Where you can’t first find magic, you make it: maybe the sun sets a minute later for you to make it home, or the rain holds back just long enough for you to find cover; someone sees you stumbling to stay dry, and in that is someone’s first smile today. It is our hope that in holding this issue, you feel closeness with every soul who had a part in creating this intricate ritual. We hope you will be inspired to create something in place of despair. You, Reader, reflect light into other lives by being there. There are so many people you haven’t met yet that are rooting for you— for your freedom, for your joy, and for your peace.
In our call for submissions, we encouraged our contributors to explore the far reaches of their creativity and to continue challenging the social norms that attempt to limit and define us. The work we present here are reflections of these explorations, and include difficult topics such as blades, death & grief, gore, mental & physical illness, pregnancy, religion, police violence, gun violence, racism and pandemic. We will include trigger warnings in the table of contents, as well as on the page. Please read with your well-being and safety in mind.