I Declare This Room a Volcano

by John A. Nieves

Some games we played weren’t
about competition. The goal
was for everyone to win, like when
we’d throw pillows around the room

and name the floor lava. No one
tried to push anyone else in. The idea
was adventure. We would risk
imaginary immolation to reach Continue reading

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Whirling Disease

by Kelly Sundberg
(Originally appeared in The Denver Quarterly Vol. 49, No. 3)

Before:

We piled into a car, four girl-women in our early twenties, a tent, a cooler full of food, and plastic baggy full of magic mushrooms. The car wound along the tight curves of the river, canyon walls rising sharply on either side, sunlight filtering through the glass.

We stood in the middle of a stream, skirts tucked up around our waists, passing a fly rod between us and casting a line. The line flicked forward, hesitated gracefully in an arc before landing softly on the water. The cold stream funneled around us. We broke the arc of that glassy water. A silver glitter danced by my feet. A trout. It broke the surface, creating a circle on the smooth water, radiating into more circles, then slipping away soundlessly. Continue reading

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Dwarf Planet, Forest Fires, Disney World

by Jennifer Newhouse

At the flea market,
we sweat and wander.
You lead, I lead.
We hunt for what
we didn’t know to find.
I miss everyone
and can’t say it. I miss
who they were or who
it was I used to be.
Everyone is everywhere
like any time before. Continue reading

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Parable

by J.G. McClure

The town went to the river to drown. Their despair was too great; it was the only way. The townsfolk lined the banks, filled their pockets up with stones. Our despair is too great, they said. It is the only way. The children had brought great coils of rope; they bound the elders’ arms and then their own. The town stood on the bank, alone with what must be done. Months passed, years. Continue reading

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Suspense

by Robert Beveridge

 

At our school, detention
was held in a room hung
off the side of a cliff. Breakers
of inscrutable rules were lowered
in a basket made of popped balloons Continue reading

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