This time is way too short

Middle Name Mag - Sunday, April 24, 2016


- kaitlen alexandra


Photo Journal: Austin 4/16

Middle Name Mag - Tuesday, April 19, 2016





- harper whitney

If the Shoe Fits

Middle Name Mag - Tuesday, April 05, 2016

Do you remember going into your mother’s closet and trying on all of her shoes? I do.My mom’s closet lay beyond her bathroom, and, after trying on various lipsticks and spraying her flowery perfume into the air until a thin layer of sharp-scented dew covered the countertop, I would parade in, happy to play Cinderella for a few hours with my mother’s high heels. I would dance around in shiny black flats or strappy golden heels, toes sliding into a red pump’s tight point, heels clapping against a thick cork wedge.


As I got older, my feet grew to the size of diving flippers that slapped the ground instead of dancing lightly across it. I could no longer so easily slip my feet into my mother’s petite, delicate shoes. I would sit on the floor of her closet, and attempt to cram my feet into the shoes that once made me feel like a princess, this time feeling rather like an ugly step sister. I stomped around, my feet spilling over the toes or hanging off the back of a heel. This ritual would continue until my feet ached and blistered, and only then would I return to my room, defeated.


When I turned 15, I fell in love with a boy. It was a perfect fit. He called me beautiful, and when I ran, he always chased. My heart soared at the thought of being loved and seen as special in the eyes of someone who wasn’t my mother or father. I was living in a fairytale. But in a few months, the clock chimed midnight on the eve of our relationship, and just like that, the magic disappeared. I pursued him desperately. He ran and I chased, him always the faster. I called out, showing him my heart, hoping he would want me again. He didn’t. I watched as my vision of a perfect Prince Charming shattered like glass. He stopped calling me beautiful. He stopped thinking I was special. It turned out the shoe just never fit. I worry that I will find myself at 80 years old still trying to wedge my feet into teensy heels, unable to squeeze my toes into the fragile pairs some girls twirl in so easily. For now, I guess I’ll just keep trying on shoes, venturing out of my mother’s closet to pursue a perfect fit.


- grace eliene



Middle Name Mag - Thursday, March 31, 2016

Thick against my feet are the sounds and the webs I try not to weave. I hear so many different sounds, none of which are mine. The faint cry of my feet are numbing; have you ever seen a butterfly with no wings? Have you ever seen a painting made with no paint?


That hollowness that I have grown so accustomed to throbs against my shoulders; if you listen close enough to Bowling pins falling you will hear that hollowness.
if you listen close enough to the grandfather clock, you will hear this hollowness.
If you cry soft enough, you will hear the hollowness.
I is a letter I have forgotten how to properly use.
I used to pretend that my heart wasn’t filled with valves, that it was filled with a thick liquid and it beat to wash itself clean.
The last thing my mother asked me was whether or not I believed in god and the last thing I told her was that god didn't seem to believe in me.


My mother is a Christian that righteously believes that black is the devil's color and suffocates herself with strings of hair etching shapes around her head. Her mantra is that everything must be righteous, what had gone so wrong?


Have you ever fallen asleep on a bay of leaves? Have you ever felt the mangled touch of claws on your face? Have you ever felt boulders in your stomach?


I have tried to hard to blend in among waves and leaves I don’t know how to see; I moisten and dampen pages of words just to wash out the words I have never meant to type. The trees get sullen every once in a while; I hear voices in the trees just to realize that I speak to myself poetically.


All I know for love is the slight taste of a hand growing these vibrant little red flowers of the sides of my temples. In my cheekbones. Out hollowed under my eyes. Sleep is a casualty which is something I heard that nomads believe.


I pound my leather against the veins of the leaves. They are moist with my tears and globs of spit tossed form my mouth.


It has been weeks and I hope that I am dreaming; I just don’t remember anything other than salt tasting this sweet.


I hope nobody approaches me. Soft weeks go by and Vericose veins erupt on the sides of my thighs; I trace mazes on them in my free time wondering how blood can be so potent.


I hope I am well.


- leyka simran



Middle Name Mag - Monday, March 28, 2016

I like to linger in the space between one day and the next –

the entire world fades away as eleven turns to twelve,

and I somehow remain,

left to gather up the fragments of a shattered heart I cannot remember how to repair.


I take a drag of my future and hold it,

heavy and glowing inside my lungs for

one, two, three.

I exhale, watching the tendrils of smoke wind their way

around AP Calculus, around Raleigh, around college essays,

in the door of a 200 square foot musty apartment and out into a green backyard

with a picket fence and a border collie named Inevitability.


I find a certain pleasure in tearing pages from my notebook –

as if by laying fragments of my existence face-up on the hardwood floor

I can will them to rearrange themselves into something better;

as if by flicking ash onto black ink

I can become the paper, become the fire, become the smoke that will carry me

far, far away from here.


There’s a building pressure inside my chest

and I’m not sure how many more pages I can burn before heat consumes me entirely.

Perhaps I am not words, but light and ember –

perhaps I do not want to reorder myself

as much as I want to watch blisters simmer across my fingertips.


This should be simple:

smoking ashes in a firepit sixty-five miles west of Abilene,

rain that lingers on my lips long after I have ducked inside.


This should be simple,

yet I linger to light up again.


- maye hadley



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