Editor’s Note – Toxic

Here is a confession: When we chose the theme “Toxic” for this issue, we were living in another world in another time, one in which COVID-19 would have seemed like a Netflix mini-series. We could not have imagined the heartbreak and anxiety, the havoc wreaked upon our health, heads, governments, and economies, and especially among the most vulnerable.

The poems, essays, flash, graphics and stories gathered here are stubborn acts of rebellion against dehumanizing institutions and power structures. They are acts of hope and apology to our planet. They are warnings both loud and quiet. They direct our eye to small beauties and shine a light on dark underbellies. At times the issues facing us seem so enormous and overwhelming that it feels impossible to contemplate them, and sometimes impossible to act. These works are tiny footholds into walls of indifference and paralysis. They are moments of connection across the globe, from Turkey to the Philippines, from Louisiana to Kenya, Vancouver to the Texas border, opportunities for healing.

After two prescient issue themes—“Toxic” and “Home/Work”—we are going to do you all a big favor by choosing the theme “Delight” for the next issue. You’re welcome.


Marcela Sulak


Table of Contents for Toxic