“A Blood of Bottles” By Deborah-Zenha Adams

The vultures on the riverbank pay me no mind. I’m mobile flesh and my height barely equals their wingspan. Neither treat nor threat, I don’t deserve their attention. Vultures are carrion eaters, feasting upon carcasses that litter the land. They like their meals dead, slightly tenderized, and ideally herbivorous. These vultures are gathered on the …

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“The City is Different” By Maureen Mancini Amaturo

         Waiting for the city to be alive again. Staring at the clock, sitting at the window, watching only empty things take the place of the crowds. A taxi, is that a taxi? No passengers, though. Oh, another car, but just one. No line at Starbucks, no seats on the train to fight for, no MetroCard …

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“Island Papergirl” By Karen Bowers

         Every day of the week.          Every week of the month.          Every month of the year.          There isn’t any job comparable to daily newspaper home delivery. Even post office couriers swiftly completing their appointed rounds through snow, rain, heat, and gloom of night get time off. Holidays too.          For three years I tossed newspapers, folded and …

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“What Went Wrong in America” By Dan Cardoza

         As I cross Alameda and head toward Main, in the near distance, I see an unkempt man on his back, passed out on the sidewalk. He’s pissed his pants. Legs tucked up, his knees pointing to Venus, an hour before she’ll appear.          Next to him, in an upside-down cage of a shopping cart meows an …

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“Secondhand Grief” By Madison Block

Halmeoni          The English language has more than a million total words, but somehow it is still not sufficient. There is no English word to describe the feeling of missing or grieving for a person you have never met. There is no word to describe how I feel about my grandparents in Korea, whose names I …

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“Eat, Sleep, Thanksgiving” By Elaina Battista-Parsons

On my way through and down and over the country roads I imagine what our world would be if we could truly replicate Thanksgiving all year. I’m not talking about being grateful. Not that there’s anything wrong with being grateful. I’m implying there’s something more. More than a day, it’s a condition, complete with smells, …

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“The Fifth Season” By Robert Detman

         To escape from the smoke, we had to get closer to the fire. It’s a paradox that I did not dare try to explain to my eighty-four-year-old father back in Michigan. Since the early weeks of the pandemic, we’ve felt trapped as if in a bunker. In California, with the unprecedented fires, the environment has …

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“the tarnish beneath the gold” By Sam Kaspar

The table was the size of a majestic west-coast hardwood trunk, and for £110,000 it was all the more intriguing, what powerful consequential people must have dined at such a massive table historically, or now if some wealthy person bought it as a trophy for a near-vacant mansion. It was my first and only time …

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