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 doubts, but we shall see.

To begin with, the jar is made of clear glass. At least I believe it’s clear; since the jar is full, the glass may only appear to

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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 lin­den tree and flew along the Canal de St. Denis, past the hon­ey locusts, horse chest­nuts, mimosas and Empress trees on the Boulevard Voltaire. She flew over Le Bataclan. There was no refuge tonight in Paris.

The lit­tle brown

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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. This per­for­mance is the real thing, says a man with a long mus­tache like Dali’s.

A gray cloud with translu­cent ends lands gen­tly over the top of her head, her stretched neck, her breasts and ribs and bel­ly squeezed into

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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 being watched and not the Republicans. There is an old book in my lap, ear­ly Hemingway. It is a book I know, but I don’t mind. Since last week

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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 grand­chil­dren and with him she smiled girl­ish­ly and pet­ted his arm, asked him about his stud­ies in London. He bit at a nail and she brushed his hand from

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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 enclave, the roast­ing of cof­fee beans is tak­ing place in gleam­ing met­al bar­rels attached to flash­ing pan­els and space age exhaust pip­ing. I can’t tell skill lev­els of the staff. I can­not tell if I will recov­er my abil­i­ty

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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 your chil­dren are bathed and immac­u­late­ly dressed. Do not allow your daugh­ter to go out in that slinky, skin-tight frock. Would you want her to tempt? Studies show that cher­ry red con­vert­ibles are 100 times more like­ly to be

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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 chest and one eye­brow raised. “I knew you were going to do that,” he says.

I am prac­tic­ing,” I say.

For what,” he says. “You’re too afraid to die.”

I am stand­ing bare­foot in my old gym t-shirt from junior high

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