Olga was fast as a muscle car, one of those girls. There on Friday, gone by Monday to care for a sick aunt in Florida.
We knew better. We knew she’d be back in nine months, flattened, her brass tarnished. Smudged with the fingerprints of all who had driven her.
Sarah Freligh is the author of Sad Math, winner of the 2014 Moon City Press Poetry Prize and the 2015 Whirling Prize from the University of Indianapolis. Her fiction and poetry have appeared in Sun Magazine, Hotel Amerika, BOAAT Journal, diode, SmokeLong Quarterly, and in the forthcoming anthology New Microfiction: Exceptionally Short Stories (W.W. Norton, 2018). Among her awards are a 2009 poetry fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts and a grant from the Constance Saltonstall Foundation in 2006.
One side of his syrinx trilled a curse to his family’s murderer. The other warbled his children’s favorite melodies through sobs. His friends comforted him but discouraged his screams: “You’ll die, by predator or exhaustion.” He always replied: “Can’t die. Already dead.”
The humans nearby praised, “Pretty bird. Beautiful song!”
Nature both terrifies and captivates boomer trujillo. Find more of his work at boomert.info.
Sometimes the debt would appear as a massive sinkhole in the living room floor, one into which he dreaded he might one day dive, to be chewed up and consumed within the abyss of its distended belly, the monster’s savage lips smacking sharply somewhere miles above.
Sometimes he ignored it.
Ran Walker is the author of fifteen books. He currently teaches creative writing at Hampton University in Virginia. See more at ranwalker.com.
Rose sat in the part of the park that light didn’t reach. Around the edges, people moved like ghosts. The odd sound of laughter crossed the air, where she received it like a lost language.
Beyond purgatory, buses went to places that didn’t exist anymore; cafes, bars, cinemas, and home.
Patrick Mc Loughlin is an English Language Teacher in Ireland and dabbles in writing. He also dabbles in painting and music and someday hopes to do more than dabble. He lives in the west of Ireland where it’s hard to concentrate.
The dead got up from the battlefield. Some played with their wounds. Others witnessed the horror of what they had become. As they walked away a young private looked back and saw their bodies where they’d fallen and sighed, “If all this is for that, why did we bother coming?”
Connell writes a bit and no more.
The painter painted the world black. Black trees, black grass, black clouds, black tomatoes. Van Gogh-like brush-strokes, thick with sorrow, melted around us. Even little girls smiled with teeth black as watermelon seeds. Everything so biblical we ran to the river to wash away our sins in dark, inviting waters.
Jim Doss lives with his wife and three children in Sykesville, Maryland, and earns his living as a software engineer. He has previously published two books of poems: Learning to Talk Again, and What Remains. In partnership with Werner Schmitt, he also published a book of German translations entitled The Last Gold of Expired Stars: The Complete Poems of Georg Trakl 1908 – 1914. In his spare time, he is an editor for the Loch Raven Review.
The tide of approaching adulthood pulled them from my shore. Strolling slowly where I once set a brisk pace, picking up random shells, desperate for some word, all I get is static. Then a familiar voice, almost forgotten, asks why I expect they’ll return when I never did.
Lee DeAmali keeps the porch light on.
A stem. A swirl, a sniff, a sip, and a sigh. The luxurious liquid flooded down his throat. This was what he lived for, what he worked for. To travel and taste the things he’d enjoyed for decades in their place of origin.
It wasn’t new, but it was novel.
Daniel Thomas is a creative freelancer in the NYC ad industry. Beyond working and writing, he can be found reading, cooking, playing hockey, and wishing he had an apartment big enough for a dog. A big dog.
“It’s from the Mexicans,” she explained, slicing the cake.
“Mom,” I protested. “They have names.”
“I can’t remember…”
“Hugo and Gina. They’ve lived next door for more than a year.”
“They’re nice,” she admitted, “but I don’t let them in.”
Later that afternoon, the “For Sale” sign appeared next door.
Tony Jasnowski teaches English at Bellevue University in Bellevue, NE. He is grateful for those neighbors who welcomed his own immigrant parents and siblings many years ago.
Knitting knitting knitting.
It grew. It grew. It shifted slightly just that way and became a caterpillar.
A fuzzy caterpillar.
It slept straight through the pain, the breaking, the making, the knitting into a new life.
It emerged, for beauty.
Quite by chance, Plum Kennard has been around quite a while and is happy to be in this world. Her work reflects her delight in the magical moments of life, but also the grief & loss a long life brings.