“The Best Lover” – Charlotte Joyce Kidd


I think the best lover would be really scared of dying. They would come home early every night. They would never bike in a busy city, never drive at all. They would never jaywalk. They would never do drugs—maybe pot once in a while but only on a couch, between four walls, when they’d checked the forecast and there was no chance of natural disaster. They wouldn’t drink too much, make enemies, ever go off their anti-depressants. Even when they stopped being mine, I wouldn’t have to worry. There would be no chance of disappearing endings, of being left holding feelings severed at one end.

I think the best lover would want to spend all their time with me. They wouldn’t be able to imagine anything else they’d rather be doing. They’d hold my hand while they went to the toilet. We’d reuse the toothpaste foam. When we’d walk in public, they’d tangle their fingers in my hair, palms not enough, scalp warmer, closer to bone, closer to brain. They’d cancel their Saturday nights, make every hour 8 a.m. Sunday, when together is unthinking. They’d sit behind me in my classes. They’d finish my sentences in therapy. They would text me once an hour just to tell me a joke.

I think the best lover would have a million lives, so that each time they fell out of love with me they could be reborn. They would walk in the door of the night they first met me, look around. They would come up and say hi, knowing nothing yet.


these words by Charlotte Joyce Kidd were inspired by the work of Miza Coplin

“An Ode to My Vibrator” – Fiona Williams

Lethe for Word and Colour magazine 2017

Blue may be the warmest colour, but Purple is what makes me cum.

Many have come and gone and it is only you, my love, which remains constant.

You are
            my confidant—never have I known a greater intimacy

You are
            my paramour—you listen to direction well and never disappoint me.

I am Thankful (to all the gods I don’t believe in) that the stars led me to you, my love.

It has been a journey of self-exploration and

You have taught me the importance of learning to love myself.


these words by Fiona Williams were inspired by the work of Sylwia Kowalczyk

“The Ice Show” by Erin Flegg


The vet only had two appointments for the day, morning or afternoon, so I took the 3:45. It didn’t seem like the sort of thing I could handle until after the ice show was done.

When I arrived at the rink it was full of parents stringing twinkle lights and plastering the boards with black paper and clear hockey tape, setting the scene, and by 2 p.m. when the lights went down the place was packed. The first small group teetered out onto the ice and I was suddenly emotional, my eyes misting over. It happened again as I watched my oldest senior skater perform, in a dress that clearly wasn’t made for her, a routine we finished three days ago. The salty intrusion confused me for a minute. I had been so relieved to be done with the season, my official ties with this town dissolved, that it was unexpected. They’re good kids. I didn’t want them to think I was abandoning them.

When the final number was over the other coach and I were called to center ice. I didn’t listen to what the announcer said and instead spent my last few minutes on the ice looking at each kid. All winter, so many hours spent just keeping track of them all. The announcer had to call Ava’s name several times before she heard it and rushed over to grab two bouquets and skate them over to us. Lisa hugged her so I hugged her too, but I worried it was the wrong thing to do. I had spent more time shouting across the rink at her than saying nice things when she was close by. Pay attention, stay in your position, leave that other kid alone. But maybe she felt just as strange, had shot her hand up in the air when whatever parent bought the flowers asked who wanted to present them, eager as usual for any chance to stand out, forgetting for a moment that she didn’t actually like me very much. We assembled for a group photo and I squatted next to one of the smallest kids, holding one hand while she used the other to snake broken bits of Doritos through the cage on her helmet and into her stained mouth.

I told Lisa I had to go, grabbed my backpack and walked across the street to the vet. It was just a small white house with a sandwich board out front on the weekends when they were in town. I walked in still holding the bouquet of flowers and worried the vet tech would think I’d got them for the cat. I didn’t want her to think I was the kind of person who would buy a bouquet of flowers and bring them with me to put down my cat. I tried to hold on to the flat, easy feeling from the end of the show, skip like a stone over this part, but my partner arrived with eyes swollen and the cat in his plastic crate and I sank back down. I lifted him onto the exam table and he flopped to one side, too weak to be either curious or upset. The vet shaved a small patch on his front paw, slid the needle in and he was gone.

