Hurricane Ian (Hurley Winkler)

Am I supposed to fill the bathtub before the storm? Dad would know the answer, but I don’t want to ask. He’s already in my head, contradicting himself, reminding me that water attracts lightning, that I’ll need something besides my stockpile of Zephyrhills if I lose running water, something to fill a pot with and […]

Reflux (Josh Olsen)

I sent my mother a picture of my dinner—a grilled New York strip, topped with sautéed mushrooms and blue cheese crumbles, on a bed of spring greens, with a side of rosemary garlic potatoes—something I didn’t do with anyone but her. Food was one of the primary points of conversation between her, my grandmother and […]

Nobody Learns Shit (Tyler Dempsey)

For five months I’m a Park Ranger. The other seven, I struggle. This winter, I work a Daycare/Preschool/Lumber Store. Just kidding. -30. The American-measurement at 63̊ North this morning. “Dry Cabin” sounds better than “3rd World.” So, that’s where I tell people I live. Two heat sources. No running water. Five minutes getting into enough […]

A Collection of Losses (Laura Gill)

On Miami Beach, people look for lost items—they walk with metal detectors searching for rings, bracelets, and buckles. They move the device from one side to the next, down and back along the shore, skimming the edges of the sand. Rarely do they find anything worth very much; and yet, they have all kinds of […]

Probably thinking the same thing (Tyler Dempsey)

Nationally-ranked in cross-country. One of the few non-Whites in any National Park. Leg muscles the envy of gazelles. Tall, broad-shouldered. Each body-part clearly separate from what it’s attached to.  It’s very exciting.    There’s a joke: Alaskan women are the toughest young men I’ve met.  She fixes gross pasta. I crack a beer. Reading a note, […]

Women I’ve Dated Whose mothers Have Died And The Horrible Things That’ve Happened To Them In The Aftermath Of Those Deaths (Tex Gresham)

1Two mothers.One burned, the other vomit-choked.The burned one was a crime that went uninvestigated. The other was accidental suicide. 2On our first date: “My mother just died.”On our second date: “Can you take me to our old house so I can get some things?” A house blackened by fire. Mostly brittle sticks of wood.She collected […]

The year we lived above badger’s island pizza (Melissa Saggerer)

The pizza delivery guy would always laugh at us, as he was delivering pizza to the upstairs apartment of a different pizza shop. That year our new year’s resolution was every time we ordered a pizza, we’d order an extra pizza to put directly into the fridge, so we’d always have leftover pizza to eat. […]

DOGSHOW (William Macbeth)

Wife and I have decided I’m crazy. It’s true. I say it out loud. “I’m ill. I’m mentally ill.” I write the words  in my notepad. I tell wife that I need more peace and silence in my life. I tell wife that I want a job where I don’t have to talk to anyone. […]

Let’s Pretend We’re Married (KJ Shepherd)

The bartender caught us photographing the front door. Every reflection in a bar is two-wayed, even at the urinals, especially during townie hours. But any bartender worth his salt knows that townies would know the old local gay spot: who takes pictures of their neighborhood unless they are already becoming a stranger? Before we could […]

The No Breakfast Blues (Lexi Kent-Monning)

“Breakfast”—he just called me that one day and it fit. Sometimes it led to confusion, like when I responded to it as my name to strangers chatting at the next table about eggs Benedict versus lemon ricotta pancakes. Or when he titled one of his paintings “Breakfast Was a Disaster,” and I thought he meant […]

A Wake for a Raven (Brandon Jackson)

I watched a raven choke on a battery today. He picked it up with his beak and tried to swallow it. He made a few attempts to down the 9-volt, tilting his little head up and making gagging sounds as it buoyed in his throat. The battery bobbed under his feathers, bulging like a mouse […]

Gemini Season (Brittany Price)

  Dream where I’m this man and also not him throwing up a snake out of his mouthPeople all driving loud cars to the barn at grandparents’ houseThey made us eat a snake? Or turn into one? Also something with schoolNot putting the desk back rightJamie F is in my classI’m doing a bad job […]

The Owl (Shannon Layne)

We spotted the owl in our backyard a few days after my surgery, perched on a palm tree branch of all things. In our yard we also have mature spruce and pine, even redwood trees, but maybe he just liked the feel of palm. Maybe he was on vacation. His talons were so long they […]

Let the Lovin’ Come Back to Me (Jillian Luft)

Alone in my room, I drink frozen margaritas while listening to the new Sublime on my brand-new Pioneer 6-disc CD changer, Nag Champa in my sinuses and big-girl tears in my baby-cheek creases, thinking about how Bradley, the lead singer, is dead and how I might as well be too because what sort of loser […]

Blood Bait (Josh Olsen)

My 83-year-old grandmother is having a recurring dream. In my grandmother’s dream, her grandchildren are toddlers again, and they’re running away from her. Every night, she hears one of her grandchildren running through her house, but she can’t find them, and she can’t catch them. Myself, my brother, my eldest cousin. I’m curious how long […]

Nine Parts to Love (Ashton Russell)

1.   It’s best when you are busy, then you don’t think about it: the thing that lives in your body and tells you to get in your car and drive drive drive. Forget the car seats in the back, forget the husband who loves you, or don’t forget him. Definitely don’t fuck him. Think of […]

euthanasia (megan finkel)

After my kitten went, I read as much about what killed her as possible. The person who came to speak to me in the purgatory room beforehand told me I could purchase drugs off the black market if I was desperate to keep her alive for a little more, and for a split second I […]

Sober Living (David P. Barker)

“You know the rules, brother.” Marion regarded me again. I looked up at him and knew he wanted to curse me out. I was a nine-year-old boy sitting watch at the front desk of an inpatient drug and alcohol addiction treatment center. The only child in an otherwise adult-only facility and he was a grown […]

Childbearing Age (Emily Polson)

One of my best friends from college is writing poems about infertility. Another friend tells me that she’s worried if she starts studying for the LSAT now, she’ll be past peak childbearing age by the time she’s established enough in her career change to take maternity leave. A valid fear, I guess, because my pregnant […]

Wild Berries (Josh Olsen)

While walking my dog to the “good pooping grass,” as my partner and I call it, adjacent to the Plymouth Cultural Center parking lot, I passed an old man smoking a cigarette and picking wild berries. He dropped each berry in a five-gallon bucket nestled in the basket of a shopping cart he kept hidden […]


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