34THPARALLEL INDIE LITMAG DIGITAL & PRINT

So easily we shatter.

SO EASILY WE SHATTER BY IRÈNE MATHIEU 34THPARALLEL MAGAZINE ISSUE 10


so easily we shatter, and our bones,

like bits of crystal, are glass blown

in the caverns of blood of our chests.

holding you in the slanting sun,

parallelograms of light shifting on our skin,

I imagine that our touch is enough.


and we were always thanking each other.

the season of mangoes gave way to

the season of mandarins. still

we were thanking:

thank you for breakfast

thank you for being

thank you for calling

thank you for listening

thank you for everything.


the shocked calm after calamity

masks the inside of glass cracking down.

like flower vases on the floo

our femurs had collapsed within us.

like windows opened by a rock

our rib cages splintered under our skin.


for the heat of sadness that we held

for each other we will be forever

thanking. beyond our touch,

beyond our present, when we can

no longer look for ourselves

in each other’s eyes, still

we will thank.


IRÈNE MATHIEU

I was struck by the way the dogs are almost mirror images of each other and the girl in the doorway appears to be caught between the two sides of a decision. I took the photo in the Dominican Republic where I was working on a Fulbright research project. Although my field is global health and I am preparing for a career in international medicine, I have always been an artist as well. I have been a writer since before I could write, and I have taken photos for quite a few years as well. I am primarily a poet, although I also write fiction and non-fiction essays. My work focuses on themes of personal growth, change, and rebirth; travel and experiences in Latin America; relationships; and occasional forays into social justice. In the poem So Easily We Shatter the “calamity” refers to an earthquake in Haiti. This poem closely relates to the photo, because the lines and contrast remind me of the breaking imagery I use in the poem, as well of the idea of borders and how they are both fluid and impressively rigid, particularly on this island in the weeks following the earthquake.



34THPARALLEL MAGAZINE ISSUE 10

FIVE O’CLOCK BY ALAN EMMINS, IN SEARCH OF SPARE CHANGE BY MARCUS A LUND, RUSSIAN BRIDES BY WILLIAM FALO, HOPES AND FEARS OF INANIMATE OBJECTS BY STEPHEN BENZEL, GET BACK JACK BY MATTHEW WARD, SO EASILY WE SHATTER BY IRÈNE MATHIEU, THE THING I FEAR BY KATE BUCKLEY, SINCE MITOCHONDRIAL EVE BY ERIN WHITTINGHILL, LET ME BY HUGH FOX, WORK ETHIC BY DAVE MORRISON, CENTRIFUGE BY ELIZABETH MEANEY, THE SCIENTIST BY ALEX DANIEL, CAFE NEO BY SARAH FROST, BEACH BOOK ROMANCE BY JEFFREY ALLAN HANSON, AUTUMN FIRE BY KRISTEN STEIN.

IN SEARCH OF SPARE CHANGE BY MARCUS A LUND 34THPARALLEL MAGAZINE ISSUE 10

THE THING I FEAR BY KATE BUCKLEY 34THPARALLEL MAGAZINE ISSUE 10

Here’s the thing I fear, my dear: I’ve lost myself 

completely. Cast as I am on the sea

of your charms, lost as I am in the wake

of your arms. Sunk in sad contemplation

when electronics malfunction and I’m left

without the sound of your voice, and little

choice or compunction to do anything

other than breathe. And even that isn’t

easy these days—enlarged as my heart’s become,

pressing down on my lungs. Even my ribs

resound at the sound of your name or the

delicate etch of your electronic texts:

You confound me. (And this isn’t just sex.)

Here’s the thing I fear, my dear: I’m in love.