About the Cover Artist

Angela Weddle is a transgender poet and internationally exhibiting visual artist, who prefers to be called Alex, and who works in multiple mediums. Weddle has Asperger’s Syndrome, Non-Verbal Learning Disability, and Cerebral Palsy. Weddle is originally from New Orleans, Louisiana and currently resides in San Antonio, TX. Weddle’s primary special interest is art, and also autism advocacy, and stand-up comedy. Alex also loves Legos, Action Figures, Nerf Guns, Bubbles, Bells, and Animals.

Alex’s artwork can be found online on DeviantART and Flickr.

Along with his cover art, we also present one of his poems, “Waiting in the Desert”.

WAITING IN THE DESERT

I am from a dry land. A land of not knowing. This is paradoxical, because I was born by the river. Ferry rides and tugboats. Paddle wheels and the horns of barges. The lush greenery, the sweet scent of honeysuckle. And yet, I am from a dry land. A land of not knowing.

A black face in a white dress twirls by on the fringe of a meticulously beaded umbrella. The jubilant staccato of the tuba, knees bent and back up again, pause and then dip, to the bouncy, jazz rhythm. The river flows through these people, so naturally enjoying themselves. My people…I thirst for rhythm of the river, always finding myself on the fringe of a note, a half step off beat. I cannot dance to this music. I don’t know how. Maybe I am not really one of them.

Far from the tugboats of my youth, I have wandered. I see the flowering cactus. And my mind has grown weary. It’s hope, falling through my hands as grains of sand. The sun rises high above me, oppressive in its illumination of my oppression. I decide that I will wait. I will wait. I will wait, until the fullness of waiting becomes the dust of memory. Until I cannot remember the dryness. Until desert and river are but both mist in the in the winds of my shifting thought.

There are cumulonimbus clouds on the horizon. I wait for rain. The desert flower is in full bloom. And perhaps this is a mirage, a dream. I prepare for flooding. The winds shift: I burrow into these caverns of my own making.

I hear a voice. Faint. Singing. I follow it like a memory. I follow it like my conscience. I follow it to the future. I follow it to here. I follow it to you, my desert rose blooming under high sun.

I am from a dry land. A land of not knowing. Not knowing the well from which I drank never left me. I carry the river with me, wherever I am. I somehow know the rhythm better than I remember. You bloom as Hope. Hope in what was a dry land. I hear music. I follow it like a memory. I follow it like the river. I follow your footsteps to the rhythm of my heart.

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