Bridge: Spring 2024

Bridge: Spring 2024

Our Bluffton students have been hard at work for the last semester reading submissions from talented young voices hailing from all over the world. Every week, our dedicated student editors meet to discuss which pieces among the hundreds of poetry, fiction, art, screenplay, and essay selections that writers send our way will make it into our table of contents. And once again, they’ve found great talents that they’re excited to share with readers.

Bridge seeks to highlight the voices of writers 14 to 24 years old, which makes it a unique voice in the literary magazine world. It seeks young perspectives in art, which I have come to believe gives Bridge a vital, raw experience. One curated by Bluffton’s very own vital, young, growing artists. It is only because of their hard work, and careful eyes, that we have yet another dynamic issue of our unique literary magazine.

I hope you enjoy all the hard work our students put into this issue.

Tobias S. Buckell
Faculty advisor

by: Hannah Weisz

you explained the synopsis of Doctor Who
to me over lunch
and I said I’d add it to my list, thinking I wouldn’t live
long enough to see it.
now I’m alive, and you’ve consumed my time.
I forgot your last name today
and your voice last week.

Read: Transmute This

by: Catherine Maranto

He looked into the constable’s blue eyes and realised: in his haste to get something that would help the situation he was so dissatisfied with, he’d
grabbed a cheap imitation of the thousand-dollar artisan clock people really loved so much. I realised that in that moment, my boyfriend was not angry at me for failing him by having a twisted view of food and my own body. He was worried, and this worry was so enormous that he was afraid for me, that I couldn’t love myself the way he did, that I couldn’t look at
myself and see the vision of beauty he did.

Read: Clock in Brown Paper

by: Danielle Mamaril

a school friend insisted that he alone had the best pie.
it’s to die for.
he pressed his blistering mouth against the skin of my neck.
the hairs on my back snapped straight.
my gut twisted itself into the braided crust.
when his hand brushed my chin

Read: Cherry Pie

by: Dane Futrell

BO: Do you not remember the list of the rules?
VIV: Am I allowed to remember the list?
BO: No running, no jumping, no opening windows, no opening doors, no
climbing, no remembering—
VIV: No remembering?
BO: No interrupting, no rambling—
VIV: How am I supposed to remember not to remember?

Read: Pandora's Pantry

by: Naheda Nassan

I knew. You were scared,
so I let you.
It was then I knew.
You found comfort in me, too.

Read: Becoming You

by: Jenna Wang

My grandfather liked to steal figs from the courtyard, and there is not
one time
those figs weren’t
doughy and plain, the phantom crunch
of a wasp wing
lingering between my canines, but I smiled and swallowed and
said they were great
every time.

Read: Summertime Theif

by: Chris McIlhany

“Men like modest and feminine women, women who aren’t different; women who act like women.”

I was snapped back into the moment. This was one of the first instances where it became alarmingly clear that I was separate from the rest of my peers, and that everyone seemed to know about something that I didn’t. Why was I different? How don’t I act like a woman?

Read: My Summer of Forbidden Fruit

by: Alyssa Ahnell

I can twist and tie the corners of my eyes,
Making scarves and socks of the fantasy
That you might be watching.
I am a personal pageant for your pleasure.

Read: Dearest Keeper

by: Myra Seles

The melancholy of the July night remains, but now smells like Amélie’s old cunt. It’s an awkward hour—too late to be going home, too early to be
going out—only the stragglers remain. The ones with knots in their hair, the ones who won’t be remembered, the one who weren’t invited—the victims.

Standing with the door shutting me in, looking at them, I realize I’m a different type of straggler, and it imprints a remoteness of self, a
compressing loneliness, because in that moment, that only lasts two seconds, I realize I’ll never be like them. But it’s only two seconds, and I

Read: Am-mélie

by: Astra Phoon

when warm rosy langers are released,
they tangle    with one another    as they rise
    -   above the cluttered city
as bittersweet sky emerges coral

Read: A Meditation on the 3rd Consolation of Lizst

by: Jawn Van Jacobs

Hydrangeas and hierarchies shrivel
The Congress of the comb elate
not at loss of their queen – but in Man –
Reckless in their uprising.

Read: The Beegeoise

by: Emmet Spaw

We made a promise, man. And you broke it.

Okay, maybe I did! Maybe hand sanitizer counts as an alcoholic beverage! But you know what else I promised you? That I’d get the job, Mark! This is
how I get jobbed! You can’t just give up on me now!
Dude, you’re in no condition to take this interview!

Read: Clean

by: Eric Zhang

Months and years whiz past like shooting stars,
Old memories—filed away.
I watched neighbors moving,
celebrities emerging.
The world kept spinning forward,
feeding the curious child with new ideas.
My dream was starting to fade.
Its launch—delayed.

Read: Shooting Stars Let Go

by: Jawn Van Jacobs

the city gambles
mile high casinos
against the sky.

God places bets
on each their end.

the dealer disqualifies
Him – on omniscience.

Read: Atlantic City

by: Elizabeth Paige Elkins

As a child, when I couldn’t sleep, I would sit in the living room and look through the big windows at the stars and moon. I would get lost in their
infiniteness. The streetlamp reflected the snow in the dead of winter in the cul-de-sac, giving the stars an added brightness. I sat in the chair that faced the windows but wouldn’t grab a blanket so that I didn’t fall asleep on the chair. The only sound was my dad’s snoring from downstairs. The piled-up glistening snow hushed everything else outside. The stars pulsed with a brilliancy that begged curiosity. I would ask the gods what happened to the dinosaurs. Now I ask the stars if there are even gods among them.

Read: The Stars I Thought Were God

by: Nicholas Coursel

Mom caressed my knee later that night and told me he didn’t mean it. “Those gringos drive him crazy,” she said, but I already knew. Still, knowing didn’t make me feel any better. I hated him for it, making us all look like such fools, and wished I was at the table so he couldn’t tell me what to do any more. “He can’t stand not being able to turn them away.” I held the tears in and told her I understood. It didn’t matter. I knew he had a lot of stress running the cafe and keeping our bellies full. La Roma was home but it wasn’t ours.

Read: La Romita

Contact Tobias to request a hard copy booklet.