The Interview

Tell us about your scar. Does it hurt? Only when I smile. I suppose it has a story? Yes, but not a very interesting one. I have another. Another scar? No. Another story. Would you like to hear it? Please. Our readers would be most interested. I was nine. There had been an accident. An accident? Nothing serious, I hope? …

George Perreault, Featured Author

The Last Time I Talked to My Mom   She’d flown to Florida just to die, not that slow- motion movie crammed with insights and coming- to-terms, me on the edge of the plains hearing how one brother and his wife went bedside, sang their newest version of psalm twenty-three, another one praying sweet Jesus how can I compete with …

Flotsam

“This started when I moved to Amy’s house,” Judy said, as she and James set out for their evening stroll. It was the same stretch of the East Coast Park that they had walked every evening, for the last forty-seven years. James was still in his work clothes, a navy-blue Coast Guard uniform. Judy wore a beige top over black …

Ray Malone

mea·sure 135   mind on the line, ear to the note’s approach, the hand must needs be steady, body too―eye blind, to all but time’s inscribing       mea·sure 557   one slip of the tongue, the world’s awry, away over the hill she went, the words said, and the damage done, the cry too slight, too lame, too …

Beth Sherman

Strangler Fig   After midnight you set out, some on foot, others hiding in the back of an old pick-up truck. Fate is the string on a paper kite, caught in a strangler fig tree. Tangled, useless. Root stems grafted together, merging each time they touch. Noble and strange. Twisted. Overhead, a crescent moon, sharp as a sickle. Its hook …

Funeral

I first met him when we were high school freshman. I liked the coltish limbyness of him, his pretend exasperation with the things I said. I knew he liked me too. A decade later he called me because his mother was dying. He took me to lunch.  I wondered if he could tell I still felt the same. He asked …

Kelly R. Samuels

Asomatous   To have it, be it those mornings when you wake and cannot turn your head. The stiff column of your neck & spine reminding you they exist & of how limited peripheral vision is & more so as we age, the eyes becoming nothing but slits, wide-eyed wonder no more than a phrase. This is when you wish …

Kelsey Ann Kerr

High School Lunch My father made me a sandwich for lunch every day, carefully put the turkey, cheddar, lettuce and mayo on the sourdough, then zipped it up in a Ziploc.   And every day during orchestra, I slipped the sandwich into the whooshing plastic of a black trashcan, or palmed it off to a friend. Those feinted days, when …

kt farley

Clear Night   The first time she fucked a machine, there was some uncomfortable pinching.  But it was momentary, corrected after a few thrusts by a data-driven recalibration.  The second time was much better.  The machine had measured her depths, tested her temperature, listened to the tempo of her breaths, and now it slid into her with the smooth precision …

Maryann Wolfe

Guidelines for Eating   Do you like peas? Do you like rice? asks the little girl in her highchair.   Maybe it’s when we are her age that we first learn the truth about food. It’s when we make our choices to be eaters or starvers in times of crisis.   “Maybe you didn’t grow up that way,” he says, …

Rebecca Buller

Azalea Martine’s Daily Schedule   Every morning at 6:30, Azalea Martine wakes up and throws back the covers. She opens the blinds and windows before freshening up in a bathroom with walls the color of sun-bleached grass. At 7:10 John Martine watches his wife, Azalea, make oatmeal and bacon for breakfast while he taps his fingers on the tabletop and …

Samantha Malay

Albany   for a while he worked at a school up the road and told us not to talk to the boys who lived there but trouble started inside our house   the hole in the rug the beet-stained cloth the dark-winged insect in the unslept night   haste hid his plan and a dearth of kin like the letters …