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Jessica Carpinone


Jess Carpinone (she/her) is a baker and writer living in Ottawa. She studied Baking & Pastry Arts and opened a bread bakery in 2013. In the quiet hours of the morning, while shaping croissants, Jess imagines verses and storylines for her (aspirational) memoir. Her stories have been published in Here & Now: An Anthology of Queer Italian-Canadian Writers. She loves to take walks in the forest with her partner & their dog, wood-carve, read memoirs, and snuggle her cat.

Excerpt from Severed by Jessica Carpinone


We lie on gray cement, eroded by a decade or more of kids playing mini sticks hockey and one-on- one basketball. Faint remnants of hopscotch tape are fused to the concrete—lines in this unofficial archive. No one really takes much care of this space; it’s where the kids are sent to be kids. There are holes in the walls where hockey pucks have gone through drywall, a wobbly shelf with missing screws, and in the distance, my grandmother’s sewing table. 

My best friend is lying on her back in one direction, and I lay next to her in the opposite direction. Our faces are next to each other, bodies tucked, making the coldness of the floor more bearable. I have no fear. Whatever wound the world is etching on me, is, in this moment, temporarily forgotten. Time may or may not be passing; I have no way of knowing. There is no loneliness, no disconnection, no missing pieces. 

The sound of our giggles fills the musty air. We like it when it’s just the two of us. It is easy, light. Our conversations flow as if our brains haven’t yet grown any filters. I sit up and hover over her upside down face. I stare into her eyes, and neither of us flinch. We study each other as if looking at a long lost other half.

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