June in the Badlands

by Rachel Jamison Webster

Submerged in sun, white
as from a flashbulb—

a faded Ford truck blue on gray road,
a driftwood barn splintering horizon.

We are not the blindly enduring, we are
those who won’t lay down our burdens Continue reading

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The Beaches Of

by Johnathan Harper

In the divide of pavement and sand stands a sign with a stick-figure drowning under white waves, the words: “Beware of Riptides.” Parents keep their children close, distract them with scarping shells from the strand, the salt grime wrapped to their fingers. Two brothers sit in ankle deep water, the one that’s seven has his arms wrapped around the waist of the younger to anchor him. They try to tug against the tide, where the ocean sucks them in, inch by heaving inch. Continue reading

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The Man Steps into Nettles on the Way to Mass

by Tobi Cogswell

Dressed in his “church pants”, he cuts through a field
like a rabbit on skates. Late as he often is, he’ll get “the eye”

from some chuntering old usher—get nothing but grief
from postman to pub to his mother and wife,

who left ahead of him–early–gently walking the road,
the sway of her contentment like a velvet metronome. Continue reading

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The Necklace

by Paula Goldman

The stone stands its ground,
Worn away turning
in the whirls of surf,
chuffed to the beach, sun-
           drenched, rain-washed,
a map of injuries. Continue reading

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What Morning Is

by Lauren Becker, from the recently published collection, If I Would Leave Myself Behind (originally appeared in Matchbox)

No one knew what to do when the lights went out. Some went to sleep because the lights were out anyways. Some went to bed but didn’t go to sleep. The time would go more quickly. Some ate the ice cream. The ones who were alone were mostly scared. Some ate the ice cream, but were scared anyways. Continue reading

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