Issue 5Spring 2017


ENJOY THE CLAMS by Robert Long Foreman

When Claire traveled, which she did often, she left a message in the bathroom of every hotel room she slept in, for the eyes of whoever stayed there after she had gone. She would write it on the mirror, in big letters, with a bar of soap, smearing the soap thickly onto the mirror, then […]

PHONE CALL by Dorene O’Brien

When the phone rang, Connie froze as if she’d been caught, her arm elbow deep in a family size bag of Skinny Pop. No one ever called Connie, and as she stared at the offending device she wondered, ironically, what type of person still called a landline. She ignored the jangling until it ceased and […]

Interviews and Extras



The weather forecasters called it an Arctic Dome, but those of us who lived in northwestern Wyoming that winter pronounced it colder than a well digger’s behind.  For seven days the mercury in our thermometer never ventured above zero, even at high noon.  Snow squeaked beneath our boots.  Ice draped windows so thickly one had […]

ON THE RIVER by Beth Konkoski

The river stands still, a mirror for the full night sky and the clouds passing, turning by degrees from black to gray to flat white as they move in front of the moon and take in her light.  Even the river’s main channel, the parent bed over whose banks the water poured when power dams […]


LEMONS by Sheikha A.

I look at reflections through a plate; this is what it’s come down to for not having stepped out since their gardens aren’t for chaste lemons; plants on this turf have not seen weightless days under the sun. The sky hangs them like unfallen rain waiting to be picked, nights scrape their faces for zest […]

CAESURA by Willie VerSteeg

Most every night as a teenager: my face lit by television, dull and pastel glaze  molting from the small screen. Common comedy. Late-night talk shows with scripted jubilance.  Hard not to see these evenings  as wasted, spent knelt at a vapid altar.  When the shows melted into infomercials,  I’d roll my unfinished body in the […]

THE DIAGNOSIS by Brittney Scott

From the winter’s blue dark, the crows floated in through the open window where my mother and I slept in our shared bed. They came and burrowed under the quilts, one on my chest, embracing my heart. My mother laid motionless. She did not cry and in the blackness I strained to speak but my […]

ONLY ONE by Elizabeth Vignali

He’s the original Adam, cable-knit sweater pulled down over his missing rib. He’s thinking about ending things with Eve—not because he doesn’t love her, I mean God, look at their history—but because he can’t remember what it was like before he had this slack fleshy gap in his bones, a tender fontanelle that seems to […]


The ryokan owner brings our breakfast: morning kocha tea, loose, strong and floating in our own pot, rice bread two inches thick, our own orange toaster. My mother and I pick tea shavings from our tongues, grasping at this needed taste, nostalgia in silence, studying the Zen gardens in the courtyard, the sunlight, the shadow-bodies […]

UNDERDOG SONG by Willie VerSteeg

Cicadas ambled up the tree, branches straining moonlight on their glinting shells left behind now, clinging to the bark, furrowed racetrack abandoned for the air. How the race must have changed then, above the squashed red-yellow drupes.  Think of the one  who led, euphoric in first place, only to see another soaring off, to hear […]


She is frightened. Surely, something has happened. She has just come from somewhere where something has happened. Hands at her face, holding her spinning head. She is flushed, pinch-browed, squinting hard out onto the water. She is not alone: there are men mere inches from her mouth, simultaneously shushing and asking what has happened, shush, […]

GARDEN PLANS by Jennifer Weiss

After the doctor went over the scan of her bulbous right kidney, I carried Mom home on a jonquil-hemmed road. I offered her water and dealt out seed packets like Tarot cards. She selected arugula sugar snap peas and white icicle radishes. We decided to sow them on Saturday. We’ll save spinach and bok choy […]

THE HEIST by Bayleigh Fraser

Tell me the one where he tears you open like curtains, where there is never a window & he still climbs inside. How he writes letters on your walls with the soft scratching of fingers, reeds riding a wind that doesn’t know how to stop. You hear voices this way: scrape, scrape. Brock. Brock. Say […]

WHY I LEAVE THE HOUSE EARLY by Babette Cieskowski

She never turns off the coffee pot. Black and boiling, an empty glass bomb slowly warming to a pending fire. When I turn it off she shivers, says it’s too cold for her to consider, then blames me when she burns her tongue. Next time I’ll let it sit, sip my mug from outside. Watch […]

Stage/Screen Writing

THE NEXT TABLE by Bridget Grace Sheaff

Two cafe tables sit side by side onstage. TOBY is already seated at one table, his back to the other table. ERICA sits in the seat directly behind him so they are back to back. When she pulls out her chair, he turns around, they make brief eye contact and share a smile, and then […]

The Writing Life

Packing: Writing on the Move by Ada Limón

It’s evening and I’m packing for an early morning flight to New York City. Tomorrow I’ll join a large reading focusing on love and hope (something I need more than ever these days), then I’ll host a reading celebrating the work of the writer Rigoberto Gonzalez. I’m used to travel. I can even say I […]