these words by Erin Flegg were inspired by the work of Kelsy Gossett

Read, “I drifted with you”

owen gent 4
You took a piece of the sun and flew with daylight on your back. It was not heavy, but warm and you felt it there as you coursed through the skies, lighting my way down deep dark rivers. I did not know your people but I could see them flying with you above, in formation. I drifted with you, following your ways, assured that your pathway was right.
I drifted with you
We did not talk. You were too high and I was enamoured with the symphony of sounds coming from rushing waters beating against soft rock on the bottom of the riverbed.
 I drifted with you
We did not talk. I could feel you carrying the emotional burden of sunlight. You could not fade or falter and it was wearing on you, yet you remained steadfast.
 I drifted with you
We did not talk. I laid back, still, my head cradled in the mass of my thick dark woolly hair that hung well below my shoulders. Beneath the canopy of trees, underneath walkways and the shade cast by all manner of things, I acknowledged that the shadows separated me from you and the sunlight you carried. The shadows were dark and cold and I did not like even the briefest moment in their presence.
 I drifted with you
We did not talk. We did not need to.
 I drifted with you
I laid down in a vessel of my own making and followed you, laid underneath you and greeted you with my eyes. I stared straight at you despite the glare and the heat and consumed your every move. I measured your laboured breaths and dipped my hands in the cool rushing waters to remind myself that I was real. I was flanked by angels, dark and stoic, gliding alongside me and I felt safe.
 I drifted with you
You took a piece of the sun and flew with daylight on your back. You carried it for me during the darkest hours because I could not bear the burden of love and light. You held it there above me, out of arms reach so I could not pluck it out of the sky. You coursed a path for me to follow and allowed me to rest in the warm presence of peace and assuredness. You did not say words; there were none. You amassed an army of lovers just for me and when the shadows appeared I endured them knowing you were there on the other side of midnight
I drifted with you
these words by Cora-Lee Conway were inspired by the colour of Owen Gent 

Love, left

badiu 6

Missed connections. Failed romances. Lost loved ones.

I’ve known too many people who’ve left.

Too many people who have been reduced to nothing but incoherent memories.

I have loved—deeply, intensely, purely;

these loves are now strangers.

the many faces we wear

these words by Fiona Williams were inspired by the colour of Teodoru Badiu

I didn’t miscarry her. I held her with so much love.

PONZI 2 copy

word by Cora-Lee Conway

colour by Giordano Poloni

I wanted to be a part of a club but I couldn’t talk about it. There is no evidence of my membership.

A mother in the making? In waiting? For a time? Am I a mother without a child?

I didn’t miscarry her. I held her with so much love. I took all the care I could. I dreamt of her future and loved her before I knew her.

I had cravings and I was tired. I was sick in the morning, noon and night. And I felt the weight in my soul and in my belly. And the lightness in my heart of knowing that you were getting all you needed from me.

So when I pass you by, group of dedicated warrior mothers, tending to your young like they are little birds, I ache.

I’d like to think I know where you are, that it wasn’t my fault that you are not here. I’d like to think that you are my first and that I won’t ever forget the short time that I held you, on the inside.

Am I a mother in the making? In waiting? For a time? Am I a mother without a child?

word by Cora-Lee Conway

colour by Giordano Poloni

“Learning to stay gold”

rivet 3

word by Sean M. Hogan

colour by Stephanie Rivet 

I had just turned twenty-three when some friends introduced us at the drive in theater in the summer of 68. The book The Outsiders had just come out and you looked every part the greaser with your leather jacket and blue jeans. I was afraid. Not of you, but what you represented. What loving you meant about myself. When I told you this at the end of our fourth date, I had every intention of breaking things off. You just kissed me, gently, for the first time. You said that we were Ponyboys and we had to stay golden.

You called it, “a place for us,” when in 1976 we moved from our small town in Lancaster to the row house in the Washington Square West district of the city. Before, we had been out of place in those rural backwoods and farmlands. Philadelphia dubbed our neighborhood the red light district, a center for debauchery; but with your Midas touch, you made our run down house a home. The bed I ordered from the Sears catalogue hadn’t arrived in time, so we spent the first night painting the living room blue before making love on the tarp and falling asleep in each others arms.

In 2007, the city painted the street signs with rainbows. You were so happy; happy to be recognized and acknowledged. And we were recognized. When those young men saw us holding hands and their fear and ignorance turned their hands to fists the nurses wouldn’t let you visit me in the hospital because you weren’t family. I couldn’t see through swollen eyes, but I could cry. For nights I was alone until I felt your arms and heard your voice. “Stay golden,” you whispered through a kiss, words strained but forced through your own swollen lips. Through it all, you never lost hope. Even when the judge let our assailants off easy with time served. Even when someone threw a burning trashcan through our bay window, you merely knelt and swept up the broken glass and joked that they at least had given us a bin to place the trash. Then you knelt again and prayed. For them.

            In 2014, we were married in LOVE Park. The iconic statue above our heads could never truly represent how much I loved you. It was a clear day, and the green trees stood still in attendance with our closest friends and family. Beneath their shade, we took a photograph that shows your teary eyes looking into mine, capturing a moment I never want to fade from my aging memory. Today, fresh tears blur my sight as I stare up at the colored signs of the neighborhood you helped to build. The colors swirl, like my dancing memories, like leaves falling from the branches of our seasoned life. The cancer took you from me in June, and I do not want to say goodbye. Of all these colorful memories, I remember to stay gold.


