Issue Twenty-Three

A Monstering

a You will ignore the monstering at first. At least you’ll try, until you can ignore the growling, and the teeth, and the decay no more. But before that you will change the sheets on which your best friend sleeps--sheets, you think, although it’s only a folded piece...

Reasons for Taking Drawing Lessons for Beginners

SPEAKER 1Twenty years in an abusive relationship. Washes of indigo. The fade to yellow. How beautiful the colors of blood beneath skin. Art sustained. Hasty lines scratched on the backs of grocery receipts and construction paper hands. These lines are all I have now....

Home Invasion

In the winter of ‘95, junk invaded our neighborhood. It moved into our front yards at night and stayed. A gleaming sink appeared on my lawn with ‘free to a good home’ scrawled on the wooden backing. My good home already had two sinks. Didn’t everyone have sinks? We...

Goodbye

I was stoned the night he arrived at my apartment to take me to a performance at the local theatre, forgot about our plan. He could tell and I could tell my not-remembering crushed him. It was shortly after mum left and he was holding tight to what he could—his kids,...

Generosity

I die, and when I’m a skeleton I try to put myself back on the dating scene. It’s messed up how many people still reject you, even when you’re dead. So, many dark months later, I go to the salon, and I get my phalanges painted bright crimson, very stylish, something I...

1957: The Scientific Method

In July, its leash twisted by an hour of pacing, the boy’s beagle leaps off the porch and hangs itself. In August, a sixth-grade neighborhood-school classmate, swimming alone, slips under the murky surface of a strip mine pool. In September, the boy begins junior high...

Etymology [edit]

Main articles: deck chairs, rearranging (disambiguation) Holdings [edit] It’s a common misconception that Rome wasn’t built in a day. [1] By midnight that first night they were hastily pulling down regrettable statues of their already corrupt leaders, bought out by...

I Love Being Gay

I love being gay. I love spending twenty minutes moisturizing. I love carrying my phone in my hand like a little coin purse. I love poppers. I love incense. I love drama. I love starting phone calls with GIRL and biiiiiiiitch. I love songs that are just one command,...

Into the yawning silence and Lullaby

Into the yawning silence Between thoughts and stolen glances, love wants to be fed, boil into the mouth swell the veins down the neck, tattoo the burning chest and coil like baby snake into the fork of the stomach. It craves to fatten inside your body, the ribs of a...

He was a Woman

The world was visible from two empty eye holes in the human skull. Small round, wet movie cameras served as eyes and recorded everything, saving valuable clues in the bony recesses for later reference. Delicate plastic shutters clicked when he closed his eyes. Tiny...

Svalbard

I nearly went to Svalbard. That was before the news feature on the shot polar bear, the result of an ice safari. I was off to a conference on darkness. I didn’t see the foxes on the tundra, the aurora, or hear the paper on Verdi’s operas. I didn’t buy a passport, told...

Ten Amazing Facts about the Human Body

A teenager has two hundred and six bones, ninety-four less than she had when she was born.             If you stretched her blood vessels from end to end and joined them together, you could loop the filament over...

Hom, or Someplace Like It

I know I’m being followed so I scoot into Hom furniture and pantomime a little showtune past a couple who are mid-argument near the sofas and theatre seating to dispel any cringe the 5-inch scar swathed across my head is itchier than a mug and reminds me to check in...

Inlanders

They are waiting—they are watching from the lake of the dead. I dropped off grid, dumped the vehicle, crossed over to Indian land, asked permission to stay out here (on the edge). They said okay, as long as I didn’t bother anyone and paid rent. I said that sounds good...

Sweet Insects

Best not to use this video, it contains the word cancer which can be triggering for some. Cancer triggers another triggers another. That is how half my mother’s family died. The other half only half-dead. Half-dead in that their bodies are limp, though they power...

Expatriating Down a Rabbit Hole

I was beginning to get very tired of sitting secluded in South Korea and having nothing to do and was considering in my own mind (as well as I could, for the hot day made me feel very sleepy and stupid), whether the pleasure of going down to a gathering hosted by my...

Grown Home

Fire in the bookshelf,down low, askingHow long will you keep on asking?My hands never grew completelyeven into the waiting. Waterfalls without a tongue.It's sick to be alone in this roomand not recognize anyone.Imagine the beast shot, turning.Empty heart.I lasheduntil...

All That You Lock Out At Once Rushes In

The cry came from downstairs like before, waking him. It had been so long, he wasn’t sure it was her voice. The bat reached the top of the stairs as he ran into the hall. He was certain it would fly into his face and overcome him, leathery wings wrapping around his...

The Price of Freedom

In a world without water, gold dust is only dust. In a house without light, a boy stands on tiptoes to sweep high ledges, sneezing in disturbed plumes. His knees are bruised from stone steps and his wrists are chafed by imaginary cords that keep him indoors. Some days...

The Breach

She’d long since despaired of his return, but the press of his rough fingers on the small of her back, the smoke and salt of his lips, were imprinted in her psyche despite all efforts at forgetting. She’d waited for the groan of the fickle doorbell until waiting...

Crop and Delete

You crop and delete the pieces of him from your life slowly but with perseverance, until two years later there’s nothing left. There’s no new recipes stuck to the fridge, no Heinekens left on its shelves. No more expensive coffee taking up room in cupboards, no soya...

Big Rig

Shitcanned, just like that. After eons working nights (data entry) at the same Travel Center in the same Unincorporated Area, stealing glances out the plate glass at all those headlamps strung East-West along the freeway—real speed, real wheels. Not a nickel in...

Bar Mitzvah

The day my father lost his voice speaking Hebrew, no one laughed, silence like a foundation, airy as the firmament. This day he was born, he was made to choose his mother, accept the father letting go: Blessed is He who has now freed me from the responsibility of this...

After Maybe Four

A familiar figure comes huffing it up the horse run bisecting farms and gardens out here, this clearing in the green we call it the Bridle Walk when, wow—it occurs to me that wow, the whole of a life might reduce to its regrets. Or to its mistakes, like to its...

Advice: Grandmother to Medea

Come. Walk with me. Yes, into the woods. I know it’s late, but there are things I must teach you now. First, be healthy. Walk one hour every day. Enjoy the sun on the Black Sea. Walk alone or with your hound. Yes, I too love Dragon’s happy trot. Note the colors of the...

Blastoff From a Sad Fake Planet

The stars on the ceiling were pressed on, some cheap glue sticky enough to hold. We arranged a tent of sheets for our ship, and when my brother held me down and put a knee to the pillow over my nose, he said, this is what it feels like in space. I knew it wasn’t real,...

Give Me a Minute

I tell her, let me just breathe for a minute. But all she says is what? Always what, what, what. I say it again, but it feels pointless. I can breathe without asking. But the pain feels physical – like its in my chest – spreading down my arms and into my lungs. I bend...

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