This winter, we simmered. We became beings sunken beneath water, boiling. We became beings, warm and thinking, looking back. We were destroyed. Our cells were returned to the world as heat as we sat, invisible in our nothingness, floating or sinking or maybe being nothing at all, maybe just nothing, warmed, nothing, stripped, nothing, stunning light or darkness.

During our time as nothing, we wrote on the backs of our receipts. We saw in sepia. We pruned our fingers in juice of mango. Stuck in the corners. Landlocked, waterlogged. Crawling through water, still gyrating in a rolling boil, waiting for our return. Never content without us. Could feel what was missing.

In our own words, we returned. Piece by piece. Molecule by molecule. More fungus than stardust. Catastrophic in our sadness. But still here. But back.

From everything to nothing and back again.

We are not so many things. Not. Not. Not. We try not to think about the nots in our souls and the knots in our spine as we become again. We tried to become.

Together, we became.

Whole, even if we needed to be swallowed, first, to do so.

Vagabond City Literary Journal

Founded in 2013, we are a literary journal dedicated to publishing outsider literature. We publish art, prose, reviews, and interviews from marginalized creators.