See more colour by Rivet

On Love: “Teach Me to Speak”


My apartment has the music of love in it.  There is a row on my left and soupy breathing on my right.  I hear “fuck you” and I hear “fuck me.”  In love, someone is always getting fucked.  The rain outside patters the windows like a bowl of milk being filled with Rice Krispies and these slow and then moderate and then fast percussive bangs mimic the action unfolding here and there.  Snap crackle pop snap crackle pop snap crackle pop.

Behind the closed door to my right it sounds like my roommate and his girlfriend are hiccupping in harmony and it dawns on me there, wrapped in nothing but a towel, that this marked speechlessness seems more conversational and comprehensive and wholesome than the stuff going on to my left; but both still sound like love.  These are but two of love’s many iterations.

When I was younger, I would tip toe from my room to the stairwell that led to the kitchen to sit there and listen to my parents disagree loudly, hurtfully.  And I’d fear that the two people no longer loved each other.  I might enter the kitchen, crying, and ask if everything was all right, if they weren’t going to get a divorce.  It was in my kitchen that I learned that two people in love are allowed to fight.  Love necessarily yields war but war does not necessarily yield love.  And so back in my apartment, I feel like I’m seated again at the top of my staircase, all teary-eyed, only now I see that love can not only be scary, but that it is a choice.

Each of my roommates feels something in his heart if it is possible to feel there at all.  Right now I feel something there too.  Right now the Yankees are playing the Blue Jays and Lord knows a W for the Yanks here is huge.  Right now I have an unwritten story that my publisher needs by Wednesday.  Right now my English professor wants 500 words from me on the tension that Hemingway generates between language and experience.  I like that writing prompt.  It is worded beautifully.  My publisher also wants 500 words from me.  Twitter wants 40 characters.  That last sentence was 36.  Forty characters, 500 words: who cares?  It’s as if I’m talking to you through a damn keyhole.  Right now I have all this inside me but to you it’s only words and words and words.  Right now I wish my heart could talk because it has so much it would say to you.

Love and conversation, though, aren’t characterized by words; it is me and it is you, bundled up for minus 50 degree cold, undressing one another without letting either of us freeze.  My roommate engaged in the stuff at the end of the hall, you see, though, is freezing.  He moved too fast.  He inhabited himself without inhabiting his girlfriend.  So that makes true love going up to someone and saying, “Let me thaw you out.”

Can I?


word by Jacob Goldberg: “The image has a heart in it.  This all happened in my house the other night, and I thought it was fitting to write about love.”

colour by Sylvie Adams

“A native New-Brunswicker, Sylvie Adams has lived mostly in Montreal since the 1980s. She has travelled intensively throughout her life, residing for brief periods in Germany, England and France.

She obtained a Bachelor’s Degree in Fine Arts from Concordia University and a Master’s Degree in Applied Sciences (Architecture) from Université de Montréal. She worked in the design field for close to fifteen years in Canada, the United States and Europe. Her love of visual arts brought her back to painting and she now has her own studio in Montreal, where she paints. 

Her work has been featured in solo exhibitions. She has also participated in numerous group exhibitions, nationally and internationally, in Quebec, Ontario and at the Affordable Art Fair in Seoul, South Korea (2015).

Her work can also be found in private and corporate collections, including the Permanent Art Collection of Rio Tinto Alcan.”

On unrequited love: “Turning Around Her”

unnamed (5)
I wasn’t sure what direction things were taking. I was having trouble sleeping, trouble concentrating and for the first time in a long time I didn’t know what my next step was.
I wasn’t myself. I used to be methodical, to a fault. I planned everything: my schedule, my goals and pursuits… so this was well beyond my capacity to deal with. I started running to clear my head, I tried to exhaust myself to sleep each night but nothing could clear the soundtrack of self-doubt and indecisiveness that invaded my mind.
She was beautiful and so uninterested in me and all the things I thought I had to offer. I didn’t exist in her world. I mean she was thick and curvy, soft with the hardest edge and sharpest wit. She didn’t let you get away with anything; called you out on every disingenuous gesture or colloquialism and demanded that you be nothing but one hundred percent real all the time. She wore black denim like it was her uniform and her long box-braids were always tied back. You sensed her presence before you even saw her enter the room; her misshapen silver bangles adorned each of her forearms and she smelled of menthol cigarettes and cherry cola. Make-up never touched her densely freckled face and her ears were never without the small diamond stud earrings her father gave her before he passed.

“She was beautiful and so uninterested in me and all the things I thought I had to offer. I didn’t exist in her world.”

