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Yeah, but Mercy, he lives on the other side of the ocean.

SALAAM BY ALISON GRIFA ISMAILI 34THPARALLEL MAGAZINE ISSUE 20


The morning light in her friend’s apartment was unreal and heavy like static snow on the television. Mercy watched smoke escape from the bright red rhombus of Waka’s lips, and for the first time, the impossibility of her own love story smacked her in the face. “Yeah, but Mercy,” Waka interrupted, “he lives on the other side of the ocean.”

He was accusing me without saying a single word.

1,000 JUDGMENTS BY COLLINS I AKI 34THPARALLEL MAGAZINE ISSUE 20


But for what was I guilty? This was the first time I had ever seen him, except right before I walked into the coffee shop and literally gave him the only cash I had on me: three crisp five dollar bills!

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34THPARALLEL MAGAZINE ISSUE 20

1000 JUDGMENTS BY COLLINS I AKI, LULL, PATTERN, AND PURE BY ERIC BARNES, WOOL BY STEVE CHRISTOPHER, WITH YURI, ENLIGHTENED BY STEVEN GILLIS, UNDER FIRE AND ICE BY MICHAEL MAHONEY, TOMATOES BY LISA POLISAR, PROTEST BY MEL REDDISH, COVER IMAGE BY TIMEA KINGA SZÜCS.

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