Claire Webb

Claire Webb is an undergraduate student at ETSU where she is studying English and Spanish with a Creative Writing minor. She has lived all over the United States, seven states and counting. She loves hiking, drawing, and playing the guitar. Claire’s first published work, a short story called “Briar Forest,” was published in Chattanooga State’s literary journal, The Phoenix, 2019 edition. She has also published her short story, “The Girl Who Flew to the Moon,” and her poem, “A Map of Places I Don’t Know,” in the 2020/2021 edition of The Phoenix.

Dos Gatos Coffee Bar-Johnson City, TN

There are these moments in my life when I feel like I can stop time, but time is a fickle thing
that doesn’t stop for anyone and I realized this the day I got a call from my mom telling me
my grandma had seven days to live but she died in three at three in the morning and I wonder
how three could be a lucky number if it left death in its wake, waking me up in the middle of the night
with nightmares of a frightening, old woman who imitated the gentle, caring nature of my grandma
and I read back now and think that half the things I’ve written are cliche and the other half too sad
so I toss them out to write about a cafe where the cold air isn’t really leaking in, but
leaking out because…
the condensation creeps along the windows so slowly, no one notices, until you look up and see
how the once red glow of the sign across the street has faded to a pink and this color blurs with
the black night, so dark you can barely distinguish the road or the frosted cars that drive along it,
but hot tea with steamed milk wards off the chill that slips in your soul and the well-lit cafe that
you think should be warm, but your tea is no longer steaming and there must be a leak
somewhere that allows winter to seep back in and you wonder, how easily it sneaks into you and
your heart and body and thoughts and you tense, when you realize, that cold has always been

NOVUS Literary and
Arts Journal
Lebanon, TN