Thanks to all of our volunteer editors, contributors, and readers.

Where Voices Come From

Read by Ashley McWaters

When I was five,
I thought I could live,
if I had to,
in a fort made of sticks
in the snow.

I used to bite my lip
because I was curious
about pain.
My cousins used to tell me

I was scrawny
and weird.
My cousins
with their lip gloss

and uncomfortable desires.
When people kiss you,
they told me,
they put their voices
in your head. They said

on the other
side of the moon
is nothing,
and when you walk

past houses after dark,
run, or you’ll catch
their nightmares
like a cold.

Ted Meyer lives in New York City and is a recent graduate of the MFA program at NYU. He teaches creative writing at public elementary schools as a Fellow with the Teachers & Writers Collaborative.