Due West

07. Vernal Equinox

Our annual journey to the center of the sun has queued, and the vernal shift from gloom to gleam promises complexity. Oh, we of the Pacific Northwest variety so enjoy earning that extra hour of sunlight. We know it means deep days, silken skies, and nights that come on calm, curious, consensual. A lusty farewell to too much dark. 

In that liminal space, heading toward the light is assumed to be golden. Yet, the following creative works showcase once again how impossible it can be to choose between where we’re going and where we’ve been. Never has one of our issues felt more indelibly collective. How brutally the seasons wear on us, and how glorious is our love for them. 

HamLit’s first equinox issue features poetry and short fiction from seven PNW writers hell bent on arguing with Helios. A longer day can lead to leaner years, larks, landmines planted and forgotten. Or perhaps the conflict is with Apollo. What is light, after all, once it’s been polluted? The spark inside each of us probably holds the real blame, unrelentingly alight no matter what the sky tells us. 

Atop our own internal fires, this collection blisters and smokes, asking each reader to question: Sun pressures only we understand. When there ought to be a better way. Lessons lamented in the gap. If crayons drew safety. A gift that aims to trick. The way forgotten truths explode. How a parched skull still smiles. 

Bright rays have you in their sights now. Will you lean in? You can keep your seat if you want. Just turn your face due west, as the last beams dip below that far off ridge.

You are the sunset. You are here now.

With continued gratitude to past and present editors, designers, authors, and readers; the PNW would not have Issue 07, or HamLit, without your partnership.