David Gilbert ~ Stupa

When we were within an hour of the stupa, Thurston finally showed me the photo of it.  We’d stopped so he could take a nitroglycerin tablet from the bottle he’d bought in India.  He looked toward the top of the mountain and smiled despite his [More]

Mary Lannon ~ All the Stray Cats of the World

Oprah will die! Oprah will die! Oprah will die! you think as you pump gas at Gas on the Go on Thanksgiving Day. You mean to send her no bad karma, of course. It’s merely a fact. Still, it seems more shocking than other deaths. Oprah will die! Oprah [More]

Lydia Copeland Gwyn ~ Four Stories

Gray Cats Juniper bushes outside a green house. Matchbox cars in the sand, the trace of their tracks leading away from me. These are the first things I remember. The dog's neck, the swell of ticks under her collar--their white balloon bodies. I wait [More]

Josh Russell ~ Two Suburban Folktales


The Ship With Three Decks “But the old sailor had brought along the barrel containing the water of long life, in which he immersed the youth’s body, only to see him jump right back out as sound as ever and so handsome that the king’s daughter threw [More]

Sherrie Flick ~ Chest Out

Words string out like clothesline along each page as Ellen reads in the yard. Thoughts sweep in like tides as she turns each page. She has questions, and they have led her outside into the early evening sun. The drugs in the drawer. The dirty sock [More]

T.L. Sherwood ~ Birth Control

The radio was tuned to the local NPR station so they didn’t have to talk. Tara was glad because each time she thought of something to say, it began with, “Had I known,” and Pete already explained that if he’d told her he was taking her to his [More]

Pierre L’Grommet ~ Letter to My Doctor

2010-04-01 04.04.05

Dear Dr. Hanson, Nurse Cache and Lisa: I just wanted to write this note thanking you all for working these many years to keep me upright and nominally functional. Very kind of you all, and one of my few fond memories of Penurburg, along with the [More]

Melissa Goode ~ All Roads Lead to the Met

Elise awoke thinking about lighthouses and safe harbors, or lighthouses not indicating safe harbors. It must have come from a poem. Louise Glück? She tried to recall the words and stopped when she realized she was lying in a bedroom she hadn’t seen [More]

Greg Bottoms ~ The Dropout


1 Death by cop is a more common form of attempted suicide than I would have guessed before I became a crime reporter. Among the poor, the desperate, the heart-crushed, the mentally ill, and the abjectly lost it is up there with bridge jumping and, [More]

Kevin Matz ~ Mayonnaise

for Mike Madonick On the recommendation of a colleague of mine, who says my work lacks variety, I am going to attempt to describe, of all things, a jar of mayonnaise. In his opinion a more varied story will arise from this exercise. I have my [More]

Lucinda Kempe ~ Brown Sparrow

Brown Sparrow was asleep in a linden tree when the first suicide bomber blew up. The two following implosions shook her body. She didn’t pause to breathe but left the linden tree and flew along the Canal de St. Denis, past the honey locusts, horse [More]

Avital Gad-Cykman ~ To Catch Her

Through the heavy rain hitting my window ledge, we see her balance on the tightrope, her arms rowing in the air. She would give her life for her art, we say to each other. This performance is the real thing, says a man with a long mustache like [More]

Gary Percesepe ~ Raptors

The Republicans started their convention in Cleveland, Ohio today. The TV is on with the sound muted, and I’ve raised the blinds to look out the window at the two hawks in my back yard. I’m lying in bed as I watch the hawks, who have no idea they are [More]

Nelly Zann ~ I Turn My Music Loud

My mother leaves a tense message on my phone. “I need you here tomorrow. I’m out of pads.” I live ninety miles away in New Orleans but I’m on vacation. We haven’t spoken in six weeks, since I took my son to visit her. She brightens around [More]

Girija Tropp ~ Once I Was Honey

2012-02-05 17.18.35

I want to commit the details of this winter to memory and next year I will be able to figure out small differences. All around where I sit at the bar, this black and steel enclave, the roasting of coffee beans is taking place in gleaming metal [More]