which makes me bite my nails. I maneuver the shredded bits with my tongue, push them out past my lips, pinch them between my fingers, slither my hand down to my side, flick the moist clippings to the floor.
I feel eyes. I think it’s the lady in the beige knee-high boots. She must get on at one of the first stops ‘cause she always has a seat. She’s looking at her phone now, but she probably saw. White women are always pretending they don’t see me.
A melodic chirp disturbed Walker’s sleep. They rolled over for their phone, eyes snapping open at the message: We’re being haunted. HELP!
The profile photo displayed an interracial couple, possibly in their early thirties. The map pinged them at The Hills, a few blocks away from Walker’s latest motel. Roger, the one who sent the request, paid four hundred bucks upfront, double the amount Walker usually charged. More than enough to pay for their last day in Ober and travel home. By bus or by train, they hadn’t decided yet.
Poem: “Rainbows and Necklaces” by Martins Deep
Poem: “A Poem in Which Sango Hangs Lightning and Lullabies His Children” by Ernest O. Ògúnyẹmí
Poem: “Erstwhile Ramelon” by K. Ceres Wright