Literary Magazine

Category: June

Taste Buds Bakery

Founded by Kayla Lancaster

I grew up in Tucson and was always very creative and knew I wanted to start my own business without losing touch of that creative side.
My art is actually edible— I make custom cakes and cookies! Whether it be actually hand painting them with food coloring or  regular frosting work this has always been my passion!


Painted White Frosting-Based Cake (based on local artist Martha Thompson’s work)


Saguaro Cookies

Contact Information:
(520) 490-1835

Facebook: tastebudsbakery
Instagram: @tastebudsbakery

‘smile’ and ‘gold shine’

By Eden Squires

Activism increases with new abortion laws

By Isabela Gamez

Recent changes in abortion laws in Kentucky, Georgia, Mississippi, Ohio and elsewhere in the United States have stirred emotions and an increase in teen activism around reproductive health care.

“The idea of Roe v. Wade being repealed just scared me so bad…the idea of women not having full control over their bodies,” said Pilar Edilia, an incoming senior at Tucson High Magnet School.

She decided to make her voice heard. Drawing from the days when abortion was illegal and some women inserted coat hangers in their vaginas to induce a miscarriage, Edilia said, she knew she wanted to use a coat hanger symbol and wanted a way to raise money.

She met up with a group of friends to make coat hanger earrings out of paper clips, selling them at Tucson High for $5 a pair. Edilia raised $200 in just four days and donated the proceeds to Planned Parenthood.

“I wanted a way for kids who can’t vote to be able to have a voice and get involved,” Edilla said.

Eliana Fife, another incoming senior at Tucson High, is friends with Edilia and heard about the earrings. She bought a pair, donating $5 to Planned Parenthood.

“It’s really important that women have a voice and a choice when it comes to their body,” Fife said. “Men in power shouldn’t have a say when it comes to women’s bodies because they can’t ever fully understand.”

Fife took part in the local women’s march on Jan. 20. She said she thought it was an amazing experience and she enjoyed “everyone coming together and supporting diversity, equality, and equity in our society.”

Equity is an issue in the abortion arena. Not everyone has access to abortion in Arizona.

Planned Parenthood Tucson was one of several clinics that lost its label as a Title X clinic when President Trump signed legislation.. Title X is a federally funded family planning program allowing low-income men and women to receive birth control, cervical cancer screening and other services at no or low cost. Without this, many low-income people are not able to get access to the health care they need.

Planned Parenthood is the only clinic in Tucson where someone can get an abortion up to 15 weeks in their pregnancy.

“It’s very demeaning for the person who wants to receive health care” to be excluded because of their economic status, marital status or other reasons, said Génesis Cubillas, Raíz organizer for Planned Parenthood.

In addition to the federal funding challenges, the state of Arizona requires a long list of steps be taken before someone is able to get an abortion. First, by law, the person has to wait 24 hours, get a sonogram and fill out a questionnaire with invasive questions.

According to KGUN 9, Gov. Doug Ducey recently signed a bill mandating that doctors are required to ask the particular reason a person is getting the abortion.

While some might think young women are not appreciative of the struggles women had before Roe v. Wade, many teens like Edilia and Fife are concerned in becoming involved.

“I feel that teens really have a better perspective on being their authentic selves and letting other people be their authentic selves and having a right to their body, a right to their identity, wanting to save the planet,” Cubillas said.

Emily Morel, a senior at University High School and a paid intern at the El Rio Community Health Center, teaches sex education to teens and takes part in the Regional Health Access Project, a grant-funded project that provides teens with accessible health care.

At the clinic teens can attend a sex education session, followed by access to free, confidential birth control, including IUDs and other contraceptive options.

Teens can find out about the El Rio services at tables set up at community events and through social media like Instagram.

Morel said she’s learned a great deal from her health care activism.

“It helped me learn to be more outspoken. It taught me to be a better sex ed teacher, and to always show up to something,” she said.

Also, she said, “Even though I’m not the most privileged person I still have privilege in my voice and that really stuck with me.”

According to CNN, lawmakers in Missouri, Mississippi, Kentucky, Georgia, and Ohio have passed fetal heartbeat bills, which forbid abortion after a heartbeat is detected.

As many as ten more states are considering similar legislation.

I wrote this piece because I know that abortion is a very controversial issue and I think teens should know that there’s always something they can do to have an impacted and that their voices can be heard.

