Issue Twenty-Five

RADIO to KNOLL (a wordle story)

RADIO Again, I wake up to Adult Contempo. Taylor Swift eakling into my dreams. Why can’t I grow up, I say out loud to my husband, who is already in the shower, steady thrush of water. He doesn’t need an alarm. Love, he says, is what jets him out of bed. I want to...

The Migration of Marion Crane

In my other life, the one I never got to live, I’m a silver-haired woman with six grandchildren, and I love them all. Not in the precious, clinging way my daughter loves hers, or the office-manager love my son doles out in little chits, like badges for good behavior....

Tornado Warnings

           Here there are tornado warnings every other day. The winds pick up, the leaves spiral tightly around themselves. Shingles threaten to snap from the old family home. Every other day, she wonders which version of her husband she will receive, which version of...

Where Are We Going?

“Let each sentence ride its own bus.” Meg Tuite Each sentence rode its own bus, all headed for the same destination from different directions, at least that was the plan, but there was always the possibility that a bus would break down, or get lost, or mysteriously...

Face Mask

One day Brittany opened her boyfriend Shane’s dopp kit, searching for eye drops, and found a freezer bag, rolled up like a scroll. Inside the bag was what looked like a carefully snipped off face, with holes for the eyes and nose. The face was thin, yet fleshy. There...

what we are to each other and what we are not

I heard she’d been standing in her garden, observing the mint when suddenly her feet took root and she became all linden, no oak, lonesome arms twining. Dressed in black, I visited her. Brought a cigarette and poured beer over her bones. Curled around her trunk. The...

a reminder of room three’s august

i can too easily feel my teeth                rotting, feel the pulp ache to die off and the enamel begs to            strip      itself into the folds of my cheeks. i can feel my...

The Residue of Womanhood

Watching the smoke rise from the cup, the rim gives my lips something to hold. An Earl Gray tea bag hangs its arm over the edge, keeping itself steady in the milky water.  I cannot help but see the specks in this tea as little floating bodies moving their way to...

The ghosts I choose

You were a lighthouse like Antigone.  Coins pressed soft on each of her brothers' eyelids.  Protecting baby-boy from the bloody shock of his own bones.  Like medusa burying a snake from her head, you wrapped him like an umbilical chord.  To bury in...

After You Break the Ceiling

After You Break the Ceiling for Elizabeth For a while, you fall upward. Gravity is weird and different, unpredictable without the constant weight of competition and comparison holding you in check. Your body feels light then heavy then light again. You wonder if you...

Gravity

A penny glued to the ground is no different than love. Each a kindergarten lesson in futility and persistence. Chinese finger traps between us, our pulling brings us only closer, the gravity of us two planets drawing more near unwavering from our collision course...

Cold call

God, I’m expecting to hear from youAny day now, something winged alighting upon me,A Rush of Cochineal —The terms of the visitation I leave to your discretion. Superposition helps, as well as love —Though you must already understand, as you do the whorlsOf shells and...

The Ethics of Keeping Your Ex’s Vibrator

I’ve been thinking about the things I lose and the things I’ve lost and the difference between the two. Things I lose can be regained. I lose my chapstick several times a day. Within a few hours, I come upon it folded into the fabric of my jacket pocket or behind the...

A Perfect Day in Köln

As we greet him—Guten Tag—in the lobby’s intercom, we don’t know yet that Artur barely speaks German himself. Our couch-surfing host is a foreign PhD student—a theoretical physicist—and he gives powerful hugs. He obviously works out. He shows us around. He does not...

The Slaughterhouse Next Door

It was a scorching summer night, which meant we had two choices: keep the window closed and fry in our own sweat, or open it and allow the stench of death and decay to wrap itself around us as we tried once again to make a baby. When we moved into our dream home at...

The Woke Bros of Shakespeare Take Manhattan

Twelve larger-than-life characters queue in the wings – masked and appropriately distanced, naturally.  They’re ready to take the stage (pending enthusiastic consent from the stage) for a livestream ‘Broadway’s Back!’  performance/conversation entitled ‘21st...

Tell Billy To Do His Homework

You lose your virginity to the sweet, fast talking brunette girl from AP Calculus class, in the stacks of the high school library. You get married/break up. You lose your heart to the English Lit major who wrote her thesis on the importance of Precambrian quartzite...

Someday You’ll Ask About the Dog

You’ll approach me lanky-limbed and jaded, already wishing time would slow or stop, and I’ll suggest we pore over photos from when you were a baby. I’ll hand you my phone, and as you scroll through the years, you’ll pause over a series of images centered around a...

When Your Momma Leaves a Guardian Angel

Raylene lived with her Mawmaw in a weather-beaten house on a red dirt road where the guttural hum of a bluesy organ streamed out the open windows into the shimmering Mississippi heat. She was older than us, with Slinky-like chestnut curls that bounced like thunder...

Perfect Pitch

In the waiting room, we of advanced maternal age spy over barricades of open magazines. Which body among us will accept implantation? Who of our ancient sect will allow modern medicine to age us backwards, reproductively speaking? I count six, including myself....

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