Nonfiction

I saw a pork tenderloin as big as my face, saw two hundred crows in a tree beside a sandwich shop, saw a field look green where all that yellow met all that blue. I saw a church from a wooden back pew, saw the stitching of a mat as I bent my body forward, saw flashes of white from running too fast and too far—but it was always the same. I never felt new. There was never something there that hadn’t been there all along.
Still Things by Amy Butcher | Brevity

I can comprehend a universe of fruit and fire, a life measured in mouthfuls and handfuls. I can weave my soul around it and throw my magnificent shadow over all else.
Sweet Little Comforts by Jalina Mhyana | Identity Theory

You will not realize it then, but something changed when you jumped. A release. In the future, when you do things like jump from waterfalls and move to a different country, you will look back on this day and understand. You will feel a part of you still swimming under the surface of this lake. But for now, you will come back above water and see that your friends are midair and falling.

Lake Lot by Kelsey Camacho | Portland Review

————

Fiction

There was the satisfying thunk as the knife became a heavier weight in her hand and torpedoed, as if by destiny, into the heavy wood cutting board in front of her. She thought to herself “cut.” She may have actually said “cut.” And then an uncertain silence fell between them because what more was there to do or say?
The Last Night They Spent Together Before the Separation by Susan McCarty | Wigleaf

William, who had read the briefing materials thoroughly, knew it took the babies as many as seven days to claw their way to the surface. Soon the dark beach was covered with small disks struggling off in every direction. He knelt down and began to turn them methodically toward the sea. When the group within reach was off to a proper start, William sidestepped to his right, knelt, and began again.

Stations Of The Terrapin Cross by Nancy Graham | Paper Darts

Maybe Alice asks her friends with children or godchildren or nieces about schools, which are good, which are bad, but doesn’t worry too much because the girl is barely a girl, not actually a kid, a young woman, an adult, basically, so Alice leaves her to her own devices, just gives her the things she thinks are most necessary in life: a bank account, a key to the apartment, a library card, an explanation of how the transit system works, a lecture on how to handle yourself as a woman on the city streets.

Maybe The Girl by Rumaan Alam | Necessary Fiction

When Nadine was told, she said nothing for weeks. She was taken to the main hospital for special treatment. Six ECT sessions were prescribed and when she returned, she’d chopped her hair, smudged raven’s lipstick on her lips like a charred clown and talked slowly and deeply as if she were underwater.

Go Wild in the Country by Alan McCormick | 3:AM Magazine

In their third-story attic-apartment, Moline sits at one end, Jack at the other. It’s a living room now, a kitchen too, maybe. And between them everything: the coffee table, the television, the book shelf twice filled, the floor lamp she dragged home from a yard sale insisting it was safe so long as they never left it on or plugged in, the hamper he just that morning filled, the cupboards and the counter tops, the range, the garbage can, the fridge, the broom and the bags wedged beside the fridge. Count the things between them.

Broken or Just The Facts by Hazel Foster | >kill author

 ————

Poetry

My big sister taught me
the word “fuck.”
I’d tried
singing it operatically,
while dusting furniture.
Operatic by Meg Pokrass | Cosmonauts Avenue

how beautiful it is
that the roots of my hair
do not know your name.

it takes practice by Charlotte Foreman | Metazen

I am using the candles on my
twenty-first birthday cake
to burn “grow up” into my knees.

The Dust On This Poem Could Choke You by Lora Mathis | The Fem

I know I should have moved it at first light,
scooped matted hair, dried skin, disjointed limbs, and tossed it off the pier to feed the crabs.
But once you’d peck my cheek on your way out,
my day’s task was keeping blood and bones
together.

Last Love Poem by Mary Ann Avallone-O’Gorman | The Lindenwood Review

I was Galileo
with the pads of my fingers for telescopes
and I trusted her skin like he trusted the planets.

Sunlight and Sleeplessness by Bekkah Olson | Metazen

But sometimes I am thousands of pounds of bent metal and railcars and nothing but a disaster on the tracks.

I forgot to tell you, Lover, that coffee tastes better out of ceramic than Styrofoam, and that the days that I drink my coffee black like the clouds are the days that I miss you the most.

Things I Had Forgotten to Tell You, Lover by Lauren Griffith | The Fem

 

————

Hybrid

Why is it that every time a boy wants my pants off, he starts talking
about the Velvet Underground?
it’s a lou reed pool party by Victoria Linhares | Metazen

You and your partner go to see the film The House We Live In. You ask a friend to pick up your child from school. On your way home your phone rings. Your neighbor tells you he is standing at his window watching a menacing black guy casing both your homes. The guy is walking back and forth talking to himself and seems disturbed.

You tell your neighbor that your friend, whom he has met, is babysitting. He says, no, it’s not him. He’s met your friend and this isn’t that nice young man. Anyway, he wants you to know, he’s called the police.

From Citizen: An American Lyric by Claudia Rankine | Graywolf Press

I think they broke me, Dad. I think I drink too much and it’s because they broke me. I heard about two girls recently, two women crushed like cherries in a boy’s jaw. It opened me, Dad. My body is melted wax, it is ripe and stink and bent. It is a mistake. I walk like an apology. I don’t hate men, Dad, I don’t. I want a washing machine. I want someone else to do the dishes, someone to walk the dog.

communion by Jeanann Verlee | [PANK]

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