I hope from reading this people will feel more knowledgable about how the community would be impacted by an overturn on Roe v. Wade. Those of low-income would be most impacted because they would lose access to health care. Also, I think it’s good for the community to know that teens are stepping up and becoming involved.


By Lauren Waer

I’m driving behind a woman on the freeway with the license plate MAUINXT screwed on her red convertible. She has the top down and her hair is whipping nervously behind her, sometimes brushing over the top and sides of her head, attaching to her lipstick.
MAUINXT. Maui next.
Where has she been before?
I picture her office in her permanent address, somewhere cold like Michigan, walls filled with license plates. The one that started it all was the one driving her to New York City, the place that everyone craves visiting at least once. The bright lights, the angry people, the smelly subway: all incredibly attractive things to her the first time that she encountered them that quickly turned sour. And so she was left to move on. Then it was Sweden, and then Alaska, and then maybe Kansas to pretend like she was walking the yellow brick road.
My thoughts are entranced with her and her destinations as I watch her convertible veer off on the exit leading to San Diego, seemingly moving in slow motion.
Not Maui, maybe.
Not yet.

I love using things that I see as little stories and this is one of them! To me this piece is the definition of not caring and exploring life and self. It’s what I aspire to be when I’m older!


By Carmelita Levin

 I do all different types of art but am mainly focused on photography both digital and film and oil painting at the moment.
These first photos I’m submitting are digital photos and I’m just playing around with how you can use color to your advantage in photographs. I used body paint, clothing, and location make certain effects with color.

tucked in

By Louise Ameline Chevalier

a very last time
he tucked her in
he sang to her
hugged her small frame

then she closed her eyes
a smile on her lips
she took a last breath
and drifted to sleep

This poem was written late at night when no one was awake anymore and I felt like I was left alone in a world full of hate. It was inspired by the yearning to be hold and the loneliness eating me alive. I wrote it to express what I would not dare to say and to make people think about what might be behind these few lines, what it could be that I thought of this very night and if they thought the same.

Robot and Angel

By Mia Sultan

I created the robot destroying the city after reading an article on how people are going to have to merge physically with technology in hopes that it will not surpassing us. I drew the latter to see what it would be like and I still think it is the better option. The other [one is an angel]. I am not religious personally but I often have dreams about angels and I do believe in them in a way.

Sestina: You’re My Favorite

By Belle Johns

I just turned the mere age of six, not so smart
I noticed you were gone and I, left in the dark,
wept. You left for cake, for I hate licorice.
You came back, saving the day, you read
the truth, always my father even if not. I said
I love you Dave, and you said listen,

You tell me how proud you are, that I must listen
to the truth and grow from the past, for I am a smart
girl. I look up to you and I always said
I love you Dave, you took me out of the dark.
With you I can always dream of infinity and read
about my second chance. Sweet like licorice

I always loved the aesthetic but loathed the taste of licorice.
Only the finest foreign candy for you. I listen
to what you say even when you cannot read
You need new glasses, that says Cracker Barrel, you smart
Not Chicken Banquet, you can’t read in the dark!
Our family laughs enough to where I said

You’re ridiculous. I now understand comedy, I said.
You still asked me to try the black licorice,
still I refused. Even while cruising around Portland in the dark
you dont believe its a map! It’s only a screen, I listen.
You yank off the glasses and squint, holding the smart
phone close to your vision. It isn’t a map that you read.

Later in years I glance at foreign signs trying to read
obscure directions, unable to understand. Where’s Dad? I said,
worried Mom and I ran thinking you were lost, not very smart.
We searched the Qatar airport, looking at licorice stands,
and finally I had to break away to the gate. I listen
to hear the plane leave and there you are, not in the dark.

The days grow longer, I’m an adult lost in the dark.
I’m not sure what to do, I look up symptoms and read
about the diagnosis. Two hours to the north I listen
to doctors about chemotherapy and I said
tú eres mi favorito, Dad. You offer me licorice
And I accept, for I now understand that you’re so smart.

I will not leave you in the dark, you saved me I said
And I will read lengthy nonfiction to you, buy licorice,
and listen. For your words influence mine, an ass and smart.

You’re My Favorite is a sestina written for my adoptive father to help him get through his chemotherapy treatment in Phoenix. At first this was difficult to write due to the fear of saying goodbye, but by the end of the poem I realized that nothing can take away my love for him and that he will always be close to my heart.

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