Appellation (Shelby Newsome)

“Stephen,” I moaned. The syllables danced through the thin sheet of air between us. You gave one last performative thrust and peeled off me, collapsing by my side. I turned away from you, the covers twisting around my legs, and felt your body mold to the slope of my back. Your breathing was heavy but […]

Two Poems (Jill Spradley)

Two poems were born on paper in the upstairs back bedroom of an aging split level, one named Idea of God one named Denise. They were loved. They were tacked up and showed off. They spent their youth full of fire and energy, making their way off the corkboard and onto the streets of GeoCities, […]

The Fire Tower (Corey Farrenkopf)

There is a sleeping bag, a tent, a smoldering fire. There are no people. The smell of supper, cast-iron bacon, beans and onions, curls from the pot. You listen for the snap of twigs, for laughter, for footsteps and screams. It’s the third campsite you’ve found this way, abandoned mid-stride, too late for check-out, sunrise […]

No Man’s Land (SR Schulz)

I find a dead shark on the rocks behind the house. Its mouth is full of blood and its eyes are bulging. You say it’s because it came from so deep, the pressure changes did strange things—grotesque things. I think it’s bloated because it’s dead. I can’t imagine its eyes were a normal shape under […]

Excerpt from an Author Interview (with Human Resources) (Derek Maine)

In late 2019, the Author released his debut novel with a small, independent press. The book received three positive reviews in online literary journals and sold forty-six copies. The novel told the story of a sexually abusive relationship from the perspective of the abuser. The following is an excerpt (lightly edited for clarity) of the […]

Sarah and Her Bags (Nikki Volpicelli)

Sarah is silent, not touching her yogurt parfait, and I’m wondering if I can take a bite because I’ve already finished my turkey reuben. I’m wondering if she’s thinking what I think she’s thinking: that I’m a heifer, all 125 pounds of me. That she’s sick of dragging me around.  “Pardonne-moi,” I say like an […]

This World Is Not My Home (Kay Murphy)

I was drinking a Burger King Mocha Frappé on the morning of the day I found out Dad wasn’t saved. Pennsylvania backroads whipped past our station wagon. Mom was driving us to Kids Camp. I was twelve so I sat in the passenger seat. In the back, my younger sisters, Rose and Mae, poked each […]

Earth Problems (Daniel DeRock)

1. On Earth Day, Rachel plants 5 maple trees and 3 pine trees. How many trees does she plant in total? 2. Rachel and her classmates gather data on wildflowers. Rachel finds 15 lupine, 41 prairie rose, countless willow aster. She cups her hands to catch sunlight. Drink this, she tells her friend, it helps […]

It comes down to fate (Hannah Grieco)

When we got down out of the mountains and headed to the coast, when we hit sand, when we ran to the water and scream-laughed because the wind was so strong it almost blew us both into the huge waves. When you yelled, “Jesus, we should have brought mittens!” as you grabbed me, wrapped your […]

Umami (Ellie Gordon)

A man in a racing jacket sits at the sushi belt while another man, vest and windsor knot–sleeves rolled up–takes the next seat. Racing Jacket debates on the tamago nigiri and decides he wants it the moment Windsor receives it. He dips the sweet egg in soy sauce and lifts it dripping to his lips. […]

One is a moderately successful comedy screenwriter. (Nicks Walker)

People don’t like to see broken robots, so broken robots go places people don’t go. They nest along the walls of sewers, cling to the legs of electricity pylons, and pepper the steel frames of acre long auto-greenhouses. They form mechanical rock pools in slippery gaps of sub-tourist-quality beaches, sharing in the cautiously relaxed, hushed […]

Unpacking the End of My Engagement Through Movie Spoilers (Mario Aliberto III)

“The opening scenes in Up, the montage where Carl and Ellie live their whole lives and grow old together, and yeah, it doesn’t go exactly as planned, but there’s love, there’s life, and they’re a team, only this is the kind of life you imagine for yourself when you propose to your girlfriend and she […]


I’d been haunted by death since I was five years old and got mowed down by an Indian motorcycle while chasing the ice cream truck, begging for a snow cone. The doctors said my heart wasn’t beating when I arrived at the hospital. I was a miracle. I didn’t see it that way. I’d cheated […]

The Buick (Stephanie Austin)

Debra wept when she read the note. “I can’t give them up,” she said into the tissue. “This is so unfair.” The note writer threatened phone calls. The police. The townhouse manager. The Humane Society. The logic in the note was sound. No one should keep cats in a car in the parking lot of a […]

Revenge is best served with coffee (B F Jones)

You wake up, with coffins in your head, you shake them off pat the turf of happy thoughts over them, squeeze the pillow over your face, have several drops of that stupid plant-based thing that’s meant to help but doesn’t, you toss and turn and toss and turn, read some news and the coffins become […]

I Got My First Real Sex Dream (Melissa Llanes Brownlee)

He hums as he runs, the 80s Spotify playlist keeping his pace. Those were indeed the best days, singing out loud with his friends, laughing and punching each other until their stomachs and arms hurt, bragging about waking up rock hard, never cum or sweat soaked, hiding sheets from their moms. They’d say nocturnal emissions […]

We got up (Tyler Dempsey)

What is this, Papa asked. When, having fun on the bed, Jane held what looked like a phone in her hand. Between her girl legs. Like this. When Mama whispered, You kids have fun. And, left Papa’s bedroom. This night of which we’re talking. This night, I brought Jane and Clara to Papa’s house. Jane’s […]

Any Stranger (Rhoads Stevens)

“Here is a lens, but you should not use it. If someone gives you a lens like this, then you should not use it.” It did not look like a lens. It looked like the plastic cover of the packaging for an old toy. An old action figure. It looked plastic and had a slight […]

Dance Music (Jason Sprinkle)

Let’s go fly a kite I’m nine and helping my mom clean and I want to put on music and I don’t know who The Rolling Stones or The Animals or Crosby, Stills and Nash are but I recognize Dumbo and Snow White and Mary Poppins on a CD case at the bottom of the […]

No Such Thing as Dogs Today (Chris Vanjonack)

There’s no such thing as dogs today. Yesterday there were dogs. Today—only pigeons. And another thing: where have the cats gone? And the zebras? And all the other people? There used to be all kinds of things, but pigeons rule the land now, and the sky—everything but the sea, which no one can rule because […]


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