Issue 11Winter 2020


Tooth & Claw by Renay Costa

JENNIFER SCANNED the waiting room of her dental office, dividing the patients into predators and prey. The compact man seated against the front wall, with the completely shaved head rolled back and legs spread a foot apart was definitely a predator, likely a dominant male leopard. The lithe woman on the left side, with cheesegrater […]

Sleepwalking by Kevin M. Kearney

1. FOR A WHILE, I forgot that I was a sleepwalker. I went a few years without an episode, to the point that my wife only learned about it after we’d been married. It was unavoidable: one night she found me forcefully removing every item of clothing from my dresser. “I tried to talk to […]

Interviews and Extras


Basil by Jackie Kenny

I BUY A BASIL plant for the summer. The plant had stood alone, perched on a barren shelf at Trader Joe’s—lush, a tempting canopy cloud of green. I do not expect it to last the summer, not weeks of leading hiking and camping trips for middle-schoolers throughout the High Sierras of California. But my heart […]

Maximum Compound: Valentine’s Day Belongs to the She-Wolf by Stephanie Dickinson

  Clinton, New Jersey   She’s really beautiful. Can you find some I Love You Cards and send them to her and just sign my name? I have a teddy bear being made and a matching ring earring and necklace set. –Krystal Riordan, Inmate #661387   & Seen from the air, the Edna Mahan Correctional […]


Contact Lenses by Betty Rosen

(1) it is a tongue holding itself like an ear. its rims can’t keep their shape. they lisp into the mattress, leave the sheet apostrophed against the wall, head slapped, gagged in froth, dreams tipped, bound in bruise-fade.   in the morning it is an eye. it draws white-flash fences on its locked doors. where […]

the next field over by nicole v basta

unlike borders, etched in the earth                                             with a knife, headlines are often written delicate; a fuse, a blast, a city that was                                       and they soften the blow in a language today’s dead never spoke.                                                              i am reminded words always translate when buried in the earth […]

the next field over (2) by nicole v basta

like monarchs bitter from all the milkweed hope, in its before-form, is only a measure of protection i swallow, drink from wind. how i squash that same old, same old tamp it down with the tin. maybe it’s best to not turn from the truth but truth is really just what sticks best like beggar’s […]

Letting Myself Go by Sara Moore Wagner

There was a moment, in fifth grade. I, sitting on the floor next to those metal and plywood desks, waiting for the bell to ring me home to my mother, home to the street which was flooded so high I could go out in my bathing suit and lay in it, could forget about my […]

To Mellow His Meltdowns by Tom C. Hunley

Our son twists his face into the panicked look you might get right before a car crash as he stomps his foot and says Your mom’s 
gonna get raped and you’re gonna cry and we wonder where he heard that. His behaviorist told us to whisk him off to his room to mellow his meltdowns, […]

Traps by Kelly Weber

after I was diagnosed       &         my friable red gut leaked blood like a new animal I’d grown I came home to learn how to sleep & to name Crohn’s & you should ask someone out to coffee everyone said         &       an ampersand looks like a pregnant belly the […]

Queerplatonic by Kelly Weber

if I wrote you a love poem : you would have pearls at your wrist and teeth at your throat : wolves have suckled you : in my love poem your skeleton would be soft as a pulse : wrapped in blue rain : fox skull socketed with yellow coneflowers : in a house filled […]

American Mother by Elsa Bell

The phone rings. Automated call trying to sell me a cemetery plot.   The procurement form is due today and my aunt fell and broke her collarbone. I must get some soy sauce and salsa for the week. The kid texts me a little heart. I am about to text him back but the dog […]

Stage/Screen Writing

In Character by Kate McMorran

MEL, 22, is alone a rehearsal space in NYC. She holds her phone in her hand. She is waiting for someone. After a few beats, STEVE, 40s, enters. Whenever possible, Steve should cut off the end of Mel’s sentences. Mel immediately stands to greet Steve.   MEL Hey man, thanks for meeting me. I know […]

Ryan and Alice? by Libby M. Gardner

Production History: Ryan and Alice? had its world premiere on June 2, 2016 at the Cincy Fringe Festival, Cincinnati, OH (Andrew Hungerford, Artistic Director). It was directed by Emma Miller; it was produced by Carly Mungovan. The cast was as follows: ALICE…Julia Greer RYAN…Aaron Lynn   Characters: ALICE (19, female) RYAN (22, male)   Setting: […]

The Writing Life

On Listening by Patricia Powell

I’ve been thinking about the community we create in workshop every week, coming together as strangers meeting for the first time, and undertaking the tasks of listening, of turning a critical eye to the work, of sharing ideas, inspiring each other and creating an environment that is nurturing and intellectually stimulating.  I’ve also been thinking […]