Bye, bye…

Miss American Pie.

Don’t whisper.

White heat.

Excuse me while I break this chair.


The levee is extremely dry.

The trees will burn.


Sparks crisping against grey skies.

Snow melting around my feet.

Fusion of wires. Meltdown.


— Rose Mary Boehm


A German-born UK national, Rose Mary Boehm lives and works in Lima, Peru. Author of two novels and a poetry collection, her latest poems have appeared – or are forthcoming – in US poetry reviews. Toe Good Poetry, Poetry Breakfast, Morgen Bailey, Burning Word, Muddy River Review, Pale Horse Review, Pirene’s Fountain, Other Rooms, Requiem Magazine, Full of Crow, Poetry Quarterly, Punchnel’s, Avatar, Verse Wisconsin, Naugatuck River Review, Boston Literary, Ann Arbor etc.

Maddie Boyd

Letter to Rome


Back home, opening

an old letter

I received from you,

the front of the envelope,

post marked 1931

address washed out,

sent unspecified like

artifacts to archeologists.

The neatly folded paper

inside, written upon

graph paper of rectangles

I imagine it bears

news like I got a week after

I left you. Paul committed


suicide. maybe I love

history so much

because I like to see

that people get through

horrible events and

seeing blood, toothless

nooses, brackish intent.


I miss you.





The modern art is an opening act

for the Sistine chapel.


After the school of Athens

and the heavenly patriarchs

there are women painters,

artists questioning paternity,


maybe    just before the stairs

a painting shows the train

tracks into Auschwitz No

names it’s called, the white

lines leading into

darkness, the darkness covered

with numbers. A9448, A3769, subtle in the

foreground, glaring as your eye moves up

into the gloaming.

A foreboding yellow spot

on the top of the canvas reminds

of death.

The dead who have no names,

yes, but also the living that

were turned into numbers.


Most of the people around

move quickly towards fame,

the show’s zenith,

unsure if they recognize this image.

These very same who walked over

the swastika mosaicked

on the ground of the Hall of

Constantine the transience of

signs. Alteration, like with a dress,

has possibilities of beauty or disaster.

Rebirth not always positive.


Now we move from dark into

light and “remain silence please.”



Maddie Boyd

On This Harvest Moon

On the first day of winter, I watched the Anne Hathaway movie “One Day” with our kids.  It’s about  Emma and Dexter who, the night  they graduate from college, go to her room and try to make out.  He is drunk, but Emma, although she is fascinated by him, agrees that it is best for them to just be friends and they fall asleep.  It is July 15th and for most of the rest of the movie they meet again on that date for twenty years in various places and for various reasons. Though clearly in love, they are often angry with each other because they live such different lives. Emma, a teacher, has an alcoholic boyfriend. Dexter becomes an annoying T.V. personality who marries a woman who cheats on him. After his divorce, they finally admit that they are in love and they marry.  They are happy and hope to have children, but one evening when  Emma is riding home on her bicycle, she is hit and killed by a garbage truck.

She is shown dying in the street, then there’s a flashback to the morning after they first met. They wake up in bed together and are embarrassed and apologetic. They decide to take a walk on the mountain which overlooks Edinburgh and realize that they want each other. They race down a hillside covered in wildflowers to his hotel, but find his parents waiting for him there. Once again they are embarrassed and they say goodbye, then more goodbyes, then, I’ll be seeing you.

I remembered warmer days, happier times and your favorite song, Neil Young’s “Harvest Moon” and the line, “I want to see you dance again,” and I started to cry for you and for me and for Scott and for Haley and I hid my tears from them. It was 4:00 o’clock and already dark. Outside a cold winter moon was just rising above our bare deck, cleared of summer furniture. I put on the Bears game, gathered up the chips and the salsa I had made with the small remaining tomatoes from our garden, and took everything I was able to carry into the kitchen where we made the lasagna you had taught us all to make.   

