Issue 13Winter 2021


Rogue Valley by Midge Raymond

IT WAS THE FOURTH OF JULY, and when he showed up it was still early enough that the heat hadn’t reached triple digits. The dry lightning–sparked fires that had burned for weeks across the border in California were still smoldering, sending russet clouds into a bloodshot sky. The mountains were nearly invisible in the haze. […]

Social Studies by Stephany Brown

  NEVER USE THEIR FIRST NAMES, the trainer said, and don’t tell ‘em yours. You call’em Inmate Zamora, Inmate Kavanaugh, Inmate Benally. That keeps ‘em in their place. They hate that word “inmate,” so use it to your advantage. You’re the alpha dog here. You’re nobody’s friend.  You don’t get chummy with these scumbags — […]

Interviews and Extras


The Summer of Disappearing Moms by Kristin Gallagher

IT STARTED THAT SUMMER with Bookie & Reynaldo’s mom, the one with blonde hair who looked like T-Boz from the R&B group TLC. The boys and their mom lived in an apartment down the street from us until one day their windows were boarded up and they were gone. My friend Nina, who had a […]


Brooklyn by Roy Bentley

Give me your weary-to-the-bone American Dream myth and I’ll give you the cab driver in Boerum Hill, Brooklyn who says that he’s a secular Muslim, Ottoman Turkish, and not the sort of man who spray-paints Allah Akbar as imprimatur on the brick street beside the Paris dead. But, instead, the sort blathering on about the […]

survival float by Rachael Gay

With my arms clasped across my chest, wrist atop wrist bitten fingers emboss bloodied half-moons onto crisscrossed palms. I try to achieve buoyancy, name this practice absolution, the conquering over the waves. A man passes by, smile reaching all the way to his gentle eyes and asks me if I know that I’m signing the […]

Touch Starvation by Rachael Gay

It is safe to go outside so I brush my cats on the rusting balcony to avoid their winter coats matting into the fibers of the carpet. I pull away handfuls of white watch the morning breeze blow it away like a cottonwood snow imagine a bird’s nest made only of fur delicately woven together. […]

Last Seen Leaving Campus with Unnamed Male by Mary Wolff

Outside the search area, a wheat field whisks away sound. A cross on a collarbone shines in sunlight like an unseen beacon. When the wind blows over her at night does the wind know she is already gone? Does she know? Of course not. Death only troubles the living left behind to feel it. Beetles […]

A Marriage of Lies and One Truth by Mary Wolff

The night we first met, I wasn’t living in a ‘78 station wagon lurking in the playground shadows of the parking lot. You weren’t drunk that night when you told me what love meant and that it most resembled me. Wind on my face doesn’t remind me of the summer nights I’ve surrender to wild […]

The Only Girl I Ever Loved by Camille Ferguson

You had the heart of a hummingbird, the tongue of a hornet. Sweet sting. I tried to be a flower for you, or a nectar. Sickening. I can’t help but be attracted to disaster. You had the hands of a sculptor; I placed myself between them, wet clay. I wanted you in me ……………maneuvering my […]

Yard Sale by Claudia Buckholts

I select a dented copper kettle, a silver fork …………..scrolled with acanthus leaves to add ……………………….to the anarchy in my cupboards. This cream pitcher etched with trailing vines, …………..inscribed Mark and  Janine, 1991, could ……………………….hold miniature roses. On a rack I sift through a jumble of silk dresses, …………..threads secreted by caterpillars who ……………………….gnawed mulberry leaves, […]

Death in Autumn by Claudia Buckholts

A garden wheelbarrow fills with rain, worms escape their drowned burrows, a toad squats on flagstones, expelled ……………from its leaf shelter. Inside her house, I clean every room, scrub bathrooms gleaming white, while rain traces patterns on windows, ……………focuses the light. Goldenrod sways outside the nursing home under gold-leafed trees. I sort her clothes, sweaters […]

Morning at Starbucks by David Joplin

You see them at Starbucks scrambling below patio tables searching for pastry crumbs. These are the Brewer’s blackbirds, the English sparrows, the common grackles—disenfranchised souls bereft of countryside and village green. Some limp on deformed feet; others hobble on one leg, victims of urban treacheries. I watch as a Brewer’s blackbird struggles beneath my table; […]

Reconciliation by Ayesha Asad

I have space in my heart for two trees, uncoiling. They look as though they’ve been twisted in summer, in peace. In mourning and defiance. I see them in the Saturdays we spent breathing out flies, sucking sand into our throats. The air smelled of honeysuckle and weeds and I found myself looking up to […]

Stage/Screen Writing

Antartica by Anton Dudley

CHARACTERS: PATTY – Female, a faded beauty. JOHN   – Male, her husband. POSTMAN  – Male.  Early 20’s, careworn yet idealistic. SETTING: A Desert.  Nothing but sand.     JOHN and PATTY sit on lawn chairs, fanning themselves.   PATTY It’s hot. JOHN Mm. PATTY Do you remember when we first came here? JOHN Mm. PATTY […]

The Bee That Declared a War by Cary Simowitz

CHARACTERS Tiffany Yamón Upchurch                 23 Years Old. Black. Joshua Aaron Rosenberg                 27 Years Old. White. Time December 2015, Around Midnight Setting and Context “The Rochester” is based on a real apartment complex in St. Louis, Missouri. Between late 2015 and early 2016, ownership of “The Rochester” changed hands. […]

The Writing Life