Flesh and Blood by Karen Stefano The boy stands before the mirror, the blankness of his own face a canvas, something to crave, to desecrate. Fingernails scratch, puncture, strip away fragments of flesh. Blood trickles. Pain like a caress.
Confessions of The Lovestruck by Leland Cheuk 2001 China launched an unmanned spacecraft named Shenzhou 2. Apple debuted iTunes. And Carrie Kahl auditioned for The Lovestrikes. I remember it better than the day we heard “Blood Hunger” went platinum. She had jet-black hair, blue eyes under thick mascara and eye shadow, and lipstick the color of pork’s blood. She wore denim shorts cut off at the knees and a tank top made out of an XL t-shirt with the sleeves […]
Good Egg by Shayne Terry We answer within one ring. Don’t worry about being fast. It happens automatically. A window opens and there is a person in your ear. The ring is just to warn you. You’ll know the name by the account on the screen. If you can’t pronounce it, just say “Sir” or “Ma’am.” Most of them are okay with “Sir” or “Ma’am.”
Vaults by Theresa Hottel At first I think two children, but they are secretive and vulnerable adults. They come in around 4:00pm, when the summer heat outside just starts to simmer and turn gold. He’s older than her, but they have that sly look of sweethearts, with his one hand tucked around her waist and her leaning like a blade of wheat into this touch. While their eyes adjust to the dim interior I stare boldly, which is my right […]
Don’t You Swim? by Sara Lippmann If she’s smart about it, Nora can survive the whole boat ride without incident. The boat, a 60-foot catamaran, accommodates 12 other families. Plus crew. Equipment, buffet and bar. Maybe, it’s not even him, standing in line at the port with his wife, her straw tote and rash-guarded twins. His Dartmouth cap a giveaway, but maybe, he won’t recognize her. Abortion Roy. She will hustle to the stern and slather sunscreen on her children, […]
I Become An Ambiguity by Jared Daniel Fagen I. Fracture It would be the longest plane ride I would ever take. Later on I traveled, but never did I achieve that distance again. There is no memory I can invent, no shame to give origin. Neither a resemblance, traits I could with accuracy trace as I aged. I knew only what I would not become, what I would repudiate, loathe to be. It was too late for me. By now […]
From the Void I Saw Your Face by John Englehardt Something is wrong with your marriage. What that thing is, you don’t know. It can only be clarified by petty grievances. The actual problem must be some singular misunderstanding buried under an old road you’ve repaved. You can’t navigate it because you don’t know how it used to look.
So You Want to Start a New Walden by E. Thomas Finan Realize that this is only a matter of starting: Thoreau’s enterprise was an experiment and a quest for beginnings, so this is the aegis under which to advance.