Charles Kerlin

Charles Kerlin is a teacher of creative writing and American literature at Saint Joseph’s College in Rensselaer, Indiana with a Ph.D. from the University of Colorado. He was a graduate student for two summers at the Iowa Writers’ Workshop. He has published a half dozen stories, won the Hopewell prize for a short story judged by Alan Cheusse, book editor for NPR. “On This Harvest Moon” came from the experience of watching One Day with my children on the first night of winter.

The Squirrel

An indistinct sound of struggle was what made Lydia look into the barrel of nicotine colored rain water out back. A glistening head, pointy at the tip, was poking through the gelatin surface, paws frantically treading water. It was about the size of a large rat and she realized it must be a squirrel. In fact, it must be The Squirrel – the one who was always skittering around the house, looking in her windows.

The last time, she’d been in bed with a married man. He’d reached over to stroke her thigh and a slight movement had caught her eye in the window. Maybe it was the apprehension about getting caught, but the squirrel had taken her by surprise then too. Perched on the sill, its unabashed gaze cutting past the peeling paint, the underwear turned inside out. It was holding a slice of pizza in its little fingers and munching with no particular interest. “Enjoy the show,” Bill said, but then had chucked a work boot at the window.

Now, she leveraged her own work boot against the hefty barrel and tipped it over. The water spread soundlessly, the squirrel catching its breath against the side of the house.

Valerie Borey 

Valerie Borey lives in Minneapolis where she writes, teaches, and otherwise probes rabbit holes and random tangents. Her creative work has appeared onstage at various venues and in publications such as Diddle Dog, Heavy Glow, American Nerd, The Festival of Awkward Moments Anthology, and Better or Worse: The Anthology.

The Very Last One

Statewide alert: White female, 14-19 years, brown hair and eyes, last seen walking alone in Forest Park. The Rangers’ Hut is considered the likely destination. May be wearing red raingear. Wanted in connection with possible wolf sighting.

Lynn Bey


Lynn Bey has had short stories and flash fiction published in The Literarian (nominated for a Pushcart award), The Brooklyner, Birmingham Arts Journal, Two Hawks Quarterly, Marco Polo Arts, Prime Number Magazine, and several other magazines.

Found Money

A five-dollar bill. Fluttering there on the sidewalk, yet miraculously motionless in the early-morning breeze; flapping just enough to attract her attention without flying away.

Her foot clamped down upon it, hard; she squatted down fast and dug it out with greedy fingers; crushed it into a ball and stuffed it deep in her pocket.

It was barely past dawn. Nothing was open. Joan wondered who had dropped it, who had been benign or foolish enough to toss away five whole dollars as if it were nothing, as if it meant nothing. Ah, well, he or she would be thinking in self-consolation. It’s only five dollars. It’s not life or death.

She glanced at the barricaded door. The curtains hadn’t been drawn yet, but the familiar sign still stood in the window. Breakfast, two dollars. Coffee, eggs and toast. She almost smiled. She sat down on the sidewalk, waiting. It smelled of stale vomit. It wasn’t hers, she knew. She’d been down the road a ways when her last meal had come up on her.

There was a click and the door opened behind her. She jumped up and ran inside without speaking. She laid the bill conspicuously on the counter so they would know she had the money. They were very kind. They brought her extra coffee and packets of jelly that she ate plain when she ran out of toast.

It lasted longer this time, and it stayed down longer, too. But she was sorry because it came up right next to the library where liked to spend the rainy days. Still, it was something, wasn’t it? Finding five dollars. Not a matter of life or death, maybe. Not just yet.

Lori Schafer 

Lori Schafer is a part-time tax practitioner and part-time writer residing in Northern California. Her writing has appeared or is forthcoming in The Springfield Journal, The Berkeley Undergraduate Journal, Every Day Fiction, e-Romance, The Pittsburgh Flash Fiction Gazette, Romance Flash, Leodegraunce High End Flash Fiction, Vine Leaves Literary Journal, Every Day Poets, Ducts Webzine of Personal Stories, Separate Worlds, The Journal of Microliterature, Avalon Literary Review, and that’s Life! Fast Fiction Quarterly. She is currently at work on her second novel.

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