She talked to me about it only once in the 17 years that I’ve known her. She said things were dark for a long time, she was angry, she lashed out and hurt some people she loved. I was in love with her, but I was scared of her. I’d seen her gnaw away at the affection that others so easily bestowed upon her. Despite the edge, the anger and her demanding nature, you couldn’t help but want to be near her. There was an enigmatic energy that orbited around her and she unwittingly drew people close to her but she never let them in. When I came out five years ago she was fiercely loyal, almost stiflingly protective. I realize now that I didn’t know her back then, I probably still don’t. I guess I thought that the experience had bonded us, that my sharing this part of my life with her made us closer. I thought we were friends but she had her own thing going on; so I silently pined from a distance and grew sick over unrequited feelings while she pursued other phenomenal women like herself only to chew them up and spit them out soon after, leaving husk where there was once plenty.
It was only getting worse for me. I was barely functioning. And I couldn’t tell her. Clearly I wasn’t a contender, I wasn’t worthy of her affection and I would not succeed where others far better than me had failed. I was drowning in the throngs of a relationship that existed only in my mind. I didn’t know which way to turn. 

colour by Hey Studio

“Hey is a graphic design studio based in Barcelona, Spain.
We specialise in brand identity, editorial design and illustration.
We love geometry, color and direct typography.
This is the essence of who we are.
We take care of every single step of the design process and we always work closely with our clients, big or small, in one-to-one relationships.

We also undertake side projects. These activities aim to play with new ideas, push our creative boundaries and develop a passion that is then injected into client’s work.

In 2014, we opened an online shop, a place to share our passion for typography, illustration and bold graphics.

Hey was founded in 2007 with the idea of transforming ideas into communicative graphics.
Here is a selected list of projects crafted for our clients.
We would love to hear from you. Say hi here.”

On Breakups: “Rome 2.0”

Adriana 1

Fucking Rome. We got to the hotel and she cried.

It was meant to be a four-poster bed, not a four-poled bed. It was meant to be a terrace not the top step an iron staircase. It was meant to my swansong, the trip to show her what she going to fucking miss out on: the thing to remember me by. I wanted her to feel soaked in guilt when the final blow was delivered.

“Hey, come on, it’s not so bad. Let’s go out and grab some food, start looking at the city”

The sobs went from a 6 to a 9. Wails grew and smashed into me, wave after wave.


“Come on. Let’s go. Now please”


My tone had lost it’s grace and just robotically pressed.


The scrunched face emerged, drained with deep black holes for eyes, and we traipsed into silence into the city. My mind flicked through the situation, questioning all reason.


Her birthday, I wanted to impress so I took her away – how could I possibly be in the wrong?


I knew I felt warped and knotted. I flicked off topic and watched the people passing in the street. They all seemed so beautifully ignorant to unhappiness. I tried to add context: where was he off to? What did she do for a living? What does he think when he wakes up in the morning?


“tell me what you’re thinking”


She looked up at me with watery pupils. For a split second I felt for her, then firmly shut that inkling out.


‘well we can’t go on like this’


We walked over a bridge – it was brimming with life. Food, flowers, painters, water. Beautiful when I removed myself from the presence.

There was a warming delicateness to the city’s atmosphere, an over-whelming sensation that right here and now was an immersion in history.

More silence filled space between us.


“do you want to go to the Colosseum?”




It’s an odd sensation that the connection between two people who shared a decent chunk of their life together could be actively worse than that of strangers meeting in the street.


Upon entering the Colosseum we both administered the look to walk separate routes in opposite directions around. I felt like the abiding balls of a Newton’s cradle. We passed at the mid-way point.


Rome was the city where I knew for sure I had fallen out of love.


word by Sam Fresco

“Ok, hands up. This was actually not-so-loosely based on personal experiences. The art reminded me of a lot of *that* bridge mentioned in the story so it felt natural for a piece to reflect a snapshot of how I felt in that moment. I wanted to make the experience as visceral as possible, really convey the coldness entangled with the helpless dependency you feel in that moment.”

colour by Adriana Coluccio

Adriana Coluccio is a visual artist based in Montreal. She earned her BFA in 2008 from Concordia University where she studied Studio Art and Film Animation.  In her early years as a multidisciplinary artist, Adriana was initially compelled by video art and experimental film.  After dabbling with these for a few years, she discovered a true affinity for painting.

Adriana’s painting practice is invested in her passion for traditional forms of oil painting, while drawing influence from her explorations in experimental film, video and digital media.  Her paintings are informed by her fascination with the instability of an image and the manner in which images are reproduced or transferred across media. She builds up her canvas with scenes that are potentially on the crux of formation or disintegration.

Adriana exhibits her work extensively in North America , notably in Montreal and New York. Her work can be found in private and public collections, notably in the office of the Deputy of Montreal-North.”