phren-z header logo

SCW Logo

Book Art by Jody Alexander

Photo by R. R. Jones

Current Issue
Archived Issues

Alyssa Young

Summer Funeral

It’s Saturday afternoon and I’m sitting in the back of the church house, sweating. The husband, the one who survived, walks in through the open doors with their children. He’s smiling and crying at the same time. The windows are flung wide onto the garden, where a slow breeze hushes through the jasmine. He wipes his brow with a handkerchief and says, “My God, it’s just as hot as the day we were married.”

It’s Saturday night and I’m crying in the orchard again. All the trees are filled with weeping. There are spaces that I pass through in the seasons of this life, a moment in the eye of the needle and I’m gone. But then there are times when I’m freshly startled by the blue orb of moon in the sky. When the world is made new again, just like my heart.
Fever Dream

The moon comes up full and I’m drunk again on the sidewalks of heaven, arms and mouth filled with a bitter wind. There’s this dream I keep having where my mother walks the same stretch of railroad tracks over and over, dragging her heels along the iron, and how all the stars look from up here. How I could imagine I’m an astronaut and all the planets are labeled with giant neon signs flickering “HOME! HOME!” and the streets of heaven are paved with grass. This one leading down to the avenue of despair, that one rolling through the fields of infinite loneliness. And that last one winds its way through a valley and into a forest in the West. I lost myself in those trees. I wonder if I’ll ever come back.


Alyssa Young was born and raised in the same city as her mother, in the same house as her mother, with the same eyes as her mother. Her work has appeared in Sleet Magazine, Red Wheelbarrow, Catamaran Literary Reader, and now, phren-Z. Last year she self-published her first handbound chapbook, entitled Blood Orange. She continues to live and work at the No Sleep Hotel, an imaginary publishing house on a hilltop in her mind.


John Chandler

John Moir

Barbara Bloom
Anna Citrino
Danusha Laméris
Dan Phillips
Alyssa Young

Plays & Monologues
Wilma Marcus Chandler

  Current Issue/Home || Archive || FloodLight || About || Submit || Contact
Copyright © 2011 Santa Cruz Writes - All Rights Reserved