bright whole ripe oranges on wooden table

every time we think of her

Christina Kapp she held an orange / probed her thumb / with enough force / to wrench skin / from flesh / nail threading / through pith / like a body / shedding skin / like the quilts / a handmade shroud / of skin / peel muscle / from membrane / a puncture / […]

landscape nature flowers summer

Hay Fever

Rebecca Bailey Rude as dandelion seeds, yet you still grow,  The dock leaf to my thistle counterpart. For years I reaped, could not un-sow, The perennial of my fallow heart. The bloom of time won’t stop me  Crying your name (in Latin) to the others. But if bulbs don’t thrive, then let them be. Remember, […]

woman wears gold colored blue gemstone pendant necklace

The Conifer and the North Wind

Geraldine Clarkson He gave me a gift of needles bound round in banana leaves, fragrant, folded in coconut wood.  He came to me first in wafts of October storm, a hard-nosed North wind who sliced sideways  at new growth, shook cone-buds, rocked me till, maddened,  I smelt my own fragrance flying high around. I was […]

brown cattle on green lawn grass during daytime

Sturdiness

James Garza Q:   is there something erotic about destroying the environment?     A:          yes     we roll up our sleeves past the shoulder            & impishly                              plunge arms into                                                     the cow     our fingers meet by chance                           (in the reticulum)           & we look […]

Parent and Child

by Rebecca Ruvinsky A sense of living alreadyin the past. He is lookingat a dying woman whileshe is breathing. Eating.She can only eat soft food,but she tries some of his.Chews. Spits out what shecan’t swallow, but she livesoff of the flavor. Jokes, I don’t needthe calories anyway. Five years after the funeral, herson wonders if […]

Sun in Our Eyes

Rebecca Ruvinsky The audacitywas circumstantial: we didn’t know we wereflying until it was toolate to stop. Then, we’re hopeless, trippingover each other, fawn-like with our fresh wings. Gangly never suited youso well. We got used tothe shedding, to waking up with feathers in our hair.Your head was always upin the clouds in those days, and […]

Sitting on a Stool by a Bar

Jesse Millner Once I saw a man punch a homeless guy in the face.It was afternoon. It was the mid-1980s. It was a baron the near West Side of Chicago. It was Charlie’son Randolph. It was winter and when the homelessman walked in, the cold followed him the way it does,bringing that brief shiver before […]

Cosmic Lovecraftian Love

Wyatt Winnie Saturn ringsaround cul-de-sacs,adhesive radio wavesjamming, jamming transmissions fromNeptune to Mercury searchingfor staticky reception andconfirmation of alien life. She’s wrapped hertentacles around hisenchiladas, somethinghis friends can’t believe, not on Monday or Tuesday,despite the Wednesdayproclamation of his love. They’re just feelings,he says.They’ll go away. But on Thursdayhe’s swimming onhis motorbike ina giant spacesuit and eating […]

Corona Legal

Wyatt Winnie They’re out of horchata againand I don’t know how to tellthe othersI’m not Corona legal,at least not in this state anyway, seeing ashow I’m the only 17-year-old chillingat the adult school. But Laura knows,all 23 years of candy appleMexican lipstick and single-motherhoodpushing her stroller down Alhambraavenue with the vatos cat-calling herdespite her Gerber […]

Addressing her inner voices

Shannon Kenny I have a thick skinbut the patriots and bigotsare wearing it thin.The blood of the world is all over my phoneand laptopand my kid’s waking up.Be nice, assholesI’ve got a day to get through. Shannon Kenny is a writer and actor from Durban, South Africa. She and her family love to laugh. And […]

U.I.

Frank McHugh Universal indicator of right, wrong,good, bad, life or death. Of course,no-one nowadays can make a decisionso the digit wavers, not committing. Hitch-hiker’s appeal, texter, gamer,licked and sticked to seal the deal:pudding-prodder, opposable, appositegripper of handlebars and pushchairs,the more rounded of the brothers,Peter’s apostle, pollex, a page-turner. The mighty thumb has replaced conversation betweenmy […]

The Vampire Visits The Bog

Meg Mulcahy We sit ditch-side in curdled breeze and watch as curlews tango in briar and thorn. Bodies like mine are made of bogland, stacked and drying. Wind song of the rushes tussle breathes for me, stifled lest the world end. The vampire’s disembodied hands tell me nothing except that the curlew dwindles because of […]

There; Fixed.

Amanda Wilkins Our dirt smelled different, I say.Rust and library paste,Ground up talons and the blood of mice.Sure, it had the same grind, same weight, same color as mostBut,Ah –That distinct smell.“Chuh,” goes my shovel,And that sound takes me backTo the time you tore your yellow Sunday dress on the bridge,Over the creek, behind our […]

Last Night I Dreamed

Jesse Millner of Chicago back in the 1980s when I drank shots and beers with Polacks and Puerto Ricans in West Side bars, sometimes until dawn licked the city skyline, bringing meaning to the Sears Tower, 1454 feet tall, 110 stories of glass and steel rising above downtown as I lowered myself into the driver’s […]

Four Houses Ago, Early Morning

Sidney Dritz Ugly little dinosaurs, thoseprehistoric wonders onthe back porch, thosethree-toed feet pebbled andstrange in the sun, bobbingalong with those stunted,immobile wings, useless untilI open the back doorand the cat bursts outand feathers flutter in eddiesas they scatter and for a few feet, loud andungainly,those chickens fly. Sidney Dritz is (currently, constantly) reevaluating what to […]

Gavel

Eoin Devereux From the rough slanted fieldA streel of a scarecrowBears witness,To a brimful cup left on the doorstep,An extra place at the kitchen table,An empty chair by the fire,A crossed, still-warm, loaf on the slender windowsill,An offering to lost soulsWho sometimes passIn the night,Straying,Between here and there. Darkness drops early,In these quarter days,But, the […]

The Vagaries of Her Plot

Melissa Ostrom Will the child know what to watch forWhen she leaves her tame homeOf rosebud cup, glass ballerinaAnd broaches the forestWith her mission? Or did her father notWarn her, for fear of inciting her fear? Will your wolf exercise his duplicityWith flattery, an eleganceThat invites the girl’s vanityTo defeat her, or will he actOn […]

Night Cricket

Susmita Bhattacharya The lines are drawn with chalkon the tennis court. A temporary pitchis created. Lights hang from bamboo poles.Boys from across the neighbourhoodappear in hordes. Teams are drawn up.The summer of night cricket begins. The lads from Hindu colonyswagger in – defending champions. War linesdrawn with face paint,their bodies like coiled spring,swinging their bats […]

Faster than Fairies

by Frank McHugh The little burnt hands of the saintheld on tight to the railway power lineshis charred and tatty remains flying out behind himlooking fresh from some Sicilian catacomb,he was laughing and so was I.When I looked across the aisle he was sittingbeside a girl wearing a coat and a crucifixdrawing crosses and butterflieson […]

If Only

by Gina Harlow In another life I would have lived in Manhattanpoor but pores oozing with interpretation and trepidation,In exhilaration of the opera singer next doorIn another life I would have been born in Franceand made cheese on a farm,I would have drank good wine at a young age,and foraged for mushrooms and cooked stewsIn […]

The House on Chicken Legs

Stephanie Parent Her cottage prowls the forestOn legs of rubbery fleshClacking bonesPrehistoric claws It leaves footprints large enoughTo swallow a girlHood and boots and all Don’t bother to follow the tracks— The house finds you And when Baba Yaga beckons you insideThe birch tree by the door will tear at your fleshThe dog will nibble […]