Lucinda Kempe ~ Happy at Last

We shared DNA on a veg­etable pork roll in the Metropolitan muse­um café. I washed it down with two Prelief. He inquired what was up with the pills. I didn’t both­er to explain; he doesn’t have empa­thy for the sick. I’d seen a vio­let bump toe in a dis­play case of mum­mies. It seemed odd and hap­pen­stance. I imag­ined fan­ci­ful stories—perhaps the curate had for­got­ten it in his rush. Perhaps he –more

Glen Pourciau ~ Sofa

Tired from shop­ping at the mall, my purse get­ting heavy, I took a rest on a new sofa near the up esca­la­tor.  A woman engaged with her smart­phone sat at the oth­er end, speak­ing loud enough that I couldn’t ignore her side of the con­ver­sa­tion.  She and her hus­band had been tak­en to din­ner by a man who’d spent the evening ask­ing about them but say­ing lit­tle about him­self.  They had “an inkling” –more

Susan Nordmark ~ Two Flash Fictions

Half Whole

His first Volkswagen was very beachy, its paint job fad­ed blue almost to white, the inte­ri­or stripped to bones. We had sex in the mid­dle of the night in the fal­low lot between ranch hous­es. I was always under­neath on the weedy ground. I dat­ed a physi­cist who smoked mar­i­jua­na to trudge through weeks of pro­gram­ming about sub­atom­ic par­ti­cles. There is no alter­na­tive med­i­cine. There are only –more

Peter Johnson ~ Pretty Girl

So you ask, “How could any­one so drop-dead gor­geous be afraid of mir­rors?”

I was like, I’m only sev­en­teen and my face is a mine­field of pim­ples (well, maybe only one big one) and my cheeks are this sucky red, almost like a rash. All I could think of was this girl named Rose, who all the boys called “Rosacea,” and who Alex Youngblood said had lip her­pes from going down on guys.

I was telling –more

Eric Bosse ~ Statuary

On the way home from the phar­ma­cy, we dri­ve through the shad­ow of the leg­endary col­lege foot­ball sta­di­um. Our son twists in his car seat for a bet­ter view of the mas­sive bronze stat­ues of players—glorious, mus­cu­lar, hel­met­less young men, run­ning or throw­ing. It’s just past five in the evening, late November, a few days after a big home loss, anoth­er season’s cham­pi­onship hopes dashed.

How –more

Cathryn Hankla ~ Misdirection

      after Hieronymus Bosch’s “The Conjurer”

Useless glass­es perched on his nose,
The thief gazes sky­ward in false sup­pli­ca­tion
As he grabs the dan­gling purse.

The globe win­dow above
His head seems to tilt in a sea­son­al nod
To what’s at stake in this enter­tain­ing scene,

Which is a win­dow into being.
Distracted by the trick,
By the magician’s sleight of hand and all trin­kets

Of this mag­ic –more

Justin Herrmann ~ Medical Condition – McMurdo Station, Antarctica

She watch­es him remove her clothes from hooks, fold them into a suit­case. The tapi­o­ca he brought from the gal­ley, same beige as the plas­tic bowl, same as the paint on the dorm walls, still untouched on the sill of the win­dow she now looks out. Below, pow­dery snow sweeps over vol­canic grit, over tri-wall bins full of food waste, alu­minum cans, glass, things brought then removed from this con­ti­nent.

He –more

Ron Burch ~ The Flies

The flies have invad­ed our coun­try. They move, through the sky, as a mob, bunched togeth­er like plump dark grapes, black buzzing clouds so large they block the sun. Some mass­es are bal­loon size, but more often larg­er, the size of build­ings. They gath­er on win­dows, obscur­ing the day­light, the out­side. Their buzzing’s so loud, pro­longed expo­sure pro­vokes headaches and, for the unfor­tu­nate ones, –more

Tim Suermondt ~ Four Poems

GREATNESS AT TWO IN THE MORNING

Writing a poem in the bath­room
of an excep­tion­al­ly small Paris apart­ment,
so as not to wake my wife who’s sleep­ing
well enough for us both.

A poem of no gen­er­al or par­tic­u­lar
significance—which means it has a great chance
of being a poem of gen­er­al and par­tic­u­lar sig­nif­i­cance.

About a man who’s look­ing for his pants
and a woman dressed as a clown faint­ing –more

Gillian Walker ~ Community

Pete and Marg next door called emer­gency ser­vices because the bot­tom of their gar­den has fall­en into the arroyo. “It’s all this heavy rain,” they say, over and over.

The lights and sirens arrive as I fin­ish in the bath­room. I’ve passed the embryo, cleaned away the blood, secured dou­ble night time san­i­tary pads and put on clean clothes.

I’m all shored up.

From my sec­ond floor stu­dio, I see –more

Andrew Nicholls ~ Our Committee

The Committee meets at the usu­al time, five min­utes past the hour, giv­ing every­one a moment for machine-made cof­fee and a cig­a­rette if they want it while the appli­cants wait in a large room with eight chairs (more than need­ed!) and some art out­side our offices.   They have the same cof­fee we have and some­times bis­cuits.

Today’s first sto­ry under appeal was print­ed fif­teen years ago but the writer –more

Pam Uschuk ~ Poems

SOLAR ECLIPSE IN THE LAND OF SANDSTONE HOODOOS
AND CRANES

Between hoodoos and the ghosts of whoop­ing cranes,
day dies too soon. Secure in hogans, Dineh sing
against the sor­row of light’s van­ish­ing.

The white wolf flops under a rab­bit bush, moans
at the king­bird fly­ing low to catch gnats and blow flies.
Long shad­ows take us in their hol­low mouths.

We lis­ten to sky’s intel­li­gence, wait for the shift
–more

Nathan Dragon ~ What to Leave Behind

Sun came in through one half of a win­dow—the oth­er half was cov­ered by a wardrobe that he used as a pantry.

       Light through the uncov­ered half like a two by four.

       The wardrobe–he wasn’t able to get it upstairs and the wardrobe had turned out to be func­tion­al for him any­way. He’d told peo­ple this, the cou­ple –more

Stephen Delaney ~ How to Tell a Word

When the old­er boys lob it, jeer it in the hall­way between classes—voices that say “I’m jok­ing” … “We get it” … “I’m untouch­able” …

When you type it and your dumb old Mac responds: a red under­score.

When, on the soc­cer field, Chad’s not using it when Scott’s talk­ing back, he’s spout­ing oth­er words, flaunt­ing an impres­sive store, his face pink, his shirt soaked, until –more