Waltzing Practice

by Moumina Khan

A majestic palace, a darkened stage, a cloudless sky, a blank page

A clock in the background.


(And a five! Six! Seven! Eight!)

Words dance and leap and twirl

Spinning through sentences and pirouetting around punctuations

With carefree smiles, gliding effortlessly through invisible lines

Their adorning adjectives glistening:

Splendid diamonds dangling off the swells of letters

Verbs, their beckoning smiles gently grabbing eyes and tugging them along the pages,

To dance the night away, lost among the whirling colors of ethereal nouns bedecked in finery



Spun from ink and paper

Tone and cadence reaching a cresceNDO

Then thundering down, arms outstretched as if to


A perfect landing, balanced on poised toes. A smile, a final bow, and the curtain falls.


A pile of ruin, a creaky stage, a sun­blocking cloud, a passing age

A pen, hovering over a page

Poised between blue lines

Ink pooling behind a ballpoint tip

Quivering, tremoring,


To replicate the words dancing through the mind,

Until they spill off the paper and smudge onto the desk and coat the fingers

in the ebony residue of their performance.


And a five





A tremble, a want

Ink escaping the crevices between the balled point

Dripping through the air, ready to dance and twirl onto the blank page that arrives closer and closer­­–oh, already it is straightening its form to fall into a perfect shape­­– hand outstretched, landing in a


A blemish

An ugly, misshapen smear

A ruined page, a procession of mismatched words tripping over their feet

Tumbling and crashing into each other

Landing in a misshapen heap

Piling up in crossed ­out sentences and becoming

dark sludge until they press up against darkened bodies, their weight crushing chests and pressuring thoughts and slowly stealing breath from lungs as they force themselves down throats

and snatch strangled gasps and squeeze out hot tears that drip onto and blur those invisible lines

until you can’t breathe and you’re drowning and you’re closing your eyes and…

And a five. Six. Seven. Eight.



A ring of ashes, a darkened stage, a discolored sky, a tarnished page.

Fingers curled around a poised pen.


A diamond adjective, an alluring verb,

A midsummer’s ball, twinkling just out of sight in the corners of thoughts


Hand just out st r e t c h   ed

A lit match, a brewing storm, a shushing audience, a focusing form.

A pen touches the page

An intake of breath, the piercing first note of a waltz

The words dance again.

Letter from the Editors

Future Histories Presents: Issue 4.

Since stumbling upon two loquacious juniors at our first club fair in 2017, we have been floored by the opportunity to create and collaborate within the publication they inaugurated. Gone are the days of crowding around coffee-stained common room ottomans, poring over hastily stapled packets fresh off the printer. Every issue has allowed us the invaluable opportunity to improve the ways we attempt to do justice to the Tufts community’s immense talent. Issue 4 in particular has solidified the ways we seek out talent and perspectives within this milieu where art grows and thrives.

Since its inception, our publication has remained committed to providing space to voices and auteurs from groups that have been historically underrepresented in the western literary canon and sharing these efforts by bringing together contributors, artists, and readers. This semester, we convened to showcase creation at an open mic and gathered to brainstorm new avenues to continue pursuing our mission.

The decision to delay the print release of Future Histories to the start of the spring semester was a difficult one, but will ultimately allow the inspiring, genre-defying art we showcase to reach more members of the Tufts community. The graduation of many seniors who had been part of the magazine since Issue 0 could’ve been disastrous, but the brilliant and passionate people who stepped up to fill their positions made this transition smoother than we could have ever imagined.

We are indebted to the Tufts community for trusting us with its subjective originalities and vulnerabilities. We hope that in sharing this collection we can continue to provide a space for collaborative, insightful forms of expression not just once a semester through our print publication, but also on our website, futurehistoriesmag.com. Though we, as individuals, will be leaving next semester, we go with the confidence that our fantastic team will fill in where we left off, and we are excited to witness how members of our community reformulate and iterate the spring edition.

Our wish is that you, reader, appreciate the efforts our contributors and team have made this semester and, if you are so moved, feel free to join the mag as a reader, contributor, or as part of our team!

Yours forever,
Isa and Zack


by Josh Stone

In jagged wood, rivers run tentacle arms
down meadows made in times past
remnants of Ice Giants creeping into virgin valleys,
carving canyons and cliffs and all of this
done in the silent eyes of the animals who for
generations roam mellow meadows, grazing
on tip-toe tulips by streams singing their
pitter-patter songs in rainbow spray.

Rise and fall, thrive and decay, born again
under Immortal Ice Eyes, wise, Glaciers watch frigid, fragile
as our meager existence passes in the blink of their Ice Beast Eye.
While their Cold Feet may tread upon the firmly rooted trees with ease,
the Glaciers cry with silent power,
their blue tears well up into flash floods
as we eat away at them

The glaciers speak slowly
To listen takes a lifetime
To understand takes a history
Maybe we will stop the undoing that we’ve done
Or perhaps they will die as they were born
In silent blue.


by Nina Benites

meteorologists couldn’t explain why the air that day felt like saguaro spikes
sharp grass bounced once more in the instant, honey-soaked electricity between us

two weeks later we sprawled on that same green, cautiously
you asked, “should I have waited?” while I traced opal hieroglyphs into your side

the night before, the delicious whisper of embarrassment dusted
my cheeks, those balls of dough you used to poke

fun at and my nakedness then felt banal compared
to the vulnerability of sunlight at 2pm. two weeks was plenty, I guessed

and what physicist could have outlined our projectile when
there were more possibilities of phylogenetic trees than protons

in the universe and biologists still didn’t know which one was right? with that,
we gratefully lifted our faces to the sun and let ourselves explore:

tickle of sweet and the taste of lightyears coated our tongues, gentle
pleasure taken in eyes crinkled, salty backs, and the pink flesh of sliced watermelon

to geologists, it felt like lava looks -impenetrable, starving for more. I, too, hungered
for more nights to poke and prod and revel in the unreliable knowledge that we are


