Insomnia by Liam Silveira

I had trouble sleeping through the night in high school: insomnia. But I hated the label.

It is a stupid and hateful prejudice that words are truth-bearers. I remember those torturous dark nights spent shifting beneath my blankets: the desperation of those countless hours I spent tossing and turning. I felt like I was lost in a thick mist. I tried everything: supplements, meditation, exercises. But nothing brought me any nearer that gentle foretaste of death. Insomnia: what nerve it must take to reduce it all to four digestible syllables.

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On a Balcony in Bucharest by Irina Popescu

He lights a cigarette on their small balcony that overlooks the main children’s park beneath. It’s dark already, so the only rumbling he hears is from lonely street dogs and teenage couples. He takes long deliberate drags from it, letting the smoke settle on his lips for a moment before deciding to blow it out. He watches as the smoke meets the air, blurring the horizon underneath him. His wife approaches the balcony from their living room. He hopes she would not scold him again for smoking. He knows it’s bad for him. As soon as she steps out, he starts,  Continue reading