“Grain” By Durell Smith

Alone with the films I don’t remember. Blue heavy air rests on my face I’m trying to bring out unintelligible noise like two cats fighting in the corner of my bedroom. It is the math. The dissonance of my imagination but I couldn’t believe the same words were pulled out of you.  Waiting for letters while diadems of flowers are formed. They are worth …

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“Crushed Crickets” By Hamza Naseer

In my silent meditation, hushed words quiver and mutter, begging for release; to be unleashed from their confines —rattling their chains in a crescendothat cannot be left unforeseen or unheard. I bend my head to these words. The trees prostrate themselves before the figure that is formed. The date is chewed and shared with the …

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“The Last Letter” By Charissa Roberson

Wait a moment.The boys are laughing outside,Chasing leaves through the dust.Pale leaves curl around the sill,Like fragile ears bending to listen.I have your words in my hand.They weigh heavy. Just paper,A bit of ink, traced there byA cold and trembling hand.Yet I feel worlds between my fingers.Not just this one, but the next.I have always …

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“Sitting with Aunt Laverne” By Lyndy Berryhill

I always wanted to go to a summer camp like kids did in the movies. The thought of lacrosse in some New England landscape was alien to every summer I endured. This was southwestern Mississippi in the 2000s; we walked upstream in our creek looking for crawfish, the stream cooling us feet-upward. The sun’s oppressive …

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“Falling in Love with Teeth and Coral” By Penny Senanarong

The merchant was taught—ever since she was old enough to fear anything—that monsters could walk in daylight and nightmares could wear the skin of normalcy for a short time before slipping back into the depths below, shedding their masks as night falls again. So, when she was roused awake by a stranger knocking on the …

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“Recursion” By Jacqueline Donofrio

It was a summer of lemons and cherry pits. Desire set ablaze with firefly circuits, Crushed garlic hands that never pulled back. The heat was so heavy that it all melted, Blood orange sunsets and watermelon clouds smudged together and there you were holding bolts of lightning between your teeth. You were a secret language …

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“The Quiet, The Fisherman, The Mud” By Yasmeen Mughal

I always liked the quiet. The dull roar of an AC, pumping air that circles my body, a table, a sweating beer. I close my eyes and meditate on the noise, slowing time until it becomes my own, something that I can catch between my thumb and forefinger, like the wings of a bee—my mind …

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