The Body as a Warzone (Diamond Braxton)

Puberty hits you faster than expected. You go from wearing basketball shorts and graphic tees to short shorts and crop tops. Your badly cut bangs sprout and grow past your shoulders. Your breasts bloom into melons. Your thighs expand past your waist. Your body is morphing and you don’t have any time to process it […]

Department of Children Services (Leigh Chadwick)

The weather a memory too busy getting drunk and lost, getting high and lost, getting fucked and lost, to ever remember the giving of birth and the having of children, their blood thicker than tree sap, fire surrounding their cages of ribs, the dead leaves under their feet as they wander through a forest, any […]

How to Stay (Reba Kingston)

After you leave rehab, you rent a room in a house in the student neighbourhood of the city. You calculate how long you can stay even if you don’t end up finding a job. Four months, as long as you live on rice, beans, and ramen.  The guys seem cool. They don’t ask for references […]

Filter (Michelle Wilson)

Lately, nothing is how I remember it: the diner where I ate artisanal pancakes, the dog park where I met my influencer girlfriend, the beach, the farmer’s market, my new sustainable Japanese garden with firepit… “Nothing compares to the first time,” says my girlfriend, a woman I no longer recognize, a person who, as much […]

BERTBERTBERT (Scott Michael May)

Bert Kreischer sits in a lounge chair next to a pool in LA and is smoking a cigar with his shirt off and a pair of flip-flops dangling off his feet, which are themselves dangling off the edge of the lounge chair. I am smoking a Camel Blue and inhale roughly every thirty-seven seconds. We […]

The Statue (Steve Gergley)

I trudge down the center of what used to be the interstate highway. Rusting cars sit atop mountains of chewed-up asphalt. Scrub grass and beardtongue knife through long cracks in the weathered pavement. On the side of the road, fingers of dead oaks scratch at the pink sun hanging in the gold sky. Over the […]

Stand Back, Doors Closing (M. Roanoke)

It was such a tiny, tremulous cry. A little robin’s egg beg, a small but bright “help” But I heard nothing, or I heard but didn’t hear because by the time I process the itty-bitty “help me” Enough to bother wondering where it came from, this precious wee “please” I immediately recognize that the situation […]

5 Methods of Coming Out to Your Parents (Téa Franco)

Method #1: Get a girlfriend with a gender-neutral name (i.e: Jordan, Riley, Devyn, Sam, or Jamie). Next, call your parents and report that you are finally in a relationship. Their prayers have been answered. You will not be a lonely spinster—rejoice! Be prepared for questions about his major and his family.  Answer them honestly—except when […]

Darryl Stands (a. Kathryn Davis)

Every day, Darryl stands. I don’t mean that, every day, Darryl stands up out of bed and starts his day. (We all do that.) I don’t mean that he stands in any particular line waiting for any particular thing. (We all do that.) I don’t mean that Darryl stands up once each hour on the […]

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 […]


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