Fantasy From Afar


Sometimes I am certain that you

are exactly the same person as me,

but in a different form, as if

we were constructed from

the same spirit, but inserted


into different body shapes,

with different parents, the same

shade and saturation, but contrasting

colors, separated by mountains,

freeways, and missed connections


and one day we will stroll down

the same sidewalk, and great

vibrations of heat and illumination

will reverberate in the air, and

all the pigeons will feel vertigo


and crush their tiny heads

against the trees, and a sad sight

it will be to see five to ten

pigeon carcasses strewn along the

ground. But as we grow nearer,


your mirror image of myself

opens a hole in the clouds,

and now the trees are splitting open,

shafts of light are emanating

from the cracks in the sidewalk,


and you continue to advance closer

to me, because we  had been

waiting for this moment for

our entire lives. And yet I wish that

I had brought along with me


a ring, a golden watch, a shining

diamond, even a small flower

then I look to the ground and

I see one of the pigeons,

its eyes barely open, uttering


small, pleading chirps, its

wings flapping helplessly,

and then I see that you are

looking at the pigeon too.

So I lower to my knees,


and I scoop the little bird into

my hand, and I present it to you

like a goblet of spring water,

a vase of daffodils, (or maybe

like roses?) and you take the pigeon


cradling it in your arms like a

newborn child, and I see a

million questions in your eyes,

questions that don’t need to be asked,

questions that don’t need be answered, and


as I envision this fantasy, I inhale the

rain in the morning. The water on the

chair is soaking through my

pants. A crow lands on the table,


I try to brush it away, and I

realize that my cheek has been

resting on my hand, and now

my hand feels numb.


By: Dante Yardas

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D Minus 39

Visual Art by Austin Starr King

Dante Yardas is student at Idyllwild Arts Academy. His poem was selected as a winner in the Parallax-Online Apocalypse writing contest.[/box]

— Dad?
— Yeah, buddy?
— How many stars are there?
— Eight hundred thirty-two.
— That’s a lot of stars.
— The people at the star factory put them there.
— The star factory?
— Remember how there’s the food factory, and the clothes factory, and the water factory, well, there’s also a star factory.
— How do they make them so bright?
— Just like how they make fireworks.

— Dad?
— Yeah, buddy?
— What makes the grass green?
— Pixie dust. Magical pixies sprinkle shiny dust on the grass to make it green.
— How come I haven’t seen them before?
— They always do it in the nighttime, when everyone’s sleeping.
— Well then, why is the grass so brown then?
— They’re on vacation.

— Dad?
— Yeah?
— How come we always eat food out of cans?
— Because the best kind of food comes out of cans.
— How come we used to eat food from the market, but now we don’t?
— Because the market closed down.
— How come we didn’t eat food that came out of cans before the market closed down, but now we do?
— …
— How come we aren’t magical?
— We are magical. We are very, very magical.

— Dad?
— Yeah?
— Why don’t you work any more?
— I don’t need to.
— Were you fired?
— No, the boss decided to shut the whole thing down.
— I don’t understand.
— You don’t need to understand, it’s adult things.
— Well, then why don’t you work any more?
— Because I wanted to spend more time with you.

— Dad?
— Yeah?
— Where’s Mom?
— She left. She couldn’t take it anymore.
— Where did she go?
— We don’t know.
— Why don’t we know?
— Because she hasn’t contacted us since she left.
— Will we ever see her again?
— Yes.

— Dad?
— What?
— What’s the day today?
— D minus 39.
— D minus 39? That’s as old as you are!
— Tomorrow it will be D minus 38.
— And the next day it will be D minus 37, and then D minus 36, and then D minus 35…
— Yes.
— What does the D stand for again?
— It stands for days.
— But days don’t go backwards. They go forwards!
— It depends on how you look at it.

— Dad?
— Now what?
— How many stars are there?
— I just told you. Eight hundred forty-two.
— You said there were eight hundred thirty-two. Where do they come from? They don’t come from the star factory, do they?
— Who knows.
— Have you been lying to me the whole time?
— Not the whole time.

— Dad?
— Yeah, buddy?
— Will I ever become a star?
— Soon. Very soon.

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Foreign Policy

Hey, you. Yeah, you. Stop the car. What are you doing?

You’re in America. You shouldn’t be here. What, you think this is some sort of joke? We know who you are, and we don’t want you here.

Get out of the car. I said, get out of the car. You heard me. What’s the matter? You don’t speak English? You understand me good? Get out. Now.

What have you got there? Bags? What’s in the bags? Set them down here. Of course they’re your bags. I don’t care how long you’ve had them. I don’t care if they’re special. Don’t give me that look. Look at your jewels. They’re fake. You think I’m stupid? In America, you could buy this piece of junk for five dollars.

Open them up. Lipstick, bracelet, books in your language—what is this trash?

What’s this? A wallet? Are these supposed to be dollar bills? How do you fit all those bills and quarters in there? And who are these people in the back seat? Are those your thug friends? They look awfully small. You say they’re your children?

Quit your begging—I’m not going to let you go. You poor people are pathetic; you’re always begging us to feel to sorry for you.

Show me where you’ve got it. You know what I’m talking about. I need to see your green card. Green card. Your proof of citizenship. Give it here. I said, give it here. I don’t want to hear what you have to say about this. You have no say; you’re in America, and you follow our rules.

Just as I thought—you have no green card. You’re no citizen. You have no right to be here, filling our classrooms with your kids. You’re not allowed to contaminate our land with your people. You’re just an illegal alien. Illegal.

I am neither a racist, nor a pre-judger. I am a proud officer, and I am rightfully doing my duty in keeping this country as American as apple pie. Now put your hands behind your back—you’re under arrest.

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