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Bad Optics

By Sara Dobbie     The new glasses are classic cat eye frames, black with tortoise shell temples. Andie arrives home, puts them on, and the world is immediately brighter; clear, crisp, bursting with life. She is walking around the back yard realizing how vibrant the flowers are, spots two squirrels sitting together in the…

Compost

By Thomas Kent West In the summer I started a compost. It stood at the back of the lot, out past the trees and the grass on the edge of the wood. It was a good spot because it was half sun, half shade, and the smell didn’t reach the house. In the compost I…

The Smell of Earthy Things

by Zoë Blaylock Twelve years I kept the dog for them. Then they took her back.  Twelve years of cradling her in my arms, feeding her from her own plate at the table, combing the neighborhood so she could sniff around. Expand her horizons.  Now I’m alone again.  It’s not just unfair. It’s criminal. But…

Daughter, Father

By William Kitcher Ekaterina sat on the steps of the courthouse and looked at the prison gates across the road. This was the day her father was being released. She had never met him. She was sixteen years old. Her father had been innocent, according to everyone in her town. The Tsar’s court disagreed. Alexei…

Love Can Be Found in AnyBODY

A Memoir by Sisi Afrika I am raised in a society that tells me what is right and what is wrong. This society is never wrong so if it tells you something is right, then it must be right. And if it tells you something is wrong, then it must be wrong. I am told…

Come Early Morning

By Amanda Norman She left her innocence in a vinyl board doublewide just south of that lonesome sierra, where stars shimmered shyly in the crisp New Mexico sky, where the Spanish monks chanted their Midnight Mass and the Natives bowed before Chimney Rock with restless arms raised, and tears speckled her glasses like desert snow…

The Icing on My Life Cake

by Nick Gregorio Bill was a vanilla birthday cake. Nice on the eyes. Tasty. But plain. And a little stale, to tell the truth. Genoise—Gen for short—was everything Bill was not and so much more. Mouth-watering, soft, sumptuous. The type of cake other cakes wanted to be. The type of cake to which humans assigned…

Delivery Girl

A Memoir by Dorian Burden The first money I ever earned was for delivering liquor when I was about eleven years old. Mom had phoned down for a delivery of her favorite Scotch from the store which was just an elevator ride and a few steps away from our New York City apartment building. Sam,…

Regurgitation

 By Cecilia Kennedy          Twisted and rampant with weeds and wild blades of grass, a flat parcel of land stretched lengthwise across from my house. A two-lane state route and barbed wire separated me from it, but I found ways to cross, crawl under, and sit before the towering oak tree, its…

Intersections

By Elizabeth Murphy Mrs. Wilson While Mr. Wilson takes raspy breaths on his nursing-home deathbed, his Mrs. is downstairs in the salon, head under the drying hood, curlers in her dyed brown hair, preparing for the up-coming wake and funeral where she’ll look her absolute seventy- eight-year-old-spring-chicken best following six decades of marital blah that…

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