Welcome to The Friends Issue. This is an issue about the power of presence. About the need for words and also their uselessness. It’s about accepting people’s imperfections and loving them for who they are. It’s about the strength that comes from weathering a storm together and about growing up, growing apart, and finding each other again. It’s having someone to talk to and the difficulty of opening up.

It’s about change. It’s driving through strip mall parking lots in a minivan, passing a joint around a dorm room floor, and a cross-country phone call announcing a new baby’s on the way. This is a love story, a collection of love poems, and an act of showing up all at the same time.

This issue is dedicated to all of my friends - whether we still are today or not. I love you.