Issue 5 Poetry


for the friend who can’t unlatch the door yet

or: on the orange rotting in a trader joe’s tote bag

Annotate this:
	orange bleeding out against white fabric. she can’t bring herself
	to reach down, loosen its grip. unfist its bared smirk. for days,
	this fruit sulking, an unwise-tooth, an homage to denial. beneath
	light sources, always wadded-and-stuck abrasions—
	lockets overgrown with static, molding in earnest. the ugliest 
	wishbone, this browning orange, or maybe it’s a tangerine. 
        i don’t know. she wants to break into the word ghost & ask 
        for its number. she wants to say home without the earthquake 
        of sour milk ebbing up, night-nursing, evacuation routes. praying
        downwards, mourning a self-blessed wound. where did we go, 
        and not come back from, to be so beholden to metaphor,
	and rot? which route did we forget to study? which drop
	unsounded our capacities to escape? it’s starting to stink. 


Sofia (Sof) Sears (they/them) is a writer from Los Angeles. Their work has been featured or is forthcoming in publications such as Diagram, Sonora Review, the LA Times, and others. They’re currently majoring in English and Gender Studies at UPenn. You can find their work at

Issue 5


Hey y’all!

I can hardly believe I’m writing another one of these. Five issues is more than I ever imagined for Fish Barrel, and I can’t wait to keep going. Every time we start another issue, it’s hard to imagine finishing it, but with every submission I read, it gets easier and easier. Every piece in this issue is so incredible, so unique, and I truly feel connected to each author after reading their work.

I finished my third college semester this fall, and I was worried I’d find myself too busy to continue publishing writing, or that I’d feel less connected to the writing community as I became busy with other commitments. I’ve said this before, but I’m so grateful to all of y’all for making sure that hasn’t happened. With every communication I’ve shared with y’all, over Twitter, email, Instagram, etc, I’ve felt more inspired to keep going—to continue to work on this issue and to continue to write my own work as well.

Thank you so much to Sophie and Kirby, my poetry and fiction editors, for the huge amount of help you’ve given me this fall, and thank you to each one of our contributors for your willingness to share your writing with us. We’re so excited for this issue and the next, and the next after that. Enjoy this issue, and have a very happy new year! 

Peace! Prosperity! Read on!


Dylan Fritz, Editor-in-Chief