Hogwarts Is Ours

By: Linda M. Crate

harry potter
connected me to people i may not
have otherwise met

for that i will be grateful

all the rps, all the future rps possibly;
the conversations and the jokes,
all the fanfictions and fan theories

every shade between—

hogwarts is ours,
as is the magic;

we’ve outgrown rowling and her prejudices 
and her hatred and her unwillingness to grow—

hogwarts is ours
it always will be.

Linda M. Crate’s works have been published in numerous magazines and anthologies both online and in print. She is the author of six poetry chapbooks, the latest of which is: More Than Bone Music (Clare Songbirds Publishing House, March 2019). She’s also the author of the novel Phoenix Tears (Czykmate Books, June 2018) and two micro-poetry collections. Recently she has published two full-length poetry collections Vampire Daughter (Dark Gatekeeper Gaming, February 2020) and The Sweetest Blood (Cyberwit, February 2020).

We Were More Than Ghosts

By: Linda M. Crate

we’re just ghosts
once we knew each other
now we just wish
each other a happy birthday
on facebook,
and i used to mourn
the loss of everything we had;
used to talk for hours
childhood youth twined us tight
as the golden rods dancing
in the field—
childhood innocence and growing pains,
and everything between;
you were always so strong
and so brave
i admired your courage and your strong
need for justice—
you taught me to be a better person,
and i will forever thank you for 
teaching me the magic that was harry potter;
because it is a salve for my wounds
even now—
the author may be questionable,
but the characters and the magic are ours;
and it reminds me of the days
we were more than ghosts.

Linda M. Crate’s works have been published in numerous magazines and anthologies both online and in print. She is the author of six poetry chapbooks, the latest of which is: More Than Bone Music (Clare Songbirds Publishing House, March 2019). She’s also the author of the novel Phoenix Tears (Czykmate Books, June 2018) and two micro-poetry collections. Recently she has published two full-length poetry collections Vampire Daughter (Dark Gatekeeper Gaming, February 2020) and The Sweetest Blood (Cyberwit, February 2020).

Jealous of My Wings

By: Linda M. Crate

“you’re not as pure
as the driven 
white snow.”

didn’t realize
that being human
was a purity test,
yes,
i am far from perfect;

but at least i admit
my mistakes and flaws—

you were a devil
who insisted he were 
an angel,
trying to inhibit my flight
because you were jealous
of my wings.

Linda M. Crate’s works have been published in numerous magazines and anthologies both online and in print. She is the author of six poetry chapbooks, the latest of which is: More Than Bone Music (Clare Songbirds Publishing House, March 2019). She’s also the author of the novel Phoenix Tears (Czykmate Books, June 2018) and two micro-poetry collections. Recently she has published two full-length poetry collections Vampire Daughter (Dark Gatekeeper Gaming, February 2020) and The Sweetest Blood (Cyberwit, February 2020).

In Rotation

By: Zach Murphy

Aria caught the city bus as the sky donned a pinkish glow before the day’s final gasp. Her daughter Millie sat on her lap, gripping her wrinkled hospital scrubs — the ones with the cat patterns on them. Millie had entered that age where she often asked all the difficult questions of the universe. Are the sun and the moon friends or enemies? Do aliens go to the bathroom? Why do other kids have a dad, but I don’t? 

Ding! 

“Here’s our stop,” Aria said. 

After dropping Millie off at grandma’s house, Aria hopped back on the bus and waited for it to bring her to work. She gazed out the window and sighed. The city was winding down while she was just beginning her 12-hour shift. The bags under her eyes carried enough stories to tell to the stars. Sleep was just an elusive dream at that point. 

Ding!

As Aria exited the bus, she dashed past a group of five nurses who were relishing a smoke break. Aria always wondered why her fellow healthcare workers would pollute their pink lungs, but she wasn’t hellbent on judging. Stress is a pervasive beast. Paranoia is a sneaky shadow that never leaves you alone. Uncertainty makes your mind spin in circles. 

The moment Aria strapped on her mask and walked through the hospital’s sliding doors, all she could think about was how she couldn’t wait to pick up Millie in the morning, then go home and change. In fact, she had a feeling that a lot of things were about to change. And that’s when she had to ask herself her own difficult question: Will tonight be the night?

Zach Murphy is a Hawaii-born writer with a background in cinema. His stories have appeared in Adelaide Literary Magazine, Mystery Tribune, Ghost City Review, Emerge Literary Journal, Ellipsis Zine, The Bitchin’ Kitsch, Lotus-eater, Crêpe & Penn, WINK, Levitate, Drunk Monkeys, Door Is A Jar, and Yellow Medicine Review. He lives with his wonderful wife Kelly in St. Paul, Minnesota.

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