If I were ever to write one,

A love poem would only be a page blank
Of everything but the commas: a snowstorm
And the shit dog owners were too lazy to pick
Up. A piano has fifty-two white keys and
Thirty-six black keys for playing love songs until
I take a hammer and smash the instrument to pieces.
Chopin and Schumann can eat my ass.

by Ethan Resek

Learning to Love an Accident of a Hometown

April 16, 2019

Modern Shenzhen, modern in a post-Deng,
Post-technological boom sense, is only a
Few years my elder. Growing up, I watched
The evisceration of a “fishing village” and its
Infantile self-sufficiency a Transcendentalist
Would think bucolic or picturesque, you know,
Despite the detritus of wars and wrongs and all that
And I watched not a snake shed its skin but
A caterpillar deliquesce in its rancid cocoon
(Death as a prerequisite for rebirth.)
Perhaps the butterfly that emerged was iridescent
But these are violent foreign colors, haphazardly
Treated with the corporate-cosmopolitan odors
And that globalist aesthetic of a concessioned Canton.
But the self-assured westernized snob in me objects,
Why eulogize? What does it matter? You misguided
Faux-nationalist, you’ve reaped your benefits, spoken
The kind of accentless (allow me to be anti-descriptivist)
Lingua franca English of the international pastiche,
When otherwise you’d have been a myopic rustic girl
Taxidermied, stuck performing for the ogling orientalist…
Now subsume this grotesque tableau—this Adidas bike
Propped against steamed bun stall, this large glowing
Transnational fast food sign, this local toddler nudging
Mother asking about that gweilo and the ensuing offense
Of the man who overhears, this Asian-faced customer base
For this Western shopping mall, these great dilapidated
Mongrel throngs of part-Cantonese | part-American
Part-Hakka | Part-British | part-Communist | All Chinese
City of a fumbling postmodern accident.

by Juliette Wu

Veined Grids

by Nasrin Lin

plastic city room for two / stay for the fireworks
up to you
/ take the downtown express I go and lie, shoelaces untied
across the fresh flowers / eucalyptus young from the plaza
tucked a letter, cursive exaggerate / someone else’s name / I toss
and think a non-thought / eucalyptus aromatherapy, antiseptics or air
freshener for this room on Avenue
of the Americas / released from the beautiful and the terrible, I wait
still / meet
me at mine
/ your chardonnay white
face, I smell / manicured royal blue,
soirée self-preservation I know / people like you
fully furnished / devastating I am
a placeholder, psychotropic medication something other than / loving too,
you must know I should keep the vase / and I will
shave my head and bring it to the matinee.
the croissants were shaped
like the Venus Willendorf
/ tasted like you.
spiteful palate, sweet Seroquel and chocolate-rich
make my fingernails hurt / I dig
into the cheesecake off-white
from the corner bodega / go home
to my poster Hopper, pointed chins to pointed drinks.

i am not the flower

by Max Migdail

i am not the flower
flowers are beautiful things but we
know only half i wonder what bees see
as they go bud to bud and petal to
petal all the bees seem to seek only
flowers previously visited one comes
one leaves and not one minute later but
a second visitor has come to spread good
tidings and now a third and fourth all
while the door next by remains un
disturbed burke says we seek to control that
which is beautiful but never have
i asked anything of a flower not
even love do i not find flowers
pleasureful five six seven visitors
step away and the ground breathes i get the
sense there is a spectrum i do not see
a co-evolved runway made just for our
special little friends who carry us from
one to another it’s a ritual
known only to them in which i cannot
not participate for i shall grow
more beautiful and vast than hell itself

cyclops i

by Max Migdail

to expand on beyond
or retreat internal unseen
requires borders to have meaning
has such a thing been true for wildly long
and where do you go once the borders are gone
it becomes impossible to travel in a place were all was one
after all is the atmosphere not simply another border passable
in our quest to find ourselves we lose ourselves and risk the cycle of harm
science and measurement used as a tool of leverage to extract the optimal result
with the kilogram balanced on the French ego infringed by a brutish boorish bungering language
redefining the undefined rooted in the objective universal experience measured
through the poorly defined we find that a second has been added to our lives
a theft of death through donation of time what is it extended
life lived or loved or once before livid who knows the moon
unnamed mother does she need no greater recognition
an egg cast away he waits to be recalled
watchful eye or rejected anus
cohabitating monkeys
shouldn’t be this hard

when the crux of the high is not seeing god but rather hearing them whisper the secrets of the world
how much of the truth is external and how much is internal repetition of the experience recognized
did jane goodall see the warmth in mike collins’s eyes as he beat his booming chest
over the other monkeys by leaps and bounds the lost ideal has gone searching
for truth all expenses are purposeful and for purpose is it innate
if exnate is a sacrifice required to be the person destined
enduring freedom shouldn’t be harder than falling
into the deep cool wandering sky soaring
[cat fight audio ]
a candle extinguished can be relit a hope
not yet found or eternally known somewhere resides
turning winding curious and lost expanding and encompassing
with great power comes great canyons that build and birth the new age
what significance can up and down be given when the sun now longer hangs over
she cannot help what she is but can anyone truly or is the entire idea that of course
he might not be here anymore but we will always be somewhere because can anyone ever truly be
missing doesn’t mean not yet found but rather found elsewhere or found elswhen or found elsewhy