Brotherly Love (Jennifer Shneiderman)

The storm came into Philadelphia fast and strong. Grounded planes hung their heads and bedded down for the night. A line of 30 people formed at the customer service counter within seconds. After a while, some teenagers produced fiddles from black cases and the people in line bobbed their heads to “Blackberry Blossom”. I didn’t […]

Hey you little pencil slut (Lizette Roman-Johnston)

*** Lizette Roman-Johnston is about to earn her MFA in creative nonfiction from Saint Mary’s College of California. She resides in Berkeley, CA with her cat Stompy. Lizette has been published in the Sad Girl Review, the Daily Drunk Magazine, and the Oakland Arts Review. You can follow her on Twitter @zettercakes. *** image: Lindsay […]

Willpower (Jamie Etheridge)

When I was three or four years old I used to hold my breath until I would pass out. I don’t remember these incidents so much as the stories my mom tells me later about how they happened. I’d get upset about something: being told no, the injustices of bathtime, a lost binky that can’t […]

We Dreamed the Universe as Well as the Rain (Aisling Walsh)

Accept or reject: the matter was always in your hands. You could have said no from the first day I arrived on your terrace. The sun was beginning to set behind the neighbour’s mango tree, the sanates were screeching their evening chorus and exasperated rush hour horns blared from the periferico. You were half-sitting, half-leaning, […]

Little House on the Freeway (Christian McDonald)

Tonight I read an article about a man who bought one of those prefabricated houses–the kind that fly down highways on the beds of big semis, trailer-park-bound, with WIDE LOAD plastered across their rear ends. The details of the story are unclear, but the end result is that the man got his house stuck on […]

Bran Flake Dan (Suzanne Richardson)

We called him Bran Flake, but his name was Dan. Maybe because everything he wore was kind of wheat-colored, or that 1970’s shade of light M&M brown. Those tortoise shell rimmed glasses. It was the 2000’s but he had a 90’s hangover. The polyester bell bottoms and ringer t-shirts with old company logos. He gave […]

The Dust of Stars (Andrew Bertaina)

This morning, I am trying to order my feelings, but they keep frolicking round like dust motes exposed by sunlight coming in through the window. The motes tumble, pell mell, subject to invisible breezes, dancing like circus fleas, a jumble of kittenish fever. Such are my feelings, which, like dust are silly and free, subject […]

I’m not staying to witness (Marilyn Duarte)

you pour the Ralph Lauren Polo Cologne gift set I gave you for your birthday down the bathroom sink in your basement apartment, while I inhale the combined scents of leather mixed with wood, and sage laced with spicy basil from the Eau de Toilettes’ medley dribbling down the drain and into the rusty pipes, […]

It’s A Small Town (Kevin Bonfield)

Alcohol leaks from me. A hangover like breaking rocks in prison. Not that I’d know. Daylight is punishing me. Every few strides I pause to squint. An attempt to ration my eyes’ exposure. Fingers inside my head are trying to push my eyeballs out. The more I’d showered, the drier my skin had felt. Recollection […]

Broken Kaleidoscope (Mason Parker)

On Monday, somewhere in the vast space between my moments of focus, a stargazer bloomed from the green shoots of an amaryllis—it’s blossom came two months later than expected. I placed the plant on the red-brick wall around the porch and tended to it faithfully. On Friday, the stargazer died. The week felt endless. I […]

Suspension (Shelley Johansson)

We spend the day touring the Great Wall and Tiananmen Square, where a McDonald’s crouches within sight of Mao’s mausoleum. Back at the hotel my husband and I float in the hot tub but it’s tepid at best. Giggling like teenagers, we run up to our floor. My mother appears, ashen-faced, and pulls us into […]

Academia: The Board Game (Cecilia Kennedy)

Neatly sectioned off, precise squares line up before you, each one holding promise in cool, mint green. All of the pretty tokens are yours to choose, in silver—any one. And the rules are constant, blocked off in dark, straight lines. They never change: Move back at least two spaces to start grad school. Land on […]

One Day, Disaster (Will McMillan)

Likely, the finch built its nest in the sprawling depths of a hemlock. Or spruce. Both are overly abundant in Oregon. Probably, the bird’s day began long before sunrise, scouring nearby shrubs and grasses for seeds, taking wing that late June afternoon, slicing through warm, coastal updrafts, then gliding its way over the narrow road […]

Things They Don’t Tell You About Surviving a Suicide Attempt (Nick Olson)

Everything will become, for lack of a better term, unreal. For at least a little while, but possibly forever. Moments you’ll feel like you’re experiencing human life through the eyes of an alien lifeform, others like you’re two sizes too large for your skull. You will take the Seroquel and/or the Benadryl, just try to […]

Becoming Fireflies (Kirsten Reneau)

I want you to make me a promise that after we say our final goodbyes and our time together has begun to go dark around the edges of your memory, you will start committing petty crimes. Bike in the wrong lane and flip off the cars that honk at you. Jaywalk at every opportunity. Steal […]

Into the Forest Dark and Green (Laila Amado)

Whenever I need to come up with a childhood memory, I end up in a Modigliani painting—a landscape of blind faces and distended shapes. “Breathe, breathe deeper. You won’t be sick.” I’m sick in every mode of transport. The bus lurches around a turn on the outskirts of the city. It smells of diesel fuel. […]

The Arsonists (Mary-Pat Buss)

I’ve known you for years, but I only met you the night we slept together. In the midst of the sparks that kindled between our bodies, I realized I was only seeing you for the first time. As the friction built, I watched your face become all angles and pain and consume the you I […]

Unofficial Train Boycott, 1997 – ? (T.L. States)

D.C. to Gallup, New Mexico, and numerous points in between. On a train at 19, to an unknown future. One of those points in between, maybe Cleveland, I switch trains. I find a car that’s nearly empty, except for one couple. They look excited to be together. Riding the rails. Maybe in their mid-20s. Always […]

Elegy with Handkerchief Mask (B. Tyler Lee)

An addict I know has died. Coughing, sputtering, flushed face directed skyward, and no one can say in which column to tally her body. They don’t swab your sinus cavity in America if you’ve more than once lay awake in an icebox bedroom with your light bill long past due, won’t intubate you if anyone […]

I suck. I love you. Call me back. (Megan Cannella)

You called the other day. I was about to go into a meeting. I almost answered anyway, but it didn’t seem worth it. You’d just guilt me for having to hang up right away. You left a message saying you’re sorry you’re a bad friend. I think the thing to say was happy belated birthday, […]


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