“Rose (or something like that)” By Eleanor Rector

June 8, 2007 Her name is Rose. Or Emily. Maybe it’s Jessie. It’s something short, to match her pixie cut, dyed platinum blonde, drowned in bleach like the Hollister skirt she probably paid fifty bucks for, tattered with strands that knot like my fingers when she tries to talk to me. Jen, or maybe Kelly, waits …

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“Klarmen Mclean: Postmortem” By Emily Duggan

The river drinks me eyelids down, slurps me up ears-first, then my gaping lips, then neck, shoulders lickety-split, rickety-soft, gullet, gut, then what remains of my spider- web hips. Spits out the bones, porous, pinpricked. Then leans in and swallows me again. — I let it. — The patients left behind go, eventually, our separate …

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“A Young Woman in Dayton Makes Thanksgiving” By Devin McDonough

Soaked in infant tears and mushy sweet potato casserole Laura tries to wash her worry down the bathroom sink. Weighed down by obligation and a ring, stacking side dishes until they match her own heaviness: collard greens and macaroni and stuffing and pecan pie and Bella, six, saying Grace at the end of the table.She steals a moment from God, opening one eye to peek at her father attending church, Rejoicing touchdowns in the next room. Unkempt, William’s mashed potato belly hangs over unzipped jeans as he prays someone will shut …

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“Dad’s Library” By Kourtney Johnson

Shelved  Meme and I stood in the doorway of Dad's room, it was as if an invisible shield kept us from entering, the smell of old Marlboros still thick in the air. I stepped in slowly, navigating the multitude of clothes blanketing the floor, breaching my father's domain. Whether the piles were clean or dirty, I had …

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“Fentanyl & Cheerios” By Phil Lane

Like weather geeks before the doppler, we gathered in oncology to watch the storm spread to the spine, the pelvis, the blood, the bone. There were advisories and alerts, watches and finally, a warning: there is nothing more to do. After the metastasis, there was only denial and that plumbing smell of catheters and colostomy; …

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