• Sherrie Flick ~ Chest Out

    Words string out like clothes­line along each page as Ellen reads in the yard. Thoughts sweep in like tides as she turns each page. She has ques­tions, and they have led her out­side into the ear­ly evening sun.

    The drugs in the draw­er. The dirty sock in –more

  • T.L. Sherwood ~ Birth Control

    The radio was tuned to the local NPR sta­tion so they didn’t have to talk. Tara was glad because each time she thought of some­thing to say, it began with, “Had I known,” and Pete already explained that if he’d told her he was tak­ing her to his –more

  • Pierre L’Grommet ~ Letter to My Doctor

    2010-03-28 21.31.41
    Dear Dr. Hanson, Nurse Cache and Lisa:

    I just want­ed to write this note thank­ing you all for work­ing these many years to keep me upright and nom­i­nal­ly func­tion­al. Very kind of you all, and one of my few fond mem­o­ries of Penurburg, along with the –more

  • Melissa Goode ~ All Roads Lead to the Met

    Elise awoke think­ing about light­hous­es and safe har­bors, or light­hous­es not indi­cat­ing safe har­bors. It must have come from a poem. Louise Glück? She tried to recall the words and stopped when she real­ized she was lying in a bed­room she hadn’t seen –more

  • Greg Bottoms ~ The Dropout


    Death by cop is a more com­mon form of attempt­ed sui­cide than I would have guessed before I became a crime reporter. Among the poor, the des­per­ate, the heart-crushed, the men­tal­ly ill, and the abject­ly lost it is up there with bridge jump­ing –more

  • 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, –more

  • Lucinda Kempe ~ Brown Sparrow


    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, –more

  • Avital Gad-Cykman ~ To Catch Her


    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 –more

  • 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 –more

  • 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 –more

  • Girija Tropp ~ Once I Was Honey

    2012-02-05 17.18.35

    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 –more

  • 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 –more

  • 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 –more

  • Michael Holladay ~ Retroactive

    2009-10-08 01.57.50cBefore Jake went to Hideaway Lounge, he assessed him­self in his bath­room mir­ror to see if he’d mea­sure up to the younger men. He stared at the top of his head. The glop of gel – a first time pur­chase – solid­i­fied his hair, arch­ing over a –more

  • Andrew Morgan ~ Services

    men and chair2
    I am not the dancer with her left foot some­how wedged against the rail. Not the dancer then or eigh­teen min­utes pri­or as she dashed cry­ing from a build­ing very much alone and mind­less and with­out direc­tion. I’m not her nor sur­prised as –more

  • John Holman ~ Vacation

    I got to Dexter’s house about 6:00 on a warm Saturday October evening. His wife Olivia opened the door wear­ing red Capri pants that looked new, and a white T‑shirt and red san­dals.  She looked like sum­mer and Christmas at the same time, but as I said, it was fall.  She car­ried two shop­ping bags and clutched her keys in the hand that held her red purse.  I couldn’t tell if she was com­ing or going.

  • Christopher James ~ All I Need Now is One Enormous Bowl to Catch Them Together

    2001-02-23-030200-8The vil­la has small lizards, tokay geck­os. Beads for eyes, ghost jade skin, dis­tinc­tive squawks. At first they were cute, until a cou­ple fell on us dur­ing the night,. I catch a baby, small­er than my favourite fin­ger, under a plas­tic soy bowl, –more

  • Mel Bosworth ~ Days Not His

    I stood in the park­ing lot of Rudy’s Oil. I hadn’t been to Five Streams since I was a kid. The sky was thin and gray and the air smelled like ice which to me smelled like win­ter. Across the street was a rat­ty white walled con­ve­nience store called Kings. Tacked to the white wall clos­est to the sleepy four-way inter­sec­tion was a hand paint­ed sign that read “Free Coffee While You Play Lottery.”

  • Ron Padgett ~ And Truly

    We use italics
    to put elec­tric­i­ty into words.
    Then we plug lamps
    into the words.
    That’s how we light our homes.

  • Michael Putnam ~ Sharing Space

    Screen shot 2010-12-03 at 7.21.28 PM copy
    Since the blind­fold out­side of Maude’s Crab Castle, every­thing had been dark­ness and pain. In the park­ing lot, a brusque hand forced him into a trunk fol­lowed short­ly by the sound of a car door closing.

    The pain came from the zip tie around –more