Bridge: Spring 2023

Bridge, spring 2023

“Bridge” spotlights 14-24 year-old writers, chosen by a passionate group of  Bluffton University student who meet each week to read and discuss what to publish from hundreds of submissions sent in to our magazine from younger authors all over the world. We believe we’re able to showcase some amazing literary talent in these pages.

The latest issue brims with imaginative writing from a generation that often gets dismissed as too young to contribute to the world of art. But I am sure you’ll find these extraordinary writers will grab your attention, and leave you wanting more of their vision afterward.

Tobias S. Buckell, faculty advisor

by Elizabeth Pottinger

HOPE is the middle child,
skinny but stout according to Pastor Jim,
who was thinking of every ugly size a girl can be,
which is every size.
Love is fun and flirty and HOPE
is the microwave meal in the deep freeze,
expired since 2013. 

Read: A Metaphor for Hope >

by Minkyu Shim

The eleventh floor always had our neighbor’s rusting orange bicycle resting against the stairs. Slightly knocking on the door, I press the password on Grand-aunt’s lock and open the front door. As I entered the house, one pink flower sneaker, and another purple tattered shoe to match lay down neatly on the entrance. The house was shaded by the sunlight, and Grand-aunt’s favorite music wafted from the old vinyl player. Heading into the living room, I saw her in the kitchen cooking. She had yet to notice I was there, because of the loud music playing. It felt like her hair got even grayer and her height became shorter. Walking quietly up next to her, I give a tap on Grand-aunt's shoulder and surprise her, “Halmoni!”  

Read: Grand-aunt's Winter Banchan >

by Erin Langlinais

So Death wanders up to the man. Lifts his chin with his bent, broken, black finger, and locks eyes with the man.

Alexander. That was this man’s name. Death’s head tilts. He takes a deep breath, takes the rest of the life that was in Alexander.

Go, go and be released from this world.

Alexander’s body crumples to the dirt floor.

Read: Till Death Do Us Part >

by Subhana Mysha

At school, no one knew me. I was the leper, the seeds of a grape, bitter and unwanted. But I was there, chewed and spitten raw. Everyone knew me as the keling with frizzy hair, the terrorist who always got yelled at by her teachers, the quiet one that always forgot her red pens. The teacher, Ms. Ong would yell out to the class, “Everyone take out your red pens for corrections on our English test!” And there I would be, my table completely empty—devoid of books, pencils, paper or red pens.

Read: Red Pens >

by Yessmin Arevalo

How do they work?
No, not those types of cars.
Cars from the movie.
The ones with eyes and speaking lips.

Read: Hit the Brakes! A Rant about Cars >

by Madimus Tsou

For my fifth birthday, my father gifted me a telescope. It was an old, rusted piece of junk that had many eyes peer through its lens before mine ever did. The corners of the metals were scratched and the handle was missing, but I loved it all the same. I used it every night before I went to bed. The stars that once seemed so far away were now so closely present in front of me, nearly in my grasp. Each glance through the lens was another story to be written, another adventure to be had. It was a welcome distraction from my world of cardboard boxes.

Read: Come Trace the Stars with Me >

by Naheda Nassan

i am jealous
of this older version of me:

Read: Grieving a Hypothetical Me >

by Micah Klassen

         Oftentimes, I am reminded of the first time I saw Halley. As a whirling comet in the sky above, I watched her shoot across space, unable to look away for fear that I would never see her again. That I would never again be graced by her celestial presence.

         After that, I saw her in everything. In the twinkling stars that sprinkle the sky and moon, the endless black of space that enchants every eye that looks upon it, willing them to explore, to see the things it has to offer. It all reminded me of her.

Read: Halley’s Comet >

by Noel Vossen

He came to us at the apogee of November. He taught at a tired college a short train ride away. Our professor wanted his old friend to see our institution, to meet the brilliant students that he claimed to lack. The room was airy and broad but the intimacy of the setting was not lost on the five of us– the slim oak table drawing us near, the warm lighting, his electric charm. He spoke to us of alienation, city junkyards, and Wittgenstein.

Read: The Philosopher >

Scene 1
An idyllic cabin in the woods somewhere near Lake Placid. Taxidermy pieces hang on the wood-paneled walls. Photos of fishermen and local travel guides sit on a wall shelf. A small dining table is set for two. A horrific snot-green-colored sofa is the room’s centerpiece. GIA and DYLAN enter, carrying duffle bags. GIA places a cardboard box on the dining table.

I don't know why I answered the guy when he asked, you know? It would’ve been so easy to just say “anniversary” or “late Valentine's day” trip. 

Look at it this way: you didn’t cry in the checkout line this time, you waited until we were in the parking lot. That, my love, is progress. Besides, why we’re here isn’t a secret, it’s just, like, depressing.

Read: The Best Little Dog Funeral in Adirondacks>

by Stephen Pierce

There were five of us left in Jerusalem. One lay dead on the bunker floor. 

“Okay, everyone calm down,” I said. “Start with the basics. Who found him?” 

“Me,” Gabby stammered from the entrance, a shawl curled around her thin shoulders. “At 2:00. I was bringing his tea, but…he wouldn’t let me in.” 

Yuri crouched near the body, goggles dangling over her lab coat. 

“Dr. Ralph did like his privacy.”  

Read: A Tabernacle Six Cubits Deep >

Contact Tobias to request a hard copy booklet.