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


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


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


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


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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Charles Rafferty ~ The Light Made Everything Harder to See

Tommy was on his way to the 7-Eleven to buy con­doms. He had offered to use Saran Wrap and a rub­ber band, but Sheila wasn’t game. They had just met and they had both been drink­ing, but appar­ent­ly not enough. Tommy felt relieved when she sug­gest­ed the errand. It would give him time to think, to fig­ure out what he would say to Melissa, his girl­friend of two years, when he saw her the fol­low­ing day.


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Randall Brown & Pamela Painter ~ Two Pieces


Her orange dress and the but­ter­fly hat and the edge of woods. She is say­ing she built a fort and I am yelling out my win­dow that I’m not allowed out today.

Bella,” my moth­er yells from where she is patch­ing Dad’s work shirts in the kitchen,  “Get away from that win­dow and back to clean­ing up your room—all those pinecones and snake skins are prob­a­bly crawl­ing with worms.”

We are only allowed

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Joan Wilking ~ Neuropathy Trilogy


Push the right but­ton and my toes go numb, some­times at home, some­times in the car while wait­ing at a stop sign. I wish I had x-ray eyes to look inside my leg, to mag­ni­fy the dis­con­nect­ed nerve end­ings, to las­so them back into posi­tion, into sub­mis­sion.

It’s ear­ly September and my ennui is epic. Temps ris­ing into the mid 90s my smart­phone says. I can feel my pulse pound­ing under the sheen

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Glen Pourciau ~ Stretcher

Early evening on a Friday, wine and cheese time at the inn where we checked in only an hour ago, and we’re seat­ed just out­side the door to the serv­ing area, wrought-iron table and chairs on the edge of a court­yard, a foun­tain bab­bling with­in earshot.  We’re armed with glass­es of local wine, mine a red blend called Raving Lunatic and Lionel’s a Syrah called Intimate Betrayer, well into our

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