Two-Shot, Add Steam | by Carleton J. Whaley

     And some would have described her as a girl with piercing blue eyes, but we knew she was not the Main Character, so we left off with that. Interestingly, the next customer was a man with piercing brown eyes, which we hadn’t thought of before. However, this observation led more to us discussing what piercing really meant than to our decision about the man’s status as a character. In that way, he was allowed to be more real than the rest of us.

     Should we consider the contest? That was what some of us wanted to know, to define the rules, fix them to the board and our minds. Unfortunately, the line was starting to get held up. We served them coffee. Some had tea. When they needed eggs, they were cracked. When they needed lemons, they were sliced. We did more sometimes, but that was the gist of it.
Continue reading “Two-Shot, Add Steam | by Carleton J. Whaley”

Delinquent Moon | by Rob True

Daytime is hell. The moonlight is mine. I could never sleep. Stood over my mother and father, as they slept. A knife in my hand, a tear on my cheek. I couldn’t do it. Along with the pain they caused, there was love. I knew they couldn’t help it. Dum and Mad.

I made friends with the shadows to stop the torment. Watched bubbles blow and flow on a breeze I controlled with my mind. I saw faces everywhere. Fiends. The creeps spoke to me.
Continue reading “Delinquent Moon | by Rob True”

I Always Have to Dig My Way Out of Every Bad Relationship | by Kathryn McMahon

     At midnight, he invited me back for curry, and I am a sucker for shy excuses. He never turned on the lights. We never had curry. I heard the scratching then but ignored it. I was drunk and wanted his pants off.

     I screamed, waking at dawn. A clear plastic tunnel ran over my head, around the room, and through the walls. Looking down at me was a penis with sawed-off teeth.

     “Naked mole rats,” he said into the pillow. He’d brought home that many women.
Continue reading “I Always Have to Dig My Way Out of Every Bad Relationship | by Kathryn McMahon”

Mail-Order Electron | by Brooke Larson

The electron looks like it wants you. Nothing flashes desire
like acrobatic ambivalence. Like irreconcilable cleavage.

You want an unfailing confusion, honest against you in bed. Not your
other half. Your inmost mosaic, your micro shatterings. Not a mirror.
An atom’s latticed window. Through it,
a tiny bird flying in every direction at once.

You send the electron an advance. Tell yourself it must be real,
it must be real, to account for missing
momentum, missing energy. Continue reading “Mail-Order Electron | by Brooke Larson”

It Felt Like a Secret | by Sam Frost

I threw up again this morning.
This hasn’t happened in months, but the burn feels the same as it always does.
Last night’s sandwich spurts, then drips, out of me: a fire that runs on it’s own because my eyes are shut tight, shoving out the light.
Wish it was a hangover.
Or food poisoning.
The flu, something I could cure.

I was a senior in high school when headaches forced themselves into my daily life, when I woke up with a little bit of the night before’s food stuck to my lip because the pain secured its place again. Caused me to perish. Succumb. Stay in bed. Cry. Run to the bathroom. Vomit. Sit with my legs crossed and stretch my arms over my head. Close my eyes. Focus on the pounding. Let it create a symphony made of pain, one that played only in my ear drums.

I’d think of the the pain, feed it like an addiction.
It reminded me to feel.
Feel always.
Feel deeply. Continue reading “It Felt Like a Secret | by Sam Frost”

Pharmakon de Medici | by Jen Rouse

237 cabinets.  You are a woman.  You are poison.  Thorned in this palm, a peony unfurling.  When there is a massacre, when the people split and the heavens hide their gods, you refuse to leave the throne.  At tea, the devil’s trumpet.  And all of the ladies unlace.  Just a little.  There hasn’t been a moment for breath.  And if they would call you a great king, cunt and all, would you accept the compliment?  But they will never.  Behind the first door is a pair of perfumed gloves.  A fork behind the second.  Some science that sounds like sorcery, third.  How dare you be Italian.  You are a curiosity in your own cupboard.  Bad mother.  And you are.  And you are not.  Belladonna.  Black widow.  When you prick your own finger, what do you taste on your tongue?
Continue reading “Pharmakon de Medici | by Jen Rouse”