Issue Eight

The Fix

The hallway was too narrow for so many people. I had seen most of their faces before, on the streets, under the overpasses, in abandoned houses, or here. I knew none of their names, but I talked to the guy standing next to me as if we were old friends. “I applied for...

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Skin Tag

The babysitter in our bed. She is smelling your neck, rubbing your nubby freckles along her snub nose and against her cheek. You call them freckles, but she knows they are skin tags, the extra bits of flesh people acquire with the years. Her dad has them too. Still,...

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Tulip Tree

Adam sat next to his dead brother and his dead mother at the kitchen table, poured himself a cup of tea and sighed. Mom pursed her lips and refused to meet Adam’s eye. Zach had chocolate pastry crumbs all over the table cloth and Mom hummed “The March of the...

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James Bond lives down the street

I see him crawling out of the house each day at seven. I wake up early to watch him. I then go back to sleep, until I hear her calling me for breakfast.  Expensive suit, black or blue in winter, beige or light brown, linen but perfectly ironed in the summer. I...

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Right in the Middle

Right in the middle of trying to keep the schnitzel from burning and the broccoli from becoming a waterlogged mess and while Lucy fed the goldfish and the guinea pig and the rabbit out the back and gave the three-legged dog a couple of Tux biscuits, and right as the...

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Fuchsia

The blades of grass ask the fuchsia plant about her heart. Wait. Go back. No one asks the fuchsia plant about her heart and still she thrives in the suburban backyard, fenced in and often overmowed, where the dog plays but knows not to eat her, and in the late autumn...

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The Clubhouse

The golf cart got a flat 20 yards past the eleventh hole, and three-quarters of a mile away from Frank’s now warm vodka Martini waiting for him at the clubhouse bar. They were only supposed to play nine, and Shirley always had his drink out of the shaker and fogging...

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Polly

My first GF and I ran away when we were 14. 8th grade, Unionville-Chadds Ford, PA, November 1993. We jogged in our Doc Martens and distressed HOT TOPIC flannels through the parking lot, over the football and track fields, and entered the woods. There were crackling...

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Take My Hand

You take two of my fingers and I follow you, that’s important, so when we swerve onto the lawn I see the same golden lion crouched behind the hedge, hot panting, moist nostrils, muscles rippling; snapshot perfect June day, wet rich scent of mown grass, wind rising...

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Damnation Memoriae

Norton Canes Motorway Service Station (Northbound) Helen saw him before he saw her – she was in the queue for Burger King, he was exiting the gents – which was fortunate, because at first she couldn’t place him.  After glancing around, seeming to search for a...

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Stepping out

The coat rack that once held the jackets, hats, and mufflers of her children now danced her across the room to the salsa beat of her Argentine roots. Her husband had been the last to go and still did not understand why he had gotten booted from the family home. The...

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Does It Have Eyes?

From a distance, they looked like rocks. Large, sea-beaten and sandy rocks.  A foggy day at Drake’s Beach. The sea was quiet and the world still. You could ride a bus to the lighthouse but the lines were long and we were only there for the day and who wants to...

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Steering the Whale and A feeling

Steering the whale. driving through town in a car with sunglasses, like steering a whale between reefs. earth laid out; all open, bare, all invitation. the sun drying rocks and passing girls in french summer dresses - sweet as growing fruit. the radio goes - talk or...

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Magic for the Embassy

A green wig on a willow stump. Dog’s blood in every catbrier berry. Trace of moonlight skint from a window. Rainbow pressed deep into a voice. The ambassador’s three daughters are whispering to their youngest brother’s ghost. The ghost is slanting an ember across his...

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The Carnation Cafe

The silverware in the Carnation Café had the thinnest metal of any silverware I’d ever seen I was surprised that the pieces we’d been given wrapped in a napkin weren’t bent My wife and I were out for brunch It was our forty-third wedding anniversary but it wasn’t a...

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Oasis

on winter afternoons the sea             her eyes towns imploding             nothing seems to add up implicitly we take...

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In Memoriam

She has long legs, wears a short black dress, and dark sunglasses. The direction of her head indicates she's taking in my pony tail, and baggy shorts. I see myself reflected in her shades—a stocky man with a septum ring.             “I want the words 'In Memoriam'...

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Nothing is Ever One Thing

The plane crashed into the mountain.  It lost altitude suddenly, irredeemably.  There was chaos in the cockpit.  Seatbelts clicked shut, oxygen masks dropped—a monstrous fiery blast... *** Roger, speaking in gasps after running through the airport,...

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Testimonial

My wife and I were drinking in the kitchen when our son drove the neighbors’ van into the living room. We polished off our round before heading in. Our eyes were, of course, in danger, but our feet were protected by Kore-X slippers. Kore-X slippers combine the comfort...

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Holy Moly

·1 mole, smoked with incense ·1 mole, whose sins have been washed away ·1 mummified mole, disinterred from the altar of an ancient church, after cohabiting, for eight centuries, with the finger bones of three medieval saints ·1 small family of moles, extracted from...

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This Is Me, Being Brave

There are things about my childhood that I’ve never told anyone.  Not even a therapist.  I’m not proud of this. When I was young, you did what you had to do in order to survive.  Mostly that meant staying silent, keeping your thoughts to yourself.  You lived inside...

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Meanwhilst, on the Isle of Langerhans

Miniature Churchill is born in Sheboygan, her breathing spouts intact. "She's perfectly formed," says a nurse. But the tiny prime minister is far from perfect: congenital mucklucks have grown like saddles on the ankles of her heart. The surgeon raises an eyebrow above...

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Lenticular Image

Start with fear Fear is a yolk sac in the gut. Focus on the screen inside it. On the screen, a baby. Turn it slightly to see the searing mark of a red-hot palm, soft skin about to bubble. Tell the story She bears a vessel to fill with fear. Tiny now, she takes him...

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Review of Walker Pass

I grew up on the western side of Walker Pass, and I crossed it thousands of times throughout my childhood, from home, to the desert, and back again. Five days a week, every week, beginning when I was five and ending when I was 18. And after that, I crossed this pass...

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The Okay Spa

“Oh-em-gee, you have to try the Okay Spa,” said my editor friend Nicole as we left the coffee shop. “It’ll relax you like never before. It’s…beyond.” “This isn’t a prostitution sting, is it?” I joked. She slapped me playfully on the arm, sending spasms from my...

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