Distilled Spirits

Erin Gautsche

What we’ve become after
the sweet fruit lost first blush, left to

rot at the jar base (glass house, open
world) darkened and heady with invisible

Fortune

Ivy Goldstein

Boarding to Siyang is called. It’s early morning, and the bus station is filled. I have to push through the crowd to reach the doorway where my bus is waiting. Everyone is carrying red plastic bags filled with food to give— fruit, peanuts, seeds. I am carrying my own plastic bag containing ten oranges and ten bananas. A middle-aged Chinese woman stressed the importance of

Hoffman, the Spiritualist

Ron Savage

Hoffman’s wife, Tookie, died last week. She used to collect loose hair from her brush and comb then burn them in a glass ashtray: this isn’t related to her death, Tookie just had a ritual. She kept the glass ashtray on the porcelain toilet tank under a small Monet.

The bathroom still has a burnt hair stink. Hoffman is touching the ashes; he rubs them between his thumb and forefinger. They feel talcumy.

Counting Pennies

Christopher Schwartz

it was her idea to count the pennies
the promise of a piggy bank
the sorrow of shattered porcelain
red copper bleeding onto

Cheesesteak Heaven

Kathy Anderson

The cops were hungry. They had stopped for salads two hours earlier. Now they were hungry again, so hungry that instead of listening to radio calls or watching what streamed across their computer screen, they were daydreaming food, both of them picturing bags stuffed with burgers and onion rings, flipping the lid on a pizza box and smelling that beautiful grease and cheese.

“I want . . .” Nilda said.

Sago

Charles O'Hay

Today
we measure time in breaths
the swing of rusty gates
and the tune of the stonecutter’s chisel
The ground gives birth.
The ground gives death.

The Littoral Zone

Beth Feldman Brandt

It is not the easy choice
to live between the tides.
To fast forward through
four seasons in a day –
hot, cold, drenched, dry,
breathing air and water,
anchored against
the turbulence of
shifting sand.

Death Reels

Liz Dolan

In daylight

we, the privileged of 615, dared Julie Lundy from 621
to peer through a chink in the cellar door to see
Mr. Mulligan suck fluids from the dead

Local Author Profile: Greg Frost

Philadelphia Stories

I don’t consider myself a science fiction writer. I’m a fantasist, which means that almost everything I write has a fantasy element, but only perhaps a quarter of my fiction can be classified as science fiction. Most of it is just “weird” fiction. My novel, FITCHER’S BRIDES, is a historical dark fantasy novel based on the Grimm’s fairy tale “Fitcher’s Bird” (a variant of Bluebeard); my novel prior to that, THE PURE COLD LIGHT, was a science fiction novel set in an alternate Philadelphia; and the two before that, TAIN and REMSCELA, were retellings of the Irish Cu Chulainn stories and thus categorized loosely as “high fantasy”–which means there were swords and magic. I’m hard to pin down, which explains my life of abject poverty.

Pieces

Betsy L. Haase

If summer was breaking plates, what then was spring?

A time to keep moving. One deliberately placed foot at a time. A left step followed by a right. Learning what the phrase “going through the motions” means.

Begin with the occasion. A blue linen cloth covers the table. Your mother ironed and starched the embroidered daisies into submission. The candles flicker.