34THPARALLEL MAGAZINE INDIE LITMAG DIGITAL & PRINT

Yeah, but Mercy, he lives on the other side of the ocean.

SALAAM BY ALISON GRIFA ISMAILI 34THPARALLEL MAGAZINE ISSUE 20

The morning light in her friend’s apartment was unreal and heavy like static snow on the television. Mercy watched smoke escape from the bright red rhombus of Waka’s lips, and for the first time, the impossibility of her own love story smacked her in the face. In her mind’s eye, Mercy recognized herself sitting across the greasy matchstick table, telling her story to her fumbling thumbs while dodging the skepticism in Waka’s eyes. She heard her own voice lilting and tumbling as in a little girl’s jump-rope song. She could see from the studious scowl of Waka’s face that her words sounded flimsy and nonsensical. So she talked faster, in hopes that velocity might somehow be mistaken for logic and articulateness.

“Yeah, but Mercy,” Waka interrupted, “he lives on the other side of the ocean.”

He was accusing me without saying a single word.

1,000 JUDGMENTS BY COLLINS I AKI 34THPARALLEL MAGAZINE ISSUE 20


34THPARALLEL MAGAZINE ISSUE 20

1000 JUDGMENTS BY COLLINS I AKI, LULL, PATTERN, AND PURE BY ERIC BARNES, WOOL BY STEVE CHRISTOPHER, WITH YURI, ENLIGHTENED BY STEVEN GILLIS, UNDER FIRE AND ICE BY MICHAEL MAHONEY, TOMATOES BY LISA POLISAR, PROTEST BY MEL REDDISH, COVER IMAGE BY TIMEA KINGA SZÜCS.