Mary Lynn Reed ~ How to Let It All Go

You imag­ine a life in a small Midwestern town where you teach Calculus at the com­mu­ni­ty col­lege and buy sweet corn at the Farmer’s Market on Thursdays in the town square. Your big yel­low dog named Jethro chas­es squir­rels up trees in your fenced back­yard and it’s all fine because you don’t trav­el any­more and the days are long but not so gru­el­ing that you wake in the mid­dle of the night with a cin­der

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Christopher James ~ Merapi Volcano

Americans, Meg thought, under­stood earth­quakes. The earth moved. Los Angeles. Bridges col­lapsed. San Andreas. Your best China falling, stand­ing between door jambs, dam­age to the Sam Kee Laundry. The Nimitz free­way.

Volcanoes, she’d assumed, would be sim­i­lar, except with added lava. But this was so dif­fer­ent.

She and Greg were in Jogjakarta, Indonesia, near Merapi vol­cano when it blew. News reports

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Lisa Levchuk ~ No Man’s Land

The first group of wom­en who invit­ed me into their reg­u­lar game were from the B team. The club had two com­pet­i­tive teams, but they stayed very sep­a­rate. The B team play­ers were nev­er includ­ed in the games of the bet­ter play­ers. Sure, some of them were quite weak, but, in my opin­ion, the line between A and B was murkier than any­one liked to think. I played with them because I knew that, soon­er or

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Lydia Copeland Gwyn ~ Four New Stories

Tiny Doors

I stand with mos­qui­toes in my veil in the evening sun and speak words from some oth­er time: of cathe­drals and dances at the spring house, green cam­pus quads. The air is heavy with the smell of over­turned fields. I drop your ring on the lawn, but it still finds your fin­ger.

You have me sharp­en­ing knives. Petal thin again­st a wet stone kept black in a cook­ie tin in our pantry. The damp suck of

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Elizabeth Schmidt ~ Wrists

He traces my wrists with his hands like he doesn’t know I’m afraid of wrists. I’ve told him. They feel sen­si­tive while his hands hov­er there before I’m able to move them down to mine. Wrists are just a thin lay­er of skin and then vein.

I had acci­den­tal­ly cut my wrist on a met­al fence when I was lit­tle, not deep, but my friend told me I was lucky it wasn’t deep­er. Wrists are just a thin

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Parker Tettleton ~ Four Pieces

I’ll Always Hear From Me

On the blue line today I was try­ing to feel every one of the fifty-nine degrees—I took turns look­ing at the stop-start free­way, at a bill­board cov­ered in graf­fi­ti that read “fuck can­cer,” & at my feet—the lat­ter of which I’m still think­ing about. I want them to know they’re good to me, that they’ve car­ried me & they’ve nev­er said a word. I want to be like that—kind &amp

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Avital Gad-Cykman ~ Babies

When the par­rot went miss­ing, I put my hat on, took my father-in-law’s Peruvian cane with the carved par­rot, asked my hus­band to come home, placed his skates by the gate, and head­ed out, leav­ing the entrance door unlocked. The par­rot, Torrap, had long dis­cov­ered how to unlock the cage door with a com­bined action of nails and beak, and how to open our bed­room door, by call­ing the dog’s name (God

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Eric Pankey ~ Four Poems

MEDITATION AT RIO DEVA

How to dis­tin­guish a trick
Of the eye
From wind in a chest­nut

Or wak­ing from dream
Where bound­aries
Dissolve and give way

The body strapped
To its shad­ow
Weighs no more

The alphanu­mer­i­cal
Values of let­ters
Do not make the name

Of God any more say-able
All knowl­edge is arcane
And thus pre­vents

Easy access
To the imma­nent beyond
It’s hard to get used to

As when detained By

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Jeff Friedman ~ Three Prose Poems

Elijah

I leave my aro­ma, strong enough to put out the lights or clear a room, to Cassie, my veg­an lover, who can use it to pro­tect her patch of veg­eta­bles and plants. I leave a pile of hair to my pil­low, to the many dust bun­nies leap­ing from room to room, to the finch­es look­ing for fur to line their nests. I leave all my best insults to Sri Lanka, for­mer­ly Louis, who has stolen most of them any­way

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Claire Polders ~ Four Micro Fictions

Specialties

On the ter­race across the street below the elms in fick­le light, you eat dish­es that are nei­ther here nor there. Facing the canal, you low­er your spoon into your bowl of soupçon and come up emp­ty, as though the dash of salt is just an idea. You stab your fork into a gen­er­ous cut of some­thing dark, wait­ing for the blood to sprout, and instead meet the resis­tance of a slice of toast­ed

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Edward Hardy ~ Apology #9: Not About The Toaster

I’m typ­ing here because Larry the elec­tri­cian has just—and I know it’s Larry because can I see his lean beard­ed fig­ure through the upstairs office win­dow as he stands before the front door hold­ing that green cell phone, which near­ly glows in the length­en­ing shad­ows, and Larry is look­ing more worn than usu­al because it’s 5:30 in the evening and he’s on our thresh­old but he’s miss­ing

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David Gilbert ~ A Life in Photos

1

She demand­ed an expla­na­tion.  At the photographer’s request, she stood next to him and smiled at the cam­era until it flashed but she was not in the pho­to.  The pho­tog­ra­pher was adamant that some­thing was wrong with her not his cam­era.  He took anoth­er pho­tograph with her hold­ing a stuffed bear. Then he took her by the arm — as if incom­pe­tent —  and showed her the bear float­ing in the cen­ter

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Craig Fishbane ~ The New Kids

It was not sur­pris­ing that Tomás and Julio were hav­ing anoth­er argu­ment. Ever since Shukura had left last mon­th, most of the stu­dents were on edge. All of our chil­dren from Egypt and Bangladesh were now gone and no one was sure which group would be next. I had bro­ken up two fights in the school­yard in the past week alone as my remain­ing ESL stu­dents tried to sort out their places in the peck­ing

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Gary Percesepe ~ Transition

January 2, 2017

I was telling Joelle I was almost fin­ished read­ing her mem­oirs. I’d been read­ing them side by side, an odd way to read, sort of like an old two-columned Ashbery poem, or an obscure pas­sage from Derrida’s Glas. Derrida was some­thing else entire­ly. We’d see each oth­er on the con­fer­ence cir­cuit, which I can no longer abide. He sent me a let­ter once, writ­ten in French. Which I trea­sured

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Lucinda Kempe ~ Platooning

The damn cat has dis­ap­peared again. Truth is, I’d turned the hose on him as I was clean­ing the cat box out­side dur­ing a spell of warmer weath­er.

Get the fuck out Orayo,” I’d bel­lowed.

I clean the cats’ box­es, vac­u­um their lit­ter off the floor, buy them high-end cat food made by Wellness and have weaned them off kib­ble, which bloats their guts. Just call me a patho­log­i­cal care­tak­er — maid

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