“Time Sensitive” By Merrill Hatlen

If I’d known Robert Mueller lived in the neighborhood, my wife, Kat, and I would never have bought this place. Seduced by the real estate agent, who told us that this quiet cul-de-sac was populated by a “bunch of bureaucrats and lawyers” I thought I’d found hog heaven. As a writer, I need peace and …

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“Playing Chicken Eating Crow” By Janie Kronk

            “I know what you’re thinking — I don’t belong here,” Sam speaks to the portrait above the bed as though the woman depicted in it is the central antagonist in his life’s story. She could be a passive-aggressive aunt, or a confrontational spouse he needs some time away from. “You want me to leave? Well, I …

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“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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“The Ancestor” By Lee Matthew Goldberg

         Smitty runs a small operation. Not quite a commercial fishing boat like some of the others based along the dock that go out for days at a time. It’d been him and Old Charlie for the longest time. But Old Charlie’s rheumatism had gotten really bad and he’s known in town as a pretty miserable …

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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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“Cracked Sestina” By Paula K Lewis-Gamble

Danny says he’ll sell from under-neath me. Where does the magic gowhen the house is pulled away? Anyway,I believe him, so I stitch my lips tomy eyes by the corners, and scramble thelittle yellow suns with a pinch of black pepper. I walked into a purple-blackbruise again. He doesn’t under-stand why I can’t just be …

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“Help Me I’m Drowning” By Taylor Monet Welch

         The script reads:          “Acquire ecstasy from a homeless man called Static Pete”          He’s always happy to see me.          …          Let me rephrase.           He’s always happy to see the wad of cash I have in my hand.           But it’s nice to be wanted — even if it’s just by your drug dealer.           “Hey, Pete,” I sigh, …

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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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“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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