Along The Way

David Floyd

Like the way religion gets in the way
of the spiritual, and the habit
of honesty gets in the way of truth,
I have gotten in the way of myself.

Dipsomaniac

Tamara Oakman

I worshipped them,
my new deities;
Mr. Jack Daniels,
Uncle Smirnoff,
made an altar
with empty shot glasses

Ceres’ Lament

Sandra DeRose

I have mis-carried three babies in a field of wheat,
laboring hope from my hollowed self: coleoptiles,
those budding leaves and lives in protective sheathes.

The Miracle of the Milk Cans

Susan McKinney de Ortega

Luz blessed the day her neighbor, Don Chuy rolled-over his milk truck. Nobody would ask for an accident like that, but now, years later, she knew Don Chuy blessed the day too. It was the day he was miraculously spared from the jaws of death, the day the Virgin spoke to him.

Petals Mark Our Paths

Margaret A. Robinson

It’s a chilly day, but despite the cold, a guy stands at the intersection where drivers wait for the light. He’s selling bouquets of long-stemmed red roses, the kind men who forget may seriously need. The kind my aunt sent for my father’s funeral because, as she wrote, “red roses are for someone you love.”

Jersey City

Emily O. Wittman

The projector’s charm is Cary Grant’s
tan. Although James says Hitchcock
was a little weird with colors.
Grant wears an antiseptic suit
in cobalt (weird) that shouts:
This is the fifties, we are mannered,
my waist is trim and strong

Field Trip

Greg Downs

As soon as the bus driver pulls the door shut, I drop into an empty seat, pressing my head against the glass, closing my eyes so I can’t see the girls waving their arms out the windows, muffling my ears so I can’t hear the boys chewing gum. Mrs. Harden and Shanna are standing in the aisle, delivering their speech about good behavior but I’m thinking about bad behavior, about Shanna’s body, which I can see even though my eyes are closed.

Violets

carol brill

My father closes the refrigerator door and takes seven steps, so I know he is halfway through the dining room when he lets out one of those long-winded farts to beat the band. The shuffling sound of socks on tired linoleum tells me he is doing the victory dance he always does when he thinks he has outdone himself.

My friend Debbie mouths, “Yuck, gross.” She knows better than to make a sound.