Dear Reader, The work we’ve read during this past submission cycle has been astounding, and because of the…
Boys everywhere—actors, singers, models—bodies hairless and hips slim, leaned against palm trees. A thousand gazes follow us always.
Even in the dim yellow light I could see the hives spreading across my neck where your stubble had burned me.
Race for the Cure, 2008. I write your name on my pink dedication bib, use extra safety pins…
It must have taken him weeks to build them, to glue the mixture of rice and crushed glass to the string.
bring the cigarettes out, and drinks for you and Dan, left the Diet Cokes there, sweating on the ledge. Tonight you’ll allow me to stay for no other reason than to listen. You knew what I would become. But I can’t remember words now,
"Skate babies," he said cryptically. "Protects them from all the dangers." He flapped a leathery arm towards the snack bar and drawled something about signs.
The news suggests that acid rain is to blame. Years of acid rain falling unchecked, seeping into the ground and doing what acid does, eating away at everything it touches. Scientists point to plastic models, removable chunks revealing concavities in the earth, the surface too thin to support what’s on top.
I had stereotyped her. She wasn't shy or cautious, but flung the door open to reveal a riot of colourful living. A floral-patterned rousari was settling over the crown of her skull as if it had just dropped from heaven. The ends of it draped loosely beside her thin arms. I didn't know where to look, and tried not to flick my curious gaze to her periphery. It meant meeting her eyes, those eyes.
You stand in the hall poking at the window blinds. They’re old vinyl, faded yellow and nearly melted with years of endless sun. Your fingers walk to eye-level, push a slat up so you can see out, and then climb higher. Above your head you reach to press your finger, through the hole of a bent, half-broken slat, all the way to the fogged glass.
The photo album is dry like carefully stored tinder, the dried rose petals haphazardly stuck on the front look yellowed and frail.
A Maine morning, sea and sky muddled gray. She’d picked her way from the beach to a small piney island across a stretch of seafloor low tide had left bare.
One moment of quiet and I’ll be able to think about stitches without my skin crawling out from under me, away, like leather on my body.
Once the whole is divided, the parts need names. / There are already enough names. –– Lao Tsu
She skitters away on her keyboard: Tic tac tac tac tic. Then pauses to scratch her head; the noise a cacophony, forming a symphony of disturbance that rattles my loaded head. Every day she rattles me.
to thank the pines for letting the snow melt for letting grass grow between their feet
She always has at least 1 can of cherry pie filling socked away somewhere—God knows why—the woman don’t even bake.
the background to try and lull them to sleep.
Glimpses of what-ifs. Hail Mary passes. That's what this ink really says: please stay; we can do this.
In the middle of surviving you, I sat on the sidewalk outside the bookshop that paid me too little, sterilized a safety pin with the flame of a lighter and stabbed it through my right big toe.
I can count the number of times we touched on two hands plus two feet, plus your hands and your feet.
The surprise clusters of brown pears punctuate the leaves. My children burst down the pickers’ lane their feet smashing the rotten fruit into a fragrant mess, a prayer in earth. It is all too much.
A rook snags a branch in the sycamore outside my bedroom window. That’s not what I’m thinking about.
I could be a shutter, about to fall off its hinge and be consumed by feral shrubbery. Start a new life as a rotting piece of wood. Natallie raises her fist to knock, but the door opens. He looks like someone who once sold bathrobes in a plaza. Long, red, veiny hair combed over a blonde face.
The itching begins at night. Fire on my scalp, ears aflame. I was dreaming about butterflies and barbed…
I HEARD THE FLIES BUZZ TWICE IN MY LIFE, ONCE OVER THE DEAD BODY ON THE RIVERSIDE, AND ONCE…
our wanderings conjure desire, the selfish kind—hunger to ask for more without bothering to hear the answer.
What if it came crashing down, I thought. What if it fell like a blanket and smothered us all.
The night of my parents’ funeral, she told me that the most important thing you can tell people, dead or alive, is that you are here. On this earth.
Leaning bicycles on old iron fences. The kids grow out their bowl cuts. The merry-go-round weeps behind the Baptist church.
Two Saturdays after Joe and I get married and buy a house in the Upper Ninth Ward, a…
When the waitress left, Kate locked eyes with Jase and said rather than asked, “What if they don’t let us into his room at the hospital.”