To Maui

by Julia Wieting

about to boat the stars, then see
ocean lit back and under all comes
swell lap sail luff fish slap
forget land so dive in digging
anemone polyp he‘e stingray eel
display midnight diorama on deck marks
spot in salty footprint map Continue reading

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Songbirds

by Devin Murphy

The new house is a quarried-sandstone ranch built in the late fifties on a wooded acre with a serpentine creek cutting through the backyard. The great room has a pitched-ceiling and three walls of high windows that flood the cherry wood floors with light. You loved it as soon as you went up the driveway. She liked the open, well-lit layout, and you liked how the lushness of the property made it seem like there were no neighbors. You both liked the idea of your son playing with his dog in the large yard, climbing trees, collecting pinecones, catching crayfish.   Continue reading

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High Priestess Beatriz

by Amalia Bueno

Through the kitchen window’s faded
yellow lace curtains, a casual line ambles
down the sidewalk, all clad in black.
The women come, solemn, purposeful.
Some clutch closed umbrellas
this drizzly night, others bring food,
and each is armed with her own rosary. Continue reading

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Does Not Love

by James Tadd Adcox
(an excerpt from his debut novel, Does Not Love, now available from Curbside Splendor Publishing.)

Viola and the FBI agent have dinner at a sushi restaurant on the near west side. The FBI agent is saying goodbye to a friend of his, a white-haired but healthy older gentleman who is retiring from his post as judge. He had presided for more than a decade over one of the most prestigious of the secret courts.

“Many people believe that today’s secret courts, the ones that deal with Terror, are the only secret courts there have ever been,” he says. “But there are other courts, much older, much more secret, that deal with, for example, matters of the heart.”

“Like what?” Viola asks.

“Well, I can’t go into any detail, really,” the judge says. Continue reading

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The Garden

by Erika Mueller

All I wanted then was to fill my arms with sharp flowers.
- Eavan Boland, “White Hawthorn in the West of Ireland”

It was sometimes light and silent
ones who filled me like poison
wood, or Christmas rose. Their
choke juice like an even tempo.

Others crept in, their thistle jaws
like live wires at my throat, my body,
and their delight of undoing me. Continue reading

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