Stealing the Ocean

by Maureen Sherbondy

The woman missed the ocean desperately, so she took a drive to view the waves and sand at her favorite North Carolina beach. In a bag, she packed a day’s worth of collected shells, one dead starfish, and a shark’s tooth. The tooth was so sharp that it cut her finger as she set it inside the bag. She also filled a plastic container with sand and a glass vial with salty water. Continue reading

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Bleed

by Heidi Turner

Lydia tried floating on her back, like she’d seen in movies, but it wasn’t relaxing in the actual ocean. The sun was far too bright overhead, and the warm water rocked her enough to make it impossible to tell if she was drifting faster than was safe, or if a wave was coming. She could feel the grains of sand exfoliating all the nooks and crannies of her bikini and the surf shorts she always wore—another experience that sounds pleasant but isn’t. She rolled over onto her stomach, only dipping below the surface for a moment in the practiced motion. Her limbs dangled down into the water, deep enough that her toes could only scrape the bottom at her full height. She turned her head to the sky and breathed. Face down in the water, she could feel her lungs pushing her body against the pull-down of the ocean. I bet I look like I’ve drowned. Continue reading

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Other People’s Children

by John Blahnik

My wife was coordinating our tapas order with David and Rachel when I spotted the girl. She held her fork in a fist, as if she were spear fishing, and vertically struck her octopus. Her parents watched indulgently. The girl chewed, and her mouth moved as if it were struggling with a gumball. I thought that the whole scene was adorable. Continue reading

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The First Brassiere

by Penny Jackson

The reason why my mother had to buy me a bra was because of a letter from our school’s headmaster to the parents of the 7th grade girls. It was noted that many girls who were “maturing” were not wearing the proper undergarments. Teachers would now routinely check each girl who came to the school by tracing a finger down their backs. If the necessary “item” was not worn, the girl could be sent home. Continue reading

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Ode To A Couch

by Chris Abbate

A neighbor and I drag you down
two flights of stairs,
grunt against your heft,
a dying animal to be euthanized.
We turn your rigid body
gently around corners
as if not to hurt you,
as if you could feel pain. Continue reading

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Filed under Poetry