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 [...]

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 [...]

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,” [...]

Pierre L’Grommet ~ Letter to My Doctor

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 [...]

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 [...]

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 [...]

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 [...]

Lucinda Kempe ~ Brown Sparrow

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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 [...]

Avital Gad-Cykman ~ To Catch Her

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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. [...]

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 [...]

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 [...]

Girija Tropp ~ Once I Was Honey

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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 [...]

Kathy Fish ~ Imagine Your Daughter Is a Cherry Red Convertible

The body is a temple and Sundays are for rest. If only you worked hard. Enjoy food but don't overindulge. Trim your nails and keep them scrupulously clean. Likewise see that [...]

Paige Clark ~ Dead Summer

The year my mother dies, my boyfriend catches me jumping out of the window of our house. We live on the first floor. He stands in the yard with his arms folded across his [...]

Michael Holladay ~ Retroactive

Before Jake went to Hideaway Lounge, he assessed himself in his bathroom mirror to see if he’d measure up to the younger men. He stared at the top of his head. The glop of [...]