Issue Seventeen

Nocturnal

01:14 It’s a survival adaptation. A habitual practice. Or maybe I just prefer the milky light moon to the blare of the sun. The way the iridescent fog of my cigarette blurs out the blooming stars one by one by one. It’s easier to think in the dark. I’m hylocereus, I’m...

35 Variations

1. Alphabetically: AA B C D EEEEE F H J NN OOO RR SS T U W Y 2. Anagram: O, we seafarers enjoy techno dub. 3. Lipogram in d, g, i, k, l, m, p, q, v, x, z: We can bed heroes, just for one day. 4. Lipogram in a: We might be heroes, just for one sunrise. 5. Lipogram in...

The Fire Comes To Play A Song

Janice and I find a room at the Motor Derby Inn a few towns away. The fire is still coming  but we are safe for tonight at least. A thin woman with a fake tan and a tired face at the front desk frowns when she tells us they don’t normally allow pets but smiles when...

Vancouver Island (1990s Give & Take)

When I am nineteen, you let me go. Until then, you keep me in your rocky shores. I explore your roads on foot, on hitch-hiked rides with strangers, on bikes found in back alleys. You give me G and G gives me a plate he makes in pottery class with his beach-tanned...

Slap Shots

“Your lifeline is long” Leslie says, “but you have no fate.” She’s holding my palm in hers, tracing with her cold fingertip things I can’t see. My friend Maggie laughs, and then takes a shot of vodka, and then slaps herself in the face....

People Like Him

# Only runners and cyclists out early spot the first coyote in the middle of the street. Startled, they keep moving along the lakeside road, later not sure what they saw. Coyotes haven’t been reported around here for several years. It must have been a rangy stray,...

The Last Time I Spoke to Ma

I got the call in the middle of the night of my 30th birthday and knew it wasn’t good. Who calls to wish you happy birthday at three in the morning? I wished then that I’d married somebody so they could pick up the phone and say I wasn’t home.    “Hello?” I...

Beast and Bride

George’s widow lives inside the dragon he killed. The ceiling is its ribcage, the plates are rainbow scales, the knife she uses to cut steak a single white tooth. The house is full of corners, sharp, glistening, seductive. Some of them are still smeared with the blood...

Losing Mama

Mama took Little Lola to the Field Museum weekly. Two girls getting out, she said. We don’t need Papa. So Little Lola spent hours in the diorama hall drifting alongside arranged landscapes. Each nature display attracted her like a department store window, teeming with...

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