Can boogeymen and fluffernutters, scraped knees and coloring books, times tables and video games, homework assignments and roller coasters, algebra problems and iPhones, fumbled kisses and glimmers of the man to be matter if they all lead to a momentary miscalculation of speed and distance on a bicycle at night?
Robert Markovich spent a lifetime in what is charitably referred to as service journalism, writing and editing stories about everything from cars to toilets, most recently at Consumer Reports. He is happily and gratefully retired.
I warn her not to over-water the plant in the window, but she insists that more water is needed to reach the roots. This is just like her: to do a little too much, to love a little too hard. Just like that plant, one day I, too, will drown.
Ran Walker is the author of 22 books, including the 50-word story collection THE STRANGE MUSEUM. He teaches creative writing at Hampton University in Virginia.
Nancy vanquishes electronic rejections from lit mags, slays alumni newsletters, and eliminates campaign letters.
They call her, “Dear Nancy.”
She prefers Nance, Nanny, old nicknames conveying light footsteps, laughter, whispered secrets. She wishes they’d ask about her worst day. Her favorite movie.
Empty spaces taunt.
Full inboxes hide so much.
Yash Seyedbagheri is a graduate of Colorado State University’s MFA program in fiction. His work is forthcoming or has been published in WestWard Quarterly, Café Lit, and Ariel Chart, among others.
A bright morning
The blue skies and waves
Toes in the sand
I sip coffee
As two children
Search the shore
“Hey dad look”
They call out all the marvels they explore
Dad oblivious with cellphone to ear
Smiles and nods
From a casual stranger
Sometimes life’s moments get lost.
there’s no art in hate
and no joy in ignorance
no racist haiku
we have to uproot
racism, sexism, &
stand up to fascists
resisting all racisms
whenever they rear
sweet, gentle being
cops killed him nevertheless
racism is wrong
we must have racial justice
to thrive together
Dan Brook teaches in the Department of Sociology and Interdisciplinary Social Sciences at San Jose State University.
When the lion emerged from the quarantine, he sidled up next to the lamb.
They had lunch together.
This happened before its time, contrary to Messianic prognostications.
Some say it was a hoax.
Some say it was a miracle.
Some say the vaccine.
Hard to know the truth these days.
Linda Vigen Phillips’ poems have appeared in The Texas Review, California Quarterly, NC Poetry Society Award Winning Poems 2001, Wellspring, Main Street Rag, Independence Boulevard, and The Whole Idea. She has published two young adult novels in verse: Crazy and Behind These Hands. She lives in Charlotte, NC.
First night back, I ditch duffel and boots and fall asleep on the floor by his bed.
A click in the dark wakes me. Beside me he sits, Nerf gun in hand.
“What’s up?” I ask.
“Keeping you safe,” he says. Tilts his head at the darkness under the bed.
Graham Robert Scott’s stories have appeared in Pulp Literature, Nature, Barrelhouse, and others.
stands a man
clad in iron skin,
sheets of copper
draped over shoulders,
taint of green eyes
barren of thought
told to kneel
before the man
would have had me in shackles
and as empty in thought
as the monument
standing before me
Eric Persaud fights for public health.
After Rapunzel donated her braid to Locks of Love, her head felt too light, like it might float away.
They called her selfless, saintly. They praised her for her sacrifice.
She couldn’t tell anyone the real truth—that she needed to learn who she was, without her hair defining her.
C.M.F. Wright writes sentences that occasionally turn into stories. Her short stories have appeared in Syntax & Salt Magazine and in the VSS365 Anthology.
Such meticulous planning: poignant prayers, elegant oak casket, extravagant flowers. All ruined.
Overlooking the river from the flower-adorned hill, the plot I picked had guaranteed eternity with a view.
And what did those imbeciles do? Lowered me in backwards. Now I face eternity gazing uphill at my own rotting feet.
Jenn is a former English teacher who has only recently entered the world of writing. She decided to begin with flash fiction and has quickly fallen in love with the crafting of very short stories. Jenn is a Scot based in Manchester, UK.