• Francine Witte ~ Leftover Boys

    Tommy and Bobby. Geometry class. Def Leopard tee shirts and gelled-up hair. They were like the fruit our moth­ers taught us to put back. Apples with bruis­es, berries gone squish. They weren’t much, but then, nei­ther were we. Fleshbelt under our crop –more

  • Gail Louise Siegel ~ Mouth

    As a child, my front teeth dan­gled over my low­er lip like escapees from den­tal prison. Braces fixed my over­bite, but not my diastema—the space between my front teeth—which men found allur­ing although I did not. Cosmetics aside, they were ser­vice­able –more

  • Mary Lynn Reed ~ Sway

    They stand in the mid­dle of a hol­lowed-out 7‑Eleven, search­ing for food or water or some arti­fi­cial­ly-sweet­ened sal­va­tion, but all of it is gone. Not even a pack of cin­na­mon Trident or a spicy Slim Jim to be found, and they’ve looked in every cor­ner, –more

  • Alexandra Grabbe ~ Buried Treasure

    I kneel beside a bag of mulch, dig­ging with a trow­el between two stone-encased flowerbeds, when the thought of our future hol­i­day in Russia makes me hum “Vacation” by the Go-Gos. I added the trip to my buck­et list after Aunt Masha’s funer­al. –more

  • Doug Ross ~ Proud Flesh

    Dad says, “In the lit­tle car­tridge, you mean.”

    Right,” I say, “but also one inside?”

    He leaves the bath­room. Goes down­stairs. I wait there with his red-gold piss still steam­ing in the bowl. The bar­rel should be point­ed rough­ly where my feet –more

  • Valerie Fox ~ An episode between houses and jobs

    Maybe still in the recov­ery room, I hear my Nana say, it’s okay hon­ey, there are plen­ty of oth­er fish in the sea.

    Later, not in the recov­ery room, I’m feel­ing for­mal, a lit­tle hun­gry. So Swoon and I decide to go out for a fan­cy oys­ter din­ner. We –more

  • Meredith Wadley ~ Mr. Allen’s Long Visit

    Mom made us wait at the top of the board­ing stairs for Dad. A pilot and for­mer pilot train­er, he’d popped into the cock­pit to com­pli­ment the CAT crew on a smooth land­ing. The C‑119’s shrieks still rang in my ears as sol­diers in flared jeans and –more

  • Gary Fincke ~ During the Epidemic

    We brought a dime every Friday to slide into a slot inside a card fea­tur­ing a smil­ing girl on crutch­es. I loved see­ing my card fill up. When there were ten dimes, we would start again on a card with a crip­pled boy. Miss Klein, our fourth-grade teacher, –more

  • Brett Biebel ~ Lighthouse Inn #6

    Days I spent at the Surf Ballroom, wait­ing around for girls.  Sometimes I read books about war or foot­ball or how to suc­ceed in busi­ness, and some­times I just sat.  I’d find some booth in the cor­ner or else off to the side, and it was always spon­sored –more

  • Pavle Radonic ~ ‘Tis the Season

    1.

    Crossing from the fruit by the sushi aisles there was a S — L — O — W slow amble through some­thing about a Christmas tree. (Not the old up-tem­po fave.) Almonds had not been tast­ed two full months in Jogja, they were unavail­able at Hero super­mar­ket –more

  • Kim Chinquee ~ Wildcat

    They’re going to the moun­tain. He let his ex-wife bor­row his GPS, so the three of them just wing it: Elle and Jim and the dog named Doodle. Jim says he knows the way, dri­ving through Viroqua, Westby, Cashton, places where he has to dri­ve for work, –more

  • Sofiul Azam ~ Poems

    When Species Are Becoming Extinct in the Wild

    Each of this planet’s dai­ly spins on its axis mat­ters for those
    who face the trau­ma of being out there with­out the liv­ing green.

    On the out­skirts of my home­town there was a knoll myth­i­cal­ly formed
    of clay shak­en off spades – green grass and –more

  • David Byron Queen ~ Mercy

    Still half-drunk and dri­ving west through the Idaho wilder­ness, a night crea­ture threw itself in front of Paul’s car. His foot sunk into the brake before he knew what was hap­pen­ing. The car jerked and swerved. He was off the road and in a ditch with –more

  • Schuyler Dickson ~ Regis, Can You Hear Me When I Call?

    I am the voice in the woods call­ing, all night call­ing as the dogs, cow­ards most­ly, foot­ed up to the fence line and warned. I am warn­ing, too. Go get a bet­ter job, I call. Buy a new car, I call.

    You looked good in a blaz­er, etc.

    During the day, I go –more

  • Sara Siddiqui Chansarkar ~ Saffron

    Diwali Mubarak,” I pack sparklers and rock­ets in a news­pa­per bag for a cus­tomer sit­ting astride a motor­cy­cle out­side my shop. He gives me 100 rupees. My daugh­ter, Anwari, a fifth-grad­er, unlatch­es the mon­ey­box to fetch change. She’s –more