The Receipt

George Fenton

Like I usually do at the end of every day, before making the climb up my apartment building’s steps, I reach into the breast pocket of my denim jacket to find my apartment key. Sifting through loose change and tangled headphones, my hand wades through my pocket until the cool brass surface of the key […]

Ode to a Flamingo Bag

Beverly Jean Harris

It’s a comfort to know someone who’s as neurotic as I am. My friend and coworker Jane gives me that particular solace. Jane, like me, tends to get too attached to inanimate objects. I am, however, trying to change. My husband, Walt, and I married three years ago—a first marriage late in life for both […]

Clerestory

Melissa Stein

By the roots of my hair some god got hold of me. I survived that voltage and barbed wire. Now each day is clerestory, each night a palimpsest of scars. The militia pulls on its boots and waits. On the altars, doves peck each other bloody.   A spider traverses its unseen wire in the […]

Secrets    

Lisa Grunberger

1.   When my Father was moving from being to being nothing I was about to go for a bike ride.   His right hand rose up from under the blue blanket as he patted the bed for me to sit.   I sat and stroked his face so thin and unshaven it appeared slender […]

The Last Time I Hung Out With Baby D and Them

Sakinah Hofler

The twins— those grinning gangsters never seen without chains tethered around their necks and wrists, hold gold guns that glisten against the clever silver sky. Do you want to hold one? I grip the grip and for a moment I get deer hunting—that transition from boy to man or even girl to woman, like Latonia […]

naps

Sakinah Hofler

at pathmark, you would sneak bottles of pantene pro v shampoo and conditioner into your momma’s shopping cart and each time, at the register, your momma would notice and tell the cashier you can take that one off, and each time you would scream, I wanna have hair like those women in the commercials! and […]

Afters

Elizabeth Langemak

Two days later, the surgery is already a moon landing, and I’m its plowed landscape of proof. In the bathroom mirror, my belly’s all unwavering flags and stitched tracks on an aching, windless set.  The Betadine sticks – a mustard slick – for a week, and I don’t know what to do with the photos: […]

Race Was Not a Factor,

Carlos Andrés Gómez

they said. He said, It looked like a demon. It charged [him], like [he] was five, It Hulk Hogan—   two legacies ghost-stenciled into concrete, one shadow sifted into ash. He sleeps at night—No regrets. His family certain as the closed lid of a coffin they will be safe.   It happened, he says, It […]

I Have a Father, I Have a Thousand Fathers

Lizabeth Yandel

They were telling jokes on T.V. late at night. They were driving the school bus, lifting me to drinking fountains I couldn’t reach. They were talking too much, telling us to quiet down, they were fixing broken stairs, they danced when they were drunk, cried when no one was around.  They sounded like smoking lungs, […]

Spear Side

Chelsea Whitton

Your lopsided father stuck the loose stars to your sky one summer. Even now they glow up there, as if, like you, they are still dumbstruck by the memory of his hulking grace. With one foot on the bed, one on the chest of drawers, his finger pressed each phosphorescent shard into eternity, too high […]